CAERSWS fell at the first hurdle as old rivals Aberystwyth Town claimed their first win of the season with victory at the Recreation Ground on Tuesday.
Ex-Seasiders Rhydian Davies, Luke Sherbon and Ross Stephens stepped up the mark as Caersws dominated the midfield early on with TNS loanee Aron Hughes-Jones a constant threat.
The JD Welsh Premier side, now managed by ex-Bangor City manager Neville Powell, were more direct with long balls over the midfield to release Geoff Kellaway and Ashley Young who both tested their range early on.
The Seasiders led on 22 minutes with Ryan Wollacott lofting a ball back into the Caersws area following a partially cleared corner and Young slotted home despite strong suspicions of offside.
The match remained evenly poised with the Seasiders threatening through Kellaway and Joe Phillips while the hosts had chances of their own with Hughes-Jones firing wide while Sherbon tested goalkeeper Chris Mullock from 20 yards.
Caersws had penalty claims rejected early in the second-half when Rhydian Davies went down in the area while Sherbon’s header produced a point blank save from Mullock.
The Seasiders remained a threat on the break with Malcolm Melvin’s lob gathered by Luke Evans who also denied Kellaway before the Bluebirds had a let off with 15 minutes remaining with Declan Carroll firing into the side netting from a tight angle.
Aberystwyth all but sealed glory soon after with Declan Walker’s cross cushioned by Kellaway for Jack Rimmer to slot home from close range.
Caersws refused to wilt and ended the tie strongly with Sherbon twice denied by Mullock in as many minutes while Carroll struck the post at the other end as the Seasiders almost snuck a third.
A frustrating night for Sherbon was completed at the death when the hosts were awarded a penalty after Craig Whitfield was impeded in the area only for the ex-Seasiders to fire wide from the spot.
Caersws manager Graham Evans insisted his side had many positives to take from the game.
“I’m very pleased with the way we played and more than matched Aberystwyth,” said Evans. “We showed what I know we are capable of with this talented squad of players.”
CAERSWS: L Evans, Parr, P Jones, E Jones, Hughes, Samuel, Stephens, Davies, Hughes-Jones, Sherbon, Whitfield. Subs: G Evans, Vickers, Tranter
See full story in the County Times