Wednesday 26th December
Aberystwyth Town 0-2 Newtown
Aberystwyth Town suffered another disappointing home defeat at Park Avenue as Newtown ran out 2-0 winners on Boxing Day. Goals from Steve Leslie (37, Pen) and Nick Rushton (62) were enough to see the Robins to victory on a difficult afternoon for the Seasiders in the JD Welsh Premier League.
Aber made two changes to the starting eleven that lost to Cefn Druids at Park Avenue on Friday evening, with Lee Jenkins and Declan Walker replacing Alan Goodall and Rio Ahmadi. It was visitors Newtown who started the brightest however, and they could have taken the lead within the opening two minutes as Terry McCormick rushed out of his goal to smother Nick Rushton's early shot. Aber's first opening of the game came on 26 minutes as Mathew Jones tested Newtown 'keeper Dave Jones with a curling free kick, but the hosts were unable to exert any sustained pressure, and the visitors took a deserved lead in the 37th minute. Left back Callum Roberts was brought down inside the area and Steve Leslie converted the resulting penalty kick to give the Robins a 0-1 advantage going into the break.
The second half was a similar story, despite Rio Ahmadi's introduction at half time in place of Steff Edwards. On 56 minutes, Ash Ruane did well to get to the by line and cut a cross back for Ryan Edwards, who was unable to keep his effort on target. Then, on 62 minutes the visitors doubled their lead as Leslie played in Nick Rushton who produced a clinical finish beyond McCormick to make it 0-2 and give the hosts a real uphill battle. Geoff Kellaway replaced Joe Phillips on 65 minutes, and soon after created Aber's best chance of the game as he cut inside and unleashed a right footed effort that bounced back out of the post, but try as they might Aber were unable to break down Newtown's resolute defence. The visitors were able to see the game out in comfortable fashion and seal a crucial three points in their bid to finish in the top six.
The defeat leaves Aber in sixth place in the league table, five points adrift of Newtown in fifth place. The Seasiders will need to regroup and bounce back quickly if they are to maintain any hopes of finishing in the top six come January, as they travel to Latham Park to face the Robins in the return clash on Sunday afternoon.
Aberystwyth Town: McCormick, Baynes, Wollacott, Jenkins, S Edwards (45), Mendes, Jones, Walker, R Edwards, Phillips (65) , Ruane. Subs: Goodall, Rimmer, Kellaway (65) , Ahmadi (45), Blake, Rowe.
Newtown: Jones, Kenton, Denny, Mills Evans, Roberts, Fletcher, Phillips (73), Mitchell, Boundford, Rushton, Leslie. Subs: Cadwallader, Williams (73) , Evans, Perry.