Friday 25th October
Aberystwyth Town 1 Connah’s Quay Nomads 1
Mattie Jones’ 90th minute equaliser from the penalty spot gave the Black and Greens the point they so richly deserved after a gutsy and dominant performance against League Leaders Connah’s Quay, at a sodden Park Avenue last night. Jamie Insall had given the visitors the lead against the run of play seven minutes before the break but justice prevailed as Jones’ spot kick brought delight to the majority of the 276 brave souls who had defied the downpour.
In truth Quay started well and had the first two opportunities. Priestley Farquharson’s right wing cross just about evaded his strikers and the post, and Insall saw a header cleared off the line with barely two minutes on the clock. Aber needed to settle, and they did. Wes Baynes sent in a cross after an overlapping run which Lewis Brass held well, then Mattie Jones’ left wing cross dropped nicely for Tom Price, who lost his footing in a good position. Price then did get a volley in which was deflected for a corner, then Ricketts turned beautifully to send in a cross, and Joe Phillips’ goalbound header was pushed on to the cross bar by Brass, with Morrison’s men rocking. With Stuart Jones nullifying the fading Michael Wilde Nomads were reduced to half chances, and Farquharson missed the target again from the right wing. The improving Price played a one two with Ryan Edwards before smashing in a volley which flashed over the post, and Brass again had to grab a promising Baynes cross. Wilde headed wide from Danny Holmes’ cross, then Joe Phillips again brought a save out of Brass with a curling effort. Then suddenly Michael Bakare dashed down the wing and sent in a cross for Insall to edge home from the edge of the area, and against all odds the Nomads were ahead. They again had to desperately clear off the line from a Paulo Mendes header in injury time, and went in a goal to the good.
Nomads again started the second half strongly and Insall missed a great chance to put the game to bed. Back came gutsy Aber, defending set pieces bravely and causing problems themselves too. Lee Jenkins went on a thrilling 50 yard run before unleashing a rocket shot from 30 yards which had Brass scrambling the ball away for a corner, and Richy Ricketts sent a volley wide too. Matty Jones sent in another beauty of a cross to Phillips at the back post, but somehow his header scraped wide with Brass’ goal enjoying a charmed life. Mattie Jones’ free kick then found Stuart Jones’ head, and a goal seemed certain, only for Brass to pull off a brilliant point blank save to protect his lead. Another ball in from Baynes just evaded Stuart Jones, with Aber unlucky again. Price volleyed over, then the impeccable Jenkins picked out Baynes on the right with a super crossfield pass, but the right back fired wide. With Aber so dominant, surely one last chance would come their way? So it proved, when sub Alex Boss’ goalbound shot was handled by Holmes, and Jones smashed home the penalty to bring huge cries of delight from the massed fans huddled against the incessant rain in the Rhun Owens Stand.
Many of those present judged this to be the Black and Greens’ best performance of the season, and against the League leaders this must be a shout. A sign of Aber’s dominance was that Quay had six players booked to Aber’s none, and Mathew Bishop’s men can be proud of themselves even though they didn’t quite manage a momentous victory. The point takes Aber up to ninth in the JD Cymru Premier and puts them in a great mood ahead of their Nathaniel MG Cup Quarter Final tie at Carmarthen on Tuesday night (ko 7.45pm). Come on Aber!