Aberystwyth Town's Phase II fixtures have been announced today, with the Black and Greens kicking off away to Cefn Druids this Friday 4th March, and finishing off at home to Caernarfon Town* on Saturday 23rd April.
The full fixture list is as follows:
Friday 4th Cefn Druids (Away) KO 7.45pm
Saturday 12th CARDIFF MET (HOME) KO 2.30pm
Tuesday 15th HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY (HOME) KO 8pm
Friday 25th BARRY TOWN (HOME) KO 8pm
Friday 1st Connah's Quay Nomads (Away) KO 7.45pm
Tuesday 5th Haverfordwest County (Away) KO 7.45pm
Saturday 9th Cardiff Met (Away) KO 2.30pm
Friday 15th CEFN DRUIDS (HOME) KO 2.30pm
Monday 18th Barry Town (Away) KO 2.30pm
Saturday 23rd CONNAH'S QUAY NOMADS (HOME) KO 12.45pm
Tuesday 3rd Scottish League Cup Play Off Quarter Final
Saturday 7th Scottish League Cup Play Off Semi Final
Saturday 14th Scottish League Cup Play Off Final
Saturday 26th February
JD Cymru Premier
Bala Town 2 Aberystwyth Town 2
Two superb free kicks ensured that the Black and Greens ended phase one on a high, earning a well deserved draw at Bala on a sunny February afternoon in Gwynedd. After a very creditable first half performance Aber fell behind to goals from Will Evans (60 mins) and Nathan Peate (69 mins), but then livewire sub Owain Jones earned, then converted from Matty Jones’ 86th minute free kick, before being fouled again to give Jamie Veale the chance to score directly in the 95th minute, and delight the visiting Green Army.
The Black and Green are on a good run in the league, having lost only one in five previous to this match, and they started confidently. Sam Phillips volleyed wide early on, then had another effort blocked soon after. Lee Jenkins, superb in the air, was keeping Dean Ebbe quiet, and at the other end Jon Owen tested Alex Ramsey with a low drive. Aber were defending really well, restricting their top six hosts to almost nothing in terms of real chances, and Harry Franklin’s trickery earned him an opening, but his shot was blocked. Sean Smith had an attempt for Bala deflected over for a corner but other than that Alex Pennock was secure in goal, and Owen volleyed a right wing cross wide from a dangerous position. Ebbe grazed the bar with a header but at half time Aber had certainly created most of the chances –the scoreline however remained goalless.
The hosts came back into it after the break and Ebbe had a header saved on the line by Pennock. Sam Phillips blazed wide for Aber, before Louis Bradford hooked wide a Matty Jones corner to get the visiting fans singing. Sadly on the hour a free kick from Lassana Mendes bounced back out for Evans to skilfully hook home a volley into the top corner, and the hosts were ahead. Nathan Peate headed wide for Bala, and then Rhys Davies saw a header loop just over the bar from Jones’ cross, but with just over 20 minutes to go another free kick landed at the feet of Peate on the goal line, and he surely won the game with Bala’s second from two yards. Bala’s Dave Edwards headed wide, however Aber’s young guns have won plaudits this season for their never say die attitude, and bolstered by the return of Owain Jones from injury, and Jonathan Evans, they mounted a thrilling comeback, courtesy of the two Jones’. First the nippy Owain was fouled on the edge of the area, and Matty’s beauty of a free kick rebounded off the right hand upright for Owain to acrobatically score! Owain then sent a volley effort just wide, Jonathan Evans’ volley was deflected over for a corner, and Veale’s delivery was cleared off the line. It was all Aber, and right at the death Bala unwisely fouled Owain Jones again on the edge of the box, and up stepped Jamie Veale to find the top left hand corner with an absolute peach of an equaliser!
It is a common adage in football that coming from behind to earn a draw feels like a win, and Aber faces were certainly smiling at full time, having earned a fully deserved and creditable draw away to one of the League’s big hitters. Antonio Corbisiero’s men end Phase I in ninth place on 25 points from 22 games. However, should Connah’s Quay be deducted points on Wednesday, the Black and Greens will be just two points off seventh and a place in the Scottish League Cup Play Off in May. Anyone fancy a trip North in the Autumn?
Bala Town vs Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 26th February
Aber Town visit Maes Tegid for the second time in two weeks tomorrow, this time looking to pick up three valuable Cymru Premier points in the last round of fixtures before the league splits.
With Cymru Premier teams now only afforded three European places, this years Playoff Conference teams will have a place in the Irn Bru Cup as the carrot for qualifying for and then winning the playoffs this time around.
