Monday 18th April
Barry Town 0 Aberystwyth Town 1
A brilliant second minute diving header from Steff Davies, allied to an outstanding defensive display won a crucial game for the Black and Greens away to Barry yesterday afternoon, as Jordan Cotterill saw red for the hosts for two yellow cards near the end. The three points keeps Aber right in the running for a Scottish League Cup Play Off place with one round of Cymru Premier matches to go, and ensures the Club's survival at Cymru Premier level for the thirtieth consecutive season!
The magnitude of the game was magnified by its late movement for the TV Schedules, and a family fun day centred around a Black and Green bouncy castle, as well as some brilliant support for both sides, ensured a big crowd of 712 and a Cup Final atmosphere. The unchanged Black and Greens, needing a point to ensure their Cymru Premier status would have wanted a big start and that is what they got. In the third minutes Jamie Veale picked out Ben Wynne down on the right and his cross fell beautifully for Steff Davies to score a goal with a diving header which has already earned legendary status. On come Aber and Davies volleyed over soon after, again fed by Wynne, before Matty Jones crossed for Wynne to head goalbound – but Mike Lewis was equal to it. Then Aber had an incredible let off when Jordan Cotterill found himself one on one with Gregor Zabret in Aber’s goal – but his effort rebounded into Zabret’s hands, to huge relief among Aber Town’s super singing Sole Crew. Rhys Abruzzese volleyed a great chance just over but then back came Aber again as Steff Davies crossed for Harry Franklin to head wide. Matty Jones was then so close to repeating the free kick trick he has twice played on Barry this season – but the ball dropped inches wide of the goal – and back came the hosts with a series of corners which produced chances for Luke Cooper (blocked) and another attempt headed just wide. The effervescent Ben Wynne was a constant threat down the right wing and with Steff Davies and Jon Owen also causing havoc up front the visitors looked capable of a second – however Kayne McLaggon stung the palms of Zabret with a wicked curling shot which the keeper did brilliantly to shovel wide. Veale threatened at the other end with a free kick but Aber got to half time a goal to the good and forty five minutes from a huge result.
Aber started the second half on the front foot with Steff Davies crossing for Franklin, but Town’s main man from Hereford couldn’t quite convert. Ben Wynne then had a shot parried by Lewis, and Franklin saw a low drive blocked by a great diving tackle, as did Louis Bradford minutes later with the hosts in danger of being put out of their misery. Veale then nearly sealed a fantastic move, but his volley went over the top, and Bradford was next to drive over. Franklin then tested Lewis, before Wynne volleyed over with Aber thoroughly on top. Barry then made a quadruple substitution and with the sun setting on the Linnets’ hopes they did at last enjoy a period pf pressure from set pieces, only to find an Aber back four defending like Trojans, with Rhys Davies and Lee Jenkins commanding at centre back. Sub Marcus Day tested Zabret with a lob, and then with only two minutes remaining Cotterill received a second yellow for a ridiculous dive and the game was almost up. Five minutes of injury time were added, and once two headers had flashed past Zabret’s far post, the game was up and Nick Pratt’s final whistle ensured huge celebrations both off and on the pitch, with both Players and Supporters showing mutual admiration for a job well done and a crucial win in a momentous game.
Those of a Black and Green persuasion celebrated late into the night but at the same time Aberystwyth Town FC sincerely commiserates with Barry Town United – a fantastic Club who for this season at least are now consigned to the bottom two, but who belong back in our National League very soon. Aber’s win leaves them in eighth place in the Cymru Prem, level with Cardiff Met on 39 points, and a win at home to Connah’s Quay Nomads on Saturday in the last game on the season, allied to a draw or defeat for the Met, would guarantee a Play Off Place for the Black and Greens for the first time in seven years. Kick off is at 12.45pm – you wouldn’t want to miss out!