INJURY-RAVAGED Aberystwyth Town scored in each half to earn a hard fought 2-0 win at mid Wales rivals Caersws on Tuesday evening and book their place in the last 16 of the Nathaniel MG Welsh Premier League Cup.
The Cambrian News reported “Goals from Ashley Young on 22 minutes and Jack Rimmer on 75 minutes proved decisive as Neville Powell’s side recovered from back-to-back defeats to Llandundo and Cefn Druids.
With John Owen, Luke Borrelli and Craig Hobson all injured, Powell selected a side almost identical to that which started at the Rock last Friday, and on a pleasant evening patience was the watch word for the Seasiders.
Aron Hughes-Jones burst through the right channel and fired over for Caersws early on, but with the visitors dominating possession and taking time on the ball to select the right option, the chances were bound to come.
Cledan Davies sent in two decent crosses to no avail, and then Young picked out livewire Joe Phillips, who cut inside and sent his shot just past the post.
Geoff Kellaway then surged through midfield and shot wide, but then midway through the half the Seasiders made the breakthough.
Ryan Wollacott found Young in the box, who had managed to beat the offside trap, and his low drive crept under Luke Evans to give Aber a deserved lead.
Aber now relaxed and played some nice football, and Kellaway was denied by an offside flag, before Phillips again glided into the box, only to send a shot past the post.
A John McKenna volley was also deflected to safety, but credit to the hosts as they engineered a late surge before the break.
Chris Mullock denied Craig Whitfield with an excellent tackle, followed by a series of corners and a shots from former Aber skipper Luke Sherbon, all gathered by the keeper.
Kellaway did have another shot over the bar, but with captain Jonny Spittle subbed off with a hamstring pull, Aber were probably glad to defend their lead to the half-time whistle.
The next goal was likely to prove crucial so Aber again controlled the ball after the break, with Malcom Melvin seeing a shot deflected after a nice move.
Melvin attempted a cheeky lob soon after, which the home keeper gathered, before missing the ball completely with next the move, allowing Declan Carroll to burst across goal to get a shot in which missed by inches.
Caersws’ Phil Jones volleyed over, before normal service was resumed as Young played in Kellaway down the left flank, and Evans pulled off another save.
Wollacott was next to pick out Town’s flyer Kellaway, but he couldn’t convert.
Then finally with fifteen minutes to go an excellent ball into the box by Declan Walker was knocked down by Kellaway for sub Jack Rimmer to bring delight to the Aber faithful with a low volley which nestled into Caersws’ net and guaranteed victory.
There was still time for Carroll and Melvin to rain shots just off target, and at the other end Luke Sherbon was twice denied by strong decisive blocks which epitomised a strong and resolute defensive performance.
Carroll agonizingly hit the post and then in injury time ex-Seasider Rhydian Davies was fouled in the box, and Sherbon stepped up to take the penalty, which he placed just outside Mullock’s right hand post.
The visitors will not get carried away by the result, but a victory coupled with some goals from open play – and a clean sheet – were three outcomes which would certainly have been set before the game.
Nev Powell and his squad deserve plenty of credit for a good job done against a hard working side, which has proved to be Bogeymen for the Seasiders so many times before.
Aberystwyth now contemplate a 10-day break before their JD Welsh Premier League campaign bursts back into life a week Saturday, 9 September when Cardiff Met visit Park Avenue for a 2.30pm kick off” here.