Aberystwyth Town are delighted to announce the arrival of eight time Welsh Premier League Champion Phil Baker from The New Saints, on loan until the end of 2016/7.
Centre back Baker, 34, has been an integral part of TNS's Squad for over a decade and has been twice named in the WPL Dream Team, in 2006/7 and 2014/5. Known for his excellent timing and ability to be in the right place at the right time, Phil originally appeared in the WPL for Bangor City in 2003, joining the Farrar Road club from Tranmere Rovers, but left after a short time to join Football League outfit Exeter City.
Baker returned to the Welsh Premier with Aber Town in 2003/4 and made 32 WPL appearances for the Black and Greens side which finished fourth and represented Wales in the UEFA Inter Toto Cup ties against Dinaburg Daugavpiils.
After a brief spell with Unibond League Droylsden, Phil rejoined Bangor City in September 2004, where he made 28 league appearances in 2004/5, before joining The New Saints, where he has established himself as one of the WPL's most successful defenders of all time.
Phil has made 340 WPL starts plus 24 sub appearances, scoring 12 goals in the process. Everyone at Aberystwyth Town is thrilled and delighted with the signing and we welcome Phil to the Club ahead of Friday's match at Rhyl.
Who’d be a Manager!? Black and Greens Boss Matthew Bishop appeared to be heading for one of the results of the season against Llandudno on Saturday as a huge effort from the homesters had overturned a half time deficit to lead 3-1 with half an hour to go. However, three goals in ten minutes at the wrong end overturned the emotions completely and broke Aber hearts in the cruellest way possible.
Managers are necessarily minded to emphasize the positives in such situations and Bishop feels his side’s attacking performance was a good one:
“I was delighted with the performance (new signing) Mark Jones gave us today. His energy and hard work stopped the ball coming at us and gave us a platform to build on,” he told S4C after the final whistle. Aber became the first team outside the Top Four to score three goals against Llandudno this term, and this aspect pleased the boss, in conversation with atfc.org.uk this afternoon: “We created chances, scored three and looked good going forward.”
Sadly defensive frailties cost Aber on Saturday and Bishop explains them thus: “Individual errors are costing us at the moment, but we have a young squad. We maybe lack a bit of experience in game management overall because we should have closed the game down. We were so close to being top of the (Play Off Conference) table, but it wasn’t to be.”
However the biggest plus for the Manager was his side’s incessant onslaught on the visitors goal late on. Even after Luke Sherbon had a late penalty saved Town had more chances to notch a sensational equaliser: “We kept going all the way to the end, which we’ll need to do every week. We didn’t give in, and we’ll need everyone to get together now, fans and Players for the rest of the season. We stand together, win or lose.”
Aber’s next Dafabet Welsh Premier League match is away to Rhyl a week on Friday 3rd March. Travel details will be confirmed next week. Stand together with the Black and Greens.
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Saturday 18th February
Aberystwyth Town 3 Llandudno 4
Llandudno dramatically took all three points at Park Avenue this afternoon after a breathless game which swung one way then the other. Sam Hart gave the visitors the lead with a 41st minute penalty, but back came Aber after the break as goals from Luke Sherbon (53), Luke Borrelli (54) and Chris Jones (penalty, 60) seemed to have won the game for the homesters. However a triple salvo from Mike Williams (69), Danny Hughes (76) and Marc Williams (78) won the game for Alan Morgan's Seasiders.
On a bright day at Park Avenue striker Mark Jones replaced the injured Sam Rodon, with Chris Jones coming in for Jon Owen who pulled out in the warm up. The visitors started with a good tempo and Marc Williams aimed the first shot of the day straight at Chris Mullock. Luke Borrelli then sent a shot over the bar from close range before Mark Jones, who was already looking to be a huge presence for Aber up front, headed straight at Dave Roberts from Chris Jones’ cross. Mullock did well to deny Jamie Reed down the left side, and minutes later the ex Aber front man was denied again, this time by the linesman’s flag for an infringement after he appeared to have opened the scoring with a lob. Danny Shaw headed wide for Llandudno but then with the talented Malcolm Melvin starting to purr in midfield the chances started to come for Aber. Mark Jones picked out Kurtis March whose deft cross was headed just wide by Borrelli, and then Chris Jones was felled on the edge of the area before sending in a low free kick which Roberts did well to gather. Danny Hughes volleyed over and then disaster struck for Aber just before the break as an innocuous challenge heading away from goal resulted in a contentious penalty which Hart converted. Mark Jones nearly snuck in to equalise but Llandudno ended the half ahead by 1-0.
Few would have predicted the drama of the second 45 which must have been one of the most exciting and dramatic halves of football seen for many a year at Park Avenue. Marc Williams headed past the post for Llandudno but then came a superb twenty minutes of football from the hosts. A series of corners saw Mark Jones and Ryan Wollacott (twice) go close with headers and Jamie Crowther had another header cleared off the line before Sherbon swivelled and pounced from six yards to equalise gleefully. Sixty seconds later Mark Jones chased a lost cause down the left wing, won the ball and crossed for Borrelli to claim an improbable lead, and six minutes after that Danny Shaw upended Borrelli in the box and Chris Jones converted the pen for what was surely an unassailable lead. However Llandudno were still trying, and on 69 minutes James Joyce’s corner lead to an almighty scramble, and centre back Mike Williams stabbed home his sides second. Their third was a superb effort, as Danny Hughes curled in a pearler from the edge of the area, and then a low volley from Marc Williams made it four three and surely killed the game. Credit to Aber though, they fought back again and came within a whisker of a draw. Hughes fouled March in the box on 84 minutes, but Sherbon’s penalty was saved by Roberts, sub Geoff Kellaway’s cross was volleyed wide by Mark Jones, who headed agonisingly wide minutes later in another siege of the visitors goal. But they held on through six minutes of injury time for a win, which was tough on an Aber side who had contributed so much to a thriller of a game.
