Seasiders through to Europa League Play-Off Final

ATFC March

Photo – Alex Tanton

ABER Town continued on their road to Europe on Sunday with an emphatic win over the visiting Gap Connah’s Quay.

The home fans turned up keen to see Aber clinch a win and a change from recent form, having only won one in the last nine games. On the other hand, Connah’s Quay had only lost one game in as many, and carried on their winning ways with an early goal from Sean Miller, sending the away stand into a frenzy. A risky foul in the 18-year box just four minutes later though let Town’s own Chris Venables get his name on the score sheet from the penalty spot, tying the teams up at 1-1.

Spurred on by the goal Aber pressed hard with some wonderful build up play and some hopeful attempts on goal, leaving Connah’s Quay’s on the back foot. Fantastic defensive play from the home sides Stuart Jones kept the action out of Aber half for the most part, with the visitors’ best chances coming on the counter-attack. The best of their few attempts was a powerful shot from the edge of the box, but straight at Town’s goalkeeper Mike Lewis who saved with ease.

With both teams aware of the stakes and coming out for the second half still level the game ramped up in tension, and The Nomad’s went ahead for a second time with a scramble in the box eventually finding the net from the foot of defender Steve Evans. From then on Connah’s Quay took the match by the horns and controlled possession, frustrating the Seasiders and preventing any progress up the pitch.

Tempers began to fray and yellow cards were shown to both teams, Aber’s for a hard tackle and Connah’s Quay for time wasting. With the clock winding down Aber finally made good on an attempt, with a strong shot inside the box taking a big deflection of the back of the last goal scorer Evans, silencing the away fans and drawing the game back again at 2-2. The momentum had shifted with the Dias stand now on their feet and the game was reaching fever pitch.

With the 4th official indicating three added minutes Aber made a charge up the pitch, the ball ending up at the feet of Mark Jones who shot under the goalkeeper and across the box to snatch up a 3-2 lead with mere seconds to spare. Holding onto the lead for the albeit short remainder of the match saw the fans ecstatic as Aber attempt to emulate last year’s Europa League charge.

The play-off final is Sunday 17th at 1pm against Newtown AFC at Park Avenue.