Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Aberystwyth Coasting

A signed shirt from Pele is one of the many items on display in the clubhouse

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Friday 13 April 2012 at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth Town 2 Airbus UK Broughton 0
Welsh Premier League
The first half of a double-header in Wales for ground #461 on the lifetime list.  Glad to be here with enough daylight left to take some reasonable still pix.

This match in one sentence
A second-half penalty and a late second gave vital points to Aberystwyth Town in their bid to stay in the league while denting or at least delaying the Airbus place in the Europa League playoffs.

So what?
According to my unofficial calculations this result sends Newtown down.  Carmarthen will join them if they do not win both their remaining games, or if Aberystwyth win their last game against Newtown.  Airbus will still get the final playoff place if they beat Afan Lido in their last game next week, and may have a lesser task if Port Talbot have not won their game in hand in the meantime.

The drama unfolds
There was not a lot of great goalmouth action in the first half.  Both sides played positively but the midfields and defences largely cancelled each other out.  My scene-setter clip (and it’s a particularly nice view and a lived-in ground of charm) is from 18 minutes into the game.  The home side are in white-and-black.

The second very short clip was taken because of the momentary excitement caused by the potential of a set piece.  After this the game returned to the worthy-but-dullness of the first quarter.

Suddenly, with 41 minutes gone, there came the first gilt-edged chance of the night - in fact three of them in quick succession.  A double save from Airbus keeper Andy Mulliner and a block from a teammate kept the score goalless.  0-0 at half-time

Aberystwyth took the lead from the penalty spot after 54 minutes.  Danny Taylor got a yellow card for the trip on Andy Parkinson that the referee was well-placed to see.  Sean Thorton rolls in the penalty as shown here.  1-0

They should have gone two up soon after.  Josh MacAuley’s cross found Geoff Kellaway for an unmarked header, and his reaction confirmed that he should have scored.  Airbus defender Eddie Hope then showed great positional sense and composure to help snuff out a break.  Here’s a clip from this phase of the game.

I was expecting Airbus to have a real go as the game entered the latter stages, but they never really threatened until a last-minute goalmouth scramble.  Then this happened on the break.  The scorer is Kellaway.  Final score 2-0

A snippet from the programme
“It was great to see everyone smiling after the game (against Afan Lido) but alas Emyr James was unable to persuade the Ffostrasol Arms to stay open long enough to welcome the Boys in Black and Green on the way home - if  the bus stops there you know we have had a good day!”

What I learned today
Allow more time for this particular cross-country journey.  Thanks to mum & dad who were in effect coerced into groundhopping with me as we arrived in the town only a few minutes before kickoff!  They have now watched football with me in three countries (England, Wales and Iceland).

What Next?
Saturday - Colwyn Bay v Harrogate Town to get to one of my three remaining grounds-to-visit at Step 2.

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