Park Avenue saw an electric atmosphere and its biggest crowd for twenty years as Aberystwyth Town hosted the Varsity 2019 Challenge Match between Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities this afternoon and evening.
An estimated 1,500 students attended the Men's game at 5.30pm, which saw Bangor score a convincing 6-0 victory, following on from Bangor Ladies' 5-0 win earlier on. A packed Park Avenue was rocking as Students in the Dias, Open air and Rhun Owens Stands sang and cheered their teams, creating an exciting and occasionally raucous atmosphere.
The matches sadly did not go the way of Aber Uni but the event will live long in the memory and Aberystwyth Town FC looks forward to hosting many more such fixtures in the future.
Aberystwyth Town FC are delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Bishop as First Team Manager of the Club.
Penrhyncoch-based Matthew is currently employed as a Senior National Coach Developer and he returns for a second spell in charge at Park Avenue after a season at the helm in 2016/17. He of course holds the prerequisite Pro Licence Certificate which ensures the Black and Greens comply with their UEFA Licensing requirements, and has signed a contract with the Club which runs until the end of the 2019/20 season, with the option of a further extension.
Bishop previously was Assistant Manager at Hereford FC when they reached a Wembley FA Vase Final and won the Midland Football League Premier Division, League Cup and Herefordshire Challenge Cup in 2015/6. Prior to that he coached Newport County to promotion into the Blue Square Premier in 2009/10 with a record points total, and has also worked with Aldershot Town, Wales Under 16s, 17s and England Under 20s sides.
45 year old Bish played eight games for the Black and Greens in their first two WPL seasons (1992-4) before moving to Bangor City, Conwy United and Rhayder, making a total of 61 WPL appearances, scoring once.
Matthew will be supported by Gavin Allen, who remains as Assistant Manager.
Club Chairman Donald Kane said: "Matthew's appointment is a huge boost to the Club as a whole. Not only will he be an integral part of the First Team set up, but also his Coaching expertise will be invaluable at a time when we are looking to develop the Academy structure.”
"We also hope that appointing a locally based Manager will be applauded by our supporters as we look to continue developing top talent through our Academy structure looking forward."
JD Welsh Premier League
Friday 22nd March
Llandudno 1 Aberystwyth Town 2
Aber Town continued their surge towards a UEFA Europa League Play Off Spot by coming from behind to take all three points at Llandudno last night. Goals from Ashley Ruane and yet another stunning strike from in for Geoff Kellaway made the difference after Les Davies had given the hosts the lead in first half injury time. The result returns Aber to the top of the JD Welsh Premier League Play Off Conference, pending Cardiff Met’s result this afternoon.
On a drizzly night the visitors kicked off with one change from their win over Carmarthen Town last time out, with Terry McCormick replacing Adam Walters in goal, and he proved to be a busy man as Llandudno enjoyed long periods of pressure throughout the match. Davies clipped an early shot wide and then a deflected shot from George Harry brought a great stop from Town’s experienced netminder. Marc Williams sent in a cute ball which Ruane glanced against the post with a header for Aber, and Kellaway had a shot blocked but then back came the hosts and McCormick came out well to deny first Alun Webb, and then Danny Hughes in a one on one. Kellaway released Ruane on goal but Aber’s striker couldn’t quite find the right angle, Les Davies had a shot deflected over and then back up the other end a surge from Ryan Wollacott earned Aber a corner, from which Matty Jones found Paolo Mendes’ head, only for home keeper Shaun Pearson to hold his goalbound effort. Then two minutes before the break Llandudno grabbed a deserved lead when Davies headed home directly from Sameron Dool’s corner, and Aber were up against it at the break.
