Aberystwyth Town Assistant Manager was keen to heap praise on his Players after Saturday's exciting draw against Cefn Druids, in conversation with the Club's Youtube Channel.
The run up to the game had been a trying one with Manager Matthew Bishop standing aside in midweek, and experienced players such as Luke Sherbon and Phil Baker missing through suspension and injury.
"It's been a difficult week for us all but we regrouped on Wednesday night, we had a game plan and we enacted it really well. We were just unfortunate that the chances didn't really happen for us, although we created enough to win the game: we hit the bar twice and the post, but overall the work ethic was spot on".
Jones was particularly pleased with an elusive clean sheet, Town's first since their 1-0 victory over Airbus at the start of February, and picked out two defenders for special praise:
"Definitely, yes, it's been a while. We worked in the week on being compact but I thought we defended from the front really well, so that's credit to the front line as well. Ryan Wollacott was give a role and did a really good job (on Ash Ruane), and young Dylan Rees likewise went about his work well today."
Aber have a break from Dafabet WPL action this week as the Welsh Cup Semi Finals take centre stage, but Jones is keen to use the extra time to keep improving and prepare well for their next match on Sunday April 9th:
"We play next in two weeks so we have time to regroup, spend time with each other and work on things. If we show the same desire (as today) and do our homework on the opposition it'll put us in good stead for the game up in Llandudno."
Watch the full interview on Aber Town's Youtube Channel here.
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Saturday 25th March
Aberystwyth Town 0 Cefn Druids 0
A much improved performance saw Aber Town gain a point with a goal less draw at Park Avenue this afternoon. The Black and Greens twice hit the cross bar in the second half and visiting midfielder Jordan Barrow was sent off in injury time, but the breakthrough just wouldn't come for Town. The clean sheet however will give big encouragement to Assistant Manager Wayne Jones and will the give the side a good foundation to build on ahead of their next match, at Llandudno in fifteen days time.
With Ryan Wollacott and Jack Rimmer returning to the starting XI Aber started with a high tempo and had a huge shout for a penalty rejected within the first minute, as Mark Jones appeared to be felled. Jones tested visiting keeper Michael Jones with a low shot but then just as the hosts seemed to be getting on top they had a big let off when Michael Pritchard’s header from the impressive Stuart Cook’s cross glanced inches wide of the far post. Aber continued to press and with Assistant Manager Wayne Jones encouraging them from the dug out they were looking good. Chris Mullock was called on to make a smart stop to deny Ellis Healing, and the follow up, only for Jones to set up Borrelli down the right who in turn brought a save from Jones at the other end. An exciting game saw left winger Naim Arsan send an effort off target, then Malcolm Melvin scooped the ball just over the bar having been set up by Geoff Kellaway. Borrelli played Jones in with a cross field ball and his shot skewed just wide, but despite both sides trying hard to score defences were on top at half time, with Sam Rodon and Wollacott and standing firm at the back for Town.
Town continued to battle hard after the break, and their rewards came with chance after chance falling their way. Borrelli’s lob was easy for Jones in Druids’ goal, as was another attempt soon after. Borrelli then scooped the ball just over the bar from Cledan Davies’ cross, before crossing himself for Jones to hit the crossbar with a header, and go inches wide with the rebound. Druids’ goal was living a charmed life, but Borrelli yet again denied by Jones who tapped his curling effort onto the crossbar for a spectacular save, and Jones headed wide from the resulting corner. A goal seemed inevitable with wave after wave of attacks, Rodon had a header saved then the luckless Borrelli was yet again denied by Jones before sending the rebound just wide. Druids had a few chances to exact the cruellest punishment on the unlucky hosts with a few late free kicks being boomed into the box but Aber’s defence held firm and when Jordan Barrow felled sub John Owen in the 93rd minute for a second yellow, a sending off was inevitable. However Druids’ equally well drilled defence repelled Davies’ ball in, and the game ended goal less.
Aber may not have got the result they deserved this afternoon but their performance was an impressive response to a difficult week, and if they repeat the hard work ethic and ability to craft out chances displayed today for their last three games of the season, Wayne Jones’ side can be confident of retaining their Dafabet Welsh Premier League status. Their next assignment comes two weeks tomorrow, away to Llandudnon on April 9th (ko 4.15pm).
Aber Town Assistant Manager Wayne Jones, placed in charge of First Team affairs this week had an upbeat message in conversation with atfc.org.uk this afternoon:
"I had a meeting with the Players on Wednesday night and we agreed we all have to take responsibility for the situation. I'll do things a bit differently to get us out of the situation but it all starts with hard work."
The Black and Greens take on Cefn Druids at Park Avenue tomorrow afternoon and Jones reported that midweek preparations have gone well:
"The reaction to the discussion was excellent and the training session afterwards was top draw. It was played at a high tempo, the Players' attitude was very good and if they take that attitude into Saturday's game I've got no qualms about us getting a result."
