IN THE FINAL fixture of domestic Welsh football this season, Aberystwyth Town welcomed their Mid-Wales rivals, Newton, to Park Avenue for the Europa league Play-Off Final.
With over 900 fans, including a respectable away following from central Wales, the grey clouds of Aberystwyth would see Newtown’s captain and centre-half Shaun Sutton lead his team into European football next season, at the expense of the Seasiders. with the opening exchanges proving that both sides were there to play, Newtown and Aberyswtyth earning a fair few chances, the away side through multiple corner kicks, and the team in green through quick counter-attacking down the right flank, with good interplay between Geoff Kelloway and Chris Davies. The opening goal came after 10 minutes, from Newtown’s third corner, as Tom Goodwin netted a free header past Mike Lewis in the Aberystwyth net. Kelloway and Davies continued their good play, but Ian Hughes asked for Kelloway to switch wings with Craig Williams; this decision did not seem to pay off in the end. Aberystwyth’s reply came just before the half-hour mark, as Chris Venables claimed his 35th goal of the season from the spot as the aforementioned Kelloway was clipped in the box. He was proactive throughout the afternoon, despite seeing the ball going over his head for the majority of the final hour. Going into the break, both sides were equal, but Mike Hearsey broke down the Newown right wing and his shot passed across Mike Lewis and Newtown went into half-time with goal lead.
With the second-half underway, Aberystwyth knowing that they would have to come from behind for the second time in a week if they were to claim European football for the Park Avenue faithful, Kelloway once again threatened down the right wing as his right-back Chris Davies was always ready to look and find Aber’s number 7. With 10 minutes to go, Kelloway would be sent off for kicking a ball at a Newtown player as he was on the gound. This would take the wind out of the Seasider’s sails. there were 5 minutes of injury time played, chances came for Wyn Thomas from a corner and Chris Venables from outside the box, but Ian Hughes’ men couldn’t find that elusive equaliser.
Man of the Match: Chris Davies