Friday 28th August
Aberystwyth Town 3 Rhyl 1
Two super debut strikes from Jamie Reed, and a thunderbolt from Luke Sherbon earned Aber a 3-1 win against a very competent Rhyl side at Park Avenue this evening, in front of a bumper home crowd of 461. All four goals were excellent and the match was a superb spectacle and a great advert for a burgeoning Welsh Premier League.
On a pleasant evening with a glorious sunset as a backdrop, Jamie Reed started up front for Aber and once home keeper Mike Lewis had parried Derek Taylor's free kick to safety, Reed announced his arrival with a remarkable seventh minute strike. Finding himself at the left hand corner of the area, Reed turned on a sixpence and instinctively hit a right footed arcing volley into Terry McCormick's far corner, to the utter delight of the home supporters. Aber then went rampant, and Chris Venables was just denied by McCormick before Captain Supreme Stuart Jones had a headed goal debatably disallowed. With Aber on top Reed attempted a cheeky lob which was gathered by the visiting keeper, but then, as so often happens the home side was punished for those misses, as an innocuous free kick on the edge of their area gave visiting captain Dean Keates the chance to loft a beautiful free kick into the top corner on 26 minutes to equalise. Rhyl then showed their mettle, with Taylor drawing a great stop from Lewis with a flick header and Connor Bell bringing Lewis back into action. Seven minutes before the break though Aber regained the lead with a special move, as Craig Williams controlled with a wonder touch down the left before crossing deep for Darren Thomas to leap like a salmon and head the ball back to Reed, who nodded home his second from close range. Levi Mackin's snap shot again drew Lewis into action before Reed fired wide from a Sherbon through ball, and then drew yet another save from McCormick, and an excellent half ended with the hosts 2-1 to the good.
The second half began with a waxing moon shining down on Park Avenue and with the visitors still showing frequent signs of menace, Lee Surman headed a Mackin effort off the line. The game developed into an exciting end to end spectacle with Darren Thomas and the irrepressible Venables going close for Aber, and John Owen doing the same at the other end. Lewis then did well to gather Taylor's volley, then Greg Stones headed over the bar from six yards and it looked like the next goal would decide things: then on 73 minutes another great Aber move settled the contest. Once again Williams was the instigator with a cross from the left which found Venables, and he laid the ball back inside for Sherbon to crash home a spectacular 25 yard volley which took the roof off the Dias Stand. Stones went heart stoppingly close once again for Rhyl as they continued to battle, and the impressive Connor Bell created mayhem down the right, but with Corbisiero, Jones, Surman and Davies strong at the back there was no way through. Rhyl sub Tom Donegan somehow escaped uncarded after two trademark desperate lunges at Venables and a superb game ended in a slightly flattering 3-1 win for Aber.
The Black and Greens needed this result after last week's reverse at Llandudno, but the manner of the performance, the goals and the win in front of a big Park Avenue crowd will give Ian Hughes' men a big confidence boost going into next Friday's tough looking encounter away to Port Talbot Town. Kick off at the Genquip is 7.30pm.
Please note also that Aberystwyth Town's matches against Airbus UK Broughton have now been switched to Saturdays, on September 12th at Park Avenue, and 21st November at the Airfield. Both those games will kick off at 2.30pm.