Tuesday 26th December
Carmarthen Town 1-0 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town fell to a bitterly disappointing 1-0 defeat away at the hands of West Wales rivals Carmarthen Town on a dismal Boxing Day for the seasiders at Richmond Park. In a scrappy game of very few chances, Carmarthen captain Liam Thomas scored the game’s only goal with a well-placed half volley in the 35th minute. The defeat all but ends Aber’s chances of finishing in the league’s top six positions at the split in January, with Nev Powell’s side now lying nine points adrift of sixth placed Barry Town in the JD Welsh Premier League table.
On a cold and rainy day in Carmarthenshire, Aber made one change to the starting eleven that lost away at The New Saints on Friday evening, with John Owen replacing Joe Phillips on the left flank. Hosts Carmarthen started the brightest, with Liam Thomas forcing a smart save from Chris Mullock at his near post, before Dave Vincent headed narrowly wide from a corner kick. Aber struggled to adapt to the hosts’ physical approach, and were unable to get any kind of meaningful attacking play going in the final third of the pitch. The closest Nev Powell’s side came to opening the scoring in the first 30 minutes was through a Ryan Wade volley; which sailed harmlessly over the crossbar. On 35 minutes, the hosts took the lead as Liam Thomas pounced on a poor clearance, before turning and striking a right-footed half volley into the bottom corner beyond the reach of Chris Mullock to make it 1-0. Aber continued to struggle to get into the game, as Carmarthen continued to break up the play and stop Nev Powell’s side from finding their usual rhythm and tempo. On 43 minutes, Liam Thomas very nearly scored his second goal of the game as he forced his way into the penalty area, only for his scuffed effort roll inches wide of Mullock’s post. Aber’s goal was living a charmed life, and the seasiders were somewhat fortunate to go into the break only one goal behind.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with both teams struggling to keep the ball on the floor and Carmarthen winning the majority of the second balls. On 51 minutes, Aber created their first meaningful effort on goal as Ashley Young strode forward before unleashing a thunderous strike that was excellently tipped over the crossbar by Carmarthen ‘keeper Lee Idzi. Suddenly Nev Powell’s side had some momentum, and soon after, they had another good opportunity as Craig Hobson fired a shot over the crossbar from inside the penalty area. However, on 62 minutes, the hosts should have put the game to bed when Kyle Bassett was given the freedom of the penalty are to fire his shot beyond Chris Mullock; only for Declan Walker to produce a miraculous goal-line clearance and keep the score at 1-0. On 70 minutes, both Geoff Kellaway and Joe Phillips were introduced from the bench to provide some added impetus for the visitors, but nothing seemed to be going Aber’s way. Declan Walker came closest to finding the breakthrough for Town as his cross-come-shot was tipped on to the crossbar by Idzi, before John McKenna’s late effort was well saved by Carmarthen’s ‘keeper. However, it wasn’t to be for Nev Powell’s side as they succumbed to their fourth consecutive away defeat in the league.
Overall, a very disappointing display from an Aber side that has shown so much promise in recent weeks. Town must now focus on bouncing back and getting a positive result on New Years Day, as they host Carmarthen Town at Park Avenue in the second part of their festive double-header with the Old Gold.