JD Cymru Premier
Aberystwyth Town 2 Cardiff Met 2
Aber Town dug deep and battled hard to earn an honourable draw with Top Six contenders Cardiff Met at Park Avenue on Saturday afternoon, which moves them back up to eighth in the JD Welsh Premier after ten matches. Paulo Mendes gave the hosts the lead on 13 minutes, but then 60 seconds turned the game on its head as Elliot Evans (pen) and Mael Davies put Met ahead six minutes into the second half. Thankfully Ryan Wollacott equalised with a powerful header on the hour and the scores remained at 2-2 as the full time whistle sounded.
On a mercifully pleasant afternoon after a rainy week Met enjoyed the best of the early possession and Will Evans picked up Elliot Evans out on the right but his shot pulled wide. The thirteenth minute however was lucky for Aber, when Marc Williams’ delightful lob allowed Paolo Mendes to overlap the visitors’ back line, and pull out a great finish down low to give Town the lead. Met once again went on to dominate possession, but with Aber working so hard to close them down all over the pitch and at every opportunity their goal chances were few and far between. Will Evans sent a half chance over the bar and the excellent Adam Hughes pulled out a great block to deny Elliot Evans. Will Evans fired over and wide again, and Emlyn Lewis lobbed wide. Aber put a few nice moves together, but a half of few chances ended with the hosts a goal to the good.
With the Black and Greens looking to score a killer second Tom Price sent in a low effort early in the second half but Alex Lang was not overly troubled, and then Aber’s world turned upside down on 50 minutes. A ball in from Joel Edwards was controversially adjudged to have hit the peerless Ryan Wollacott’s hand, with a penalty kick awarded, and Elliot Evans converted confidently. Met attacked from the kick off and in no time Mael Davies had sneaked into the near post area to snatch a second. All of a sudden Met looked like world beaters and Kyle McCarthy lobbed over before Will Evans almost made it three. Credit to the Seasiders, they weathered the storm and on the hour Wes Baynes’ beautifully angled free kick was headed home powerfully by Wollacott, to restore parity. From then on Aber battled hard and defended stoutly to retain what they had and weathered a late push by the Met. Adam Hughes, Ryan Wollacott and Stuart Jones all played their parts, denying in turns Will Evans and Elliot Evans, then super home keeper Connor Roberts pulled off the save of the weekend down to his left to deny sub Chris Baker a crucial third. Baker looked to have scored the winner just before the end, but he was denied by the offside flag, and when Mael Davies’ injury time shot was blocked, the job was done.
Aber’s point was a victory for hard work and defensive organisation and they did well to score twice from remarkably few opportunities. Their supporters will point to a disputed penalty call which turned the momentum of the game in Met’s favour, but the offside decision which denied Baker the winner was also a close one. The bigger picture is that a win and two draws from their last four matches against tough opposition will give Aber the confidence to look forward positively to next Friday’s match away to Carmarthen Town (ko 7.45pm).