ABERYSTWYTH Town’s hopes of closing the gap on Play-Off Conference leaders Barry Town ended with a 2-0 home defeat on a disappointing day for the Seasiders.
The Cambrian News reported “Goals from Jordan Cotterill, just before half-time, and Louis Gerrard on 90 minutes condemned Nev Powell’s side to just their second defeat in 10 games in all competitions and their first defeat at Park Avenue since New Year’s Day.
Prior to the kick-off, Aberystwyth full back Declan Walker was presented with his JD Welsh Premier Player of the Month award by manager Nev Powell, as he came back into the starting line up in place of the flu-stricken Matthew Jones.
Visitors Barry edged the opening stages as keeper Chris Mullock was forced into action after just four minutes to deny James Demetriou.
Soon after, the hosts tested former Seasider Mike Lewis with Craig Hobson’s header as the game threatened to spring into life. However, both sides struggled to gain the upper hand as the first half wore on with a tight midfield battle ensuing and minimal chances.
On 18 minutes Aber’s John Owen danced his way into the penalty area, before forcing a smart save from Lewis in goal, before Barry’s Ryan Newman fired his shot over the crossbar at the other end.
As half-time approached, Barry opened the scoring as Jordan Cotterill latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired a left-footed shot into the bottom corner beyond the reach of Mullock to make the score 1-0.
Aber didn’t have a chance to respond to going behind, as the referee’s half time whistle blew with the visitors leading a scrappy affair.
The Seasiders started the second half in much brighter fashion, and on 53 minutes Hobson again tested Lewis with a low drive, before he created a glorious opportunity for Joe Phillips to tap the ball home inside the six-yard area, which somehow sailed inches over the bar.
Aber were beginning to threaten more and more, and on the hour Kurt Sherlock made his home debut, replacing energetic Phillips.
Soon after Sherlock’s introduction, Aber again came within inches of finding the back of the net as Ryan Wollacott’s goal bound effort was cleared on the goal line, before Hobson sent a half volley just over.
Another chance went begging on 66 minutes when Declan Walker’s cross fizzed across the six-yard area beyond the sliding Hobson.
Another succession of corners then saw Ryan Wollacott’s header destined for the top corner, only to be cleared off the line brilliantly.
Geoff Kellaway was introduced in place of Luke Borrelli on 75 minutes as Aber continued to push on, but on 80 minutes they almost got caught on the break as Demetriou forced a brilliant stop by Mullock.
Aber’s keeper was again forced into action as he instinctively saved Luke Cooper’s header, but at the other end Tom Owens unleashed a fierce volley from Hobson’s flick, only to be denied by another fine save by ex-Seasider Lewis in goal.
Then, as the game entered stoppage time, Barry delivered the ultimate sucker punch as Louis Gerrard latched on to a long ball and slotted the ball beyond Mullock to make it 2-0 and send the three points back to south Wales.
ABERYSTWYTH: C Mullock, D Walker, R Wollacott, T Owens, M Melvin, C Hobson, J Owen, L Borrelli (G Kellaway 75’), A Young, D Allen, J Phillips (K Sherlock 61’). Subs not used: S Kersh, R Wade, J Rimmer,A Walters (gk).
BARRY TOWN: M Lewis, M Southam-Hales, C Watkins, L Cooper, C Hugh, J Saddler, T Greening, RNewman (D Fahiya 74’), J Cotterill, J Hood, J Demetriou (L Gerrard 67’). Subs not used: P Morgan, L Cosslett, J Massaro (gk). Attendance: 213. Ref: Kris Hames” here.