Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Saturday 17th October
Gap Connah's Quay 1 Aberystwyth Town 2
Goals from Stuart Jones and Chris Venables were the highlights of a redoubtable performance by the Black and Greens at Connah's Quay on Saturday, and they earned Aber a fourth away win in five which takes them up to third place in the Dafabet WPL ahead of Friday night's huge home clash with leaders TNS.
On a cloudy day the match started rather untidily, with both sides struggling to create any real chances of note. Visiting keeper Mike Lewis gathered a half hearted early Les Davies effort, and he also had to catch a Quay free kick which deflected off Venables’ head. Aber’s best early chance also came from an opposition header, when Ross Stephens corner was deflected goalwards by a home defender, drawing a super save from Quay stopper Jon Danby. Truth be told, Town started poorly, and after a period of pressure the Nomads took a 30th minute lead when Wes Baynes’ corner fell at the feet of Davies in the Aber six yard area, and he buried the chance for 1-0. Davies then headed Sean Miller’s cross over, and then the visitors started at least to exert some pressure, and two minutes before the break Craig Williams’ excellent driven free kick was headed home by Stuart Jones, who scored at the Deeside Stadium for the second year running. Aber were out of jail and once Lewis had gathered a Baynes cross, and Venables saw a goal bound effort blocked, the half time whistle blew with the Black and Greens glad to be level at 1-1.
The quality of the game did not markedly increase in the second half, with Quay’s best chance coming from the boot of Sion James, who did well to deflect a dangerous cross to safety via his own crossbar. Miller also headed over while at the other end Sub Darren Thomas, who had replaced the injured Rhys Griffiths at half time, showed a super flash of skill skipping between three home defenders into a shooting position, before seeing his dangerous shot blocked. Chris Rimmer headed wide for Quay but it was starting to look like two strong sides had nullified each others’ threats, when a calamitous slip by Rimmer allowed the ever predatory Jamie Reed to skip to the touchline, and his brilliant cross was buried by Venables from close range for a priceless second goal on 74 minutes. Aber now had to hang on in the face of incessant pressure and a torrent of identical Baynes corners, but Jones and Lee Surman were imperious in the air, Lewis confident in goals, and with other defensive players Craig Williams, Sion James, Luke Sherbon and Ross Stephens also excelling at the necessary dog work, Quay were kept at bay. Cledan Davies almost snatched a third with a header just over the bar from Thomas’s right wing cross, but Town did not need it and with their ex-Student Supporters' songs of encouragement ringing in their ears, Ian Hughes' men held on for a very hard earned three points.
This was probably a day to talk about the result rather than the performance, and with Aber now on a brilliant run of form and into the European Places, home supporters must be excited by the prospect of two consecutive home games against the League Leaders, and fourth placed Llandudno. Champions The New Saints are the next side to take on the Black and Greens, for a Titanic Top Three Tussle at Park Avenue on Friday at 7.45pm. Exciting times at Aber Town!