Aber Town Interim Manager Wyn Thomas was in philosophical mood when interviewed by Sgorio's Gwennan Harries after Saturday's 4-2 home defeat to Carmarthen Town.
The Black and Greens had lead twice in the game, 1-0 at half time and 2-1 early in the second half thanks to goals from Rhys Griffiths and Geoff Kellaway, but conceded three goals in the last twenty minutes to lose a game in which they never really hit the heights of the previous weeks' three match winning run.
"It's disappointing", said Thomas. "The Players did very well, worked hard for each other but we are disappointed with the goals we conceded."
A cute backheel from Jordan Knott, closely followed by a contentious penalty scored by Mark Jones, and another injury time penalty from the ex Aber striker won the game for the visitors, putting them within a point of the Black and Greens with two games in hand.
While bemoaning the bad luck Town had with some crucial decisions on the night Thomas was blunt in his assessment of the Team's rearguard action on Saturday: "We didn't defend right. Football is very cruel."
The Seasiders have a week off to lick their wounds this coming weekend, before resuming their quest for a Dafabet Welsh Premier League seventh place finish a week on Friday night (March 11th) at Bangor City, with a 7.45pm kick off.
Saturday 27th of February
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Aberystwyth Town 2 Carmarthen Town 4
Aberystwyth were defeated 4-2 by local rivals Carmarthen in an open encounter that had always promised goals and controversy.
Carmarthen dominated a one sided first half, but failed to put away their chances. Old Gold winger Kyle Bassett had the best of the away side's chances, but two clear cut chances ended up hitting the advertising hoardings behind Mike Lewis' goal. Both sides had penalty shouts waved away early on, Aber's Geoff Kellaway hitting the deck in the 6th minute and Kyle Bassett doing similar in the opposite box after 21 minutes but the referee was having none of it. Against the run of play, Aberystwyth took the lead as Rhys Griffiths powered home a header from Craig Williams' excellent left wing cross at the end of the half.
The second half offered everything a neutral could hope for. Ex Aber star Mark Jones equalised early on in the second half as the visitors continued their assertiveness. Already on the back foot, the hosts were dealt another blow as Rhys Griffiths was sent off for a second bookable offence. Despite being down to 10 men, Aber took the lead again. An inch perfect cross from Craig Williams finding Geoff Kellaway on the right who finished clinically to make it 2-1. However this lead was short lived, Jordan Knott equalising 10 minutes later as Aber struggled to clear a corner. Carmarthen made their man advantage count in the last 10 minutes, Mark Jones completing his hat trick with two confident penalties to end an unsatisfactory night for Aberystwyth Town.
The result moves Carmarthen to within a point of Aber in 7th with two games in hand. Aberystwyth will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance away to Bangor a week on Friday.
Report by Tomos Ings
Saturday 27th February (ko 5.15pm)
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Aberystwyth Town v Carmarthen Town
Aberystwyth Town look to complete a fabulous February as they host fellow UEFA Europa League Play Off contenders Carmarthen Town for Sgorio's live televised game at Park Avenue on Saturday evening.
Three wins in a row, at home to Port Talbot (1-0), away to Rhyl (1-0) and away at Haverfordwest County last weekend (3-1) have lifted Aber to the top of the Play Off Conference, and Interim Manager Wyn Thomas has presided over an upsurge in form which has boosted spirits in the Black and Green camp ahead of Saturday's key teatime clash.
Visitors Carmarthen sit two places and four points behind Aber, though with two home games in hand, they are certainly not out of it, and a win either way on Saturday will have a big bearing on which of the Dyfed sides finishes highest this season.
Jonathan Evans' two goal salvo for Town at Bridge Meadow on Saturday saw him selected for Sgorio's Team of the Week, and Chris Venables' goalscoring form has earned him a Baker's dozen goals, only two off the Golden Boot; however consistent all round team performances have defined February for Aber, and Thomas will be keen for more of the same on Saturday.
He told Aber Town's Youtube Channel this week: "Since the split it's been positive, but we need to take it game by game. We look at Carmarthen now, it's a live game, at home, so we build on (last Saturday's performance), and hopefully we'll get another result."
Thomas' squad is strengthened by the return of Jack Rimmer, who played in both of the victorious Wales Under 18s Academy sides matches in Ireland in the week, however Carmarthen will be missing Luke Cummings through suspension, while Manager Mark Aizlewood will be banned from the touchline for the afternoon.
The match will host an Aber DIGS League Promotion, with Aberystwyth Student League Players turning up in their Clubs' Replica Kits will be allowed entry for £2. A selfie competition will be run on the Club's Twitter account during the game, and the DIGS League Quarter Final draw will take place at Half Time.
Admission otherwise will stand at £6 for Adults, £4 Concessions and £1 for Children. The match will kick off at the slightly later time of 5.15pm and as an evening game is sure to house a lively and invigorating atmosphere. There's nowhere else to be at teatime on Saturday!
Congratulations from everyone at Aberystwyth Town Football Club to 16 year old Jack Rimmer, who on Monday and Wednesday this week was selected for Wales' Under 18s Academy side in Ireland which did brilliantly to win the John Coughlan Memorial Cup on penalties.
A 1-0 win in Tranmore on Monday night was followed up by a narrow 3-2 defeat in Waterford on Wednesday afternoon, but Mark Pike's side won 5-3 on penalties, to ensure Rimmer will return with a medal as well as two Caps.
Da iawn ti Jack and we look forward to adding your portrait to the walls of the John Charles Lounge in the near future.
