Buoyed by a good win away at Builth, Aberaeron arrived confident for this evening fixture. Confident but fully aware of Welshpool’s strength in depth and, of course, their striking prowess, namely Will Thomas. Aberaeron started quite well and had good early possession, but Welshpool took control
and began punching holes in the visitors defence and creating good opportunities. They, however, came up against an inspirational display by Aberaeron goalkeeper, Neil Evans who gave a top class display of shot stopping, last ditch saves and command of his area. Welshpool could easily have scored at least four goals but recent signing Neil Evans kept the visitors in the game. Aberaeron did create chances and Ifan Burrell came close when he burst through the defence but pulling his shot just wide of goal. James Hemmings and Dan James worked tirelessly to nullify the talented home midfield and Steffan Gittins and Dave Evans came more and more in to the game creating good opportunities. One opportunity saw Gittins beat two players and managed to find Ifan Burrel who shot across the goal where predatory Gareth Severs managed to force the ball over the line. One nil half time was unexpected and was purely due to the visiting goalkeeper, a strong defence and a good team effort.
Going downhill in the second half saw Aberaeron have more possession and creating numerous chances with the lively and hard-working Ifan Burrell ploughing a lone furrow but creating havoc for the home team. He came close on numerous occasions and was very unlucky with one opportunity when he chased a lost cause down the left wing and managed to beat four players as he danced across the edge of the area to make room for a shot. Unfortunately the ball bobbled just as Burrell was ‘pulling the trigger’ and the ball sailed over the bar. Aberaeron, although in full control could not relax and needed a second goal to try and put the game beyond Welshpool’s reach. It arrived from another inspirational and natural leader, centre back Elwyn Edwards, who was outstanding all evening. From a well- worked corner routine Sam Brammeld drove the ball across the area and with Edwards on the move, he rose above the home defence to ‘thunder’ the ball with a typical bullet header- cue wild celebrations!
Deservedly, Ifan Burrel managed to get on the score sheet with a typical run beyond the defence and a hard shot which took a slight deflection but nestled in the home net. A good goal to cap a great display of a single striker, ‘living off scraps’ but causing difficulties for the home defence all evening. Oddly the referee found over 9 minutes injury time even though there had not been any injuries or incidents and in this time Welshpool managed to force the ball over the line for a consolation goal.
Aberaeron were ‘cock -a- hoop’ having produced a brilliant team display and a well-deserved win. The Welshpool staff and officials were magnanimous and very complementary. They will certainly remember Neil Evans’ performance for some time.