MORALE BOOSTING WIN FOR TOWN DOWN THE GENQUIP SETS THE PLAY OFFS UP NICELY

Sun Apr 26 2015, 08:39PM

Corbettsports Welsh Premier
Sunday 26th April
Port Talbot Town 1 Aberystwyth Town 2

Aber Town brought down the curtain on the regular section of a Super season with a morale boosting 2-1 win at Play Offs rivals Port Talbot's ground this afternoon. Goals from Geoff Kellaway and Craig Williams ensured that the Black and Greens crossed the 50 point barrier for the season and enter the Play Offs in two weeks time in high spirits, and Chris Venables was confirmed as the WPL Golden Booty winner for the second season running for his amazing 28 goal haul from midfield.


On a lovely sunny day in Aberavon the game was preceded by a Guard of Honour for retiring referee Mark Whitby who has been a superb servant to the League for so many seasons. An open and entertaining game ensued despite a bobbly surface. The homesters' Liam McCreesh fired over the bar from close range early on, but then in the ninth minute Aber took the lead. Venables' rasping 30 yard shot was parried by stand in keeper Connor McFenton to Kellaway, and the Felinfach Flier headed downwards to score a vital opener for Ian Hughes' men. Martin Rose brought the first save of the day from visiting keeper Mike Lewis, then Kellaway fired wide with a speculative effort. Venables headed a Williams free kick over the bar, then Williams himself was denied by McFenton. Dan Sheehan drew a comfortable save from Lewis, then Luke Sherbon fired just over as the chances kept coming. Chris Davies then narrowly missed the target for Aber before they finally got a deserved second eleven minutes before half time, when Kellaway's shot was parried straight to Williams who pounced to conquer. When a few more half chances went begging the half time score stayed at 0-2, with Aber good value for a lead, even though Talbot had also enjoyed their moments.

Aber started the second half on the front foot with Mark Jones putting himself about, but then the Steelmen had a real go. Rose, and Chris Davies brought decent saves from Lewis, but six minutes in a corner on the left was floated straight to the head of Luke Bowen, who finished easily to halve the deficit. Rose had a dangerous shot deflected wide, and the visitors appeared to have survived an onslaught. Venables had a shout for a penalty denied, then Mark Jones headed just wide from a Kellaway cross. Venables then had a headed goal from a corner disallowed, and Kellaway shot wide with Aber cutting through the home defence at ease. There was no room for complacency however, and Rose then, right through on goal, inexplicably missed the target with a deft lob. Ross Stephens volleyed over, Venables hit the post, before narrowly missing once more with a cultured lob. The irrepressible Venables was then denied again by McFenton and it was clearly not going to be the Golden Boot's day! Talbot did launch a late foray in added time, and McCreesh tested Lewis for a final time, but the visitors held on valiantly and gained a deserved win on the South Wales coast.

The Black and Greens could not have picked a better time to find their form, and they now know they will host Gap Connah's Quay (if TNS win the Welsh Cup), or Port Talbot (if Newtown win the Cup) in the UEFA Europa League Play Off Semi Finals on Saturday 9th or Sunday 10th May. Aber's WPL season is of course certain to end in drama, hopefully in three weeks time with a Play Off Final victory. See you in two weeks down Park Avenue!

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BLACK AND GREENS FACE POSSIBLE PLAY OFF REHEARSAL AT THE GENQUIP ON SUNDAY

Thu Apr 23 2015, 02:20PM

Corbettsports Welsh Premier League
Sunday 26th April (ko 1pm)
Port Talbot Town v Aberystwyth Town

Aberystwyth Town head South early on Sunday morning for a lunchtime showdown with Top Six Rivals Port Talbot Town, as both sides aim to gain a psychological advantage prior to the UEFA Europa League Play Offs in two weeks’ time.


Aber, certain to finish 4th, and Port Talbot, certain to be 5th, are the only two sides as yet guaranteed to contest the Play Offs, and their head to head record to date in 2014/5 is all square. Aber won 2-1 at the GenQuip in September, before Talbot came back with a resounding 3-0 victory at Park Avenue just before Christmas. Honours were even in an exciting 2-2 draw, again in Aber last month, so the scene is set for another close game.

Both sides will inevitably have half an eye on the Play Offs, and Aber will be resting Stephen Wright who has a calf strain. Town Manager Ian Hughes will need to decide whether to persist with the eleven that did so well for 89 minutes against Bala last Friday, or whether to freshen things up with some new faces.
Port Talbot have rallied since the appointment of Andy Dyer, gaining impressive wins at home to Airbus and away to Newtown, after their gutsy draw at Park Avenue.

Two of the League’s Top Marksmen will be on show on Sunday. Aber’s Chris Venables notched his 28th goal of the season last Friday night, beating Gavin Allen’s previous goalscoring record, whilst the Steelmen’s Martin Rose on 18, is the WPL’s joint second highest goal getter.

The Coach leaves Park Avenue at 9.30am, and a return journey costs just £10 for Adults and £5 Concessions. Bring your Sunday Best Support!

