Nathaniel Cup Second Round
Saturday 6th August
Aberystwyth Town 2 Llanidloes Town 1
On a beautiful summer’s day on the Ceredigion Coast The Black and Greens kicked off their 2022/3 season with a 2-1 win over Llanidloes Town which took them through to the last sixteen of the Nathaniel Cup, to be played in September. The visitors played well and took the lead through Andy Evans on 36 minutes, but Steff Davies equalised for Aber within a minute, and Phil Perry found a winner with a lofted effort from the left wing with twenty minutes to go.
Newly signed Centre Back Ben Erickson came into Aber’s starting line up, but Sam Litchfield had to be replaced by Harri Horwood minutes before kick off in a late reshuffle, and Horwood was straight into the action with Aber’s first effort on goal, saved by Luke Evans. George Clarke then spooned a good chance wide for Llani, and Mason Jones tested Lewis Webb in the home goal, but the Swansea shotstopper held firm. At the other end Niall Flint had an attempt blocked, then in a breakaway Andy Evans volleyed a super effort just over the bar. Steff Davies then earned a free kick and headed Jack Rimmer’s set piece at the keeper, Horwood shot wide again and Perry’s long range effort was gathered by Evans. Aber enjoyed a further spell of pressure and a number of corners, and Flint’s excellent run and shot was just cleared over the bar. For Llani the dangerous Andy Evans got in again and skimmed just over, but he was not to be denied and when Luke Boundford crossed from the right, Evans headed home to put the visitors in front. The lead however was short lived and in the very next move Aber worked the ball to Steff Davies up front who smashed the ball home decisively from close range, and a deserved equaliser. Elliot Jones sent a free kick straight at Webb, then at the other end Horwood played in hard working Sam Phillips, and his flick was saved for a corner. An exciting half ended level, which on the balance of play was probably fair.
The pattern of play continued into the second half. The impeccable Webb in goal twice did very well to deny Boundford, while for Aber Phillips had a shot blocked and Edge sent an effort over the bar. Webb saved a free kick from Ed Clarke, then did brilliantly to tip a lob from Andy Evans over the bar to keep Aber in it. Horwood saw another shot saved by the keeper and then Flint went on a breathtaking run but was blocked at the last. Then the impressive Perry went on a swashbuckling run down the left flank and sent in a cross-shot which drifted over the goalkeeper and nestled into the top corner, to gain Aber a crucial lead. On came Aber with Edge setting up sub Jon Owen to touch wide, but home nerves were still in place as Mason Jones sent in a great left wing cross for Boundford, but the ex Aber striker missed the target. Manager Anthony Williams was forced into yet another reshuffle as Erickson hobbled off, and Jonathan Evans almost settled the tie with an effort from the by line, again saved by the goalie. Boundford shot over the bar from close range as four minutes of injury time flashed up, but to be fair Aber managed injury time well and emerged as victors in a thrilling cup tie.
Aber showed glimpses of quick and dangerous attacking play on Saturday, however Llanidloes were also a constant threat and deserve great credit for their efforts. The Black and Greens seem to have picked up a nice habit of winning tight games, and Perry’s moment of glory lit up the afternoon for home supporters. The Seasiders progress to the Southern Section of the Nathaniel Cup Third Round draw with Afan Lido, Haverfordwest, Ammanford, Pontypridd Utd, Taffs Well, Cardiff Met and Penybont, to be played on Tuesday September 20th. Before that however comes the big Cymru Premier kick off, with Williams’ men visiting Airbus UK Broughton this Friday evening (12th August), for a 7.45pm kick off. Join us at the Airfield – a large travelling army is already assembling itself!
Aberystwyth Town vs Llanidloes Town
Nathaniel MG Cup
Saturday 6th August
Anthony Williams' first competitive match as Manager of Aberystwyth Town takes place this coming Saturday at Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium, with Mid-Wales neighbours Llanidloes Town the visitors for a 2nd Round Nathaniel MG Cup tie.
The new man in the hotseat has presided over an unbeaten pre-season campaign, with Aber victorious in three out of the four pre-season friendlies. He has refreshed and reinvigorated the squad that he inherited, with former Swansea City and Wales U17 international Ben Erickson the latest to check in.
The 2nd Round of this competition was a memorable occasion last season, with Penybont the visitors to Park Avenue. The match ended 1-1 after 90 minutes – a late Mathew Jones penalty cancelling out Sam Snaith’s opener – and goalkeeper Alex Pennock proved to be the Black & Green hero in the resulting penalty shootout on a night of high drama!
Saturday's vistors, Llanidloes Town, are already two matches into their JD Cymru North season. They were defeated 3-2 on the opening day at home to Porthmadog, thanks to a late Callum Parry goal for the visitors, before losing 4-0 at Mold Alexandra on Tuesday night. They did however dispatch Pontardawe Town in the first round of the Nathaniel MG, winning 2-1 away from home.
Given that this month marks 30 years since the first match was played in the Cymru Premier (then League of Wales) it is fitting that Llanidloes Town and ATFC should face each other once again as both were founding members of the league back in 1992. They finished 12th in the Cymru North last season under the guidance of Chris Davies, who leads the team once again this season.
