JD Cymru Premier
Friday 12th August
Airbus UK Broughton 1 Aberystwyth Town 2
On a blisteringly hot evening, Anthony Williams’ Black and Greens earned a huge opening day victory away to Airbus thanks to super sub Alex Darlington’s 76th minute winner, volleyed home with his first touch. Aber had earlier taken the lead through Joseph Palmer’s own goal (39 mins), and the Wingmakers equalised through George Peers with 19 minutes to go.
Aber took the field roared on by a superb following, with well over thirty travelling supporters covering huge distances to make the game, however it is fair to say the hosts started the game the better. Jake Phillips sent a low effort wide, before Jake Eyre drew the first save of the night from Lewis Webb in the Aber goal. Webb then saved dramatically to prevent Steve Tomassen from scoring at the back post, and make another important stop from Eyre minutes later, as the excellent on loan netminder kept the visitors in the game. Town survived a barrage of crosses and long throws, primarily from Phillips, and then did come back into it when Ben Erickson sent an effort flashing past the post, but the water break came on 25 minutes with Airbus ahead on points, though thankfully not on goals scored. The Black and Greens made a marked improvement after the stoppage: Harri Horwood sent a volley wide and then swashbuckling Niall Flint went on a superb run before crossing for Steff Davies, who swivelled and tested home keeper Lewis Dutton. Then Iwan Lewis earned a corner down the right, and Charley Edge’s set piece was headed into his own net by the unfortunate Palmer, to give Aber the lead. Peers glanced wide for Airbus but then Aber ended the half very strongly: Davies blasted over, then Flint went on another run before tapping the ball past Dutton, but his cheeky effort rebounded off the post to safety, agonisingly! Peers volleyed over for Airbus and Lewis did the same for Aber, and to the backdrop of a mercifully setting sun the visitors went in a goal to the good.
Town started the second half better: Lewis crossed for Davies to knock the ball down, resulting in an unsuccessful penalty shout for handball. Webb stopped Phillips’ low free kick, and then Phil Perry covered brilliantly to prevent Eyre equalising. Jack Rimmer then sent an audacious 50 yard free kick inches over the crossbar, then Lewis volleyed an effort over the bar after great work by the indefatigable Jack Thorn. Edge was next to shoot wide for the Black and Greens, and Sam Phillips came on to freshen up the Seasiders’ front line. Disaster struck as a right wing cross from Phillips fell nicely for Peers to glance home an equaliser, but from this point the visitors got better and better. Darlington came on as a sub for hard working Jonathan Evans, and make an impact within two minutes as he connected with Thorn’s long throw beautifully from the edge of the area with a sweet volley, leading to a lead and huge celebrations on the bench, and in the stands. Aber saw the game out defending stoutly and attacking superbly on the break. Phillips in particular was a great outlet – he had one shot blocked, then rounded the goalkeeper only to see his shot from a narrow angle headed miraculously off the line, and nearly scored again from Darlington’s sumptuous reverse pass in injury time. The visitors repelled one final long throw from Phillips, and a huge step for the season was completed, with a crucial away win gained in their first fixture.
After a slow start the Black and Greens definitely played well enough, and made enough chances to deserve their win at the Airfield last night. Their celebrations with the travelling supporters at the final whistle showed a great unity within the Club, and Manager Anthony Williams has done really well to create a winning culture within the squad through pre season and into the competitive season. Town’s next challenge is a televised match at home to Cardiff Met next Saturday 20th August: please note the kick off time of 5.45pm. Teatime football it is. See you there!
Photo courtesy of Callum Binner