Friday 17th September
Newtown 1 Aberystwyth Town 2
Antonio Corbisiero’s Black and Greens finally got what they deserved for yet another hard working performance with a thrilling 2-1 win against local rivals Newtown at Latham Park last night. Jamie Veale’s astonishing 40 yard lob gave Town the lead on 36 minutes, and although Callum Roberts equalised five minutes into the second half the Black and Greens were not to be denied, and supersub Jonathan Evans snaffled a 71st minute winner only three minutes after coming on, to the delight of the visiting tifosi from Ceredigion.
The Black and Greens went into the game with Harry Franklin, Jon Owen and Lee Jenkins all ruled out to injury, however they started at a high tempo, starting from the front with the hard working Raul Correia showing the lead. Town were getting some promising balls into the box through the likes of Veale and Matty Jones, but Newtown had the first shot on target when Naim Arsam’s low volley deflected off Nick Rushton into Gregor Zabret’s hands. Louis Bradford had Aber’s first chance of note, sending the ball just wide from Veale’s attempted assist, and Correia saw a volley from the edge of the area saved by Dave Jones. Composed Aber were defending strongly and had made a good start, but needed a goal to stamp their authority on proceedings, and on 36 minutes it came. Almost exactly one year ago Veale scored a stunner at Latham Park, and the Treharris Terrier repeated the trick when he dispossessed David Cotterill, spotted Dave Jones off his line and sent an audacious lob from fully 40 yards, which hovered in the air for an eternity, then dropped deliciously just behind the despairing Jones’ arms into the net, to the astonishment and delight of everyone in Black and Green. Definitely a Goal of the Month contender at the very least! Both sides traded corners and free kicks, and Sam Phillips hit the post with a super low effort from Veale’s free kick with Aber’s defence holding firm and Town good value for their half time lead.
Into the second half and Newtown showed that they were not going to roll over. The Human Wall, also known as captain Jack Thorn, blocked an attempt from Rushton, but then Cotterill found a second attempt to cross after a corner and his low ball in was converted from close range by home centre back Roberts for the equaliser. Back came Aber almost straight away and Alex Darlington sent a Jack Rimmer cross off target. The game developed into an exciting end to end game, with Owain Jones seeing a shot saved, and Town keeper Gregor Zabret punching clear a cross from James Davies. Davies was denied again by a super block, this time from dependable Rhys Davies, then Callum Roberts headed over for the hosts from Craig Williams’ cross. With nineteen minutes to go Correia’s evening’s hard graft earned Town a free kick in a dangerous area on the edge of the penalty box, and Matty Jones’ cute ball in was tapped in from close range by the Flying Bus Driver Jonathan Evans, who celebrated with the kind of contagious delight which brings teams together at key times. Gregor Zabret’s performances for Aber have been top notch since he joined: the Slovenian stopper must surely be in the running for a Cymru Premier Player of the Month nomination, and he brought out another special stop to deny Fumpa Mwandwe. With thirteen minutes to go Steff Davies made a return to first team action coming on up front, and the Bow Street battler made his presence felt with a commandeering display up front. Rhys Davies made another great block, and Thorn cleared off the line before Jordan Evans fired over, with Newtown dominating the closing period. Town almost made the game safe with a breakaway from Owain Jones, but Dave Jones parried his goalbound effort and Jonathan Evans fired wide, and there were a few groans as the fourth official indicated six minutes of injury time. Countless balls into the box were repelled, but when Aaron Williams headed over from Craig Williams’ cross, the game was done and Aber were able to celebrate a hugely significant victory which sends them back up into ninth place, two points off the Top Six as Autumn beckons.
Hard work does eventually reap rewards and last night Aber’s young warriors added a cutting edge to previous performances, which will give Town’s supporters great heart going into two home Cup ties, with Cardiff Met and Cefn Druids visiting Park Avenue on Tuesday and Saturday respectively for League Cup and Welsh Cup ties. See you there: it wouldn’t be the same without you!