SEVENTEEN year-old local lad Lee Jenkins was the toast of Aberystwyth Town as the Seasiders notched a famous victory over JD Welsh Premier League champions and full-time outfit The New Saints 1-0 at Park Avenue on Friday night.
Cambrian News reported “Defender Jenkins, from Aberaeron, netted a 52nd minute winner as Aber picked up their third successive league win, to climb up into a top six league position.
Manager Nev Powell made three changes to the starting side which beat Llanelli last weekend, with Jack Rimmer, Geoff Kellaway and Rio Ahmadi replacing Alan Goodall, Paulo Mendes and Ash Ruane, and the Seasiders started the brightest.
Ryan Edwards surged into the penalty area and his looping cross was met by Ahmadi, whose his header cannoned off the bar into the arms of keeper Paul Harrison.
After just 15 minutes, Aber were forced into an early substitution as Jack Rimmer appeared to injure his hamstring, and Jenkins came on in his place at centre half.
The Saints started to see more of the ball, and on 22 minutes Jamie Mullan’s low cross was brilliantly cleared by defender Ryan Wollacott in the six yard area.
Mullan then combined with Aeron Edwards on the edge of the box, but keeper Terry McCormick mopped up the danger, before Aber went back on the front foot.
Mathew Jones forced a fine stop from Harrison with a curling free kick, Declan Walker curled an effort just over, and on 42 minutes, the effervescent Jones burst through only to narrowly clear the bar.
Then, as half-time approached, Kellaway scampered down the right and produced an inch-perfect cross for Joe Phillips, whose his first time volley landed in the top corner of the net – only to be ruled out by the assistant referee’s offside flag.
Aber’s supporters voiced their displeasure at the decision, but within seven minutes of the second half it was all forgotten.
Local star Jones whipped in a fantastic corner and Jenkins was on hand at the back post to put the ball over the line.
Just four minutes later, the Saints almost found an immediate response as Ryan Brobbel’s goal-bound effort was heroically blocked on the line by Wes Baynes.
Kellaway then surged through on goal on the counter attack, only to be denied by a last ditch tackle by Simon Spender.
Aber not only defended their lead superbly, but attacked with a pace and dynamism, and on 64 minutes Phillips almost doubled the lead when he cut inside and curled an effort just inches wide.
Mathew Jones also fired an effort straight at keeper from the edge of the box, but on 70 minutes Spender crossed for Brobbel who looked destined to score, only to fire wide of McCormick’s post.
The tireless efforts of midfielder Ryan Edwards, tasked with the job of marking playmaker Aeron Edwards, frustrated the visitors, and the hosts went close to doubling their lead on 77 minutes as Baynes rifled his free kick into the side netting.
In the closing minutes, the Saints threw the kitchen sink at Aber’s phenomenal back line, but still Aber stood strong.
In the fourth minute of additional time, Aeron Edwards earned his side a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, but substitute Chris Seargeant saw his strike superbly kept out by McCormick – a save that was greeted with the loudest roar of the night from the home supporters.
Indeed, it turned out to be one of the final acts as referee Huw Jones blew for full time to mark a magnificent victory for the Seasiders on a great night at Park Avenue.
ABERYSTWYTH: T McCormick, W Baynes, S Edwards, R Wollacott, J Rimmer (L Jenkins 15 minutes), G Kellaway (A Ruane 90 minutes), P Ahmadi, D Walker, R Edwards, M Jones, J Phillips. Substitutes not used: A Goodall, N Blake, H Rowe, N Coleridge, C Morgan.
THE NEW SAINTS: P Harrison, S Spender, C Marriott, B Cabango, J Nembhard, T Holland (D Ebbe 55’), J Routledge, A Edwards, R Brobbel (K Byrne 80’), J Mullan, G Draper (C Seargeant 55’). Subs not used: L Dutton, J Hmami, K Lewis, B Hudson. Attendance: 589″ here.