ABERYSTWYTH Town battled to a 1-1 draw against a resolute Prestatyn Town side, in a frantic JD Welsh Premier League clash at Park Avenue on Friday evening.
The Cambrian News reported “Geoff Kellaway’s 78th minute header was enough to earn Aber a point, after Damien Ketley had given the visitors a 20th minute lead – but the hosts had seen a host of golden opportunities go begging against a side they beat 7-1 in December.
Aber manager Nev Powell named an unchanged side from last weekend’s home victory against Llandudno, and his side got off to a bright start as John Owen soon struck a half volley narrowly over.
Declan Walker also tried his luck from distance for Aber, before Owen dragged his left-footed effort wide of the post.
It was the visitors, however, who took the lead with their first effort on target.
Noah Edwards’ corner kick was headed clear in the penalty area, but the ball ricocheted for Damien Ketley, who prodded home inside the six yard box for 1-0.
Aber responded well to going behind, and continued to play the ball through the midfield trio of Tom Owens, Damien Allen and Malcolm Melvin, and on 30 minutes they almost bagged an equaliser as Ryan Wade volleyed straight into the palms of Carl Jones in the Prestatyn goal.
The hosts continued to press for a way back into the game as Jones saved Tom Owens’ tame header, before Joe Phillips’ curling effort sailed just over the crossbar, but it was to remain 1-0 at half time.
Aber striker Craig Hobson was introduced at half-time in place of Joe Phillips, and soon after the restart, the hosts saw another glorious chance go begging.
John Owen chested the ball down in the penalty area before seeing his shot bounce off Jones and behind for a corner.
Then, on 54 minutes came the game’s controversial moment as the referee brandished a red card to Prestatyn sub Zebb Edwards for foul and abusive language.
This swung the momentum of the game in Aber’s favour even further, and Geoff Kellaway and Luke Borelli were introduced in place of Owens and Ryan Wade.
Kellaway almost had an immediate impact as he scampered down the left flank, before crossing in dangerously, only for Dave Hayes to produce a vital block.
On 78 minutes, however, Aber found their equaliser, as Malcolm Melvin cut inside before providing an inch-perfect cross for Kellaway to glance an excellent header beyond Jones to make it 1-1.
The home supporters found their voice, but to their credit the 10-man visitors were defending admirably as they harried and hassled Aber all over the pitch.
On 82 minutes, John Owen deflected in Hobson’s glancing header, only for the linesman’s flag to deny the front man.
Aber huffed and puffed, and in the dying seconds Ashley Young launched the ball into the penalty area, where Declan Walker’s attempted over-head kick fell to Damien Allen, whose right-footed shot flew agonisingly wide of the far post.
It just wasn’t to be Aber’s night, however, and they were forced to settle for a point, in a game that could have been so different had they taken their chances.
ABERYSTWYTH: C Mullock, D Walker, R Wollacott, T Owens (L Borrelli 65), M Melvin, J Owen, R Wade (G Kellaway 65), M Jones, A Young, D Allen, J Phillips (C Hobson 46) Subs not used: J Rimmer, A Walters (gk).
PRESTATYN: C Jones, L Irvine, T Kemp (N Hulme 88), R Stephens, D Ketley (O Buckley 90), B Maher, R Weaver, D Hayes, M Hart, N Edwards, M Parker (Z Edwards 37). Subs not used: Z Edwards, R Roberts (gk), J Higgins, M Taylor. Attendance: 223. Referee: K Hames” here.