Town do level best as title race goes down the wire

Ardal South East League

Monmouth Town 2

Abergavenny Town 2

Friday 29th April 2022 1:00 pm
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Abergavenny Town FC
Abergavenny Town FC celebrate a goal (Pic by Stuart Townsend/ Barcud Coch Photography )

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A battling midweek draw beside the River Monnow left Abergavenny Town just one point from virtually guaranteeing the league title.

Rivals Abertillery Bluebirds’ 2-0 derby win over basement boys Abertilerry Excelsiors on Tuesday April 26 means this year’s title race will do down to the final matches with Town two points ahead of the Bluebirds.

Town’s draw against Monmouth Town meant they started the week five points clear with a vastly superior goal difference, knowing that if needed a draw or better in their last match at home to Trethomas Bluebirds on Friday, May 6, would almost certainly secure the title.

Abertillery Bluebirds’ win has prolonged the title race, but in order to leapfrog Abergavenny Town and win the title they must win their final match at home against Monmouth Town on Tuesday May 3, and in all likelihood hope that Abergavenny Town lose to Trethomas Bluebirds a few days later.

A pulsating encounter which finished in near darkness at Blestium Stadium last week sparked into life in front of a sizeable crowd when Kingfishers captain Ashley Ford headed an 11th minute free-kick back across the goalmouth for former Hereford United player Nick Harrhy to fire home from close range.

The Pennies fought back on level terms when former Kingfisher Dan MacDonald’s 27th-minute far post corner was played back into the danger area by Curtis Methven for Drew Heffernan to head past Monmouth Town custodian Travis Wood from close range.

But the Kingfishers regained the lead six minutes before the interval when Harrhy scored his second of the match with another close-range finish. Aber upped the ante after the break, creating several chances, although Monmouth looked dangerous on the break.

And with the gloom descending with 14 minutes left, MacDonald was on hand to convert a cross past Wood to level things up.

The Pennies pressed for the winner, but the hosts held out to prolong the title race for a few days more.

Local Rivals Goytre would still be right in the mix for the title but for a 15-point deducation for fielding an ‘ineligible’ youth player on the bench in five matches,

But they can still finish top three following a thumping 4-0 midweek win at basement side Abertillery Excelsiors and a 3-1 win at Panteg last Saturday.

First half goals from Isaac Wigley, Ross Davies and Michael Murphy and one after the break from Finlay Ryan-Phillips saw off Excelsiors, while two second half goals from the league’s top scorer Chris Ham and one from murphy did the damage at the weekend.

Next up for the Plough Road side are Rhayader away this Saturday, followed by Trethomas Bluebirds away next Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, the local rivals’ second teams met in midweek at Peny Y Pound, with Abergavenny beating Goytre 2-1 at home thanks to goals from Conor Dando and Monty Squire.

The result leaves them seventh in the FAW Cymru Reserves South East League, two places behind their rivals.

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