Aberystwyth University 0 Bow Street 1

Saturday 10th March 2012
Aberystwyth University 0 Bow Street 1
Spar Mid-Wales League Division 1
At: Vicarage Field
Kick-off: 10-30 am
Admission: Hop ticket (£4); Programme: £1
Weather: dry, mild, misty
Attendance: 236
Duration: first-half: 48:22; second-half: 47:14

Three games today and I headed over early on Saturday morning to Aberystwyth for the Spar Mid-Wales League Division 1 game between Aberystwyth University and near neighbours Bow Street, which kicked-off at 10-30 am. The students haven’t had it easy on the field this season and went into this game second-from-bottom in the table. However, they raised their game and, despite being reduced to ten men just before the interval, looked to be heading for a valuable goalless draw. But, Bow Street finished strongly and snatched the points with a late winner by substitute Lee Jones before a crowd of 236. As a rare bonus, I won a prize on the raffle!

During the 1990s, I occasionally saw the students play on a Sunday at places like Machynlleth, Vale of Arrow and Montgomery. I also saw them host Prestigne St Andrews at the Vicarage Field in November 1992. Things change over 20 years and, with the University owning a few playing fields in and around Aberystwyth, I wasn’t sure if the current ground was the same one I’d previously visited. It was, orientated parallel with the road as before though the old stand has been demolished.

Aberystwyth University (14th position with 10 points from 18 games) went into this fixture in second-from-bottom with just Welshpool below them. Visitors Bow Street (24 points from 23 games) were three places higher in the 15-team division, having drawn their last two league games.

The Vicarage Field is a large multi-sport recreation ground catering for football, rugby and cricket. As it was in 1992, the pitch runs close-to and parallel with the main Llanbadarn Road, and now has a small area on covered standing on half-way on the road side.

As with any hop game, the place was buzzing. Badges and raffle tickets were on sale from a table near the entrance. Three students attracted attention selling raffle tickets walking around the pitch!

Briefly, the students were reduced to ten men just before half-time when Gareth Thomas received a straight red card for a two-footed tackle on Neil Evans who had to be substituted.

Winning raffle tickets were drawn at the interval and, surprise, surprise, mine was fourth out of the bag. My prize – a Cheryl Cole poster and head massager!

With ten men, the students continued to battle and frustrate the visitors. However, Bow Street lifted their game in the closing stages and took the points with an 86th-minute winner. Lee Jones finished off an excellent move with a close-range volley to give his side a first league win of 2012.

Aberystwyth University (red/black/red): 1. Phil Draper, 2. Dave Williams, 3. Graham Dyment, 4. Gareth Thomas, 5. Louie Middlehurst, 6. Daniel Moore (capt), 7. Aaron Falmer, 8. Rob Hancock, 9. Steffan Davies, 10. Guto Davies, 11. Robert Maggi. Subs: 12. Ross March (for Falmer, 67), 14. Ben Jenkins (for Maggi, 80), 15. Gavin Stewart (for Guto Davies, 86), 16. Tom Stiley.

Bow Street (black and white stripes with white sleeves / black / black): 1. Toby Spain, 2. Neil Evans, 3. Coner Berner, 4. Darren Middleton, 5. Owain James, 6. Ciaran Cotter, 7. Dean Evans (capt), 8. Michael Gornall, 9. Lee Jones, 10. Garmon Hafal, 11. Nicky Smith. Subs: 12. Gwyn Jones (for Lee Jones, 56), 15. Tom Bates (for Neill Evans, 45+3), 16. Hywel Evans (not used), 17. Lee Jones (for Gornall, 67), X. Jon Davies (not used).

Referee: S. Jenkins.
Assistants: T. Bickley and G. Davies.

0-1 Lee Jones17 (86)

Aberystwyth University: Louie Middlehurst (YC, 42), Gareth Thomas (RC, 44)
Bow Street: none