The Seasiders currently sit in 9th, only 4 points off the all-important 7th spot, and depending on the outcome of Connahs Quay’s legal case, this gap could shorten even further. With Antonio Corbisiero’s team unbeaten in three league games going into this match, whatever the situation come the first round of phase 2 fixtures, ATFC fans will be optimistic that the team can have a successful second half of the season.
Bala Town have already successfully qualified for the Championship Conference and therefore will be looking to put together a run of results to challenge for second place and a guaranteed place in Europe. They currently sit 2 points off Penybont and are unbeaten in six league matches stretching back to early December.
Both matches between these two sides have been tight affairs this season. Despite a late Aber fightback, Bala secured their place in the Welsh Cup Semi Final last weekend with a 2-1 victory and back in August, an unfortunate own goal gave them a 1-0 league victory at Park Avenue.
Its an earlier kick-off time of 12.45pm this weekend with tickets priced at £7 for Adults, £4 for Concessions & £1 for children. The postcode for Maes Tegid is LL23 7UY. The playoff push starts here
National Lottery Players Thanked for Covid Support with Free Football Tickets at Aberystwyth Town Football Club
The Seasiders join the National Lottery Football Weekends Campaign to Celebrate Local Football Clubs and Communities.
National Lottery players across the country, including those from Ceredigion are being given the chance to watch their local football teams for free as a thank you for the over £12.5 million of National Lottery funding which helped these community clubs survive when the Covid pandemic struck and football at this level effectively shut down.
The National Lottery Football Weekends campaign will make over 100,000 tickets available on a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ basis for National Lottery players for selected matches in March and April, including at Park Avenue. It aims to get people out to watch and really get behind their local team, perhaps for the first time, and experience the vital role these clubs play as part of their local community.
Thanks to National Lottery players, during the height of the Covid crisis a total support package of over £12.5 million from The National Lottery was made available and proved vital for many local clubs across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including Aberystwyth Town Football Club to survive the loss of essential matchday revenue as football shut down.
The National Lottery Football Weekends is to thank National Lottery players for stepping up when they were needed the most. The special ‘Buy One Get One Free’ ticket offer will be available to National Lottery players for a game at one of the 231 participating clubs in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.* The ticket offer will apply to one of our Phase Two matches in March or April, with the fixture to be confirmed in due course.
The campaign will be delivered in partnership with the Vanarama National League, The FA (Football Association), The Scottish FA (Scottish Football Association), FAW (Football Association of Wales) and NIFA (Northern Ireland Football Association) and is also backed by well-known ex-footballers Ally McCoist and Karen Carney.
Former Scottish international and National Lottery Football Weekends Ambassador McCoist said:
“In nearly every corner of the country you will find a football club which does much more than just kick a ball around on a Saturday afternoon. These clubs make a difference to so many in their community and they suffered perhaps more than any other part of our game during the pandemic. The support of National Lottery players has been crucial in helping them survive and now you can support them again, but this time from the terraces.”
To find out more about The National Lottery Football Weekends and to find your nearest match visit www.thenationallotteryfootballweekends.co.uk.
Each club will be responsible for distributing tickets for its home match and details on how to claim will be available from each club. Terms and conditions apply. The money for this campaign, as well as the initiatives with the various FAs and leagues across the UK during Covid came from a National Lottery promotional fund, it was not funded by money allocated for National Lottery Good Causes or by Camelot.
The National Lottery is also working alongside Non-League Day, a campaign set up in 2010 to encourage supporters of clubs playing at the highest levels of the game to support their smaller local or non-league club and sample the unique matchday experience of football at local level.
The National Lottery has always played a vital role in supporting elite, community and grassroot sport in the UK. Including football, The National Lottery has invested more than £5.7 billion into grassroots sport since it was established in 1994. In the last year nearly £395 million was given to grassroots and elite sport good causes, funding everything from facilities to playing fields and creating opportunities for everyone to get active and improve their lives through sport.
There are other opportunities for National Lottery players in March. The National Lottery Open Week takes place between 19th - 27th March to say thank you for the more than £30 million raised every week by National Lottery players. Open Week unlocks free entry and exclusive discounts for National Lottery players at a range of participating venues including galleries, museums, gardens, historic castles and sports stadiums.
Full Ts&Cs apply and are available at www.nationallotteryopenweek.com
JD Welsh Cup Quarter Final
Saturday 19th February
Bala Town 2 Aberystwyth Town 1
Despite a brave and battling performance from Antonio Corbisiero’s young guns at Maes Tegid yesterday afternoon, two clinical strikes from on loan striker Dean Ebbe (43 and 63 mins) saw the Lakesiders through to the Welsh Cup Semi Finals. Cymru Premier Player of the Month Harry Franklin threatened a comeback with a stunning 85th minute strike and Aber went so close to taking the game to penalties in a thrilling climax, but it was not to be.
