Newtown 2-1 Aberystwyth Town: Robins secure play-off spot after clinical display
Newtown confirmed their place in the top six along with Bala Town as they secured a festive-period double over Aberystwyth Town.
Aberystwyth had a majority of the chances but it was Newtown who took theirs and secured the victory.
The Robins needed a victory to secure a top six finish for the first time in two years and duly delivered with goals from Neil Mitchell and Nick Rushton. The hosts survived a late scare as Porya Ahmadi netted in stoppage time to create a nervy few minutes for Chris Hughes’ side.
The Mid Wales side continued to make Latham Park a happy place to play having yet to lose at home in the Welsh Premier League this season.
Newtown opened the scoring with the first chance of the game. Callum Roberts’ swinging cross was met by the head of Mitchell who headed past Terry McCormick.
Porya Ahmadi almost fired an immediate reply as his powerful left-footed shot forced Dave Jones into a save. Geoff Kellaway then went close as he hit a shot just past the post.
Newtown was penned into their own half and Aberystwyth applied constant pressure.
In a first half with not many chances, Newtown held a slender lead over Aber.
Aberystwyth started as they meant to go on from the first as they chased a goal that would get them on level terms.
Paulo Mendes saw his header well saved after a cross from Matthew Jones.
Wes Baynes then forced Jones into a superb save as he tried to drill his shot into the corner of the goal.
Porya Ahmadi who had a chance in the first half then hit the post after unleashing a shot from just outside the box as Aber piled the pressure on.
Despite the Seasiders search for a first goal, it was Newtown who scored next.
Sam Phillips sent a ball over to Nick Rushton and he drilled the ball past McCormick to provide a two-goal cushion.
The game should have been put beyond any doubt when Luke Boundford had a free run at McCormick’s goal but delayed too much and the Aber keeper made a great save.
In the final ten minutes of the game, the Aber pressure returned. Craig Williams almost headed into his own net, giving Aber a corner. From the resulting corner, Wollacott headed at goal and Williams made an important goal-line clearance.
Just before five minutes of stoppage time were shown, Porya Ahmadi finally had his goal. He chipped the ball over Jones to inspire
With a minute to go in stoppage time, Paulo Mendes went down in the box but referee Cheryl Forster waved away the protests.
Alex Fletcher’s shot on the breakaway was the last action of the game as his shot was saved for a corner and they ran the clock down, confirming their top six spot with a victory.