Aber now have thirteen days to ruminate on a heartbreaking defeat before heading up to Belle Vue, Rhyl for their next Dafabet WPL match on Friday March 3rd (ko 7.45pm).
Photo courtesy of Jordan Payne
Aberystwyth Town are delighted to announce the return of striker Mark Jones who joins on loan from Carmarthen Town until the end of the current season.
Jones has scored seven goals this season for the Old Gold, putting him in the WPL Golden Boot Top Ten.
Jonah was well liked in his time at Park Avenue, earning the fans respect with his hard work ethic and ability to notch vital goals at key times. He has a WPL career total of 77 goals from 181+39 sub appearances, of which 31 were for Town in two and a half seasons between January 2013 and May 2015.
Mark will wear shirt number 23 and goes straight into tomorrow's Squad.
Chris Howells' Photo is from Mark's last game for Aber in May 2015.
Dafabet Welsh Premier League Play Off Conference
Saturday 18th February (ko 2pm)
Aberystwyth Town v Llandudno
Aberystwyth Town are looking to repeat their Phase Two opening day home victory over Airbus UK Broughton as they welcome Llandudno to Park Avenue on Saturday - and the visitors will bring some familiar faces to Black and Green Supporters.
The three points was fully deserved after a committed performance in Aber's last home outing, and Manager Matthew Bishop will be looking for his side to compete at a similar level this time out.
New signings Dylan Rees, Dafydd Jones and Malcolm Melvin have all slotted into the side nicely since the split and with Jon Owen grabbing his first goal for the Black and Greens last week at Cefn Druids (albeit scored in an Orange shirt!), Geoff Kellaway returning to the Squad and Luke Borrelli working like a trojan up front Aber should have a threat going forward. Town will need to improve on their defensive showing last week but Bishop's men have the incentive of knowing that a win would put them above a Llandudno side which represented Wales in the UEFA Europa League over the summer.
Jon Owen played in those games, as did ex Town striker Jamie Reed who recently returned to Maesdu from Bangor City. Their keeper Dave Roberts was in nets for Aber's 2009 Welsh Cup Final against Bangor City and the Seasiders' Manager Alan Morgan was Top Man at Park Avenue for three seasons between 2009-2012 before masterminding his current side's thrilling ascent to Top Level football over the past few years.
Admission on Saturday will cost £6 for Adults, £4 for Concessions and £1 for Kids. With Euro Play Off Places up for grabs it's all to play for. Don't tell people afterwards you missed out!
Central Wales FA Youth Cup Quarter Final
Friday 10th February
Aberystwyth U19s 13 Machynlleth U19s 0
Aberystwyth welcomed Machynlleth to Park Avenue on Friday night to compete for a place in the CWFA Youth Cup semi final, writes Gwion ap Dafydd.
Aber took the lead through Alex Davies’ tap in after the keeper saved his initial effort. Liam Doherty got the second when he brought the ball down with his thigh and hit a powerful shot from about 25 yards out and found the bottom left corner. Doherty scored his second a few seconds later after Horwood and Rimmer combined well to put him through on goal to finish. Machynlleth’s keeper pulled off a string of good saves but was beaten for the fourth time when Carwyn Morgan headed in Tomos Evans’ cross.
Machynlleth started the second half strongly and created a few good chances, but Aber responded well and made it 5-0 when Doherty tapped in Sion Ewart's square ball at the far post for his hat trick. Tom Evans made it 6-0 with a cool finish and Jack Rimmer scored his first of the game to make it 7-0. Aber kept the pressure on the visitors and scored their eighth goal of the game when Doherty chipped the ball over the onrushing keeper. It was 9 soon after as Horwood ran on to Rimmer’s through ball and finished coolly. Substitute Josh Crowl got Aber to double figures when he curled the ball into the far right corner. Sion Ewart scored the home side’s 11th goal after the ball was played to him by Guto Havard. Ewart turned provider for the 12 goal, and Alex Davies’ second as his header looped over the goalkeeper. Havard and Ewart combined again for the Seasiders’ 13th and final goal of the game, which Ewart dispatched comfortably.
Town's reward for this thumping victory is a Semi Final tie at home to Ffostrasol, with the date to be confirmed in due course.
Aber Town Lineup: Oliver Farebrother, Daniel Hopton, Carwyn Morgan, Dafydd Morgan, Sion Ewart, Tomos Evans,
Jack Rimmer, Alex Davies, Guto Havard, Harri Horwood, Liam Doherty. Subs: Josh Crowl, Ryan Evans, Ifan Rees,Josh Abbott (unused), Gethin ap Dafydd (unused).