Saturday 8th August
Porthmadog 2 Aberystwyth Town 0
Aberystwyth Town fell to a disappointing defeat in this afternoon's pre-season friendly at Porthmadog, as goals from Eilir Edwards and a penalty from Stuart Rogers earned the hosts a 2-0 victory.
Manager Ian Hughes was boosted before kick off by the returns of Phil Draper, Lee Surman, Luke Sherbon, Chris Venables and Rhys Griffiths to the starting line up, but the visitors took a while to settle, and with Port keeping the ball nicely, they had most of the play. A dangerous cross by Rob Evans was headed clear by Surman, whilst at the other end Darren Thomas, starring again for Town, put on a super burst of speed, and his left footed volley brought a sharp save from Richard Harvey. Griffiths had a shot saved for Aber, and Surman headed Ross Stephens' header over the bar while for the hosts Edwards fired wide. Then after a move down the right, Rogers for Port brought a superb save from Draper, but Edwards pounced to fire home from close range on 39 minutes. Draper denied Rogers twice more before the break, and with Aber disrupted by injuries to Jack Rimmer (stomach strain), Rhys Griffiths (nasty calf injury), and the illness of Craig Williams, Port were good value for their lead.
The visitors started the second half strongly, and sub Geoff Kellaway brought a save from Harvey with a volley, before setting up Thomas to do the same. At the other end Draper did excellently well to deny Edwards. Cledan Davies drew a free kick on the edge of the area, which Venables fired just over, and he then drew yet another save from Harvey. Antonio Corbisiero made a welcome return to Aber's midfield with 15 minutes to go but minutes later Port were awarded a very debatable penalty for handball, and Rogers sealed the win confidently, to the delight of the 100 strong support from the Criccieth Pathfinder Camp. Try as they might, it was not going to be Aber's day, despite creating chance after chance late on. Venables flashed a shot over the bar after an excellent move involving Stephens and Thomas, Surman and Sherbon had efforts blocked and Harvey yet again denied Thomas, but the game ended at 2-0, with Port deserving the victory having shown a more clinical edge where it really mattered.
Ian Hughes and his side will be glad of two more weeks training, and one last friendly next Friday night, to improve on their match sharpness and prove that they are ready for the Big Kick Off at Llandudno on 22nd August. Kick off at Bridge Meadow, Haverfordwest in six days' time will be at 7.45pm. Looking forward to it already!