RYAN Wade scored a second half brace as Aberystwyth Town provided a thrilling finish to their JD Welsh Premier League campaign with a 5-3 win over mid-Wales rivals Newtown.
The Cambrian News reported “John Owen and top scorer Declan Walker had fired the Seasiders into a 2-0 lead, but the Robins turned the tables with goals from Ethan Jones, Nick Rushton and Ryan Kershaw.
Aber, however, hit back to secure the points through Wade’s double, either side a Matthew Jones strike, to take the spoils in a pulsating game under the lights at Park Avenue.
Wade replaced Craig Hobson in the starting line-up, with John Owen moving further forward to the lone striker’s role, and it was Owen who opened their account on 16 minutes.
Having kept the ball in play on the right touchline, he skipped around a few defenders and, with keeper Dave Jones off his line, chipped a curling effort into the far corner of the net.
Aber’s Tom Owens rifled a shot straight at keeper Jones, but on 23 minutes a Callum Roberts’ free kick was superbly tipped on to the post by home goalkeeper Chris Mullock.
The Seasiders, however, continued to have the better of the play, and on the stroke of half time right back Declan Walker ventured into the penalty area before unleashing a powerful strike, for his 14th goal of the season .
Aber looked to be cruising towards half time, but in additional time Ethan Jones turned inside and trickled a low effort into the bottom corner to give the Robins a lifeline.
Buoyed by the goal, Newtown began the second half on the front foot, as Aber struggled to adapt to losing Malcolm Melvin from the midfield.
Ethan Jones again raced down on goal, before dragging his shot narrowly wide, but on 54 minutes the Robins were level, as Nick Rushton’s deflected effort from inside the penalty area ricocheted into the net.
Newtown suddenly had all the momentum, as Aber made a double sub, with Jack Rimmer and Luke Borrelli replacing John Owen and Walker.
On the hour the visitors got their noses in front as Ryan Kershaw produced a sublime right-footed effort that curled into the top corner for 3-2.
They almost extended their lead as first Rushton and then Mitchell were denied by some excellent goalkeeping by Mullock, but on 76 minutes, the hosts were back on level terms.
Left back Matthew Jones stood up an inch-perfect cross from the by-line for Ryan Wade to head the ball the ball home, and then two minutes later sub Kurt Sherlock attempted an audacious chip from the halfway line that clipped the top of the crossbar.
Then, on 80 minutes, Aber took the lead when local lad Jones reacted well to snap up the rebound from Sherlock’s long range effort and slipped the ball beneath Jones for 4-3.
Nine minutes later Joe Phillips played in Wade, who ran through and produced a clever finish to guide the ball home to secure the points.
In stoppage time, Sherlock was denied by a last-ditch goal-line clearance, but the win was already secure, as all attention now turns to the Welsh Cup Final between Aber and Connah’s Quay at Latham Park On Sunday.
ABER: C Mullock, D Walker (L Borrelli 58), R Wollacott, T Owens, M Melvin (K Sherlock 43), J Owen (J Rimmer 58), R Wade, M Jones, A Young, D Allen, J Phillips. Subs: S Kersh, Kellaway, A Walters.
NEWTOWN: D Jones, C Williams, J Denny, R Sears, C Roberts, A Fletcher, T Goodwin, R Kershaw, N Rushton, E Jones, N Mitchell (J Harries 80’). Subs: C Williams, J Kenton, L Boundford, J Perry (gk), W Evans. Attendance: 260″ here.