Sunday 13th August
Barry Town United 1 Aberystwyth Town 1
A spirited Aber Town performance delighted a vocal away following at Barry this evening and gained the Black and Greens a precious away point which on the balance of play they certainly deserved. Jonny Spittle's 81st minute equaliser ensured parity on a pleasant evening in the Vale of Glamorgan after Ryan Newman had opened the scoring on 27 minutes.
Neville Powell's new look Aber Town featured no fewer than six debutants, yet started in determined fashion with central midfielder Ashley Young imposing himself early on. They earned a series of free kicks which came to nothing, and then at the other end Kayne McLaggon's deflected shot was stopped by Chris Mullock in Aber's goal. Declan Walker then unleashed a howitzer which flashed just past the post, before visiting centre back John McKenna pulled off a brilliant block to deny Chris Hugh. With Aber defending set pieces very well, the hosts opened the scoring from open play when McLaggon's shot was saved by Mullock, only to drop perfectly for Newman to open the scoring. This scoreline was harsh on the Black and Greens and back they came with John Owen setting up Luke Borrelli for a headed chance saved by Mike Lewis, before Declan Carroll played in the languid Owen whose shot flew over. Owen then performed a superb Cruyff turn to play himself in but his shot was saved, before almost setting Malcolm Melvin up with a back header. Yolung did well to block another McLaggon effort and then in injury time Lewis pulled off an outstanding save to deny Borrelli, and Aber went in most unfortunate to be trailing.
Aber kept on coming after the break with Owen again showing some great touches, and Melvin seeing a shot blocked. Carroll brought the ball down skilfully and unleashed a snap volley which flew narrowly wide, before McKenna headed over from a deep cross. Looking solid at the back with Ryan Wollacott strong at left back was giving the visitors confidence and subs Joe Phillips and Christian Langos gave the Black and Greens some extra attacking impetus. Barry's Tyrrell Webbe sent a free kick over from a good position, before at the other Phillips almost sneaked in only to slip at the vital moment. Lewis saved a back header from Owen, and then the unplayable Owen again won a corner. Walker's fiercely curling ball in brought a save from Lewis but Spittle's effort bounced in over the line before being dragged back by the home keeper for a richly deserved equaliser, celebrated with gusto by the players in front of the adoring Black and Green masses. Aber kept on going and came close to winning the game. Sub Cledan Davies' ball in bounced back to Owen who flicked nonchalantly just past the post, Langos appeared to be felled in the box by Hugh but was denied a penalty, and finally Lewis saved Walker's free kick, and the superb crowd of 902 had to be content with a draw.
A very entertaining game gave plenty for Aber's fab away following to be positive about, and if Town can maintain this level of performance and convert a few more of their chances they will have a good season. The Nevollution continues on Friday as Aber host Llandudno at Park Avenue for an 8pm kick off - and you need to be there. See you in five days!