Aberystwyth Town Ladies have had a very impressive season so far. Unbeaten in the league, League Cup, Alun Evans Cup and Central Wales Cup, their only defeat this season came against top tier side Rhyl Ladies, losing 1-0 in the Welsh Cup in October.
One player enjoying her time at Aber Town Ladies is goalkeeper Ffion Ashman, writes Steven Brookes. The ex-Swansea player joined not long after the start of the season but has said she has been interested in joining the team for a while:
"Since playing senior football, I have always had Aber in mind as a club I would join if anything happened. It is a well ran club with fantastic facilities and a great bunch of girls and coaches. The best thing about being here are the girls! They have been great with making me feel welcome and I really feel like I have been here for ages. It is also good to be here to help them achieve their goal of reaching the Welsh Prem again."
Aber have still got a chance of winning four competitions. The team are currently third in the League with games in hand, have made it to the Semi-Finals of the SWWGL Alun Evans Cup and the Welsh Women's League Cup and once again, Aber are in the final of the CWFA Cup.
"We are having a fantastic season so far, in great position in the league with some big games coming up. We are in great form at the moment, haven’t lost a game in the league all season and still in all the cups and only conceding 4 goals (in the league) shows how defensively we are solid and everyone knows their jobs! We are creating great chances and scoring fantastic team goals! Hopefully this run of form will continue."
Since joining the side, Ffion has shown why she is arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the division and says she's pleased with her recent form:
"I feel like I’m personally in good form making some good saves and helping the team out by playing as a sweeper. I feel like I’m playing well with my feet finding the right players and trying to play the ball round instead of kicking the ball long. Hopefully I can continue to do this and help the team achieve their goals."
With only a couple of months left to go, the Aber goalkeeper believes it's important the team keep building momentum as they look for a strong end to the season.
"The up and coming fixtures are huge for us and the club. They will determine our season and how it will finish! Hopefully we can all work as a team, complete our jobs and take one game at a time, continue our run and keep building momentum."
Ffion is enjoying her time at the club and believes the future looks bright for Aberystwyth Town Ladies.
"I would like to thank the girls and all coaching staff for everything so far. I feel so settled at this club and feel we are building a fantastic squad I hope we can continue all of this and get back where we belong."
JD Welsh Premier League
Saturday 31st March (2:30p.m Kick Off)
Llandudno v Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town will look to get back to winning ways this weekend as they travel to face Llandudno at the Giant Hospitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Town suffered their first loss in five games last Saturday as they fell to a 2-0 home defeat against Barry Town United, and the seasiders will now be keen to get back on track as they seek to jump above this Saturday’s hosts in the JD Welsh Premier League table.
Aber’s Nev Powell remained positive after last Saturday’s defeat to Barry, claiming he wouldn’t be too hard on Town’s players despite falling to their first loss at Park Avenue since New Year’s Day. Powell commented; “At this level you’ve got to take your chances and we’ve had a handful of guilt-edged chances to score today. But we won’t be too hard on them because we’ve got a lot of big games coming up and we need to keep our heads up.” Indeed, on another day Aber could well have scored at least three goals last weekend were it not for some heroic Barry Town defending; a fact that opposing manager Gavin Chesterfield was quick to comment on. Barry’s manager stated; “Second half we’ve got to give Aberystwyth credit, they’ve got a fantastic home record and they created a good few chances that they could have easily put away. “ Aber’s players will remain positive that if they create as many opportunities in their remaining games this season, they’re sure to pick up more positive results.
Local star Matthew Jones is expected to return to the squad this week after missing last weekend’s defeat through illness, whilst Ryan Wade also looks likely to feature after a recent hamstring strain.
Saturday’s hosts Llandudno enter the game with just two victories in their last ten games in all competitions. Iwan Williams’ side currently lie one place and two points above Aber in the JD Welsh Premier League table, and will be without key duo Mike Williams and Ryan Edwards through injury on Saturday. They do however carry a serious goal threat through the likes of Marc Williams and also Danny Hughes; who has scored a couple of excellent goals in previous meetings between the sides.
