Nathaniel Cup Second Round
Saturday 6th August
Aberystwyth Town 2 Llanidloes Town 1
On a beautiful summer’s day on the Ceredigion Coast The Black and Greens kicked off their 2022/3 season with a 2-1 win over Llanidloes Town which took them through to the last sixteen of the Nathaniel Cup, to be played in September. The visitors played well and took the lead through Andy Evans on 36 minutes, but Steff Davies equalised for Aber within a minute, and Phil Perry found a winner with a lofted effort from the left wing with twenty minutes to go.
Newly signed Centre Back Ben Erickson came into Aber’s starting line up, but Sam Litchfield had to be replaced by Harri Horwood minutes before kick off in a late reshuffle, and Horwood was straight into the action with Aber’s first effort on goal, saved by Luke Evans. George Clarke then spooned a good chance wide for Llani, and Mason Jones tested Lewis Webb in the home goal, but the Swansea shotstopper held firm. At the other end Niall Flint had an attempt blocked, then in a breakaway Andy Evans volleyed a super effort just over the bar. Steff Davies then earned a free kick and headed Jack Rimmer’s set piece at the keeper, Horwood shot wide again and Perry’s long range effort was gathered by Evans. Aber enjoyed a further spell of pressure and a number of corners, and Flint’s excellent run and shot was just cleared over the bar. For Llani the dangerous Andy Evans got in again and skimmed just over, but he was not to be denied and when Luke Boundford crossed from the right, Evans headed home to put the visitors in front. The lead however was short lived and in the very next move Aber worked the ball to Steff Davies up front who smashed the ball home decisively from close range, and a deserved equaliser. Elliot Jones sent a free kick straight at Webb, then at the other end Horwood played in hard working Sam Phillips, and his flick was saved for a corner. An exciting half ended level, which on the balance of play was probably fair.
The pattern of play continued into the second half. The impeccable Webb in goal twice did very well to deny Boundford, while for Aber Phillips had a shot blocked and Edge sent an effort over the bar. Webb saved a free kick from Ed Clarke, then did brilliantly to tip a lob from Andy Evans over the bar to keep Aber in it. Horwood saw another shot saved by the keeper and then Flint went on a breathtaking run but was blocked at the last. Then the impressive Perry went on a swashbuckling run down the left flank and sent in a cross-shot which drifted over the goalkeeper and nestled into the top corner, to gain Aber a crucial lead. On came Aber with Edge setting up sub Jon Owen to touch wide, but home nerves were still in place as Mason Jones sent in a great left wing cross for Boundford, but the ex Aber striker missed the target. Manager Anthony Williams was forced into yet another reshuffle as Erickson hobbled off, and Jonathan Evans almost settled the tie with an effort from the by line, again saved by the goalie. Boundford shot over the bar from close range as four minutes of injury time flashed up, but to be fair Aber managed injury time well and emerged as victors in a thrilling cup tie.
Aber showed glimpses of quick and dangerous attacking play on Saturday, however Llanidloes were also a constant threat and deserve great credit for their efforts. The Black and Greens seem to have picked up a nice habit of winning tight games, and Perry’s moment of glory lit up the afternoon for home supporters. The Seasiders progress to the Southern Section of the Nathaniel Cup Third Round draw with Afan Lido, Haverfordwest, Ammanford, Pontypridd Utd, Taffs Well, Cardiff Met and Penybont, to be played on Tuesday September 20th. Before that however comes the big Cymru Premier kick off, with Williams’ men visiting Airbus UK Broughton this Friday evening (12th August), for a 7.45pm kick off. Join us at the Airfield – a large travelling army is already assembling itself!