ABERYSTYWTH Town’s hopes of a top six spot received another blow as they ended 2018 with a narrow 2-1 derby defeat to Newtown at Latham Park.
Cambrian News reported “An early first half goal from Neil Mitchell had put the Robins in front, before Nick Rushton doubled their lead on the hour mark – and despite Rio Ahmadi’s late strike for Aber, they fell to a fourth consecutive Welsh Premier defeat.
“When things aren’t going your way with results, you never seem to get the lucky breaks and decisions, and we’ve produced a good away performance but come away with nothing”, said Aberystwyth boss Neville Powell.
“While it’s still mathematically possible for us to finish in the top six, we’ll keep working hard and keep fighting.
“If the lads show that same desire and attitude as they did today, we’ve got every chance of getting points.”
Powell made three changes to the side 2-0 defeated by the Robins on Boxing Day, with Alan Goodall, Geoff Kellaway and Rio Ahmadi starting.
In similar fashion to the Boxing Day clash, however, Newtown took the lead in their first meaningful attack, as Callum Roberts crossed for Neil Mitchell to head in on two minutes.
Aber then fought their way back into the game and tested home keeper Dave Jones with long range efforts from Wes Baynes and Rio Ahmadi.
Geoff Kellaway then forced keeper Jones into a fine save after breaking free on the left side of the penalty area.
As the half wore on, both sides struggled to create clear opportunities, but five minutes after the break, Paulo Mendes saw his header smartly saved.
Rio Ahmadi then went closer still as he cut inside and fired a low effort from outside the area against the post.
It seemed only a matter of time before Aber were back on level terms, but on 60 minutes came the sucker punch that all but sealed three points.
Sam Phillips broke free on the edge of the area before playing in Nick Rushton, who rifled a shot into the bottom corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Soon after, they almost well and truly buried Aber as Luke Boundford went through one-on-one with Terry McCormick, but the Aber keeper stood strong to make an excellent save.
Substitutes Ash Ruane and Joe Phillips were introduced and Aber went close again when Ryan Wollacott met Mathew Jones’ corner, only to see his header cleared off the Newtown line.
As stoppage time approached, Aber did find a way back into the game as Declan Walker flicked the ball through for Ahmadi, who produced a neat chip into the corner of the net.
After five minutes of additional time, Mendes appeared to be fouled in the penalty area, only for his appeals to be waved away by referee Cheryl Foster, and the Seasiders left empty-handed.
NEWTOWN: D Jones, C Roberts, K Mills-Evans, J Denny, N Mitchell, N Rushton, L Boundford (E Jones 88 minutes), S Leslie, J Kenton, S Phillips (C Williams 60 minutes), A Fletcher. Substitutes, not used: J Perry (gk), G Cadwallader, W Evans.
ABERYSTWYTH: T McCormick, W Baynes, S Edwards, A Goodall, R Wollacott, G Kellaway (J Phillips 82’), P Mendes, P Ahmadi, D Walker, R Edwards (A Ruane 71’), M Jones. Subs not used: J Rimmer, L Jenkins, N Blake, H Rowe. Att: 484″ here.