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CLUB CONGRATULATES VENNERS ON ANOTHER GOALSCORING RECORD

Thu Apr 23 2015, 07:54AM

Everyone at Aberystwyth Town FC would like to congratulate talismanic midfielder Chris Venables for creating a new Club Goalscoring Record last Friday night.

Chris' goal against Bala, a diving header at the back post from a deep Wyn Thomas cross, was his 28th goal of the season - an incredible return for an attacking midfielder.

This goal took him past Gavin Allen's previous record of 27 Welsh Premier League goals in a season, which had stood since 1997/98.

Manager Ian Hughes told atfc.org.uk: "Chris' goal return over the past eighteen months has been astonishing really - but it is no surprise to anyone within the Club as Chris works harder than anyone on the training pitch to get things right on match day. He has made a point of practising his finishing over the past two seasons and that has born fruit."

Venables is certain to win the WPL Golden Boot for the second season running, as he currently stands 10 full goals ahead of nearest rivals Jason Oswell of Newtown, and Martin Rose whom he will face at Port Talbot on Sunday lunchtime.

Congratulations Venners on another superb achievement!

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UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE PLAY OFFS UPDATE

Tue Apr 21 2015, 12:19PM

Last weekend’s results confirmed the Black and Greens’ participation in the UEFA Europa League Play Offs in May, and Aber are guaranteed a home draw in the Semi Finals at least.

The Semi Finals are likely to take place on Saturday May 9th (ko 2.30pm) and Sunday May 10th (ko 12.45pm), the latter game to be televised by Sgorio. The precise date of Aber’s Semi Final will be known once Sgorio have chosen their live game.


If TNS win the Welsh Cup Final on May 2nd, the Play Off Semi Finals will be as follows:
Aberystwyth Town (4) v Rhyl/Gap Connah’s Quay/Carmarthen (7)
Port Talbot Town (5) v Newtown (6)

If Newtown win the Welsh Cup, the Semi Finals will be as follows:
Bala Town/Airbus(3) v Rhyl/Gap Connah’s Quay/Carmarthen (7)
Aberystwyth Town (4) v Port Talbot Town (5)

The Play Off Final will take place on Sunday May 17th (ko likely to be 12.45pm) and will be hosted by the highest placed participant.

The 3rd and 7th placed entrants will be confirmed after Sunday’s final round of WPL matches, when Aber travel to Port Talbot for a 1pm kick off.

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PHILOSOPHICAL HUGHES REFLECTS ON A SUCCESSFUL HOME CAMPAIGN

Sun Apr 19 2015, 09:32PM

As the curtain came down on another regular season at Park Avenue, Town boss Ian Hughes was keen to reflect on the positives of the campaign, writes Matthew Wallace.

“There’s been progression. We finished third from bottom and stayed up by a point when I came in and now we’re a Top Four club. The way the players have changed and the outlook of the club. In two years, we’ve gone from nearly dropping out of the league to nearly qualifying for Europe every season and the players deserve all that credit. They came together and united together and they want to do well for this club, as do I. So disappointing tonight but the outlook of it all is to make sure this Club is a Top 4 Club so they deserve full credit. We’ve got one game to go now. In terms of the season, recently it’s not been great but as a season I’ve been content.”

The disappointment that Hughes was talking about was the 2-1 reverse against current second place Bala Town on Friday night. Top scorer Chris Venables had put the Seasiders in the driving seat but two late goals ensured that there would be no winning finale for Town in their final home soiree in the league.

“It’s a tough one to take today as we played very well in terms of the chances we created and ball possession. We’re playing against the second best team in the league and perhaps we should have won the game which shows that we’re moving in the right direction. We dominated the first hour but we should have got the second goal. We had chances to make it 2-0. But then we got done by a sucker punch. We gave two goals away late on. It’s happened before this season but it’s something we need to address now because its becoming every game now.”

The defeat, coupled with Airbus’ shock victory against the previously unbeaten TNS has confirmed Aber’s fourth place finish, the highest since the inception of the Super 12. Although this is a positive, Hughes is slightly aggrieved that his side couldn’t take the opportunity to finish higher.

“It’s very disappointing. We wanted to take it to the last game of the season to get the third spot, that doesn’t seem likely but we’re definitely a top four side. We need to remember that. We’re currently 10 points ahead of Port Talbot and Newtown so we’re comfortably fourth place which again shows how far we’ve come.”

With just one game left away at 5th place Port Talbot next week, Hughes is relishing the opportunity to create history for the club.

“It was the first time this club has qualified for Europe. I know they did it in the Intertoto cup but last year was the first time they’ve got Coefficient points from Champions League or Europa League. That’s only happened once in over a 100 years of history but to do it twice, back to back, is going to be tough. We’ve given ourselves a great chance and if the players do that, then they deserve great credit. History is against us as traditionally, this club doesn’t qualify for Europe. So to be in this position is a great thing so now we’ve got to take the opportunity“

But even with the potential of a European campaign on the horizon, Hughes maintains that he is already looking to next season and to go one better.

“We want to keep progressing its important that we don’t stand still. It would be criminal to stand still. We want to keep progressing and bringing in better players to make sure we’re challenging near the top of the league again next season.”

Watch Martin Smith's full post match interviews with Ian Hughes via Town's YouTube Channel by clicking on the "Videos" tab here.

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