Friday 31st August
Aberystwyth Town 3 Llanelli 1
Aberystwyth Town earned themselves a crucial 3 points as they came from behind to beat Llanelli Town 3-1 at Park Avenue in the JD Welsh Premier League on Friday night. The visitors took a deserved first half lead through James Loveridge's 17th minute strike, but a second half fightback sparked by substitute Rio Ahmadi, meant Aber took all three points. The Aber number 9 equalised on 62 minutes before wingman Geoff Kellaway gave the hosts the lead on 64 minutes, and victory was sealed by substitute Joe Phillips on 77 minutes.
There were two debutants in the Aber starting eleven on Friday evening as Alan Goodall slotted in at left back in place of Steff Edwards and new signing Ashley Ruane started as the lone striker up front. Visitors Llanelli started the game the brighter, edging the early stages with some tidy possession but no clear cut chances. Aber struggled to get into their usual Park Avenue rhythm, and were punished on 17 minutes as James Loveridge snuck in behind Town's defence before slotting the ball beyond the reach of Aber 'keeper Terry McCormick to make it 0-1. Soon after, the Reds very nearly doubled their lead as former seaside Mark Jones rounded McCormick before seeing his goal bound effort cleared off the line by Ryan Wollacott. Then, on 32 minutes, the visitors missed another golden opportunity as Loveridge was denied by an excellent McCormick save before Aber finally registered their first attempt on target as Goodall strode forward before unleashing a vicious left-footed strike that was tipped over by Llanelli 'keeper Davies. The hosts appeared to be edging their way back into the game on the stroke of the half, but in added time they had McCormick to thank once more as he produced a brilliant stop to deny Loveridge and Aber went in to the break somewhat fortunately only losing by one goal.
Aber striker Rio Ahmadi was introduced from the bench at half time in place of Paulo Mendes, as Aber changed formation with Ahmadi providing added support to Ruane up front. There was an instant change in tempo and momentum as the black and greens began to up their game. On 54 minutes, Geoff Kellaway fired over the crossbar before Ruane went close with a half volley from long range. Then, on 62 minutes Aber found the equaliser as Ahmadi was first to reach a looping cross into the box before directing a fantastic header into the corner of the net to make it 1-1. Suddenly the hosts were well and truly on the front foot, and just two minutes later they took the lead as Geoff Kellaway latched on to a loose ball at the back post before cheating down and half volleying before Llanelli 'keeper Davies to make it 2-1. The home supporters found their voices as they urged the seasiders to keep pushing forward. On 68 minutes Chris Jones was denied by McCormick before goalscoring hero Kellaway was replaced by Joe Phillips. On 77 minutes, substitute Phillips had a near instant impact as he got the last touch on a goalmouth scramble to make it 3-1 and all but seal the three points. The hosts did well to weather a late storm from Llanelli and very nearly made it four in added time as Ruane raced through on goal before being denied by a fantastic save, but it was to be another crucial victory for the hosts as they climbed into the league's top six positions.
Aber now have 10 days to recover from Friday night's encounter prior to their next league fixture away to The New Saints on Tuesday September 11th, but they will be delighted to have registered their second league victory of the season as they lie in the league's top six positions after four games so far this season.