ASHLEY Ruane netted a quick-fire second half hat-trick as Aberystwyth Town marched on into the fourth round of the JD Welsh Cup with an entertaining 4-3 win over a spirited Cwmamman United at Grenig Park.
Cambrian News reported “Rio Ahmadi’s volley was cancelled out by James Bryan as the sides went in level at the break, but a 13 minute treble strike from striker Ruane effectively saw the Seasiders through.
A late rally from the Welsh League division one side yielded two late goals to set up a nervy final minutes, but the Seasiders avoided any upset.
Manager Nev Powell named an unchanged side from the one which drew 1-1 with Carmarthen a week earlier, and Aber started on the front foot on a heavy playing surface.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors on 12 minutes as Ruane rounded home keeper Chris Curtis, but fired wide from a narrow angle.
Declan Walker then found space in the penalty area, but was denied by a great save by Curtis, but on 20 minutes Aber made the breakthrough.
Mathew Jones whipped in a great cross for Rio Ahmadi, who volleyed the ball home into the roof of the net.
As the half wore on, Aber continued to stamp their authority as Ryan Edwards went close after a neat one-two with Walker, and Ruane rounded Curtis once more, only for his effort to be cleared off the goal line.
Then, on 37 minutes, the hosts equalised against the run of play.
Terry McCormick produced a fine save from a corner kick, only for Cwmamman defender James Bryan to head the ball into the bottom corner on the rebound to level the scores.
Aber nearly went into half-time with a lead when Edwards curled an effort inches over the crossbar, but it was to remain level at the break.
Aber started the second half attacking towards their loyal supporters, who were positioned on the grass bank above the goal at the far end of the ground, and were back in front just two minutes after the restart.
Mathew Jones delivered another inch-perfect cross towards Ruane, whose flicked header beat Curtis.
Soon after, the Seasiders extended their advantage as the visitors began to really put their foot on the gas.
Ruane found himself in behind the home defence and cut inside, before unleashing a powerful strike that custodian Curtis was unable to keep out, as the ball trickled over the line.
The Aber target man wasn’t done there, and just six minutes later he completed a perfect hat-trick, which had included a header, and strikes with both the right and left foot.
He pounced onto a loose ball in the penalty area and struck a left-footed effort into the top corner of the net.
To their credit, Cwmamman continued to battle, and they pulled a goal back on 64 minutes when Christian Allen found space in the penalty area and directed a powerful header beyond McCormick to make it 2-4.
As playing conditions worsened, Aber continued to play in sensible fashion, turning the home defence with balls in behind for strike pair Ruane and Ahmadi to chase down.
On 70 minutes, subs Jack Rimmer and Joe Phillips replaced Ryan Wollacott and Ahmadi, before Declan Walker almost added to his recent goal tally with a long range effort.
The hosts continued to attack when they could, and Allen forced a fine save from McCormick on 85 minutes with a strike from inside the area.
Bryan then ghosted in behind the Aber defence in the final minute of normal time and struck the ball beyond the keeper to make it 3-4 – but Aber saw the four minutes of added time out without too much difficulty.
ABERYSTWYTH TOWN: McCormick, Baynes, Goodall, Wollacott, S Edwards, Mendes, Jones, Walker (C), Ahmadi, R Edwards, Ruane. Substitutes: Rimmer, Jenkins, Kellaway, Blake, Phillips” here.