Wednesday 31st August
Rhyl 3 Aberystwyth Town 1
Aberystwyth Town were brought back down to Earth with a bump at the Belle Vue Ground this evening as a promising 11th minute lead thanks to Blake Davies’ first goal for Aber was transformed into a two goal defeat in twenty first half minutes.
Stung by heavy defeat last time round Rhyl started in a determined mood and put Aber under early pressure. Centre backs Sam Rodon and Will Bell did well to block efforts from Alex Jones and Kristian Pierce and Ryan Wollacott also cleared a corner. Then however the tide turned, the visitors found their feet and started to purr. Joe Clark picked out Chris Jones in a good position and his low effort brought a good save from Owen Evans, then Luke Borrelli’s deep cross was headed back across goal by Geoff Kellaway but Clarke’s headed goal was unluckily disallowed. Some imperious play in central midfield from Clarke and Luke Sherbon lead to Davies being picked out in space 20 yards out and his low shot skidded into the bottom corner for a sweet finish which put Town in control. Aber now grew in confidence and set out to control proceedings. Jones out left set up Clarke who headed over again, Borrelli’s free kick was tipped over – just – by Evans, and Bell had a shot cleared off the line – and Aber looked to be cruising. Then however the game turned completely as Oliver Buckley burst down the left flank and scored low past Dominic Richards for an improbable 24 minute equaliser. Two minutes later a simple free kick into Aber’s box saw Carl Lamb leap highest to earn a 2-1 scoreline. Back came Aber with Wollacott heading goalbound from Jones’ corner, bringing another save from Evans. James Brewerton could have made it three for Rhyl but then down the other end Ricky Watts brought out another save from Evans. Kellaway then picked out Jones whose delightful curling effort went inches wide, and two minutes before the break Lamb curled Rhyl’s third from a free kick at the edge of the box and the turnaround was complete. There was still time in a breathless half for Jones to curl another 25 yarder just past the post, but the score stayed at 3-1.
The second half failed to live up to the excitement of the first 45, but Aber did keep on going in search of an elusive comeback. Lamb missed a great opportunity to complete his hat trick, and then sub Jonathan Evans put Owen Evans back to work with a low volley. Greg Walters, another sub, had a shot blocked, them Jones picked out Davies in the box, and he shielded the ball before turning to unleash a volley which was blocked. Jones brought about another last gasp clearance with a low cross, and determined Rhyl had earned a win which, in truth they did deserve over the balance of the ninety minutes, while Aber were left to reflect on a failure to take advantage of the litany of chance they created at Belle Vue.
Despite this setback results elsewhere leave Town in fourth place in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League, which makes Saturday afternoon’s game at second placed Bangor City all the more mouth watering. Kick off is at 2.30 and the Coach leaves Park Avenue at 9.45am.