Aberystwyth Town FC Scorers
Nomads and Aber share the points in Battle at Deeside
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Having lost their two previous games this season against Aberystwyth, the Nomads were facing a third defeat when a Ricky Evans header came to their rescue and earned them a 1-1 draw. Struggling throughout to get a foothold in the game, the Nomads had an outstanding display by keeper John Rushton and a goal-line clearance by Alan Hooley to thank for restricting the visitors to one goal but can at least point to the result extending their unbeaten run of league games to seven.
There was just one change from the line-up for the Llanelli game, with Alan Hooley returning to league action in place of the injured Chris Rowntree, and the game started in near perfect conditions.
The early stages of the game saw the Nomads doing most of the pressing without really threatening the visitors’ goal and there was no real action of note until the 14th minute when Craig Jones slotted a through ball to Mike Hayes. As Hayes ran on, he appeared to be pulled back by a defender and could only blast his shot high over the bar as referee Kevin Parry ignored the claims for a foul.
The visitors started to claw their way into the game and John Rushton was called into action in the 21st minute as he made a fine save low down to his right following a swift moving Aber attack. This started a spell of Aber dominance and Rushton was kept busy for the rest of the half producing several excellent saves to keep the home side in the game. On the one occasion when he appeared to be beaten, Alan Hooley came to the rescue as he headed a goalbound effort off the line following an Aber corner. The first half ended with Rushton making probably his best save as he dealt with a shot from Glyndwr Hughes and the Nomads went into the half-time break looking thankful to have kept the visitors at bay.
The second half started more brightly for the Nomads and almost straight from the kick-off the visitors’ keeper was forced to race out of his penalty area to make a hurried clearance as Mike Hayes chased a through ball. A few minutes later a strong run down the left by John Hardiker ended with Hayes hitting a shot just wide of the goal.
Just as the Nomads appeared to be getting more of the possession, they found themselves 0-1 down as Aber scored with a Cledan Davies free kick from about 25 yards which may have been deflected by Cadwallader as it evaded the defensive wall and the despairing dive of John Rushton. With an uphill battle to get back into the game, Danny Forde was introduced in place of Ryan Edwards but Aber continued to look dangerous and their striker Mark Jones missed a good chance when he hit his shot across the face of the goal after he had skipped past Mark McGregor out on the right.
Referee Parry once again turned down a Nomads claim for an infringement when he failed to award a free kick for an obvious back pass in the 64th minute. Just a minute later, in an attempt to add some fresh legs, Sean Breen was brought on in place of Jamie Petrie.
The breakthrough the Nomads had been looking for finally came in the 67th minute when Ricky Evans headed home from close range after a long throw from the left had been headed on across a crowded goalmouth by John Hardiker. It had taken a gritty performance to get level but there was still more work to be done to keep Aber from scoring as they went close on at least two occasions in the following minutes.
As the game started to go into the final stages, Danny Dobbins replaced Alan Hooley and then a few minutes later, with just the keeper to beat, Mike Hayes went close as he hit a shot into the side netting after collecting a crossfield ball.
The remainder of the game saw the Nomads happy to take the point they had worked hard for and although Aber managed to have two final chances in the last five minutes, the game ended with honours even.
Not one of the Nomads’ better performances but a well deserved point as the reward for a determined effort even when playing below par.