Tuesday 9th July 2019
Aberystwyth Town 3 Llanidloes Town 1
Aberystwyth Town began their preparations for the 2019/20 season with a win over Mid Wales League Runners Up Llanidloes Town, who took the lead from Ed Clarke’s 4th minute free kick and still lead at the break. Second half strikes from Rio Ahmadi (54), Rickie Ricketts (70) and Steff Edwards (73 mins) ensured that as the second half drew on the hosts' dominance was rewarded with a hard earned victory after a good workout.
Aberystwyth University’s 3G pitch, affording wonderful views over the summertime Ceredigion Coast was a special setting for the Black and Greens’ first match of the new season, but things did not start as planned, and after the impressive Alex Boss had crossed for Geoff Kellaway to head wide, a free kicvk from Clarke sailed directly into the far corner to give Llani the lead. The visitors started at high pace and home keeper Adam Walters had to deny Lance Jones soon after, as well as some threatening long throws. Gradually Aber settled in and started to pass the ball around, and an opportunity almost fell to Boss but he couldn’t convert. Matthew Jones then crossed for Marc Williams, but his header was blocked. Malcolm Melvin flicked the ball up for Ahmadi to volley an effort, but that one was blocked too. At the other end onetime Black and Green Daf Caruthers could have really set the cat amongst the pigeons with a second for Llani, but Walters was well placed to catch his effort. Back at the other end Ahmadi crossed for Williams to head wide, then minutes later Jones again centred for Ahmadi who again went agonizingly wide with a header. A goal seemed inevitable and Ben Birch at the back picked out Boss who burst through only to fire a rasping shot just over the crossbar. Ahmadi lobbed inches wide again, Adam Worton crossed for George Clarke to send a header wide at the other end, then Ryan Wollacott missed the target, and despite their glut of chances Aber trailed at the break.
Five Aber changes followed at the break, and the Black and Greens went on to dominate the second period, with Llani’s energetic first half efforts taking their toll. A tough tackle on Jones resulted in an Aber free kick which Wes Baynes expertly dispatched, and when the ball fell for Ahmadi, the returning striker swivelled an volleyed home from close range to restore parity. Williams saw his header tipped over the bar and although Oliver Fairbrother was tested from time to time the match was heading Aber’s way. A Triallist fired just wide, and with twenty minutes to go some pretty Portuguese trickery from Paolo Mendes near the corner flag resulted in a cross which was gleefully smashed home by triallist Richie Ricketts from Bow Street. Three minutes later Steff Edwards curved a cultured curler into the bottom corner for Aber’s third, and Town could relax. A back header from Worton almost fell into the net but Kris Williams managed to get back in time, and the scoreline ended at 3-1.
Despite the eventual victory, for long periods of the game Aberystwyth faced a tough challenge last night, and Matthew Bishop’s men showed a pleasing determination to win, despite eleven substitutions, a number of injuries and a few formation changes. Aber’s preparations continue on Saturday at home to FAW Championship (South) side Llantwit Major. See you down there for a 2.30pm kick off!
Photo courtesy of Colin Ewart