Jones also appealed to loyal Black and Green Supporters to play their part in Town's survival bid after a difficult season:
"We have gone through a lot of change and transition this season but for the here and now it is important for us to stick together and be united. I'd like all our supporters to get vocally behind the team, and to make Park Avenue a fortress for our last two home games of the season, so that we can get the best out of the Players."
Kick off at Park Avenue tomorrow is at 2.30pm.
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Saturday 25th March (ko 2.30pm)
Aberystwyth Town v Cefn Druids
Aberystwyth Town are hoping that Assistant Manager Wayne Jones, now in charge of First Team Affairs, can inspire his side to a much needed victory on Saturday afternoon against buoyant Cefn Druids in the Black and Greens' penultimate home game of 2016/7.
Two damaging defeats at home to Newtown and away to Airbus lead to a change in the Management Structure at the Club this week and Jones is certain to address defensive frailties and lapses of concentration which had lead to the side conceding winning positions in three of their last four matches.
Going forward Aber have been looking promising, with two more away goals for Geoff Kellaway and Mark Jones last Saturday putting Town in a great position to take away the three points at the Airfield. Town now need to start adding clean sheets to the mix in order to preserve their Dafabet Welsh Premier League status.
Visitors Cefn Druids have had a magnificent campaign in relation to their resources and last Friday's 4-1 win over Rhyl which took them to 31 points was probably enough to preserve their League Status this season. Striker Ashley Ruane has added a cutting edge to an already well organised side, so Town will have to rediscover the form which saw them win 3-0 at The Rock back in December. Druids have beaten Aber twice since, 1-0 at Aber in January and 2-1 at the Rock last month, so it's a hard one to call.
The intrigue is almost tangible and Aber's loyal supporters have a big role to play in encouraging their side into a late season recovery. Admission will cost £6 for Adults, £4 Concessions and £1 for Kids, and kick off is at 2.30pm. Your Team Needs You Still!
Aberystwyth Town can confirm the departure of a number of Players from their First Team Squad during the month of March.
Midfielder Kurtis March was released to join Welsh League Division Two Llanelli FC on 6th March after 18 starts and 6 sub Dafabet WPL appearances and 3 goals for the Club, including a memorable 87th minute winner at home to Newtown on Boxing Day.
Winger Kostya Geogievsky was released from his Contract on 13th March having made 5 starts and 10 sub appearances, scoring once at Cefn Druids in December. Kostya has since joined Welsh League Division One side Penybont FC.
Winger Chris Jones was released last Friday March 17th to join Afan Lido, after scoring 5 goals from 20 starts and 4 sub appearances. Jonah's stunning free kick at TNS back in August was a highlight of his time in Black and Green.
Lee Healey was released from the First Team Squad on Wednesday after 3 substitute appearances.
The Club would like to thank Kurtis, Kostya, Chris and Lee for their efforts and wish them all the best in their future careers.
Aberystwyth Town's First Team Squad has been updated on our minisite here.
Matthew Bishop stands aside as Aberystwyth Town Manager and Wayne Jones takes over First Team affairs.
Following a number of indifferent performances over the last few weeks, the Club’s Board has requested that First Team Manager Matthew Bishop stands aside for the time being, in the hope that a change of management will provide the impetus for an improvement of fortunes and continue the Club’s proud boast of being only one of three teams to have been an ever present member of the Welsh Premier League since its inception in 1992.
Chairman Tony Bates commented: ”Season 2016/17 has proved to be extraordinarily difficult for the Club with much of the Board’s focus attributed to completion of the 3G pitch together with the difficulties created by the damage caused to the floodlights, which in turn have created several knock-on effects for the First Team, including of course the need to play the first eleven games away from home. When the management team of Matthew Bishop and Wayne Jones was approached at the start of the Season the Board’s instruction was to create a virtually brand new team and to avoid relegation”.
"By Christmas thanks to further cash injection from the Club, the team seemed to be on course not only to avoid relegation but to achieve the coveted top six position. Unfortunately, since that time the team’s performance has often been below par and as most of the team’s problems have been laid at Matthew’s feet it is unsurprising that he feels acute disappointment at the team’s apparent ability to commit football suicide. This was exemplified by their performance on Saturday against Airbus when for the first 35 minutes the team dominated the game, was 2-0 up and could have scored at least four goals, but then proceeded to lose its way by a number of individual errors which in turn appeared to demoralise the whole team with the inevitable result."
I personally remain firmly of the view that Matthew can play an important role in the future development of the Club but on balance I and the Board consider that allowing his excellent Assistant Wayne Jones to run the team over the forthcoming games will demonstrate to players, fans and sponsors the Club’s determination to avoid relegation: once that is achieved we can regroup and put the lessons learned this season to good effect in the next”.