Saturday 25th January
The New Saints 4 Aberystwyth Town 0
Aber Town’s Welsh Cup dreams were dashed by clinical Cup Holders TNS at Park Hall this afternoon, with the hosts claiming a 4-0 victory. First half goals from Ryan Brobbel (5 minutes) and Daniel Redmond (13), plus second half strikes from Dean Ebbe (64) and sub Greg Draper (81) gave the scoreline a rather flattering look, and Town were denied the consolation goal they probably deserved when Paul Harrison saved Mathew Jones 91st minute penalty.
Having already signed four players in the transfer window, two further new recruits were blooded today with forward Adam Davies and midfielder James Rowland being given full debuts. Alex Pennock replaced the ineligible Connor Roberts in goal, with Pavel Vieira suspended. On a gloomy and chilly afternoon the visitors started on the back foot, falling behind after just five minutes, when he ball came to the mightily impressive Brobbel, and he curled home from the edge of the area to open the scoring. Dean Ebbe went close twice and Kurtis Byrne was denied by Pennock, but then Byrne crossed for Redmond to not an easy second and Town were really up against it. Byrne fired wide again, but then Aber came into it and started making chances. Wes Baynes volleyed a free kick wide, and then Alhagi Touray Sisay, on his second appearance came agonisingly close to opening his account, beating home keeper Harrison to Lee Jenkins’ super through ball and prodding goalbound, only to be denied by a desperate goal line clearance. A corner from Baynes fell for Paulo Mendes to head at goal, only for Harrison to save, and then Touray Sisay did well to bustle through only to blast over. Adrian Ciesliewicz had a lob saved by Pennock, and Ryan Harrington headed wide for the hosts but then back came Aber again with the hard working Rowland pulling out an excellent 20 yard dash before curling wide, and Touray Sisay seeing another shot cleared off the line. Mendes’ goalbound volley seemed to deflect off a hand on its path to Harrison, but then Jenkins got back brilliantly to deny Byrne, and Pennock did well to deny Brobbel who seemed certain to score. Ebbe volleyed over and Byrne was denied by Pennock, before Touray Sisay headed wide from Baynes’ free kick, and a breathless first half saw the hosts two goals up, which was harsh on the visitors who had created plenty of chances themselves.
Into the second half and the gutsy visitors were still creating chances. Jones sent a ball in for Touray Sisay, but his knock on just evaded Marc Williams, and then Jones’ deflected shot from Baynes’ corner was saved by Harrison on the line. The luckless Byrne shot over again, then back came Aber as Rowlands’ ball in was headed back by Adam Davies for Touray Sisay to volley over. Byrne shot over the bar again but then TNS got their crucial third, with Brobbel crossing for Ebbe to convert from close range for 3-0. Brobbel was denied a second when his free kick was saved by Pennock, who later denied Draper before Byrne dragged a shot wide. Pennock denied Draper again, only for the League Golden Boot Holder to score the forth from close range from the rebound, with nine minutes left. Pennock pulled out another great save to deny sub Billy Whitehouse, but then Aber seemed destined to get the goal they so richly deserved: Geoff Kellaway’s effort was parried and then Williams was hauled down in the box … but Harrison pulled off a great save to deny Jones’ spot kick, and the full time whistle blew at 4-0.
The Black and Greens will argue that the scoreline is extremely harsh on their efforts – and they created chance after chance away to the Champions today: however credit TNS who were clinical at the right times, and a visit to Park Hall will be the draw everyone wishes to avoid in Round 5. Aber now have a two week break before kicking off Phase II away to Cardiff Met on Saturday 8th February. See you then!
Photo courtesy of Colin Ewart