Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Rhyl 2 Aberystwyth Town 2
Aberystwyth Town gave a much improved performance at the Belle Vue, Rhyl last night as crucial goals from Rhys Griffiths and Jamie Reed earned the Black and Greens a respectable point on the North Wales Coast, and on the night a draw was probably a fair result.
The hosts started quite well and were ahead in the seventh minute when Rob Hughes’ speculative effort from the edge of the area sneaked through the Aber back line and into the bottom corner. John Owen brought a save out of Mike Lewis but then the visitors responded well and were soon level when an expertly delivered right wing cross from Sion James gave Griffiths a brilliant opportunity to head an equaliser from close range, and with 14 minutes gone the score was 1-1. Griffiths glanced another header inches wide from Craig Williams’ free kick, and Ross Stephens brought a save out of Terry McCormick, while Jon Owen’s trickery threatened in vain to open up Aber’s back four, and the half ended all square.
WPL Player of the month Connor Bell flashed a shot wide, before Levi Mackin drew an astonishing right handed save out of Mike Lewis to deflect the ball onto the post, but then the Black and Greens enjoyed a great period of pressure when Ross Stephens, on his 300th WPL start, sent in a corner which Chris Venables headed against the cross bar, and the ball deflected to Jamie Reed who tapped home against his old club on 51 minutes. Cledan Davies, making his 100th start for Aber, and Williams were putting in some dangerous crosses and from these Venables had an effort saved and Griffiths saw a goal disallowed. Griffiths then won the ball and Reed lofted an effort just over the bar. With Stuart Jones and Lee Surman looking strong at the back Aber appeared comfortable but then Hughes, who was lucky not to see red minutes earlier, set up Michael Walsh down the right and his cross was buried by the impressive Jon Owen for an 80th minute equaliser. Chances came at both ends with Bell firing wide for the hosts, and Aber nearly won it late on as Surman set up Jones to volley over, and then in injury time when Venables’ header was cleared off the line but the whistle blew almost immediately, and a 2-2 draw was probably the correct outcome for a game neither side really deserved to lose.
Following a difficult couple of weeks Ian Hughes men now appear to be back on track, and they have the opportunity to turn a good point into an excellent point by winning next Saturday’s televised home game against Port Talbot Town (ko 5.15pm).