Saturday 10th August
Cambrian & Clydach BGC 3 Aberystwyth Town 4
Aberystwyth Town enjoyed a winning start to their 2019/20 season, coming out on top in a seven goal MG Cup thriller away to last season's finalists Cambrian & Clydach BGC. Many foresaw this as a very difficult game for Town but early goals from Marc Williams (9 minutes) and Luke Boundford (19 minutes) appeared to put the Black and Greens in total control. Cambrian were then perhaps fortunately awarded a 41st minute penalty, dispatched by Sam Jones, and ten minutes a deflected shot from Liam Edwards brought the Rhondda side level. Williams put Aber back in the lead with his second on 61 minutes, only for Edwards to do likewise with a 74th minute stunner for 3-3. Matthew Jones was Town's match winner, lobbing home on 82 minutes, and Aber held on for a win and a huge statement of intent at the start of another season.
On a wild and windy day the Biblical showers harrying the Rhondda all day mercifully passed for kick off, with Aber handing competitive debuts to Luke Boundford, Ben Birch and the returning Stuart Jones and Joe Phillips. Aber started excellently, keeping possession and creating chance after chance, aided by the added presence provided by the hard working Boundford up front. Matthew Jones glanced a left footed curling free kick off the crossbar early on, and then Town took the lead when Phillips’ left wing surge and shot was parried to Williams, who finished calmly from the edge of the area with a low drive. Boundford then intercepted a back pass but home keeper Dan Bradley just managed to keep the ball out. Ten minutes later the Black and Greens doubled their lead: another excellent flowing move saw Williams feed Boundford, who dummied the keeper before slotting home for two, and Aber looked in almost complete control after a perfect start to the season. Math Jones sent another free kick over the top, Stuart Jones’ deep goalbound header was gathered on the line by Bradley, and Phillips’ 35 yard volley dropped just wide. Boundford and Wes Baynes missed the target and then Cambrian came back with Liam Reed heading their first goalbound attempt at Terry McCormick, and Liam Edwards also testing the experienced netminder. Birch headed wide for Aber but then with four minutes to go the hosts were handed an unlikely route back into the game as Edwards’ innocuous cross rebounded off Ryan Wollacott’s arm, and Jones dispatched the penalty. Town fans had been purring over the performance up until then and Aber’s 2-1 half time lead was certainly well deserved.
As the second half kicked off good work from the begloved midfield colossus Paulo Mendes set up Baynes whose deep cross dropped just wide, then McCormick pulled off a great save to deny Sam Johnson in a 1 on 1. Cambrian again benefitted from a slice of luck on 51 minutes when Edwards’ goalbound effort deflected cruelly off a visiting defender’s back, and past McCormick for the equaliser, and the MG Cup Runners Up were reinvigorated, with Leon Jacka next to lob wide. Aber regained the lead as Ryan Wollacott crossed in from the right and Williams stayed onside to tap home his second of the day. Andrew Griffiths and Sam Jones blasted wide for Cambrian, and then Edwards burst through the middle to equalise with a superb 30 yard volley which flew into McCormick’s right corner. Aber were at this point facing a nerve jangling penalty shoot out as Extra Time no longer features in the MG Cup, however with 8 minutes left Phillips was again the creator, beating his man down the right and sending in a cross which was parried to Matthew Jones, and Aber’s University Scholar lobbed home calmly from the edge of the area with Cambrian defenders lying prostrate on the floor. Subs Steff Edwards, Geoff Kellaway and Alex Boss made their presence felt, with Kellaway denied by Bradley, and then heading against the bar before a Birch header was tipped over by Bradley. There was time for McCormick to enhance his status with a Superman style diving catch to nullify Jacka’s cross, and once Edwards had headed off the line in injury time the game was won by the Black and Greens by four goals to three.
An excellent and exciting performance going forward from Aber was slightly dampened by Cambrian’s three goals, but against spirited opponents Matthew Bishop’s men did very well to prevail on a day when many predicted otherwise, and they can look forward to the MG Cup Third Round (last sixteen) draw on Monday. Town’s JD Cymru League season meanwhile kick off on Friday night at Park Avenue with the visit of Carmarthen Town (ko 7.45pm). Unmissable!