Friday 3rd November
Aberystwyth Town 1-0 Cefn Druids
Aberystwyth Town claimed a thoroughly deserved three points on Friday evening as they notched their first home victory of the JD Welsh Premier League season against Cefn Druids. In what was an entertaining game, a 73rd minute volley from John Owen was enough to give Aber victory and send the rain-sodden Town supporters home happy.
As the heavens opened at Park Avenue, Aber started the game brightly with John Owen starting as the lone striker and captain Jonny Spittle coming back into the heart of the defence after missing last weekend’s win at Prestatyn through suspension. Malcolm Melvin and Ryan Wade both looked sharp in the opening stages as Town searched for the breakthrough, but it was Aber full back Declan Walker who went closest to opening the scoring. After a marauding run down the right flank, Walker cut inside the penalty area and fired a low shot towards the bottom corner but Druids ‘keeper Michael Jones saved brilliantly with his outstretched leg. The visitors were next to go close as first Ilan ap Gareth and then Ashley Ruane both forced fine saves from Chris Mullock in Aber’s goal. After 25 minutes, Aber began to dominate possession and created another good opportunity when Walker got on the end of Ashley Young’s free kick only to head the ball over the crossbar. Soon afterwards, Ryan Wade sent an inviting cross into the penalty area, which the energetic Matthew Jones was inches away from connecting with, but at half time the game remained goalless despite both teams going close.
The second half started in similar fashion, with Aber looking the more likely team to find the breakthrough. On 47 minutes, Walker went close for the third time as he headed wide from a corner and on 52 minutes the ball somehow stayed out of the Druids goal as Matthew Jones first saw his goal-bound shot blocked, and then saw his header fly inches wide of the far post. It looked as if it might be one of those nights for Aber, as they continued to press for an opening goal. At the other end, Druids were being restricted to very few chances as Aber’s Ashley Young and Malcolm Melvin marshalled the midfield, and the central defensive trio of Wollacott, Spittle and McKenna snuffed out any danger being posed by the visitors’ strike partnership of Ruane and Buckley.
Then, on 73 minutes Aber finally got the breakthrough they deserved. Ashley Young lofted a free kick into the penalty area and after winning the first header, striker John Owen was on hand to volley home a left-footed strike into the bottom corner much to the delight of the Town supporters. At 1-0 up, Aber continued to boss the game as Luke Borrelli tested ‘keeper Michael Jones with a long-range shot, before both Wade and Owen again caused major problems for the visitors’ defence with weaving runs into the penalty area. Nev Powell’s men defended their lead brilliantly as Borrelli made way for Joe Phillips and the game headed into the final five minutes. Druids tried their best to pressurize the home defence with long balls into the penalty area, but captain Spittle led the back line superbly and Aber held out for another crucial three points.
Aber certainly deserved their victory on the night and all twelve players involved in the victory must be credited for the work rate and energy shown in their performance against an in-form Cefn Druids side. Manager Nev Powell will be delighted to have seen his side pick up their first home victory of the season, and will be hoping for more Park Avenue nights like this in the months to come. Aber must now recover quickly and turn their attention to Tuesday night (7th November) when they will travel to face Bangor City at Nantporth in the JD Welsh Premier League with a 7:45p.m kick off.