Friday 17th August
Aberystwyth Town 1-4 Cardiff Met
Aberystwyth Town suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of Cardiff Met at Park Avenue on an evening where nothing seemed to go right for the black and greens. Goals from Eliot Evans (16, 38), Sam Snaith (42) and Chris Baker (65) gave the visitors a four-goal advantage before Wes Baynes (66) pulled one back for the hosts with an excellent low volley.
Aber named an unchanged outfield side from last week's win over Llandudno, with the only change coming in goal where Terry McCormick replaced the injured Leigh Jenkins. It was visitors Cardiff Met who started the game the sharper, as Will Evans tested McCormick, before Aber registered their first shot on goal with Declan Walker’s low effort straight at goalkeeper Alex Lang. But the hosts were struggling to come to grips with the visitors shape and mobility, and on 16 minutes they took a deserved lead when Will Evans played in Eliot Evans who struck a low left-footed shot into the bottom right corner to make it 0-1. Try as they might, Aber seemed unable to respond as the visitors made it difficult to create any clear cut chances with their rigid and organised defensive shape. On 30 minutes, Ryan Edwards showed a glimpse of brilliance before whipping a dangerous cross into the penalty area but goalkeeper Lang dealt with it expertly. Then, on 38 minutes the visitors doubled their lead as Matt Neale headed the ball across the penalty area where it fell kindly for Eliot Evans to tap home his second goal of the evening for 0-2. On 42 minutes came the real sucker punch – as the hosts look to make it to half time with a 2 goal margin to make up, Met further extended their lead when Sam Snaith latched on to a loose ball before rounding McCormick and tapping into an empty net for 0-3. Aber were shell-shocked and needed the half time whistle.
Rather than let their heads drop and become discouraged, the hosts came out for the second half with more purpose and intensity as they fought to find a way back into the game. Local lad Mathew Jones and Joe Phillips began to control more of the midfield areas, and on 53 minutes Ryan Edwards fed Declan Walker who’s low effort went inches wide of the post. On 60 minutes, substitutes Nashawn Blake and Jack Rimmer replaced Paulo Mendes and Phillips to try and add some impetus, but on 65 minutes Met grabbed their fourth goal of the evening to completely kill the game. Chris Baker stole the ball in midfield before seeing his shot take a huge deflection and land in the bottom corner of the net to make it 0-4. The goal summed up the type of luck Aber had been getting all evening, but on 66 minutes came the shining moment of Town’s performance as Ryan Edwards chipped a pass towards Wes Baynes, who struck a superb half volley across goal and into the far corner of the net to make it 1-4. The home supporters sensed the smallest glimmer of an epic comeback, but the visitors regained control of the game immediately and almost added a fifth goal as Evans went close to grabbing his hat-trick. On 80 minutes, substitute Geoff Kellaway almost pulled another goal back as his front post flick was well saved by Lang in goal, but it wasn’t to be as Aber fell to defeat at the hands of a well organised and clinical Cardiff Met side.
After such a good start to the season against Llandudno, it was a disappointing night for the seasiders at Park Avenue. Nevertheless, credit must go to the visitors who were defensively solid and clinical in attack. Aber’s new team will have learnt more again from last night’s defeat, and will hope for redemption as they look to get back on track with a positive result away at Connah’s Quay Nomads next Friday evening.
Aberystwyth Town: McCormick, Baynes, Lee Jenkins, Wollacott, S.Edwards, Phillips, Walker (C), Jones, R Edwards, Ahmadi (Subs: Blake (60), Kellaway (74), Rimmer (60), Williams, Rowe)
Cardiff Met: Lang, Lewis, McCarthy (C), Edwards, Rees, Neale (68), Baker, W Evans, E Evans, Spencer (84), Snaith (52) (Subs: Swindlehurst, Thomas (68), Owen (52), Bowler (84), Williams, Aalto)