Tuesday 29th December
Aberystwyth Town 1 Carmarthen Town 2
Two goals from Luke Cummings earned hard working Carmarthen Town a victory over below par Aber at Park Avenue this evening. Chris Venables had given the Black and Greens the lead with a 39th minute penalty, but the Orangmen's right winger popped up in the 44th and 53rd minutes to seal the win, with Aber unable to respond.
With influential midfielder Luke Sherbon ruled out through injury, 16 year old Jack Rimmer got his first WPL start, and Aber opted to play with the benefit of a blustery wind in the first half. Jamie Reed saw an early shot blocked, and then Geoff Kellaway sent a shot straight at visiting goalkeeper Lee Idzi from a good position before Ross Stephens flashed a volley just wide after exchanging passes with Venables. Aber were denied a penalty claim when Reed was felled in tyhe area, but then back came Carmarthen, and Lewis Harling blasted over from an excellent position on the right. Kellaway again found Idzi with a shot, before home keeper Mike Lewis did well to deny Cummings twice in close succession, by rushing off his line to gather, then pulling off a good save. A bad tempered period ensued before Stephens again tested Idzi with a low shot, but six minutes before the break Aber broke the deadlock when Reed was bundled down in the box, and Venables scored with a brilliant pen. Reed hit the side netting from the right but then a minute before the break the ball came to Cummings on the right edge of the area and he unleashed an excellent strike into the top corner to equalise for the visitors, and deflate the home side. Although chances had been created by both sides, the first half was in truth rather an untidy affair and a stalemate was probably the correct outcome.
The visitors enjoyed the wind advantage in the second half and although Reed had another attempt blocked soon after the restart, Carmarthen took the lead eight minutes in when Cummings again unleashed a cool low volley into Lewis' bottom corner from out on the right, and Aber were really up against it. Black and Green inspiration was in short supply on the night, and Lewis again had to come out well to deny Liam Thomas, who fired wide minutes later. At the other end Aber sub Cledan Davies played Reed into a good position but he too found Idzi's gloves, and in the last five minutes Stuart Jones won a header which allowed Reed to sent an overhead kick agonizingly against the crossbar. Venables had an injury time shot cleared for a corner but Carmarthen held out well, and on the night were the only side deserving of three points.
Tonight was a disappointing performance by the Black and Greens, who now know they surely need to win at least two of their last three home games to make the Top Six this season. The good news is that the first of these games comes in just three days time, as Aberystwyth host Haverfordwest County for a New Year's Day derby, which kicks off at 2.30pm. See you next year!