Monday 26th August
Aberystwyth Town 1 The New Saints 10
Two four goal salvos from Champions The New Saints at the end of the first and second halves produced a humiliating result for the Black and Greens at Park Avenue this afternoon, which constituted Aber’s heaviest ever Welsh Premier League defeat. The outstanding right winger Billy Whitehouse scored a hat trick (7, 29, 49 minutes), Greg Draper scored twice (81 and 85 mins), with other goals coming from Jon Routledge (25), Dean Ebbe (32), Adrian Cieslewicz (38), Kurtis Byrne (86) and Adam Hughes (89 minutes). Town’s response came from Marc Williams on 46 minutes.
Incredible as it may seem, Aber dominated the first twenty five minutes of proceedings, creating chance after chance. Joe Phillips’ cross found Luke Boundford whose super header was parried to safety by the acrobatic Paul Harrison, and Wes Baynes had a shot saved before Whitehouse opened the scoring against the run of play after Blaine Hudson picked out his smart run down the right wing, allowing him to dispatch a low shot under Alex Pennock. Phillips almost created another chance for Boundford, and Alex Boss sent in a super cross from the right to pick out Phillips, whose low goalbound drive was saved again but Harrison. The irrepressible Phillips then hit the post with a back post drive, and Boundford had another goalbound effort parried over dramatically by Harrison, to leave Aber behind in the scoreline but way ahead on points. However four goals in 9 minutes from the clinical visitors settled the game definitively and left the hosts utterly shell shocked. Whitehouse turned creator picking out Routledge, whose header doubled TNS’ lead, before scoring again with a snap shot inside the area for three nil. Cieslewicz picked out Ebbe down the middle who scored the fourth, and then scored the fifth himself from inside the area. Dan Redmond twice went close with a free kick and a lob, and Pennock saved Ryan Brobbel’s free kick and yet another Whitehouse effort to restrict the Champions Elect to five at the break.
Aber made a spirited start to the second half and Williams scored from close range within 15 seconds of coming on as a substitute, to reduce the deficit to 5-1, only for TNS to win a penalty three minutes later, which Whitehouse used to notch his hat trick confidently. Cieslewicz was denied a certain goal by Ryan Wollacott’s last ditch clearance, then Pennock again saved from Draper and Ryan Harrington, before Ryan Edwards brought a rare save out of Harrison with a low drive after a buccaneering run, and Williams curled an effort wide. Byrne had a headed goal disallowed for offside but then alas four more goals in the final nine minutes completed the rout. Draper scored twice, assisted by Cieslewicz and Redmond respectively, the rampaging Cieslewicz crossed for Byrne to get the ninth, and finally Hughes rampaged down the left channel before curling home the tenth to end the Black and Greens’ agony.
After such a heavy defeat Aberystwyth Town’s Management Team and Players now have some serious thinking to do ahead of Friday’s JD Cymru Premier match away to Cefn Druids (ko 7.45pm), when they will be working hard to regain their early season form. Town currently lie in eight placed in the League Table with three points from three matches.