Author: Dafydd Jones
Publisher: Y Clwb Pêl Droed
Newtown claimed bragging rights over local rivals Aberystwyth Town with a dramatic 2-1 victory at Park Avenue.
Despite falling behind to Seasiders captain Marc Williams’ first-half header, late goals from Tyrone Ofori and Jordan Evans sealed a derby day victory for the Robins.
Chris Hughes’ side responded well to trailing, as they put in a superb second-half display, creating numerous chances.
The victory sees Newtown start Phase Two in the best way possible, overtaking Aberystwyth and reducing the gap between them and Haverfordwest County in seventh to six points.
The defeat for the Seasiders sees them drop to ninth in the table, trailing Newtown by two points in the race for a European play-off place.
Typical of a derby, the contest started at a fast pace, with the first chance falling to Aberystwyth winger Owain Jones, who cut inside and fired wide.
Newtown responded well to the Seasiders’ early chance, going close through left-back Callum Roberts’ effort, which was well saved by goalkeeper Alex Pennock.
Both sides pressed with intensity and the Robins almost capitalised from a rare mistake from Seasiders left-back Mathew Jones, with James Davies almost cutting out his loose ball back to Pennock.
The hosts found joy in hitting Newtown on the counter-attack, as they constantly won the ball back in midfield, but couldn’t quite find a clinical final ball.
A huge chance fell for Hughes’ side with 30 minutes on the clock, as right-back Craig Williams crossed excellently for playmaker Nick Rushton, who glanced his header narrowly wide.
Another opportunity fell for the visitors shortly after, as centre-back Kieran Mills-Evans found himself unmarked in the box, but headed over the bar.
Newtown were made to pay for not taking their chances, as Aberystwyth broke the deadlock in the 41st minute.
A wicked corner delivery from Jones was met powerfully by the head of captain Marc Williams to give the Seasiders the lead on the stroke of half-time.
In a first-half of chances and positive spells for both sides, it was Aberystwyth who went into the break with a one-goal advantage.
Looking to hit back early, Newtown started the second-half positively, as Fletcher had a powerful drive from the edge of the box blocked.
The Robins continued to press for an equaliser, but the hosts’ defence was resolute, led by the impressive Lee Jenkins.
After Jonathan Evans’ shot was blocked for the Seasiders, Newtown carved out an opportunity on the counter-attack, as Rushton found Ofori, who fired over the bar.
Newtown continued to pile pressure on the hosts, with Roberts finding space on the left to fire a fierce effort narrowly over.
Despite the visitors’ spell of numerous chances, Aberystwyth still posed a danger on the counter-attack with the pace of front three Jonathan Evans, John Owen and Jones.
Hughes’ side’s attacking persistence paid off however, as they found an equaliser in the 74th minute.
Striker Ofori was found in space in the box to turn past his man and put the ball past Pennock to level the scoring.
Having equalised, Newtown had their tails up and went close to finding a winner through their substitute attackers.
Jamie Breese headed narrowly over from inside the box, before playmaker Evans had a powerful effort blocked heroically by Jack Thorn.
Evans wasn’t to be denied however, as in the dying minutes, he drove an effort past Pennock, cueing wild celebrations from the Robins.
The substitute’s last-minute goal sealed a dramatic three points for Newtown, whose second-half performance turned the game on its head.
Both sides return to action next week, as Aberystwyth Town travel to Haverfordwest County and Newtown face Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Aberystwyth Town: Alex Pennock, Louis Bradford, Lee Jenkins, Harry Franklin, Mathew Jones, John Owen, Marc Williams (C), Jonathan Evans, Owain Jones (Dan Cockerline 76’), Jack Thorn, Jack Rimmer
Goals: Marc Williams 41’
Newtown: Dave Jones, Sean McAllister, Kieran Mills-Evans, Nick Rushton, James Davies (Jamie Breese 70’), Craig Williams (C), Tyrone Ofori, Ryan Edwards (76’) (Jordan Evans 76’), Shane Sutton, Alex Fletcher, Callum Roberts
Goals: Tyrone Ofori 74’, Jordan Evans 90+2’
Yellow Cards: Ryan Edwards 45’