Friday 6th March
Cefn Druids 2 Aberystwyth Town 2
Aber Town earned a good point away at Cefn Druids last night, reducing the gap the Play Off Conference leaders Cardiff Met to eight points in the process. Cody Ruberto struck first for the hosts in the twelfth minute, but Marc Williams equalised almost immediately after beating Mike Jones to the ball. Matty Jones’s 61st minute strike, scoring from the rebound after his penalty was saved, had Aber dreaming of a famous victory, but Ruberto headed an equaliser with twenty minutes to go, and although both sides had chances to win, a draw was a fair result by the end.
On a crisp evening Williams nearly played in Alhagie Touray Sisay for Aber in the opening minutes, but then Charley Edge sent a snapshot past the post for Cefn, and it was clear this would not be an easy game for the Black and Greens. Ruberto then burst through, but his low effort was saved at the second attempt by Alex Pennock in Aber’s goal, and the impressive Ilan Hughes sent a sighter over the bar for the visitors. Ruberto then burst through again and this time slipped the ball under Pennock to open the scoring for Cefn, but within a minute a simple long ball saw Jones and Williams challenge for the ball, and Aber’s crafty Captain came out on time a slid home an important equaliser. Pennock then gathered a good ball in from Edge, then solid Luke Boundford made a good block before Iwan Cartwright’s shot deflected safely to Pennock. A scrappy period ensued with few chances, Aber defending well yet struggling to create too many openings and Lee Jenkins did well to block the evergreen Jamie Reed with a strong tackle. Pennock punched a goalbound effort clear under pressure from Reed, and made further decent stops to deny Edge and Eugene Faux, with Aber threatening briefly with crosses from Paulo Mendes and Wes Baynes, but on the balance of play the visitors were probably the happier to hear the half time whistle.
With the temperature dropping in the second half Aber started to create chances. Williams sent in a dangerous cross but a last ditch tackle denied Touray, and with the Seasiders’ Spanish striker starting to show off his box of tricks the visitors were improving. Just past the hour Williams won the ball and set up Touray, who rounded Jones only to be felled by the home keeper, who escaped with a yellow card. Mike Jones did well to parry Mathew Jones’ penalty, but Aber’s homegrown penalty poacher was there quickest to tap home the rebound and put the visitors in front. Half an hour was a long time to hold out however. Boundford blocked Reed’s effort – not for the first time – and then Reed saw another attempt cleared off the line, with the home side pressing. In the seventieth minute a right wing cross found Ruberto and he headed home an equaliser, and then for a period Cefn looked the more likely winners. Pennock denied Reed, and then made another great save from a point blank header to keep Aber in it, but then towards the end of the game the visitors came back into it. Sub James Rowland set up Touray with a great cross, but his volley flew over the bar, and he headed over from close range minutes later from an offside position. Williams again sent in a dangerous cross but Phil Mooney deflected it safely back to Jones, Touray had a shot saved and Jones fired over in injury time, but as the final whistle went the 2-2 scoreline was an accurate reflection of the play.
Having finished strongly Mathew Bishop’s men will feel they could have won this game, but Cefn also had long periods of dominance in the game, so a point has to be welcomed in what on paper was one of Aber’s hardest matches of the Play Off Conference. The Players deserve credit for some solid defending and will take confidence from a two goal away haul looking forward to next Friday’s next JD Cymru League match at home to Carmarthen Town (ko 7.45pm). Come along!