Saturday 19th December
Aberystwyth Town 4 Bangor City 0
Aberystwyth Town thrilled their supporters with a wonderful pre Christmas performance as they romped to a 4-0 win over ten man Bangor City in the heavy rain at Park Avenue. After a strong performance and a lot of hard work in the first half, the Black and Greens surged to victory with two goals from the irrepressible Chris Venables (on 60 and 64 minutes), a smashing 70th minute volley from Geoff Kellaway on his return from injury, and a well earned fourth for Jamie Reed twelve minutes from time.
Manager Ian Hughes was blessed by the rare luxury of having a full squad to choose from before the game, and Jamie Reed came in to replace Liam Jaques up front in an otherwise unchanged eleven. The hosts started the game confidently after last week's great result, working hard to win important tackles in midfield and enjoying the majority of possession. Ross Stephens' corner was palmed away by Connor Roberts, only for Rhys Griffiths to knock the ball over the bar from the next move. Reed then picked out Luke Sherbon in the middle and his long range effort fizzed wide, before Bangor had their only effort on target as Mike Lewis got down well to stop Leon Clowes' glancing near post header. With Griffiths bossing the high balls and the imperious Venables running midfield with apparent ease, the chances kept coming and Jamie Reed forced Roberts into a save from distance, then flashed a drive just past the near post. Roberts denied Antonio Corbisiero from a narrow angle, then Reed won the ball in his own half and ran 60 yards down the left flank to send a shot just wide. Griffiths sent a 30 yard shot straight at Roberts, and then a move of liquid football started by Venables in his own area saw Reed feed Stephens to clip the crossbar. With Stuart Jones and Lee Surman looking particularly strong at the back Aber never really looked seriously threatened, but a goalless half time score meant the Black and Greens needed to find a cutting edge after the break.
Bangor had an early chance in the second half when Ashley Young shot just over from distance, but then came a big moment in the game as Geoff Kellaway finally returned from injury, as a substitute for Griffiths on 48 minutes. Venables hit the crossbar from a free kick as normal service was resumed, and then a great surging run from Kellaway down the right almost opened the Citizens up, but the ball was cleared. Finally, a deep ball from out on the left found Sion James in the box and his goalbound header was flicked in by Venables to open the scoring on the hour. Four minutes later Reed showed great persistence on the edge of the area and prodded the ball through for Venables to shoot high into the net and double his tally. Kellaway was denied by Roberts when straight through, Ross Stephens lobbed just over and then Kellaway again burst through in the 68th minute, only to be brought down on the edge of the area by Roberts, and a red card was the only possible outcome. From the resulting free kick Stephens hit the crossbar only for Kellaway to mark his return with a crashing first time volley from close range, and the game was certainly won. Craig Williams typically ran forty yards to win a corner, and then Reed crowned a performance made of grit and determination by finding the bottom corner with a right footer from inside the area, and three became four. Subs Christian Langos fired wide for Bangor, and Phil Warrington fired an effort over the bar, but there was still time for Reed to warm sub keeper Antoni Sarnowski's palms, and to go agonizingly close to a second twice more before the end. Jack Rimmer, on as a sub, showed some nice touches on a difficult pitch and Cledan Davies pressed down the left, but the damage was had already been down by the hard work Aber had put in throughout the afternoon, on a very heavy surface, to fully deserve a four goal winning margin.
Despite the weather, Town put on one of their best performances of the season this afternoon, and their supporters did not want this match to end. Aberystwyth Town are therefore delighted to have another home game on Tuesday evening to look forward to, at home to Carmarthen Town (kick off 7.45pm). The late surge is on!
Photo courtesy of Chris Howells