St Valentines day is traditionally a day of love and affection. However, there was nothing of the sort in the air in Broughton this weekend as Aberystwyth suffered the most cruel late heartbreaks against Airbus UK, succumbing to a 3-2 defeat with virtually the last kick of the game, writes Matthew Wallace.
However, despite the defeat, boss Ian Hughes had nothing but praise for the endeavour, attitude and desire his team put in, especially considering a number of key personnel were missing from the starting XI.
“It’s disappointing, not with the performance, not with the effort the players put in. We’ve got four players out injured and Wyn Thomas had to play a full 90 minutes in the back four. The disappointment comes from external factors that we cannot control. That’s football”
These sentiments were echoed by assistant manager and experienced centre half Wyn Thomas. “It’s very cruel, but the lads performed magnificently. We came here with a game plan and we executed it quite well. It’s unfortunate really because we deserved much more.”
The first half was a tale of two spot kicks. Chris Venables gave the away side the initiative early on before Tom Field equalised from a similar scenario minutes later.
A somewhat drab second half was brought to life in the 83rd minute when Luke Sherborn nodded home after Thomas had produced a great save from home stopper. The wingmakers levelled the match for the second time in the 87th minute after a well taken Field freekick from 25 yards out before referee pointed to the spot for the third time in the match to hand Airbus the vital three points which keeps them in the hunt for second spot in the league.
“We went 2-1 up, we’d have liked to see that through but they’ve scored a great free kick, then in stoppage time Mark Jones is brought down in the box, the referee looks like he’s going to put the whistle to his mouth then changed his mind. Obviously I’ll have to see it again to see if it was a penalty or not”
Town now sit in third, two points ahead of the Wingmakers with Bala a further two points ahead of the Seasiders. With the race for second set to go to the wire, Hughes is pleased with the progress of his side.
“We’re still two points ahead of Airbus and if you’d have told me that at the start of the season, I’d have bitten your hand off with Airbus finishing the last two seasons in second place. The way they celebrated after the game shows the threat that Airbus see us as this season. It gives us and the players great credit that they see this as a massive win at home whereas two or three seasons ago this would have been a routine win for us so we’re moving forward in that direction.”