Photo: Jack celebrates with the victorious Wales Under 18s Academy Squad
For the first time since Mid 2014, Aber have won three consecutive league games following Saturday’s victory over Haverfordwest, something that pleases the Interim Boss Wyn Thomas. In a post match interview with Matthew Wallace for Aber Town's Youtube Channel he said:
"Since the split it's been very positive. The lads have given an extra 30-40%. We’ve started well. It was important to start with a win. We got the win against Port Talbot even though we got a bit lucky as it was scrappy game then we went to Rhyl last week, got the goal and could have gotten a few more.”
The Seasiders started the game at a blistering pace, scoring the first goal within 180 seconds of the opening whistle and went into the break 2-0 to the good, looking comfortable.
“We started off really well today and got the goal early. Geoff Kellaway was on fire from the off and he put in a great ball for Venners who’s there for us again as he has been for the last two seasons.”
“Jonathan Evans has scored a great goal for our second. He’s gone up for a header, I can’t tell you if he won it or not but he’s reacted quicker than anyone else and has finished well." Thomas added.
However, the spirited Bluebirds punished a slow start to the second half and the Black and Greens had their lead halved with 43 minutes of play still to go.
“The start of the second half was sloppy. We let them back in it but I’m glad we reacted and got another goal which took us further in front.”
That third goal again came from Evans after another local lad, club stalwart Sion James, saw his shot parried out by Craig Morris in the home goal to leave the former Penrhyncoch striker the simple task of poking the ball home.
“I just reacted the quickest! I made a gamble and luckily it paid off as I was in the right place at the right time. I’m really pleased how its all gone so far” Evans told atfc.org.uk after scoring his first two goals for the club.
Evans, who has impressed on every one of his appearances since resigning from the Roosters, is yet another talented local player making his name at the club. The fact the area is producing such talent is a pleasing aspect for Thomas.
“It’s important for Aberystwyth to see local players coming through as there’s plenty of talent in the area. There’s a fantastic youth set up at the club, bringing players through. There’s a lot of local lads playing for us now and living the area which can only be a positive."
With Carmarthen in front of the Sgorio cameras on the horizon, Aber will be confident of registering their fourth successive league win for the first time since 2012.
“The boys are working hard. They’re all at training and work hard. If you work hard you get results and if you put that effort in, you get your rewards."
To view the interviews with Wyn Thomas and goalscorer Jonathan Evans, visit Aberystwyth Town’s Youtube Channel here.
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Saturday 20th February
Haverfordwest County 1 Aberystwyth Town 3
A predatory opening goal from Chris Venables and Jonathan Evans’ first two WPL goals in Black and Green earned Aber a third consecutive win at a soggy Conygar Bridge Meadow, Haverfordwest this afternoon. The victory extends Town’s spectacular start to the WPL’s final phase and takes them to the top of the Play Off Conference.
Despite heavy rain in the morning Haverfordwest’s pitch held up admirably and an unchanged Aber side made the perfect start when Geoff Kellaway did brilliantly to outpace his marker and surge down the right wing before crossing low for Venables to net at the back stick in only the third minute. Declan Carroll fired wide almost immediately for the Bluebirds, and then Evans had a claim to have been blocked by the last man, but in vain. Nevertheless Aber were looking confident and enjoying their football, passing the ball around and probing dangerously. Keeper Mike Lewis was called on to tip an effort over the bar from a Luke Borelli free kick, but then back came Aber to double their lead in the 22nd minute. Craig Williams’ corner down the right created a half chance for Evans, but when the Penrhyn poacher saw a second opportunity he jumped at the chance to lash the ball into the top corner with a deft left footed half volley: the sweet finish a deserved reward for a series of hard working and promising performances since Evans rejoined Aber in January. The second goal gave Aber some security and prefaced a quieter period in the game when the visitors conceded a number of free kicks in dangerous areas which Haverfordwest failed to capitalise on. Nicky Palmer was already offside when he sent in a shot for Lewis to save, and new signing Jason Bertorelli hit the crossbar from a superb opening, and the ball fell to safety. Bertorelli sent another shot just wide before the break but Aber had defended stoutly and been clinical enough going forward to deserve a half time lead.
The visitors were unfortunately caught napping two minutes into the second half when the ball fell for Greg Waters to lash home from the edge of the area, and halve the deficit. The Seasiders responded well though and re-took the initiative. Evans and Venables both had shots blocked, and with Aber’s Dafabet WPL Player of the Season imperious and pulling the strings in midfield, the visitors were soon back in charge. Then on 59 minutes Sion James’ low piledriver was parried by home keeper Craig Morris straight to Evans, who flicked the ball over him from close range, and the game was won. Williams nearly connected with an excellent cross from Antonio Corbisiero, Venables had another shot blocked for a corner before trying an impudent 35 yard lob which fell just past the post. Subs Jordan Follows tapped wide for Haverfordwest, before Tomas Wellington blasted over, then the final goal attempt of the game fell for Aber sub Ross Stephens, inevitably set up again by Venables, but his effort skewed just wide. Liam Jaques and debutant Nashawn Blake both came on for late sub appearances, and the game ended with a very satisfying 3-1 away win for Aber Town.
On a heavy pitch the Black and Greens did well to control this afternoon’s game for long periods, and though it was a professional rather than a spectacular performance overall, the outcome of the match was rarely in doubt, and Interim Manager Wyn Thomas and his Players deserve praise for three wins in a row and a good response to the disappointments of January. Aber’s next match at home to Carmarthen Town on Saturday (ko 5.15pm) is already something to look forward to!
Photo courtesy of Chris Howells