Friday 5th August
Afan Lido 0 Aberystwyth Town 1
Lewis Coyle's 65th minute strike, set up by a great pass from Luke Sherbon, brought Aberystwyth Town a fifth pre season win out of five at Afan Lido this evening after a tough test against a very competitive Welsh League Division One side.
New signing Chris Jones started for Aber in midfield and they attempted to impose their game, but a rather bobbly surface inhibited good passing football somewhat on the evening. Geoff Kellaway had an early left footed shot saved by Rory McCreesh and then Lido's Jordan Edwards was denied by the rock solid Sam Rodon. Sherbon nicked the ball in the 'D' and curled a shot just over, Luke Borelli sent a shot wide from distance and Kellaway brought another save from McCressh with a volley, and the Black and Greens were on top. The impressive Jones played a brilliant lob in for Borelli but an unfortunate bounce deflected the ball away, and then had a shot deflected over himself. Kellaway and Sherbon fired over the bar, and then just before the break Carl Evans came close to opening the score for Lido but headed wide, and the first half ended as it had started, at 0-0.
Aber again took the initiative after the break, dominating possession but Lido were defending well and it took a number of attacking substitutions to turn the game. Forwards Carl Lamb, Josh Bull, Coyle and Kostya Georgievsky all came on around the hour mark and after Ryan Wollacott went close with a header from close range, reacting to Kurtis March's corner, the deadlock was finally broken. Sherbon was again pulling the strings in Central Midfield and he it was who picked out Coyle down the right hand channel; the striker from Salford's low shot from a fair distance out surprised McCreesh in goal, and nestled into the bottom corner for a game changing strike. Bull, a busy presence with his low centre of gravity, was next to go close, hitting the side netting, and he had the next chance too when he brought the ball down with a lovely touch but sub keeper Chris Curtis was equal to the shot.Josh Webber had a decent shot deflected to safety for the home side, and Aber knew they would have to tough it out to win the game. Rodon cleared off the line, then at the other end Coyle hit the apex of crossbar and post with a volley, before heading the rebound just wide.Bull and Coyle were again denied as the visitors did well to close down the game,and the referee's final whistle brought proceedings to a close at 1-0 to the Black and Greens.
Aber can play better than they did tonight, but it is churlish in the extreme to complain about a record of five wins from five pre-season matches, all away from home against redoutable opposition from the second tier. Manager Mathew Bishop and his Assistant Wayne Jones have done brilliantly to put together a coherent squad with a strong identity at such short notice and Aber Supporters can look forward to 2016/7 with optimism. Eight days to go ... see you all at Park Hall, home of Champions The New Saints, next Sunday afternoon!