Aber will travel to Llandudno in good spirits, having won three consecutive league games at the Giant Hospitality Stadium, most recently a 3-2 victory thanks to Jonny Spittle’s last-gasp winner. Kick off on Saturday is at 2:30p.m and Llandudno’s postcode is listed as LL30 1HH. In what is Aber’s penultimate away league game of the season, come along and see whether the black and greens can make it four on the bounce beside the seaside!
Aberystwyth Town are delighted to announce the addition of Pro Licence holder Seamus Heath to the Club's Management Team, with immediate effect.
Seamus was born in Belfast but retains close links to North Wales having played 32 times for Wrexham in 1983/4, followed by 17 appearances for Tranmere with Neville Powell over the subsequent two years. Heath has since developed a wealth of Coaching experience in Northern Ireland, working with Glenavon, Kilmore Recreation, the Northern Ireland Under 19s side and most recently with Knockbreda Under 20s and Annagh United in the Northern Irish First Division. Interestingly, Seamus' son Ben made a total of 56 WPL appearances between 2004-7 for Connah's Quay and Caernarfon Town.
Neville Powell will henceforth fulfil the role of Director of Football while Heath takes over as First Team Manager, and Wayne Jones remains as Assistant Manager. The new Management Team will all be present at Llandudno on Saturday.
Chairman Donald Kane said: "The addition of Seamus to our ranks is a great boost to the Club at a crucial time in the season, with vital JD Welsh Premier League matches and a Welsh Cup Semi Final on the horizon. The Board is delighted with the new Management Structure and we hope and believe they will ensure a successful end to the season."
JD Welsh Premier League
Saturday 24th March
Aberystwyth Town 0-2 Barry Town United
Aberystwyth Town fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of a well -organised Barry Town United side, on a frustrating afternoon for the seasiders at Park Avenue. Goals from Jordan Cotterill (42) and Louis Gerrard (90) condemned Nev Powell’s side to just their second defeat in ten games in all competitions and their first home defeat since New Year’s Day.
Prior to kick off at Park Avenue, Aber full back Declan Walker was presented with his JD Welsh Premier League Player of the Month award by manager Nev Powell, as he came back into the starting line up in place of flu-stricken Matthew Jones. Visitors Barry edged the opening stages as Chris Mullock was forced into action after just 4 minutes from James Demetriou. Soon after, the hosts tested former seasider Mike Lewis with Craig Hobson’s header as the game threatened to spring into life. However, both sides struggled to gain the upper hand as the first half wore on with a tight midfield battle ensuing and minimal chances being created. On 18 minutes Aber’s John Owen danced his way into the penalty area before forcing a smart save from Lewis in goal, before Ryan Newman fired his shot over the crossbar at the other end. As half time approached, Barry opened the scoring as Jordan Cotterill latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired a left footed shot into the bottom corner beyond the reach of Mullock to make it 1-0. Aber didn’t have a chance to respond to going behind, as the referee’s half time whistle blew with the visitors leading a very scrappy affair.
Aber started the second half in much brighter fashion, as they took the initiative in search of an equaliser. On 53 minutes Hobson again tested Lewis with a low drive, before he created a glorious opportunity for Joe Phillips to tap the ball home inside the six-yard area, which somehow sailed inches over the crossbar. Aber were beginning to threaten more and more, and on the hour mark Kurt Sherlock made his home debut, replacing the ever-energetic Phillips. Soon after Sherock’s introduction, Town again came within inches of finding the back of the net as Ryan Wollacott’s goal bound effort was cleared on the goal line, before Hobson sent his half volley millimetres over the crossbar. The visitors were somehow surviving everything Aber were throwing at them as another chance went begging on 66 minutes when Declan Walker’s cross fizzed across the six-yard area beyond the sliding Hobson. It seemed inevitable that Nev Powell’s side would break through the visitors’ resolute rear guard as they earned another succession of corner kicks. On 70 minutes, from one of those corner kicks Ryan Wollacott’s header was destined for the top corner before being cleared off the line brilliantly as Aber’s supporters began to wonder what they had done to deserve such bad luck. Geoff Kellaway was introduced in place of Luke Borrelli on 75 minutes as Aber continued to push forwards, but on 80 minutes they almost got caught on the break as Demetriou forced a brilliant stop from Mullock. Soon after, Aber’s keeper was again forced into action as he instinctively saved Luke Cooper’s header. On 82 minutes, the hosts once more went agonisingly close as Tom Owens unleashed a fierce volley from Hobson’s flick on, only to be denied by another fine save by Lewis in goal. Then, as the game entered stoppage time, Barry delivered the ultimate sucker punch as Louis Gerrard latched on to a long ball and slotted the ball beyond Mullock to make it 2-0 and send the three points back to south Wales.
