Friday 4th January
Aberystwyth Town 1 Connah's Quay Nomads 6
A disastrous last ten minutes at Park Avenue turned a competitive match into an embarrassing defeat for the Black and Greens at home to League leaders Connah's Quay. Quay had gone ahead through Callum Morris (pen 8 mins) and Andy Owens (32'), but Porya Ahmadi's cultured finish six minutes later saw Aber threaten a spirited comeback. Michael Wilde restored Quay's two goal lead after 66 minutes and then late strikes from Michael Bakare (79), Michael Parker (90+1) and Rob Hughes (90+3) saw the Deesiders home safely.
On a crisp and clear night at Park Avenue the visitors started at a high tempo. Owens blasted over twice in the first few minutes but at the other end Geoff Kellaway's pace looked a good outlet for the hosts. Nomads then enjoyed a bit of good fortune as a penalty was awarded after Owens entangled himself with Ryan Wollacott, and Morris scored the opener off the far post. Aber responded instantly as Wollacott side footed a great opening into John Danby's hands, before Ahmadi also had a shot saved before being brought down in the box: and the Leaders had enjoyed two huge let offs. Wilde headed wide for Quay before Owens added a scrappy second past Terry McCormick who had done well to parry two previous efforts. Ryan Wignall hit the post but then a tactical switch paid dividends for Aber when Ahmadi scored with a sumptuous finish from the edge of the area, after a cute move spearheaded by Kellaway's gutsy run down the right. Kellaway then set up Ryan Edwards who curled a shot just wide of the far post. Jack Rimmer do well to clear Ryan Wignall's effort off the line but then a strong finish to the half from Aber, including a strike from Wes Baynes, saw the visitors pegged back and glad to go in a goal to the good at the break.
The impact of Aber's response was evident after the break as Connah's Quay changed their tactics to sit very deep, thus allowing the hosts to control the ball. Matthew Jones' dangerous ball in from the left was taken off Kellaway's head by a visiting defender, but otherwise chances were few and far between. Quay threatened occasionally on the break with Owens lobbing over from distance, but then just as the hosts were dreaming of a heroic recovery a long throw from Quay landed at the feet of Wilde who turned and lashed home the third from five yards. Sub Joe Phillips fired over for Aber but all hopes of a comeback were dashed when Bakare's deflected low shot made it four. Wollacott sent a ball in that Paolo Mendes fired wide, and then two further Nomads goals in injury time from Parker and Hughes rubbed salt into the wounds for Aber Town.
This was certainly a sobering night for the Black and Greens as Connah's Quay's clinical finishing gave the scoreline a rather flattering look: but Nev Powell's men will certainly need to defend better if they are to end the first phase of the season with a positive result at Jenner Park, Barry next Saturday evening (Kick Off 7.30pm).