With fourteen matches played to date in the 2022/23 Cymru Premier season Anthony Williams’ team are poised in seventh place, three tantalising points short of the Top Six. With eight games remaining we review the season so far and look at six key reasons why Williams’ men have done so well to date.
Calm, pragmatic management
Facing a huge exodus at the end of last season, with only three players who kept the team up at Barry last year still available (Owen, Bradford and Thorn), Anthony Williams, and his Assistant Guy Handscombe recruited extremely well from outside the Cymru Prem, signing quality players such as Iwan Lewis and Sam Litchfield from Guilsfield, Lewis Webb from Swansea City, Harry Arnison from Australia, Phil Perry from Salford and bringing back Harry Horwood from Penrhyncoch. He also shared a heart to heart with the players after the home defeat to Bala Town, and the tactical switch around since that game has produced five consecutive home wins.
Resilient defence and solid structure
Goalkeepers Lewis Webb and Leigh Jenkins have both been credited with excellent match winning performances, and Louis Bradford and Sam Litchfield look a very solid combination at centre back, behind the unchangeable middle three of Arnison, Lewis and captain Jack Thorn. Harry Horwood has impressed at left back and Jack Rimmer, Ben Erickson, Phil Perry, Jonathan Evans and Charley Edge have all helped out in defence when needed.
Steff Davies, Jonathan Evans, Harry Horwood, Jack Rimmer, Leigh Jenkins, Cam Allen, Jamie Jones: a solid local core to Anthony William’s squad has been key to its success and has kept the home crowds happy at Park Avenue.
Aber’s five home wins have been remarkably similar, with Town establishing leads and hanging on for long periods in the second halves to safeguard their precious three points. All six of the Black and Greens’ wins have been by two goals to win so the resilient defensive qualities the side shows to protect leads at Park Avenue is making a huge difference to the season’s progress. Five home wins in a row represents Aber’s best home run for eight years - Keep it up lads!
Goals from everywhere
Aber’s six match winners have come from six different players: Alex Darlington’s classy late strike at Airbus was a key moment in the season. Jack Thorn got the winner against Connah’s Quay, Louis Bradford ensured the double over Airbus and Jon Owen was the difference at home to Haverfordwest. Niall Flint got a late penalty to overcome Flint and Jonathan Evans’ double downed Ponty United last week. Evans and Darlington top the score charts with three goals each, Arnison, Flint and Thorn have two each, with Lichfield, Lewis, Bradford and Owen all on one goal scored.
Charley Edge, Sam Phillips, Ben Erickson, Phil Perry, Cameron Allen and Jamie Jones are also key squad members and have made important contributions as recognised by the Manager. Goalkeeping Coach Dave Owen has been named in some squads in the absence of Webb, and is on hand if required.
Top Six Still Possible
Aber now need to maintain their home form and grab a couple of away wins, and a dream Top Six finish will remain within their grasp. After a two week break Aber are back on the road on Friday, away to The New Saints with a 7.45pm kick off. Let’s get back on the bandwaggon!