There will be a couple of familiar faces in the visitors ranks with weekend, with former Seasiders Luke Boundford and Adam Worton involved at Victoria Park these days. Boundford spent the 2019/20 season at Park Avenue, making 14 appearances and scoring two goals before the season was curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst Worton had a spell at Park Avenue back in 2012 under Alan Morgan’s stewardship.
Seasiders fans may also recognise Jamie Breese and Tom Goodwin from their spells in the Cymru Premier, most notably at Newtown, whilst Drew Reynolds is the son of League of Wales legend Colin Reynolds, who had a season at Park Avenue in 2008/09, making a substitute appearance in the Welsh Cup Final of 2009.
Admission prices at Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium this season are £8 for Adults, £5 for Concessions / Students, £2 for Secondary School age children and free entry for Primary School age children. Please note that admission at the gate is CASH ONLY. Another season on the ATFC rollercoaster starts here!
Green Army … co ni off! / here we go!
Aberystwyth Town are delighted to announce the signing of ex-Swansea City central defender and Wales U17 international Ben Erickson for the upcoming 2022/23 JD Cymru Leagues season!
Joining the Swans at U13 level, 21-year-old Ben progressed through the youth ranks in South Wales before joining the club U18 side ahead of the 2016/17 season, at which time he earned two caps for his country in U17 European Championship Qualifiers against Portugal and Malta.
Ben showed promise in his first season at U18 level, but ahead of the 2017/18 season, Ben suffered a torn cartilage in his hip joint eventually leading to him being diagnosed with accessory soleus syndrome – a rare condition that affects less than 12 people in the UK every year. Subsequent surgeries provided further setbacks during his recovery, restricting him to just 13 appearances over a 30 month period.
Ben made 9 appearances in the first half of the 2018/19 season having been handed the armband for the U18s and was elevated to the U23 squad during the 2019/20 season, where he made his debut in a Premier League Cup defeat to Charlton Athletic.
Ben now takes the step into senior football in search of regular football.
Ben told us:
"This was the right move for me to get senior first team experience and challenge myself at this level. I know that Aberystwyth is a footballing town that takes pride in having been in the top flight of Welsh football for so long.
I like to think I’m fairly comfortable on the ball and that I cover ground quite well. I like to be a leader and help players out around me. I first spoke to Taff a few weeks back and he expressed an interested in getting me in - he knew I needed to play games and showed he could help me out with that.
I’m happy to be a part of the club and I can’t wait to see the fans at Park Avenue - I'm looking forward to a successful season together!"
"I was impressed with Ben during this week's training session. I previously worked with Ben around 18 months ago during a spell with Cardiff Met, so I was aware of his qualities.
His style of play having come through at Swansea gives me great confidence in his ability to allow us to play attractive football this season."
Pre Season Friendly
Saturday 30th July
Aberystwyth Town 2 Merthyr Town 1
The Black and Greens ended their pre season campaign with a victory over Southern League outfit Merthyr Tydfil, thanks to Sam Phillips’s super free kick (74 mins) and Captain Jack Thorn’s 94th minute winner, after Fraser Thomas had put the Martyrs into the lead three minutes before the hour. The win means Anthony Williams’ new look squad have earned three wins and a draw from their four friendlies in 2022, with Porthmadog and Cardiff Met also beaten, and Guilsfield held.
On a drizzly summer’s day at Park Avenue Williams named new signing Lewis Webb in goal, Jack Rimmer, Sam Litchfield and Harri Horwood at the back, Thorn, Iwan Lewis, Niall Flint, Jonathan Evans and Charlie Edge plus two trialists. However it was Merthyr who fashioned the first attempt as Webb came out smartly to deny Trialist B who had burst through. Lewis Webb saved well from Lewis Powell minutes later who sent a 20 yard volley to the keeper’s right, and Powell had another shot deflected behind after a nice Merthyr move – and a half of limited opportunities ended 0-0, with the visitors ahead on points.
Phil Perry and Sam Phillips came on at the break for Horwood and Evans, but Merthyr took the lead on 57 minutes when Richard Rees won the ball in midfield and laid the ball through to Fraser Thomas, who finished neatly into the bottom corner. Merthyr continued to press, with a last ditch challenge from Trialist A preventing them from doubling the lead, before Webb made another great stop down to his left to save another attempt from distance. Finally with sixteen minutes to go, Aber got back into the game, and in spectacular fashion. Super Sub Sam Phillips stepped up for a free kick from 25 yards and whipped the ball into the top corner for a stunning strike! Jamie Jones, Steff Davies, Dan Owen and Owain Evans came on for Town as late subs replacing Trialists A and B, Edge and Lewis, and then in the fourth minute of injury time Phillips sent in a ball to the back stick, Sam Litchfield nodded on and Captain Jack Thorn was in the right place at the right time to tap home a winner.
This was a competitive and sometimes feisty affair, and in all honesty Aber Town were not at their brilliant best, however winning without playing well is a great habit, and an undefeated pre season schedule has seen Anthony Williams’ nascent squad grow in confidence through the month of July. Competitive football returns to Park Avenue on Saturday 6th August with a Mid Wales Derby, as the Daffs of Llanidloes Town visit for a Nathaniel Cup Second Round tie (ko 2.30pm). Come and join us then – this show is about to get real!
