Wingmakers beat Aber in 8 goal thriller

Airbus UK Broughton stole a march on their nearest rivals for the coveted final European play-off spot by taking the points in an action-packed game at the Airfield. The Wingmakers treated the largest home crowd of the season to one of its most exciting games and some of its finest goals.

The visitors Aberystwyth Town proved to be a difficult outfit but the Wingmakers just had that little bit extra to edge the game in its final stages. A hint of what was to come came early on as from the kick-off the game was end-to-end, with Leon Clowes having to turn a Lewis Codling shot over the bar.

On 9 minutes Airbus took the lead when Ian Sheridan raced down the right and cut the ball back to Danny Desormeaux outside the area. The midfielder then proceeded to unleash a shot from range which found the top left corner to put the Wingmakers 1-0 ahead. They would not have the advantage for long however as the away side pegged them back almost straight away.

Two minutes later an 'Aber' break saw the ball laid off for Lewis Codling in the area and he coolly slotted it low to Niki-Lee Bulmer's right for 1-1. The early goals meant the game was not given a chance to settle into any kind of rhythm but that did not bother the Wingmakers faithful as they were soon in front again.

On quarter of an hour an Airbus corner was floated into the six-yard box and the Aberystwyth defence and goalkeeper were culpable in not clearing it. Ricky Evans was unfortunate enough to supply the final touch as the ball nestled in the back of the net from close-range for an own goal which put the Wingmakers 2-1 in front.

Phil Clarke picked up a booking for a foul after 20 minutes with both sides chasing more goals. They did not have to wait long as the visitors equalised again. Lewis Codling latched onto a ball over the top, beating the offside trap and Bulmer with a shot that went in off the far post. With less than 25 minutes played it was already 2-2.

A couple of minutes later Paul McManus forced 'Aber' goalkeeper Stephen Cann to turn a shot around the left post. From the resulting corner Leon Clowes headed wide. As the game began to settle down the Wingmakers carried a real threat through the drive of Desormeaux and pace of Sheridan.

Sheridan in particular was wreaking havoc with the visitors defence and on 38 minutes he put the Wingmakers in the lead for a third time. He received a long-ball on the right before cutting inside, beating a defender and firing an unstoppable long-range shot past Cann to make it 3-2. Even then the scoring for the first 45 minutes was not over.

On the stroke of half-time Aberystwyth's danger man Codling fed Steff Edwards in the area. A deflection took his shot in a curve past Bulmer in the Wingmakers goal to make it an incredible 3-3 before the interval. At the break Airbus made the first change of the game as Mark Allen replaced Leon Clowes who had taken a knock in the first-half.

The experience of Allen helped the Wingmakers keep tight at the back during the second period though it was still an open game. On 52 minutes Aberystwyth's Sion James received a yellow card for tripping Sheridan - a sign that the away side's defence were struggling to handle the prolific forward.

The game's flow was interrupted in a ten-minute period following the hour-mark due to a series of substitutions. Aberystwyth replaced Sion James and Gareth Hughes with Anerurin Thomas and Craig Williams respectively as they began to push Airbus back. The Wingmakers meanwhile saw Nick Rushton and Rhys Nash replace John Leah and Tom McCready.

James McCarten headed wide for Aberystwyth as the visitors' spell of dominance reached an end towards the latter stages. It was with 13 minutes remaining that the Wingmakers took the lead for the fourth time, and following a barren spell after a goal-packed first-half, this one was worth waiting for.

Ian Sheridan scored his second goal of the game when he ran into the area and shot from a tight angle. The ball took a slight deflection on its way past Cann to make it 4-3. With 10 minutes to go Aberystwyth made their final change as Anthony Finselbach was replaced with Adam Pepper but it would prove to be too late.

The Wingmakers were now the side with the momentum and Sheridan drew another save from Cann which he failed to hold. Fortunately for the goalkeeper his defence cleared their lines before Nick Rushton reacted. Though the Wingmakers poured forward in the closing minutes 'Aber' were still dangerous as Bulmer had to save from Ricky Evans.

Into the last 5 minutes Sheridan was still causing problems as Cann had to save again and James McCarten was booked for pulling his shirt. The Wingmakers enjoyed their late spell of possession and did a professional job in ensuring that Aberystwyth were not allowed back into the game yet again.

The Wingmakers appeared to be running down the clock into stoppage-time when from nowhere they snapped a fifth goal to give them a two-goal cushion and seal the win. From seemingly nowhere and from long-range 17-year-old substitute Rhys Nash smashed a rising shot into the top right corner of Cann's goal leaving the goalkeeper helpless. It was a great moment for the teenager who'd scored his first senior goal in spectacular style and ensured the Wingmakers took a vital three points.

Shortly after the Wingmakers had made it 5-3, referee Mark Petch called time on the game. The win is a massive boost for the Wingmakers hopes of making the play-offs and just as pleasing was the way in which it was earned. Despite being pegged back on three occasions they refused to give up and - in front of a good crowd - played some neat football and scored a few stunning goals in the process. Hopefully this will continue as the play-off push heats up.

Airbus - 1: Niki-Lee Bulmer 2: Ryan Edwards 3: Phil Clarke 4: Leon Clowes (Allen) 5: Gavin Cadwallader 6: John Leah (Rushton) 7: Tom McCready (Nash) 8: Danny Desormeaux 9: Paul McManus 10: Ian Sheridan 11: Eddie Hope

Subs - 12: Mark Allen 14: Nick Rushton 15: Chris Doran 16: James Davies 17: Rhys Nash

Aberystwyth - 1: Steve Cann 2: Gareth Hughes (C. Williams) 3: Michael Howard 4: James McCarten 5: Sion James (Thomas) 6: Anthony Finselbach (Pepper) 7: Lewis Codling 8: Bari Morgan 9: Ashley Stott 10: Ricky Evans 11: Steff Edwards

Subs - 12: Conall Murtagh 14: Aneurin Thomas 15: Craig Williams 16: Adam Pepper

By Rory Sheehan

Photo: Mark Allen rushes to congratulate Rhys Nash after he added the fifth goal [www.welsh-premier.com].