JOE Clarke’s 93rd minute equaliser against Newtown kept Aberystwyth Town’s top six hopes alive with what could prove to be a crucial point at Latham Park on New Year’s Eve.
The Cambrian News reported “Clarke had opened the scoring for Aber with a tremendous volley on 41 minutes, but back came Newtown after the break with Neil Mitchell and Luke Boundford turning the tables.
Newtown soaked up 25 minutes of pressure, but the points seemed set to remain with the hosts, until Clarke unleashed another volley in injury time to complete his well-taken brace.
The Robins’ injury worries had worsened when Shane Sutton was told he could not play with the cast he had on his hand, prompting the Robins into four late changes to the team sheet, with just two substitutes.
Newtown, however, looked the most threatening in the early stages, with Steff Edwards overlapping well to create a headed chance for makeshift centre forward Boundford, who directed his header at Chris Mullock.
Aber responded as Luke Borrelli brought a save out of Dave Jones at his near post, but clear chances were few and far between, with off-target efforts from Gavin Cadwallader for the hosts and Kurtis March for Aber.
Skipper Luke Sherbon then brought a save from keeper Jones with a strong header from Chris Jones’ corner, but Mullock had to make a brilliant save low down to deny Neil Mitchell after Jordan Wells had pulled the ball back.
Kostya Georgievsky was denied by a crucial challenge, but then four minutes before the break Aber made the breakthrough when the ball dropped for Clarke to score a rasping volley.
The Robins started the second half well and Mitchell’s half chance went astray, before Ryan Wollacott had to head Williams’ free kick to safety.
Then, on 52 minutes, the Robins got their reward as Williams’ corner found Mitchell, who lost his man to head home into the bottom corner.
With Newtown in the ascendancy, Ryan Kershaw hit the crossbar, and although Georgievsky almost scored after a great move involving surging sub Jack Rimmer and March, the hosts took the lead on 61 minutes.
A neat chip from Mitchell found Kershaw, who pulled back a cross for Boundford to fire into the Aber net.
The Seasiders stepped up and home defender Andy Jones headed March’s goalbound effort over, before Borrelli’s shot was parried away, and Dave Jones tipped over Wollacott’s header.
Defender Sam Rodon also headed wide, and was then sent forward to add some aerial power to the attack.
Wollacott fired wide from Georgievsky’s left wing cross, and Cledan Davies sent a free kick just wide as the incessant pressure continued.
A penalty shout for a tackle by Williams on Georgievsky was turned away – but the Robins thought they had wrapped things up when Mitchell rounded Mullock to score, only to for it to be ruled out for offside.
When Borrelli’s shot was blocked all hope seemed lost, but deep into injury time Cledan Davies sent in a last- gasp cross, which Rodon knocked on and Clarke’s volley snatched a draw, which felt very much like a win.
NEWTOWN: D Jones, J Wells, S Edwards, G Cadwallader, A Jones, A Fletcher, R Kershaw, C Williams, N Mitchell, L Boundford, J Newton. Substitutes, not used: J Perry (gk), T Goodwin.
ABERYSTWYTH: C Mullock, R Watts, S Rodon, J Clarke, L Sherbon, L Borrelli, R Wollacott, K Georgievsky, K March (W Bell 78), D Alfei (J Rimmer 59), C Jones (C Davies 46). Sub not used: J Crowl.
Attendance: 340. Referee: K Hames” here.