Despite inclement weather on the journey up, the sun came out for kick off at Maes Tegid on a wintery day. Harry Franklin showed some early trickery and Jon Owen fired wide, as Aber made a decent and composed start, passing the ball nicely across the 3g surface. Ebbe glanced a header wide for the hosts before Alex Darlington’s free kick was deflected to safety, with Aber unsuccessfully claiming a foul in the box. At the other end Anthony Kay had a volley blocked before Ollie Shannon volleyed over. Lee Jenkins headed Matty Jones’ free kick wide, and Louis Bradford’s cross cum shot dropped wide of the far post with the visitors competing well. 2016 Euro Hero David Edwards’ free kick was gathered by Alex Pennock in Aber’s goal, but then just before the break Shannon had another volley deflected onto the cross bar, and Ebbe was there to nod in the rebound to ensure that, harshly, Aber were a goal down at the break.
Into the second half and Edwards was once again denied by Pennock, while at the other end Jamie Veale lobbed just over the bar. Jon Owen turned his marker and crossed in but sub Jonathan Evans couldn’t quite get to it, then just past the hour the deadly Ebbe found space down the right channel, chased in on goal and slotted the ball into the bottom corner for a killer second. Sean Smith had an effort deflected for a corner, and Edwards went close again, but then back came Aber for a dominant last quarter of an hour. Veale’s cute ball in was perfect for Evans to send in a goalbound header, only for home keeper Alex Ramsey to pull off an astonishing tip over to protect Bala’s lead. Sub Ben Wynne then had a right wing shot blocked, and Owen’s effort off the rebound was cleared off the line. Thorn’s looping header was gathered by Ramsey, then with five to go another cute ball from Veale was cleared to Franklin, who scored with a stunning right footed volley from the edge of the area which finally breached the dam. The lively Evans was then picked out down the right channel, but his goalbound shot was saved by Ramsey, and the hosts held on. Will Evans was denied by Pennock at the other end in injury time, and Bala saw the game out, when brave Aber could argue they deserved a shot at a penalty shoot out at least.
On reflection clinical Dean Ebbe was the difference between two evenly matched sides yesterday, as Bala managed to finish off more of their chances than Aber, however the Black and Greens’ performance will give them great confidence for next Saturday’s return trip to Maes Tegid for the final match of the JD Cymru Premier First Phase. Please note kick off is at 12.45pm – so set your alarm clocks!
Bala Town vs Aberystwyth Town
Saturday 19th February
Welsh Cup Quarter Final
Aberystwyth Town take a break from league action this weekend for a mouth-watering Welsh Cup Quarter-Final against Bala Town at Maes Tegid.
Antonio Corbisiero’s side come into the tie in good form, having gone unbeaten in three league games, winning two of those, and with spirits high at Park Avenue currently, the Green Army will be optimistic about their team’s chances of further progress in this famous old competition.
Two weeks ago, ATFC celebrated 1000 games in the Cymru Premier and whilst there have been plenty of memorable games in the league since its inception in 1992, for many fans their best ATFC memories in recent years have come in this competition.
The Black & Greens have reached this stage of the competition no less than 10 times in the last 30 seasons, progressing to the Semi-Finals on five occasions (1997, 2001, 2009, 2014 & 2018) and the Final three times (2009, 2014 & 2018).
Saturday’s venue, Maes Tegid, was of course the scene of one of ATFC’s most famous victories of recent years when a Declan Walker double against Newtown in the 2018 Semi-Final secured the clubs 4th appearance in the Welsh Cup Final.
Bala Town always provide a tough opposition and come into this match on the back of a six match unbeaten run, which has taken them to within 2 points of second place in the JD Cymru Premier. A late Will Evans equaliser secured a 3-3 draw at Caernarfon Town last Saturday, after new loan signing Dean Ebbe had earlier netted twice.
Welsh International Dave Edwards is proving to be an excellent addition to Colin Caton’s side and he currently leads their league goalscoring with 9 goals so far this season. Ollie Shannon has added 5 and Will Evans 4.
Former ATFC talisman Chris Venables leads the way overall however, with 14 goals in all competitions, which includes 5 goals against Brymbo FC in Round 2 and a hat-trick against Haverfordwest in Round 4.
The two sides last met in August, when an unfortunate own goal was enough to give Bala all three points at Park Avenue. The return league fixture will take place next weekend (Saturday 26th) back at Maes Tegid.
Another large away following is expected this Saturday and travelling Green Army members can find Maes Tegid by using the postcode LL23 7UY. Bala Town’s website states that tickets are priced at £7 for Adults, £4 for Concessions & £1 for children with tickets available on the turnstiles. As always, ATFC in Welsh Cup action should not be missed!!