Date: Fri 10 Aug 2018

#JDWPL Friday Roundup | It begins ... with wins for Aberystwyth, Bala and Cardiff Met.

Home trio win on night of drama and quality.

Aberystwyth Town 1-0 Llandudno
Park Avenue
Aberystwyth scorer: Declan Walker 15’

In years gone by clashes between these two sides have thrown up their fair share of highlights and memorable moments, and this match was no different – including the first goal of the new 2018/19 season, as Declan Walker continued his fine form from the last term and put his side ahead after 15 minutes with an absolute rocket from 25 yards out.

Walker celebrates getting the winner for the Seasiders. <em>Photo: Colin Ewart</em>

Walker celebrates getting the winner for the Seasiders. Photo: Colin Ewart

Shaun Pearson’s excellence between the sticks was really put to the test in the moments following the home side’s opener as Aber peppered his goal with efforts and Llandudno struggled to clear the danger with any real conviction.

As Llandudno’s media team said at halftime, Shaun Pearson was probably the player who had the most touches in the game up to that point, and the visitors needed to regroup.

Mike Pearson and Kai Edwards had the most notable chances in the second half for Llandudno, sandwiching an extensive injury break as goalkeeper Leigh Jenkins left the field of play for Aber, but Iwan Williams’ side couldn’t make any further impression on the Aber goal – certainly not enough to grab an equaliser – and the home side held on to start their season with three points.

Bala Town 2-1 Carmarthen Town
Maes Tegid
Bala scorer: Steve Tames 35’, 65’
Carmarthen scorer: Sean Hanbury 81’

In case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know, Henry Jones – former wizard in the Bangor City midfield – is back in the JD Welsh Premier League. This young star was mightily impressive at the heart of Bangor City’s side two years ago, so when Colin Caton’s coup was announced, it was understandably to much fanfare, and tonight he showed why.

Make no mistake about it, Bala on the whole were very good – energetic, industrious, exciting, but Jones was superb, as his ridiculous rabona cross to find Steve Tames who tucked home his first league goal after 35 minutes showed.

Carmarthen had some strong spells of play, too, especially as the action recommenced for the second half, with Luke Bowen firing a shot into the side netting and the Old Gold squandered a free header after an hour too. Tames then wasted a huge chance of his own to make it 2-0 moments later, as he capitalised on a defensive mix-up by the visitors but could only prod his effort wide.

Tames made no mistake though minutes later, evading Greg Walters and then racing through to curl a 25-yard stunner into the back of the net beyond a helpless Lee Idzi for 2-0.

The visitors pulled one back in the closing stages of the game through Sean Hanbury to set up a tense finish, made even more nervy when Carmarthen had an effort cleared off the line moments later, but Bala were able to hold out for the points

Cardiff Met 2-1 Newtown
Cyncoed Campus
Cardiff Met scorers: Eliot Evans 8’, Dan Spencer 29’
Newtown AFC scorer: Joe Kenton 70’

What a bonkers opening ten minutes we had at Cyncoed, with point-blank saves, squandered penalties and a goal for inside eight minutes. Nick Rushton had Alex Lang working hard between the sticks early-on as he forced a save out of Met’s new stopper in the opening minute, before Sam Snaith and Emlyn Lewis had good opportunities at the other end for the home side.

The season’s first penalty came after six minutes in this match, with Neil Mitchell impeded in Met’s box, but Lang did very well to stop Rushton’s penalty, and Met responded instantly as one of last season’s star players in the JDWPL Eliot Evans scored after eight minutes following a nice through ball from Matt Neale.

It was a fairly even half as Rushton had the better chances for Newtown following the penalty, however Met were simply more clinical as Dylan Rees’ lofted ball to the back post found Dan Spencer in plenty of place to fire home for 2-0 after half an hour, and Met held their lead going into the break.

Newtown started well in the second half, but missed that cutting edge again in front of goal as Rushton attempted to turn provider five minutes after the restart with his cutback into the box, but it found nobody, before Lang made another brilliant stop from Tom Goodwin after 54 minutes following a well-worked corner.

Newtown got a deserved goal after 70 minutes as Joe Kenton scored with practically his first touch following a Jay Denny effort crashing off the underside of the bar and into his path to make it 2-1, but their best efforts didn’t result in an equaliser and Met secured their first win of the season.

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