Having fallen behind to a well taken Jonathan Evans goal in the first half, Flint fought back strongly and equalised through Harry Owen’s close range header and could have gone on to win it, but for some good saves from debutant Matthew Turner in the Aber goal, a transfer window loan signing from Cardiff City. Aber also included two new loan signings from TNS in their squad, with Billy Kirkman in the starting eleven and Jake Canavan on the bench. Flint, meanwhile, started with Rhys Kavanagh up front, their first signing of the window, and he impressed on his first showing in the black and white shirt.
The visitors started the game in a positive fashion, as they looked to bounce back after a wretched set of recent results, with Steff Davies and Evans both prominent in their early thrusts forward.
When Flint started to get into their stride, it was Okera Simmonds who looked the most likely for the Silkmen, and on 20 minutes he hit a rasping shot from the left hand edge of the area which clipped the top of the Aber bar. A little later, in the 34th minute, an excellent counter saw Kavanagh break and and find Simmonds who outpaced his marker to find himself one on one with Turner. The keeper made the first of his several smart saves of the evening when he turned the shot around his near post.
Shortly after, Turner denied Simmonds once more, getting down and holding on well to a long range effort.
Just as Flint thought they had the measure of their opponents and were taking control of the game, Aber caught them out with a nice move down the left, which resulted in their goal in the 38th minute. A nice one-two combination saw Kirkman receive the ball out wide, and he stood up an inviting cross to the far post area. Evans met it sweetly on the volley from around 14 yards out, lashing the ball past Harry Allen into the net.
For the second half, Ben Hughes was introduced into the action for the home side, bringing some added energy into the midfield area.
A mis-placed defensive pass almost proved costly for the Silkmen on 57 minutes, as the ball was gifted to Evans, whose attempted chip into the net was thwarted by Allen in the Flint goal.
After that aberration, Flint started to gain the upper hand once more. However, they were limited by their somewhat predictable approach play, with the tactic of the long ball up to Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro for him to flick on, being over-used.
Anthony Stephens swung in a dangerous looking cross into the Aber box on 65 minutes, that Turner just managed to deal with on his front post, scrambling it out for a corner. Then, on 72 minutes, Flint were awarded a free kick just outside of the box, which Stephens stepped up to take. His effort was deflected out for a corner, and it was from this that Flint found the equaliser. Stephens was once again the deliverer, putting in an inswinger that Owen met perfectly to get his side back on terms.
It was almost a carbon copy on 83 minutes, as Owen once again met a Stephens corner, only this time it was slightly further out, and an Aber defender was stationed on the line to clear the effort.
Aber had the ball in the Flint net shortly after, through Evans once more, but this time his effort was ruled out as he had moved a fraction too soon to reach the through ball, and was ruled offside.
Kirkman then blotted his copybook on his Aber debut when he received a second yellow following a late challenge and was sent off for the visitors.
Flint almost had the last say, when Simmonds struck a fine half volley from the edge of the area, which Turner clawed around his post. From the resuling corner, Brandon Diau had a free header at the front stick, but was unable to direct it on target.
Report by Nigel Sheen. Photos by Geoff Quinn. Flickr album https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnys/albums/72177720305055478
Line Ups :
Flint Town United – H. Allen, J. Carroll, O. Ibrahim (B. Hughes 46), A. Stephens, H. Owen, D. Harrison (c), B. Beaumont, B. Diau, R. Kavanagh, J-L Akpa-Akpro, O. Simmonds. Unused Subs – N. Collings (GK), L. Ellis, H. Brindley-Peagram, A. Mather, M. Roberts
Aberystwyth Town – M. Turner, J. Rimmer, H. Arnison, L. Bradford, S. Litchfield, J. Thorn (c), J. Evans, I. Lewis, J. Owen, S. Davies, B. Kirkman. Unused Subs – L. Jenkins (GK), S. Phillips, C. Allen, C. Edge, J. Canavan, A. Darlington
Flint MOM – Harry Owen (an impressive return to the side, capped by an important goal for his side)