Monday 1st January 2018
Aberystwyth Town 1-2 Carmarthen Town
Aberystwyth Town fell to another desperately disappointing JD Welsh Premier League defeat at the hands of Carmarthen Town on a blustery Monday afternoon at Park Avenue. A bizarre 66th minute goal from Carmarthen goalkeeper Lee Idzi, followed by a late Liam Griffiths strike were enough to hand the Old Gold all three points, despite a consolation goal by Aber’s Matthew Jones in added time. The defeat leaves Aber in 10th place in the JD Welsh Premier League and mathematically ends Nev Powell’s side’s hopes of finishing in the league’s top six positions ahead of the second half of the season.
Visitors Carmarthen Town came into the game having won just two of their previous nineteen league games, but buoyed by their Boxing Day victory over the seasiders. Nevertheless, it was the hosts who started the game strongest, with the gale force wind at their backs, as Declan Walker fired an early shot straight at Lee Idzi in the Carmarthen goal. Aber continued to dominate the early stages as Craig Hobson volleyed over the bar before Ashley Young’s in-swinging corner came inches from crossing the goal line. On 28 minutes, Aber again went close as Walker tried his luck from long range once more, before Jonny Spittle fired an effort wide of the post. The visitors struggled to get a foothold in the game as the strong winds significantly impacted both teams’ efforts. As half time approached, Luke Borrelli swivelled on the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a shot that was deflected straight into the grateful arms of Idzi, as the first half ended in stalemate.
Aber came out in the second half playing into a stiff breeze, but there appeared to be more urgency in their play. On 55 minutes, Town created the best chance of the game as Luke Borrelli’s goal bound effort was cleared off the goal line after a scramble inside the penalty area. However, the turning point in the game came on 66 minutes as Carmarthen took the lead through the most unlikely of scorers. Goalkeeper Lee Idzi collected the ball inside his penalty area before launching an innocuous clearance downfield, which got caught in the wind and looped over the head of Aber ‘keeper Chris Mullock and into the back of the net to make it 1-0. Nev Powell sensed it was time for changes as he introduced Joe Phillips and Malcolm Melvin to try and create some added goal threat. On 77 minutes, Aber again went close, as Declan Walker broke free down the right flank before narrowly shooting over the bar. Aber were becoming increasingly desperate as they searched for an equaliser, and on the stroke of full time Carmarthen delivered the sucker punch goal that finished the game. Keiran Lewis played in substitute Liam Griffiths who slotted a neat finish past Mullock to make it 2-0. Town were able to grab a consolation goal before the full time whistle as Matthew Jones tapped in Ryan Wade’s cross at the far post, but it was too little too late for Nev Powell’s side.
The defeat confirms Town’s place in the league’s bottom half for the remainder of the season, as the seasiders now aim to finish in the lucrative 7th place come the end of the season and the potential for a European play off game. Aber must now turn their attentions to their next JD Welsh Premier League fixture, away at Cardiff Metropolitan University on Saturday in a 5:30p.m kick off, live on TV in front of the Sgorio cameras.