A frustrating afternoon for Nev Powell’s side, who certainly created enough chances to get at least a point from the game. Aber perhaps missed that little bit of luck that has been going in their favour in recent weeks, and can certainly take away many positives from their performance as they look to bounce back with a victory away at Llandudno next Saturday afternoon.
JD Welsh Premier League
Saturday 24th March (2:30p.m Kick off)
Aberystwyth Town v Barry Town United
Aberystwyth Town are back in JD Welsh Premier League action on Saturday, as they look to extend their five game unbeaten run against Barry Town United at Park Avenue. Nev Powell’s side currently lie in 10th place in the JD Welsh Premier League table, but still have one eye on the teams above them as they look to finish the season strongly in both the league and the JD Welsh Cup.
After a well-earned weekend off following their excellent victory away at Newtown a fortnight ago, manager Nev Powell will be looking for the same levels of energy and intensity from his side that that they showed at Latham park to down the Robins. After that game, Powell emphasised his delight at his side’s overall performance stating; “I thought we were excellent all over the pitch. We nullified their attacks and we looked dangerous on the break, and every single player out there today was outstanding.” Town’s manager highlighted the need for his team to continue to build momentum as the season nears it’s finale, commenting “We’ve got to start looking up the table now and trying to finish as high as we can. We’ve got five league games left as well as the cup semi-final, and we want to go and win every single game”. With confidence high in the camp, it isn’t any wonder that the Aber manager is setting such high standards; with the Black and Greens having lost just once in their last nine games in all competitions.
Town will be pleased to have February’s JD Welsh Premier League player of the month Declan Walker back in the squad for Saturday’s game, whilst Ryan Wade also looks likely to feature after a recent hamstring injury, in a double boost for Nev Powell’s side. In addition, striker John Owen will be in contention after he played 55 minutes for Wales in their clash with England in the C International match played at Jenner Park on Tuesday evening.
Visitors Barry Town United will make the long journey up to Park Avenue in high spirits, after picking up maximum points in the league since the split in early February. Gavin Chesterfield’s side have won four straight league games and currently lie top of the Play Off Conference. The sides have already met three times this season, with Barry winning 3-1 at Jenner Park in February, whilst both fixtures in the first phase of the season finished in draws (1-1 and 0-0 respectively).
In what is sure to be a cracking match between two teams on top form, kick off at Park Avenue is at 2:30p.m. Admission costs £7 for adults, £4 concessions and £1 for children. It’s not often you get to see recently crowned Player of the Month and Manager of the Month face off, so come on down and enjoy the occasion!
After an impressive 4-0 home victory over Penybont, Manager Kevin Jenkins has described the performance as 'thoroughly professional' and believes it is now important that the team have the chance to play 'week in week out', writes Steven Brookes.
Aber dominated large parts of the match on the weekend and were a goal up at half time thanks to Naomi Evans's strike. But the manager believed it was Helen Evans's second goal just after the break that was 'vitally important'.
'The goal after quarter of an hour so settled us down. It's just the case of getting the second goal. In football once you get the second goal you can relax a bit and we got it early enough in the second half and to me that was job done. I've been in the game long enough to know the longer the game goes on, you do start getting nervy, players get nervy and start giving the ball away. But once we got that second goal we could relax and play a bit.'
The victory means Aber have closed the gap on league leaders Briton Ferry to eight points but do have two games in hand on the side at the top of the table. The Black and Greens remain unbeaten in the league and Jenkins says apart from the 1-1 draw away at Penybont on the opening day, it has been a brilliant season so far: but now it's very important the team are given the opportunity to play every week after numerous postponements already this season.
'We need the momentum. We need to keep playing games and basically play week in week out otherwise we'll be left at the of the season and we may well have to play three or four games a week.'
Aberystwyth Town Ladies next game is arguably their most important of the season: a home match against league leaders Briton Ferry at Park Avenue, this Sunday with a 2pm kick off.