Friday 15th February
Cefn Druids 3 Aberystwyth Town 1
Cefn Druids came out on top after an open and entertaining JD Welsh Premier contest against the Black and Greens at The Rock last night. Dean Rittenberg opened the scoring for the hosts on 21 minutes, and just three minutes later Ryan Kershaw's delicate lob seemed to have settled the game. Aber fought back strongly and Marc Williams scored his first goal for Aber with a stunning strike twelve minutes from the break, but Druids sub Arkadiusz Piskorski replied on 56 minutes to complete the scoring.
The visitors started with an unchanged starting eleven after last week’s win at Llanelli, but Druids inevitably reserve their best form for matches against Aberystwyth Town Football Club, and so it was again last night with the hosts on top from the start. John Owen headed Naim Arsan’s cross wide early on, and Owen created a chance for himself soon afterwards only to scoop the ball just wide. Town’s Wes Baynes and Mattie Jones sent some useful crosses into the box, with Ryan Wollacott heading straight at keeper Michael Jones from Aber’s first attempt on goal. Geoff Kellaway then played in the industrious Williams for Aber, and his cute effort resulted in a diving save from Jones who shovelled the ball to safety. Declan Walker went inches wide with a free kick and Aber were on top in the game, only for double disaster to strike halfway through the half. First a defence splitting pass found Rittenberg who opened the scoring with a low drive, and minutes later Kershaw’s speculative lob beat Terry McCormick in Aber’s goal to give the scoreline a harsh outlook. With Town still attempting to play football the game remained alive and just past the half hour Williams found space to send in a volleyed snapshot which nestled into the corner of Jones’ net, and gave Aber hope. A lung bursting run from Matthew Jones lead to a cross for Williams to bring another save out of the home keeper, only for Druids to respond as Jack Kenny tapped home Owen’s cross, but from an offside position. The visitors kept on coming as Jones brought yet another save from his namesake, but then McCormick made a remarkable double save to deny Kenny at the other end. Walker again curled wide for Aber and Matty Owen’s lob was saved, and an open and breathless first half ended with the Druids possibly slightly fortunate to be ahead by two goals to one.
Aber started the second half with good intent and Jones’ great cross found Walker who saw his shot blocked by the tenacious home defence. Town were again trying to play football in and around the final third but were then punished by a quick breakaway when a cross from the right found Piskorski, and his clinical finish against the run of play gave the Black and Greens a huge mountain to climb. The chances kept coming with Druids sitting deep and threatening on the break. Arsan brought a superb save from McCormick, Neil Ashton sent a free kick inches wide of the near post and Piskorski headed wide from a good position, but the visitors were also creating chances aplenty. Jones had another shot saved, Baynes scraped the top of the netting with an exciting screamer and Williams drew yet another stop from Jones. He saved again minutes later from Ryan Edwards’ low drive, but then McCormick needed to be alert to deny Kershaw, and Matty Owen went close with a volley. Walker and Kellaway sent in late efforts but somehow a breathless game stayed at 3-1.
In truth an Aber performance which lead to so many chances deserved a better outcome than a two goal defeat, but some clinical finishing from the hosts, plus a solid performance from their goalkeeper ensured a crucial victory for Huw Griffiths’ men. The Black and Greens will need to earn a better outcome next Saturday at home to Cardiff Met to keep their hopes of a UEFA Europa League Play Off alive (ko 2.30pm).
Photo courtesy of Colin Ewart