Monday 26th December
Aberystwyth Town 1 Newtown 0
Kurtis March's 89th minute winner in front of a joyous Dias Stand was the least the Black and Greens deserved today after a strong defensive display and a territorial domination which looked like being in vain, until the effervescent midfielder popped up at the back post to convert Kostya Georgievsky's left wing cross and snatch it at the death. Another large Park Avenue crowd of 476 saw Town gain a crucial Boxing Day victory which keeps Matthew Bishop's young side firmly in the running for a top six spot, with just three games left before the split.
On a chilly but sunny December day, Ricky Watts and Sam Rodon returned to bolster Aber's defence, and Town were right on the attack with Dan Alfei sending in the first of a seemingly endless stream of brilliant crosses to find Luke Borrelli's head, but visiting keeper Dave Jones saved well. Cledan Davies and Watts curled shots wide as Aber made the most of the wind advantage, forcing corner after corner and dominating posession. A Luke Sherbon cross almost dropped in only for Jones to save again, March hit the post with a shot, and Sherbon saw another low shot saved, but the chance would not come. It would be unfair to suggest that Newtown failed to create their own chances, as home keeper Chris Mullock saved from Shane Sutton before brilliantly denying Luke Boundford right at the death, with Neil Mitchell and Jason Oswell also missing the target, and the half ended goal less, with Aber possibly ahead on points.
The visitors pressed for a spell after the break and Mullock was again needed to deny Steff Edwards' effort, before Craig Williams fired wide after cutting inside. Borrelli sent in a brilliant cross from the right which somehow evaded every player in Green, and then with Sherbon limping off, Jack Rimmer and Kostya Georgievsky were introduced to play, to good effect.With an hour gone a tight intriguing game was in the balance and it looked like one mistake would decide the game: and fortunately it was the Black and Greens who finished stronger. March played a classy one two before finding Borrelli in space but Jones was out to deny him again, Georgievsky headed wide from Chris Jones' corner, then Joe Clarke headed agonisingly wide at the other wide of the goal from Georgievsky's cross. Borrelli was again released down the left channel only to be denied again by Jones, and Georgievsky curled wide. Then just when it seemed like time was about to run out, Borelli played the livewire Georgievsky in down the left and his cross found March at the far post, and the joyous scenes following the winner were a sight to behold as the goalscorer climed the steps of the Dias Stand in triumph. Aber's brilliant defence held firm for almost five minutes of injury time, and the Black and Greens had a huge and priceless win.
The value of the two extra points was underlined as Llandudno and Carmarthen both dropped points later in the afternoon, meaning that Aber are now just two points off sixth place in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League with a game in hand. A Top Six place is up for grabs and the next challenge for Matthew Bishop's triumphant team is to face Newtown again on Saturday afternoon, this time away at Paveways Latham Park (ko 2.30pm). It's On!
Photo courtesy of Jordan Payne