THE BUILD-UP to last Friday’s game pulled no punches; Ian Hughes and his men knew the size of the challenge facing them in The New Saints. Form irrelevant, as the only fully-professional team in the Welsh top flight this season TNS are always tough customers. Nine league titles (and the last four consecutively) haven’t been won by accident.
With one of their biggest turnouts this season so far, including some 200 students, Aber had the Dias Stand rocking as the teams traded blows through the first half, The Saints kept almost entirely out of Town’s penalty box. Pinned back and long distance efforts going wide of the posts, Aber’s Geoff Kellaway nearly made some magic at the other end of the pitch, dancing around defenders but not able to convert his footwork into a shot. As the clock approached half time TNS finally found the net through a strong strike from Scott Quigley, once again from outside the box. Heading into the changing rooms with only a goal between them both sides would’ve thought they had a good shot at the points on offer, with Aber looking to get even closer to the league leaders.
Aberystwyth number 11 Craig Williams was subbed off with an injury and replaced with Wyn Thomas during the break, but before he had an opportunity to make an impact the visitors slipped one past Mike Lewis to double their lead. The action continued end-to-end, one team always on the break, and the spirit of Aberystwyth proved undampened by the two-goal deficit. Thomas had as good a chance as any and may well have beaten the keeper had his left-footed attempt not been just shy of the post.
TNS struck back again, throwing players forward but lost the ball to let Aber’s Cledan Davies, who let loose a net-busting shot, only to find the back of the stands instead and the ball was left bouncing among the home supporters. With just under 15 minutes left The Saints closed the door on any hope of a comeback as Quigley and partner Adrian Czieslewicz scored two in three minutes.
Playing for pride The Seasiders carried on, making some last minute breaks down the wing but to no avail. Luke Sherbon was cut short after Scott Quigley took a kick at him and was shown a straight red. Unnecessarily lashing out so late with the lead left both home and away fans disappointed at the low finish to an otherwise competitive game.
Craig Wiliams and Geoff Kellaway (substituted in the 70th minute) were taken to hospital to have their injuries more closely inspected and we wish them both a quick recovery. The next home game for Aber Town is this Friday, 30th October at 19:45 against Llandudno, and fans will be treated to a stadium Halloween special, so this isn’t one to miss.