CWMBRAN endured a nightmare second half at Park Avenue last night when they lost 3-nil to Aberystwyth Town, had two players sent off and another stretchered off.

And the result, plus that of second-placed Bangor City's 2-1 home win over Connah's Quay Nomads, means Cwmbran have lost the ground they made last weekend.

They now host Bangor and leaders Barry Town at Cwmbran Stadium on Saturday and Easter Monday respectively and anything less than the maximum six points from the those games could spell the end of the Gwent club's European aspirations.

Following a uninspiring first half which if anything Cwmbran finished the stronger, manager Tony Willcox's side were caught with a sucker punch just seven seconds after the restart.

While everyone backed off, midfielder Ged Hennigan strode forward to unleash a 25-yarder and within five minutes the home side could have been 3-0 up if not for some wayward finishing.

An always niggling affair exploded just after the hour mark when Cwmbran skipper Sean Wharton (pictured) saw red after retaliating to Hennigan's clinical tackle from behind.

The fact Hennigan went unpunished incensed Cwmbran and just six minutes later, striker Chris Watkins received his second yellow card following a foul on the same player. Watkins' second caution looked a harsh decision considering he had been booked for kicking the ball away in the first half, many were mystified when Aberystwyth's Glyndwr Hughes later escaped punishment for the same offence.

By the time of Wharton's dismissal, Lyndon Gregson has rounded off a fine, six-man move and following the double sending offs, a comedy of errors in the Cwmbran defence gave Tony Wright the chance to lob goalkeeper Pat O'Hagan.

Cwmbran took until the 71st-minute before they managed a shot on-target, and never looked like scoring.

The continued absence of prolific marksmen Mattie Davies and Craig Hughes was highlighted again last night.

They are also minus injured defender Richard Carter whose pace is being sorely missed at the back and if David and Carter don't recover soon, then it could be curtains for Willcox's men.

Cwmbran's misery was compounded six minutes from time when midfielder Anthony Wright was carried off with a hamstring injury.

Aberystwyth Town: M Kinsella, D Burrows, C Fitzsimmons, J Hennigan, G Finley (c), L Gregson, G Hughes, H Jones, T Wright, G Allen, C Edge. Sub not used: L Hughes. Booked: Hennigan (10); Finley (39). Goals: Hennigan (46); Gregson (62); T Wright (89). Cwmbran Town: P O'Hagan, J Wile, M Pattimore, A Wright (L O'Connor 84), S Wharton (C),R David (J Welsh 61), N Wigg, A Moore, C Watkins, M Dunn (R Fahey 84), S Mainwaring. Booked: Watkins (33), (67); Pattimore (49); David (52). Sent off: Wharton (65); Watkins (67). Referee: N Richards (Llanelli). Att: 385.