Friday 4th September
Port Talbot Town 4 Aberystwyth Town 2
Aberystwyth Town lost a topsy turvy game at the Genquip Stadium this evening, as first half goals from Lee Surman and Jamie Reed were overturned by a second half fightback by the Steelmen.
The Black and Greens suffered the worst possible start, conceding possibly the fastest goal in the history of the WPL, timed at 10.11 seconds. Kaid Mohammed hit a post in Port Talbot's first attack, and the ball fell kindly for Martin Rose to slot home from close range. The visitors' response however was superb, and for the majority of the first half they played some great football which could have seen them out of sight. Aber equalised in the fourth minute, when Antonio Corbisiero's free kick was headed back across goal by Stuart Jones for Surman to nod home into the corner, and with Darren Thomas floating past defenders like a butterfly, and Reed working his socks off up front there were chances galore. Reed had a shot blocked before Thomas ghosted into the penalty area, only to be denied by Steve Cann at close range. The hosts were looking vulnerable to crosses, and the Black and Greens took an eighteenth minute lead when Cledan Davies' cross was flicked on by Craig Williams to Reed, and he made no mistake from 10 yards out. Reed then set up Chris Venables with a deft flick, and the WPL Golden Boot holder's shot was deflected just past the post. The hosts came back into things just before the break, though: Jonathan Hood brought a great right handed save from Mike Lewis, and then he sent in a long throw which was flicked on to Mohammed at the back post, and with four minutes of the half remaining the scores were tied once again. Stuart Jones headed Williams' corner just wide for Aber, and a half time score of 2-2 was scant reward for the Black and Greens, who had dominated proceedings to that point
A quieter second half ensued, with chances falling to both sides, though the hosts created a few more in truth. Lewis parried Mohammed's free kick to safety, and at the other end Stuart Jones again headed for goal, only to be denied by Steve Cann. Hood, Liam McCreesh and Chris Jones all flashed wide from good positions, and despite Aber's best efforts, the opportunities they created so easily in the first half, would not come in the second. Two very similar goals in the last ten minutes won the game for Talbot, and gave their super signing supporters reason to cheer. Chris Jones sent a cross across the box from the left flank, and Hood headed home at the far post on 80 minutes, and then six minutes later Jones repeated the trick, surging down the left wing and crossing deep, with Hood again the far post beneficiary, to give the scoreline a slightly flattering appearance. Darren Thomas had grazed the cross bar with a header in between the goals, Cledan Davies had a shot blocked and Williams put the ball over from the edge of the area, before Lewis denied Hood a hat trick, palming a 30 yard effort over the bar, and the game was done.
After a very promising first half, there is no doubt that Aber's second half performance was disappointing, and Manager Ian Hughes will be glad to have two home games in quick succession to rectify things. Your next dose of Black and Green Action comes on Tuesday evening, when Goytre United are the visitors to Park Avenue for a Word Cup First Round tie, which kicks off at 7.30pm. See you then.