Saturday 23rd April
Aberystwyth Town 1 Connah’s Quay Nomads 1
Sixteen year old Cameron Allen nodded Aber into an eighth placed Cymru Premier finish with a cool 76th minute equaliser, as the Black and Greens held last season’s Champions Connah's Quay, who had gone ahead through Craig Curran (39 minutes), to a 1-1 draw. The point was not enough to take Town into the end of season Play Offs but did ensure a very respectable finish in one of the most competitive Play Off Conferences in Cymru Prem history.
Aber went into the game missing talismanic Steff Davies (injured) and Jamie Veale (suspended), with Jack Rimmer and Alex Darlington returning to the starting XI, but the visitors started with most of the possession and a series of corners, with Curran firing the first chance over. Paulo Mendes headed over for Nomads but with Louis Bradford in commanding form opportunities were few and far between. At the other end Harry Franklin made a great interception, ran in on goal and swivelled, only to slip at the vital moment, unlucky. Ryan Harrington was next to blaze over for Connah’s Quay, then at the other end Matty Jones’ deep ball in was headed back by Lee Jenkins and Rhys Davies had his effort blocked from 5 yards. Franklin made another great run before having a shot blocked, and Jack Thorn’s tap in was disallowed for offside, but then before the break John Ufuah’s shot was saved by Gregor Zabret, and Curran snaffled up the rebound to open the scoring. Aeron Edwards headed wide for Quay and they held on for a slightly fortunate lead in a game of few clear cut chances.
Into the second half the visitors again held a lot of possession without creating too many chances of note. Josh Williams did have a long range effort deflected for a corner, and Zabret made a brilliant save to deny Mendes from close range but as young Cameron Allen came on the hosts were looking for a hero with twenty minutes to go. Jack Rimmer sent in a free kick which Bradford glanced wide, and then with barely fifteen minutes left, the dangerous Ben Wynne gathered the ball in his own half, outpaced his marker on a 50 yard run and sent in yet another peach of a cross, which found Allen in space, and the 33 goal Development League star made no mistake, finding the far corner with a deft flick. This incidentally was Wynne’s fourth assist in four matches, with Aber’s transfer deadline day signing making a name for himself on the Ceredigion Coast. Matty Jones sent in a dangerous free kick which Oliver Byrne gathered on the line, then Zabret had to be alert to deny Harrington. Byrne then gathered Bradford’s chip and sub Jamie Insall sent a shot spinning past the post. Some characteristically strong and resolute defending saw Aber through, and Wynne sent in one final thrilling cross, but it evaded everyone in Black and Green, and then game ended fair and square as a 1-1 draw.
While some Aber supporters might be disappointed to miss out on the end of season Play Offs, the bigger picture is that 40 points and an eighth placed finish is a big achievement for Antonio Corbisiero and his young side, who have punched above their weight this season, and achieved some big scalps throughout. Brighter days lay ahead and after earning 14 points from their final seven League games the Seasiders can look forward to 2022/23 season with confidence. The future is bright, the future is Black and Green!
Photo: Colin Ewart