Saturday 22nd September
Carmarthen Town 2-2 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town earned a valuable point on their travels as they clawed back a two goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Carmarthen Town at Richmond Park on Saturday afternoon. In a miserable first half, goals from Luke Bowen (10) and Liam Thomas (38) put the hosts in firm control, but a spirited second half performance saw the black and greens claw their way back thanks to goals from Ash Ruane (64) and Declan Walker (78) to earn a valuable JD Welsh Premier League point on the road.
Aber named an unchanged side from the one which beat Bala Town at Park Avenue last weekend, but they got off to a slow start at Richmond Park as Declan Carroll fired an early warning sign within the opening five minutes with an effort over the bar. Soon after, Carmarthen were in behind Aber's defence as Luke Bowen was brought down outside the area by Leigh Jenkins, resulting in a booking and Sean Hanbury's free kick going over the bar once more. The visitors failed to heed the early warnings and Carmarthen took the lead on 10 minutes as Luke Bowen pounced on a defensive error to slide the ball beyond Jenkins and make it 1-0. The black and greens tried to find a way into the game, but continued to struggle, with Ryan Edwards and Geoff Kellaway seeing their efforts drift wide of either post. Meanwhile Carmarthen continued to threaten, with Leigh Jenkins producing a good save from Tyrrell Webbe's long range strike, before young centre half Lee Jenkins produced an outstanding block to deny Bowen another goal. Then, on 38 minutes, the hosts doubled their lead as Liam Thomas collected a loose ball on the edge of the area before firing a half volley over Jenkins and into the top corner for 2-0. Half time approached with the visitors somewhat fortunate to be two goals behind in an utterly disappointing first half.
Aber's first half performance merited a double substitution at half time, with Rio Ahmadi and Paulo Mendes being introduced in place of Geoff Kellaway and Lee Jenkins as the seasiders searched for a way back into the game. There was a marked improvement as soon as the second half started, with Aber playing at a higher tempo and forcing the hosts deeper into their own half. On 50 minutes, wingman Joe Phillips went close with a half volley before dragging a left footed effort just wide from a corner kick moment later. On 64 minutes, after a sustained period of pressure, Aber found their way back into the game as Ryan Edwards produced a pinpoint cross for Ashley Ruane to flick a header into the net at the back post and make it 2-1. Suddenly the seasiders were a different side, and sensed it was time to push for the equaliser. On 68 minutes they went close once more as Mathew Jones darted into the penalty area only to see his right footed strike go narrowly wide of the post. Then, on 78 minutes came the moment the Aber fans had been sensing as the visitors took a quick free kick, and Declan Walker picked up the ball on the right flank before cutting inside and unleashing a left footed effort into the bottom corner to make it 2-2. Hosts Carmarthen dropped deeper and deeper into their own half as the black and greens suddenly saw all three points there for the taking. On 82 minutes, Walker cut inside once more before firing over the crossbar, before Wes Baynes drilled his free kick narrowly over the bar. The visitors continued to push for the victory into the dying moments, but were unable to find that third goal as they were forced to settle for a hard earned away point.
It was a tale of two halves for the seasiders, who to their credit showed great desire and character to get themselves back into the game from such a daunting position at half time. Director of Football, Nev Powell and Assistant Manager Gavin Allen will be delighted with Town's work over the past week - picking up four points from two difficult games and currently lying in 7th place in the league table. Town's attentions now turn to Tuesday evening's Nathaniel MG Cup tie away at Cambrian & Clydach, before welcoming Barry Town to Park Avenue in the JD Welsh Premier League next Saturday.
Carmarthen Town: Idzi, Davies, Knott, Surman, Hanbury (70), Webbe (81), Morgan, Carroll, Walters, Thomas, Bowen. Subs: Hanford (70), Vickers (81), Vincent, Woodford, Cummings
Aberystwyth Town: Leigh Jenkins, Baynes, Wollacott, Lee Jenkins (45), Steff Edwards, Ryan Edwards, Jones, Walker, Phillips (76), Kellaway (45), Ruane. Subs: Rowe, Morgan, Blake (76), Mendes (45), Ahmadi (45)