Saturday 22nd April
Aberystwyth Town 6 Newtown 1
Aberystwyth Town ended the 2016/7 season with a heavy defeat at Latham Park as goals from Nick Rushton (19, 67 and 82 mins), Steff Edwards (23 min), Ryan Kershaw (26) and Luke Boundford (52) sent Newtown into the Europa League Play Offs in top form. On a difficult evening youngster Sion Ewart rescued a modicom of pride for the Black and Greens with an 88th minute consolation goal.
On a very pleasant Spring evening in Powys the visitors started just as well as their hosts with Jack Rimmer coming within inches of setting up Luke Borrelli only for Dave Jones to intercept well. Jon Owen then played a one-two with Rimmer before earning a corner with a deflected effort, and although Neil Mitchell and an acrobatic Rushton sent efforts over the bar Aber were showing some nice touches and were fully contributing to a watchable affair. Then within seven minutes the game was lost. First Boundford sent on a cross from the right wing which the unmarked Rushton headed home; next flying full back Edwards overlapped down the left and slotted home the second, then Kershaw capitalised on some generous defending to bury a third - and Aber were utterly shellshocked. Rushton curled another shot over from a corner but then Owen drew a save from Jones with his own curling attempt. Malcolm Melvin fired over as Town strove to get back into the game, but Newtown kept coming with Rushton drawing a save from Chris Mullock before heading over from a corner. The last chance of the half saw Borrelli almost score with a deflected long range effort, but Jones was again on hand to save and half time came a three nil.
The visitors made an excellent start to the second half, pressing high in search of redemption. Cledan Davies sent a great crossfield ball to Dan Alfei, whose centre from the right side found Borrelli at the back stick, but Aber's top scorer was denied by an incredible point blank stop from Jones. Sam Rodon then hit the crossbar with a header from a corner, Davies' cross fell onto the roof of the net and Geoff Kellaway burst through only to be denied again by the excellent Jones, and a revival of sorts seemed on the cards only for Aber's defence to betray them once again. Jamie Price's volley cannoned off the crossbar and fell invitingly for Boundford to head home Newtown's fourth. Mark Jones on came on up front for Aber and made his presence felt but the hosts were still threatening more with Rushton going wide. Ryan Wollacott headed wide for Aber but then livewire Rushton ran right through the visiting defence to claim rampant Newtown's fifth goal with still a quarter of the game to go. In the last ten minutes of a game which had ended as a contest a long time previously sub Jason Oswell headed back across goal for Rushton to nab a deserved hat trick, only for Owen to test Jones before sending in a cute left wing cross which 18 year old Aber sub Sion Ewart headed home emphatically at the back post to ensure the game and the season at least ended on a high for the loyal travelling Black and Greens supporters, and Daf Jones sent a volley over with the last kick of the game.
The defeat means that Aber finish a rather underwhelming 2016/7 in tenth place in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League with thirty four points. Safety was ensured with a week of the season to go but Aberystwyth Town supporters have the right to expect a more sustained effort on the Top Seven next time around. Thank you all very much for your fantastic support and we look forward to enjoying next season with you once again!
Photo of Sion Ewart's first ever senior goal for Aberystwyth Town FC Courtesy of his father Colin!