The afternoon’s late kick-off meant that Aberystwyth took to the field for their Welsh Cup tie against Afan Lido already in the knowledge that their sought-after top-six league place had slipped through their grasp.
Rhyl earlier took full-advantage of Aber’s three-point deduction by turning in an impressive 5-2 victory over Port Talbot at Belle Vue in their final first-phase fixture. But even with both teams completing their first-phase fixture commitments, an air of uncertainty continues to linger over the two clubs and detract from the exciting and competitive nature that the first-half of the Welsh Premier League’s format generates.
After a brief spell of deliberation, Aberystwyth confirmed on Friday that they will be appealing their point deduction and if the three-point deduction should be overturned, Aber would go back a point above Rhyl and gazump Greg Strong’s newly-promoted side to a place in the league’s Championship Conference.
On the field, Aberystwyth were quickly able to exact some form of revenge, handing out a 5-1 defeat to an inexperienced Afan Lido side, themselves depleted by the departure of a number of senior players.
Perhaps fittingly for Aber it was Peter Hoy – the player central to the disciplinary hearing – who scrapped in an equaliser before Lido were dismantled by the home side, for whom wide-man Craig Williams turned in another impressive showing before deadline-day signing Luke Sherbon quickly marked his return to his hometown side, adding the fifth.
The club are hopeful that an appeal hearing will take place before next weekend, minimising disruption to the start of the second-phase of the season. But on the form Aberystwyth have shown of late, they should not perhaps be too disheartened should their appeal efforts prove fruitless. Having been handed a home draw against Mid-Wales rivals Caersws in the last-eight of the competition, I believe Aberystwyth have a great chance of Welsh Cup success this season – a feat not achieved by the Park Avenue club in some 114-years.
WELSH CUP QF DRAW
Carmarthen Town/The New Saints v Airbus UK Broughton/Bangor City
Aberystwyth Town v Caersws FC
Aberdare Town v Bala Town/Cefn Druids
Newtown AFC/Holywell Town v Monmouth Town/Porthmadog FC