ABERYSTWYTH Town saw their dreams of making it into the play-offs for Europe finally end in a 1-0 defeat in their penultimate game away at Cardiff Met on Saturday.
Cambrian News reported “An unfortunate own goal by Declan Walker confirmed the Students’ seventh-placed finish, with the Seasiders now certain to finish eighth.
Matthew Bishop’s men tried their hardest on a hot afternoon in the capital, but failed to find the net, and despite keeper Terry McCormick being on top form, Met emerged as worthy winners.
After a transitional pre-season, Aber have done very well to maintain a push for Europe until the penultimate game, and their final league match of the season at Carmarthen on Friday will give them the opportunity to end a campaign of highs and lows on a positive note.
On a beautiful afternoon the hosts almost made the perfect start as Chris Baker broke through and hit the post within the first minute.
With the Seasiders set up to sit back and hit Met on the break, and the hot weather slowing the pace of the game down, chances were at a premium in the early stages.
Met’s Elliot Evans sent a free kick narrowly over the bar, and at the other end Walker’s free kick fell for Will Fuller in the home goal.
Ash Ruane then made a super dash down the right wing and his cut back gave Geoff Kellaway a chance, but his header was well-saved.
Aber’s tactics seemed to be working well but then a spot of bad fortune proved crucial when Kyle McCarthy’s left wing cross deflected into Aber’s net off Walker’s heel, and 27 minutes in it was 1-0.
Kellaway released Ruane, whose shot was saved and then McCormick pulled off a superb stop to deny Adam Roscrow in a one-on-one.
Kellaway then curled a good effort wide, before McCormick denied Roscrow again. Aber’s super stopper then pulled off another tremendous save to deny Will Evans from point black range and after Marc Williams had headed Wes Baynes’ free kick wide for the visitors, the opening half ended at 1-0.
Aber needed more in the second half to earn the win they craved and Matthew Jones moved into midfield to push the team forward.
Paolo Mendes made a last ditch tackle to deny Met and then Kellaway burst down the left and released by Marc Williams, but his low drive was saved by the keeper.
With Aber getting some useful balls into the box they were looking more threatening, but Cardiff Met were also dangerous, with Will Evans sliding the ball inches past the post at the other end.
Keeper McCormick did well again to deny Evans another strike, before Baynes’ dangerous ball in just evaded Ruane at the back post.
Elliot Evans brought another save from MCormick with a free kick and a Baynes corner lead to a scramble in Met’s box which was cleared.
It was a tough day to be chasing the game and try though they might, Aber could not find the opening.
Roscrow fired inches wide for Met, giving Aber another let off, and although Walker was sent forward, Met cleared a late Baynes free kick to hold on to secure the all-important three points.
Having now opened up a four-point lead over Aber with a game to go, the Students will do battle for the final spot in the Uefa Europa League via the play-offs.
CARDIFF MET: W Fuller, D Rees, K McCarthy, B Woolridge, E Lewis, E Evans, C Baker, A Roscrow, W Evans, G Williams, R Morgan. Not used: G Howell, L Black, T Parker, A Lang (gk), B Flay, D Phillips, L Warman.
ABERYSTWYTH: T McCormick, W Baynes, S Edwards, R Wollacott, G Kellaway, P Mendes, M Williams, D Walker, L Jenkins, M Jones, A Ruane (J McDaid 65’). Subs not used: A Walters (gk), H Cottam, N Coleridge, C Morgan. Ref: L Evans. Att: 262″ here.