Saturday 30th July
Aberystwyth Town vs Merthyr Town
Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium
Aberystwyth Town play their final Pre-Season Friendly of 2022 on Saturday as Merthyr Town visit Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium.
Unbeaten in three friendlies so far, including a 1-0 win over fellow Cymru Premier side Cardiff Met last week, new Manager Anthony Williams and his team will be full of confidence as the season fast approaches, and this confidence will have been boosted earlier this week with the arrival of goalkeeper Lewis Webb on loan from Swansea City - whom the Swans signed from The Martyrs!
Webb joins fellow new arrivals Phillip Perry, Sam Litchfield, Iwan Lewis, Niall Flint & Charley Edge and returnees Leigh Jenkins & Harri Horwood in what is a refreshed and reinvigorated Aberystwyth Town squad for 2022/23.
They will face their first competitive test next weekend, with the visit of Mid-Wales neighbours Llanidloes Town to Ceredigion, for a 2nd Round Nathaniel MG Cup tie. Cymru Premier action starts a week later with a Friday night trip to newly promoted Airbus UK Broughton.
This weekend’s visitors, Merthyr Town, were formed from the ashes of the former Merthyr Tydfil FC, who were liquidated in 2010. They currently play in the Southern League Premier Division South – the third level of English non-league football. Although they finished in 21st position last season, they were given a reprieve from relegation following the withdrawal from the league of Walton Casuals.
The Martyrs also have a new man at the helm for 2022/23 as former Yate Town manager Paul Michael was appointed in April. They have been in pre-season action since the beginning of July and so far, have registered victories against Bristol Manor Farm, Treharris Athletic, City of Liverpool FC & Abertillery Bluebirds, a draw against Carlton Town, and defeats to Llanelli Town & Cardiff Met.
There will be some familiar faces to fans of the Cymru Premier in The Martyrs squad, as goalkeeper Will Fuller spent 10 years at Cardiff Met where he worked with Anthony Williams, whilst Rhys Kavanagh featured for Barry Town United in recent years. Veteran defender Ismail Yakubu also spent a season in the league, turning out for Penybont during the behind-closed-doors 2020/21 season.
Kick off for this fixture will be at 1.30pm. Entry is £5 for adults and is cash only. There will be full selection of club merchandise - including our new replica jerseys - available in the club shop before the match and at half time.
A strong following is expected from the travelling Martyrs - as always, a warm welcome awaits all at Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium!
Aberystwyth Town are delighted to announce the loan signing of Swansea City and Wales U21 international goalkeeper Lewis Webb until January 2023!
Hailing from Newport, 20-year-old Lewis came through the youth ranks at both Cardiff City and Newport County before joining Merthyr Town in the summer of 2018. Spending one season at Penydarren Park, Lewis was soon snapped up by Championship side Swansea City on scholarship terms where he impressed at U18 level, earning his first professional deal in the summer of 2019.
Soon after, Lewis gained a spot with the Swans' U23 side and became a regular First Team squad member towards the end of the 2019/20 season, retaining his spot into the following campaign. His progress was again rewarded with a long-term contract on Christmas Eve 2020, securing his future with the Swans until 2024 with the option of a further year.
In January 2022, Lewis joined League of Ireland Premier Division side Shelbourne until the end of the 2021/22 season - managed by former Premier League winger Damien Duff - where he made seven starts for the side.
On the international stage, Lewis made six starts for the U18 side before his ascension to U21 level, where he has made two starts to date, including the team's most recent game - a 2-0 victory over Gibraltar in a Euro U21 Championship qualifier.
Lewis now joins the Black & Greens to further his experiences in the senior game.
Lewis told us:
"I'm really excited to meet the boys, the staff, and fans at Park Avenue and getting going with the season. I want to make the most of the opportunity for game time and continue my development.
The season is just around the corner so I'm eager to hit the ground running and help Aberystwyth make a good start under Taff!"
Manager Anthony Williams commented:
"Lewis is an exceptional goalkeeper who has trained with the First-Team for over two years now, which is evidence of his quality and the high regard in which he is held at Swansea City.
I spoke with Damien Duff - a teammate of mine at Blackburn over many years - who had nothing but praise for him after his spell at Shelbourne last season.
I understand first-hand there are varying journeys goalkeepers take in their careers - I hope that we can be an influential step in Lewis' journey to achieving his full potential".
We extend our thanks to Swansea City for their assistance in completing this deal.
Croeso cynnes i Geredigion, Lewis!
Next First Team Fixture
Sat 6th Aug (KO 2.30pm)
Aber Town v
Next Event at Park Avenue
Sat 6th Aug (KO 2.30pm)
Aber Town v
August at Park Avenue
Sat 6th Aug (KO 2.30pm)
Aber Town v
Sat 20th Aug (KO 5.45pm)
Aber Town v Cardiff Met
Tue 30th Aug (KO 8pm)
Aber Town v
The New Saints