Saturday 2nd December
Aberystwyth Town 4-0 Bala Town
Aberystwyth Town produced a stunning performance to beat Bala Town 4-0 and knock the current Welsh Cup holders out of the competition at Park Avenue on Saturday afternoon. Declan Walker opened the scoring on 15 minutes, before second half goals from John Owen (62), Joe Phillips (70) and Luke Borrelli (74) sealed the victory for Nev Powell’s men on a memorable afternoon at Park Avenue. Aber’s name now goes into the hat for the next round of the competition, and they will find out their opponents in the live fourth round draw on S4C at 7p.m on Monday night.
After an impeccable minutes’ silence was observed before kick off for club stalwart Brian Edwards who passed away this week, Aber started the game on the front foot, with Craig Hobson and Declan Walker providing early attacking threats inside the Bala penalty area. On 15 minutes, Hobson was again in the thick of the action as he held off his marker and earned a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the penalty area. Declan Walker stepped up and saw his deflected free kick fly past helpless Bala ‘keeper Ashley Morris and into the back of the net to give Aber an early 1-0 lead. The hosts gained confidence from that early goal and continued to dominate the first half as Hobson tested Morris after weaving his way past three Bala defenders, before John Owen saw his shot go narrowly wide of the post on 25 minutes. The visitors struggled to get a foothold in the game, but did begin to grow into the game as the first half wore on, with substitute Hyuga Tanner beginning to dictate the tempo in midfield. On 39 minutes, Bala created their first meaningful chance as Nathan Burke’s shot skimmed off the top of the crossbar, before Jordan Evans forced a smart save from Chris Mullock on 42 minutes. Aber were quite content to sit back and absorb the pressure as the first half drew to a close, with Ryan Wollacott and John McKenna marshalling the defence superbly with captain Jonny Spittle missing through injury. Despite their increased possession, the visiotrs failed to test Mullock again as half time came, with Aber going in one goal to the good.
The second half started with Aber again enjoying the better of the chances. On 52 minutes, the energetic Joe Phillips got in behind the Bala back line but his attempted lob went wide of the post, before Malcolm Melvin forced a fine save from Morris with a low drive. Nev Powell’s men continued to press for that second goal, and on 62 minutes they were rewarded. Holding midfielder Ashley Young launched a long throw into the penalty area, and the ball ricocheted to John Owen who fired a brilliant low shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-0. This gave Aber the cushion they needed to play with some additional freedom and enjoyment, as they continued to carve the Bala defence open with some excellent and intricate one-touch football. On 70 minutes, the floodgates well and truly opened, as Joe Phillips latched on to a reckless back-pass and slotted the ball past Morris to send Aber’s supporters into dreamland and make it 3-0. The scoring didn’t stop there – as on 74 minutes Joe Phillips again caused havoc on the left flank and squared the ball for substitute Luke Borrelli to tap the ball into an empty net and make it 4-0. Aber were by now playing with supreme confidence, and they almost made it five as Ryan Wade sent a shot inches wide of the post before Borrelli mistimed his first touch when through on goal. Bala were well and truly beaten by this point as Aber saw the game out to earn a fantastic victory and see themselves through to the fourth round of the JD Welsh Cup.
A memorable afternoon at Park Avenue for Nev Powell’s men, who produced a spirited and energetic performance to comprehensively beat last year’s Welsh Cup champions. Any one of the players in green and white could have earned themselves the Man of the Match award in what was Town’s biggest victory at Park Avenue since April. Aber must now look to continue their fine form as they return to JD Welsh Premier League action away at Connah’s Quay next Friday night.