Saturday 16th December
Aberystwyth Town 7 Prestatyn Town 1
Aberystwyth Town put their supporters in seventh heaven, delivering them a huge home victory in their last home game before Christmas with a 7-1 triumph over Prestatyn Town. First half goals from Ashley Young (31 mins), John McKenna (41), Malcolm Melvin (43) and Joe Phillips (45+3 mins) put Aber fully in charge, only for Noah Edwards to reduce the arrears with an obstinate strike seven minutes into the second half. Stunning finishes from Ryan Wade (67) and Declan Walker (82 mins) increased the margin, and after Chris Mullock had saved Jack Higgins' late penalty, Craig Hobson made it seven with two minutes left to crown Aber's best result of the season.
In what was a frantic first half, the visitors started the brightest as striker Jack Kenny saw his header well saved by Chris Mullock, before having a penalty appeal waved away by referee Lee Evans. Aber were unable to find their usual rhythm and fluency in the early stages, as Prestatyn imposed their high-press game to great effect. On 15 minutes, Town created their first opportunity when Ashley Young’s corner kick was headed narrowly wide by Declan Walker. Soon after, Walker again went close with a header from a set piece as Nev Powell’s men began to find their feet in the game. On 31 minutes, Aber found the breakthrough when Ashley Young sent a rasping shot beyond the reach of Prestatyn goalkeeper Ryan Roberts and into the corner of the net, via the post, to make it 1-0. The momentum of the game suddenly swung in Town’s favour, as Malcolm Melvin saw his effort sail narrowly over the crossbar before Craig Hobson was inches away from getting on the end of Ryan Wade’s inviting cross into the penalty area. Aber began to boss the game, and on 41 minutes they doubled their lead when John Mckenna rose highest from a corner kick to head the ball low into the bottom corner and make it 2-0. Aber weren’t finished there however; as on 43 minutes, Declan Walker surged down the right flank before lofting an inch perfect cross into the box where Malcolm Melvin was on hand to head the ball beyond Roberts and make it 3-0. The visitors were evidently in shock after two sucker punches in quick succession, but no sooner had they caught their breath, Town were on the attack again. As the game entered first half stoppage time, Aber broke once more at breakneck speed as Ryan Wade played in Joe Phillips, who rounded the goalkeeper and produced an excellent left-footed finish to make it 4-0. Soon after, the half time whistle went with Town in cruise control after what had been a difficult start to the game.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first; with the visitors dominating the opening stages and testing Aber’s resolute back line. On 52 minutes, they were handed the smallest of lifelines as tricky midfielder Noah Edwards cut inside before unleashing a right-footed shot into the top corner to make it 4-1. Soon after, Chris Mullock produced a smart save from Jack Kenny, before Damian Ketley went close as his shot was well blocked by Ryan Wollacott in the six-yard box. On 58 minutes, Luke Borrelli came on to replace Malcolm Melvin as Town looked to settle the game down again and stretch the visitors’ defence with some additional pace. On 67 minutes, Aber well and truly put the game to bed with a fantastically worked goal. Declan Walker sent a 40-yard pass towards Ryan Wade, who brought the ball down with finesse, before lifting the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper with a magnificent chip to make it 5-1. Geoff Kellaway was then introduced to the game in place of Joe Phillips, and he very nearly extended Town’s lead with his first touch as he sent a curling effort just over the crossbar. But on 81 minutes, Town did indeed extend their lead as Ashley Young played a short free kick into the path of Declan Walker, who sent a thunderous shot beyond hapless goalkeeper Roberts to make it 6-1. Despite the resounding score line, the visitors continued to press for a consolation goal, and they were awarded a golden opportunity late in the game as Jonny Spittle was adjudged to have fouled Alec Williams in the penalty area. Substitute Jack Higgins stepped up to take the spot kick, but goalkeeper Chris Mullock dived low to his right and produced a fabulous save to preserve Aber’s lead. As the game entered the closing minutes, the home side sent their supporters into seventh heaven as Geoff Kellaway crossed for Craig Hobson to nod home with a magnificent diving header; a goal that was thoroughly deserved for the striker after leading the line with another stellar performance. One final positive note to come from the game was the JD Welsh Premier League debut of promising young defender Lee Jenkins, who came on to replace captain Jonny Spittle late on for Aber.
A fantastic victory for Nev Powell’s side, who move up to 10th place in the JD Welsh Premier League table. More importantly, Aber now lie just five points behind sixth placed Cefn Druids as they maintain their hopes of grabbing a top 6 spot before the league split in January. Town’s attentions now turn to next Friday evening, when they travel to face current champions The New Saints in the JD Welsh Premier League.