Draper disaster causes University defeat

Draper’s two own-goals sealed defeat for Aberystwyth University F.C in the BUCS Western 4B division.

Two own-goals by Aberyswyth University first team captain Phil Draper led to a dramatic defeat against Trinity St. Davids with the away team running out 4-3 victors in the BUCS Western 4B division. Trinity St. Davids had not won a game in the four they had played so far this season, highlighting the poor performance from Aberystwyth.

Dan Moore kept his place in goal due to injury, with Phil Draper playing at centre back. Hitman Tom Sparks started upfront with Tom Court often playing up alongside him. Trinity St. Davids started with thick-set striker Oli Ardolino causing problems all afternoon for the University side.

Trinity St. Davids nearly took a lead with Ben Jenkins under-hitting a back-pass towards Dan Moore, Gavin McDevitt pouncing on the ball and trying to hit a shot past Moore, with the goalkeeper getting a leg to the shot and McDevitt hit the rebound onto the outside of the left post and away from goal.

However, despite Aberystwyth looking comfortable in possession, they failed to do anything entirely meaningful with it in the first stages of the first half. Trinity St. Davids then capitalised on their poor use of the ball, with Ilyr Tobin pouncing and hitting a shot from 25 yards which beat Moore and fell into the bottom left corner.

Aberystwyth continued to carve open Trinity St. Davids but failed to get any meaningful chances, with Trinity playing more direct, high tempo football attempting to counter-attack. As the first half continued, Aber turned up the pressure with Tom Sparks getting their first decent chance, Moore hit a long goal kick towards Sparks who was unmarked but his shot was well parried and then claimed by Dan Goodall.

The home side, playing at a cloudless yet cold Vicarage Fields were left rueing Sparks’ missed chance as Trinity took a 2-0 lead after 28 minutes, with the first of Draper’s own goals. A ball was passed towards the Aberystwyth goal, Moore shouted to claim the ball and in an attempt to ensure the goalkeeper received the ball, Draper passed the ball backwards. The pass was poor, bypassing Moore and rolling into the goal to the delight of their opponents.

A free-kick after a contentious foul by a Trinity St. Davids defender was cleared before minutes later, Aber had a goal back.

Sparks worked the ball down the left, cut inside and crossed the ball at the far post where David Glover met the cross and hammered it into the net, perhaps a sign of the frustration of the Aberystwyth players, with Trinity having created very few chances for themselves but still having the lead.

The match was already attracting a bad-tempered atmosphere, with McDevitt steaming in on Matt Perry, getting booked for the tackle as well as his dissent throughout the game.

Minutes after, talismanic striker Sparks had got them back on level terms. He received the ball on the right of the area, turned his marker before placing the simplest of finishes past Goodall with 10 minutes of the first half still remaining.

They also had some fantastic chances before the half was finished. Tom Stiley heading straight at Goodall, Gareth Thomas missed the target by some way after good work by Court and Sparks and Aberystwyth also hit the post directly from a corner.

Aber continued to play well after the break, but always looking weakest when in possession but passing the ball backwards, looking uncomfortable in possession at the back. They were unfortunate not to take the lead with Sparks having a goal disallowed after Thomas’ shot was heading wide when he was in front of goal.

McDevitt had another chance saved by Moore, with the shot being straight at the stand-in ‘keeper. Trinity had another fantastic chance to score soon after with their midfield and attack combining for Greg Grevis hitting the crossbar, 20 yards from goal.

 In a game that was, to say the least, topsy turvy, it was no surprise when Trinity St. Davids took the lead again. A goal that started a manic last 15 minutes for both sides and a fantastic climax to the game when a corner from the left drifted in, with Ardolino poking home from 7 yards.

Aber still had fight in them and equalised a minute later via substitute Jordan Raybould. Barney Tierney put a incisive through ball through the middle of the Trinity St. Davids defence, and Raybould finished with the outside of his boot to level the scores up at 3-3 with 10 minutes left.

Yet, it was from the boot of Draper that Trinity would clinch the three points, the first of their season. A ball was drilled in from the left, and Draper, hoping to keep the ball away from goal and concede a mere corner, slid in at the near post and diverted the ball past Moore to give Trinity St. Davids the victory, sparking massive celebrations throughout their side at the final whistle.

Aberystwyth University 1st: Moore, Warren, Draper, Jenkins, Perry, Stiley (Off 75 mins), Thomas, Tierney, Court, Sparks, Glover. Subs: Raybould (On 75 mins)

Trinity St. Davids: Goodall, Price, Williams, Philips, Smith, Llion Jones, Ifan Jones, Ardolino, McDevitt, Grivis, Tobin, Sirrell. Subs. White, Rowlands.