Saturday 9th October
Aberystwyth Town 0 Caernarfon Town 1
The curse of the one nils struck again at Park Avenue on Saturday as the Black and Greens went down to their fifth single goal defeat in seven Cymru Premier games at home to Caernarfon Town. Darren Thomas scored a 16th minute goal for the visitors and despite a dominant performance, numerous chances and three big penalty claims the goal just would not come for Antonio Corbisiero’s men.
A healthy crowd of 375 turned up on a cloudy afternoon and Aber were pleased to welcome back talisman Lee Jenkins to centre back. The hosts started strongly, with Sam Phillips touching in Harry Franklin who touched the ball wide. Composed Aber were denied a huge penalty shout when Phillips appeared to be tripped in the box, and then Raul Correia appeared to be blocked by home keeper Tyler French in the area, but nothing was given. Against the run of play the hosts took the lead when Rob Hughes won the ball and slid in onetime Seasider Thomas who blasted home from close range for a vital lead. The Cofis are well schooled in organised defending a lead and showed their mettle. French brought down Franklin inches outside the penalty area, and Franklin headed wide from Matty Jones’ free kick, then Phillips had a shot deflected for another corner, and Jamie Veale curled an effort just wide with Aber on top. Louis Bradford saw a header saved by French, then Alex Darlington’s volley was tipped wide, and the dominant Bradford rose like a salmon to head over. Aron Simpson headed wide from Hughes’ free kick in the visitors’ second attempt, but then Gregor Zabret pulled off a point blank save to deny Mike Hayes and keep Aber in it. Bradford had a shot blocked then hit the crossbar with the rebound and the Caernarfon goal’s charmed life persisted till half time, with the Gwynedd men going in a goal to the good.
It looked like the second half was to follow the same pattern as the first when captain Jack Thorn volleyed wide within the first minute of the second half, and Sam Phillips appeared to be blocked in the area for a third unsuccessful Aber penalty shout. The peerless Zabret then needed to pull off another point blank save to tip over Thomas’s header, and Hayes blasted over from a good position out right, with the visitors making a game of it in the second half. A series of Aber corners came and went, with Phillips seeing a shot blocked and Correia blasting a goalbound effort which somehow deflected under French for a corner. Livewire Rob Hughes then sent a super left footed volley towards the top corner only for Zabret to come to the rescue yet again, and denied Hayes again in a one on one moments later, to keep home hopes of a comeback alive. Aber just had to keep going, and that they did with Correia and Thorn the next to send efforts wide. Correia saw an overhead kick fly wide, then Zabret denied Thomas in a really entertaining second half. Franklin agonizingly hit the side netting from Matty Jones’ deep free kick, and then a Jones effort deflected for a corner, and the redoubtable visitors held out through four minutes of injury time to snatch a huge result.
This was a truly infuriating match for the Black and Greens with Aber dominating possession and chances, and for home supporters it must seem like Lady Luck has ripped up her Aberystwyth Town season ticket and chucked it into the river Rheidol. However if Aber keep on performing like this the results will come, and the Black and Greens have two visits to North East Wales coming up to turn the tide. They visit Cefn Druids in the Cymru Premier on Wednesday evening (ko 7.45pm), before travelling to take on Saltney Town in the Welsh Cup Fourth Round next Saturday (ko 2pm). Keep the Faith!