Saturday 24th March
Aberystwyth Town 0-2 Barry Town United
Aberystwyth Town fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of a well -organised Barry Town United side, on a frustrating afternoon for the seasiders at Park Avenue. Goals from Jordan Cotterill (42) and Louis Gerrard (90) condemned Nev Powell’s side to just their second defeat in ten games in all competitions and their first home defeat since New Year’s Day.
Prior to kick off at Park Avenue, Aber full back Declan Walker was presented with his JD Welsh Premier League Player of the Month award by manager Nev Powell, as he came back into the starting line up in place of flu-stricken Matthew Jones. Visitors Barry edged the opening stages as Chris Mullock was forced into action after just 4 minutes from James Demetriou. Soon after, the hosts tested former seasider Mike Lewis with Craig Hobson’s header as the game threatened to spring into life. However, both sides struggled to gain the upper hand as the first half wore on with a tight midfield battle ensuing and minimal chances being created. On 18 minutes Aber’s John Owen danced his way into the penalty area before forcing a smart save from Lewis in goal, before Ryan Newman fired his shot over the crossbar at the other end. As half time approached, Barry opened the scoring as Jordan Cotterill latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired a left footed shot into the bottom corner beyond the reach of Mullock to make it 1-0. Aber didn’t have a chance to respond to going behind, as the referee’s half time whistle blew with the visitors leading a very scrappy affair.
Aber started the second half in much brighter fashion, as they took the initiative in search of an equaliser. On 53 minutes Hobson again tested Lewis with a low drive, before he created a glorious opportunity for Joe Phillips to tap the ball home inside the six-yard area, which somehow sailed inches over the crossbar. Aber were beginning to threaten more and more, and on the hour mark Kurt Sherlock made his home debut, replacing the ever-energetic Phillips. Soon after Sherock’s introduction, Town again came within inches of finding the back of the net as Ryan Wollacott’s goal bound effort was cleared on the goal line, before Hobson sent his half volley millimetres over the crossbar. The visitors were somehow surviving everything Aber were throwing at them as another chance went begging on 66 minutes when Declan Walker’s cross fizzed across the six-yard area beyond the sliding Hobson. It seemed inevitable that Nev Powell’s side would break through the visitors’ resolute rear guard as they earned another succession of corner kicks. On 70 minutes, from one of those corner kicks Ryan Wollacott’s header was destined for the top corner before being cleared off the line brilliantly as Aber’s supporters began to wonder what they had done to deserve such bad luck. Geoff Kellaway was introduced in place of Luke Borrelli on 75 minutes as Aber continued to push forwards, but on 80 minutes they almost got caught on the break as Demetriou forced a brilliant stop from Mullock. Soon after, Aber’s keeper was again forced into action as he instinctively saved Luke Cooper’s header. On 82 minutes, the hosts once more went agonisingly close as Tom Owens unleashed a fierce volley from Hobson’s flick on, only to be denied by another fine save by Lewis in goal. Then, as the game entered stoppage time, Barry delivered the ultimate sucker punch as Louis Gerrard latched on to a long ball and slotted the ball beyond Mullock to make it 2-0 and send the three points back to south Wales.
A frustrating afternoon for Nev Powell’s side, who certainly created enough chances to get at least a point from the game. Aber perhaps missed that little bit of luck that has been going in their favour in recent weeks, and can certainly take away many positives from their performance as they look to bounce back with a victory away at Llandudno next Saturday afternoon.