The hosts started the second half striving for the killer second to sustain their quest for safety. Alun Webb curled wide from a good position, then McCormick did well to catch Harry’s lob, but the knife-edge match turned six minutes after the break when Wes Baynes’ superb deep cross found Ruane at the far post, and he headed home an equaliser. With both sides now needing a win for different reasons the game opened up into a thrilling and nerve wracking encounter. Dool was flagged offside before he could put the hosts back into the lead, before Baynes’ goalbound free kick was tipped over the bar by Pearson with a superb save. Aber were now finding some rhythm to their game with some good passing moves evident going forward. Jones’ corner to the edge of the area was curled wide by Ryan Edwards, then Man of the Match McCormick again denied Webb. Then half way through the half came the key moment when the peerless Marc Williams found Kellaway down the left, and he unleashed a vicious volley which sneaked inside Pearson’s near post for yet another Goal of the Month contender, thrilling the vocal visiting fans so much that they rushed down the touchline to celebrate with the players – a la Malcom Melvin two years ago. In a lovely move Kellaway then played in Ruane in a great position, who squared for Jones, but in vain. Llandudno were now desperate for a score and enjoyed long periods of pressure, free kicks and corners galore but the visitors held out stoutly, with Declan Walker, Wollacott and Mendes all earning their corn. Ruane headed over another Baynes cross but at the other end Mike Pearson headed over from a great position, as did Harry from Steve Thomas’ later. Aber threatened a third on the break when Kellaway dug out a cross for Williams, who headed just wide, then sub Jamie McDaid pulled out some super trickery down the right only for the chance to go begging. Pearson came up for an injury time corner and was almost caught out as Aber broke, but McDaid’s lob from distance somehow bounced over the bar: but it did not matter, as Aber held out for a fifth win in five.
Without being at their brilliant best last night Aber did what needed to be done to win a tight game, and they now have earned 13 points from 18 possible since the split, returning to form in spectacular fashion since their Xmas and New Year slump. An exciting end to the season beckons if they can keep this form going! Town’s next date with destiny is a week on Friday night, 5th April at home to Llanelli. See you there!
JD Welsh Premier League
Friday 22nd March (7:45 pm Kick Off)
Llandudno v Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town will look to continue their push for a Europa League Play Off spot on Friday evening as they travel to face relegation threatened Llandudno at the Giant Hospitality Stadium. The Seasiders notched their second successive home league victory a fortnight ago with a 3-2 win over Carmarthen Town, and they'll be seeking three in a row on the North Wales coast this weekend.
Aber Assistant Manager Gavin Allen admitted momentum was on Town's side after the victory over Carmarthen, as his team enter a crucial final few weeks of the season. "We've played a lot better than we did tonight and lost games this season, but we spoke about the 3 points being the most important thing tonight. We've changed a few players' positions around and changed the playing system and at this moment in time, it's working. We've only lost one game since the league split and we're in contention for that seventh placed spot."
Indeed, the Seasiders have picked up 10 points from their last 5 league games since the league split back in January, and they'll need to record a similar points tally for their remaining five games this season if they're to nab that all important seventh placed league finish. Town currently lie in eighth place, 2 points behind Cardiff Met in the chase for a Europa League Play Off Spot.
The quest for points starts at the Giant Hospitality Stadium on Friday evening, a ground Town have enjoyed visiting in recent years - winning on 4 out of the last 5 occasions, most recently earlier this season thanks to a late Declan Walker penalty kick.
Friday's hosts Llandudno are deep in a relegation battle as they battle for survival in the JD Welsh Premier League. The North Wales outfit currently lie in 11th place in the league table, 8 points adrift of safety with just 5 league games remaining. They've won just 4 games all season, however 2 of those victories have come in their last 4 league games - against Llanelli and Carmarthen Town.
In what is a massive game for both sides, kick off at the giant hospitality Stadium is at 7:45 pm, and Llandudno FC's postcode is listed as LL30 1HH. The Black and Greens will be hunting another 3 points in their quest for Europa League football next season, so come along and show your support with just 5 games to go this season!
Aberystwyth Town FC was proud to host a Show Racism The Red Card (SRTRC) Educational event in the John Charles Lounge on Tuesday, 19th March, with Players Lee Jenkins, Kelly Thomas and Coach Steven Brookes representing the Club, and pupils from Ysgol Comins Coch and Plascrug Primary School in attendance.
SRTRC have published the following report in their website here which we are delighted to reproduce:
"We visited Park Avenue for an Educational club event with our partnership club Aberystwyth Town FC.
Young people from Ysgol Comins Coch and Plascrug Primary School attended the stadium to take part in our educational club event for the day. Education Worker Steve Jenkins delivered a workshop in the morning to the young people educating them on the topic of racism using interactive activities and discussions.
Pupils prior to attending the ground at school were set a task to prepare for the afternoons anti-racism “press conference”. Pupils had to create a newspaper name and were tasked with researching racism in sport and society. Pupils also were required to read newspapers and online blogs to explore how they are designed and written.
From the information they had learnt they had to prepare questions for the press conference at the event to help produce their article for their newspaper after the event. In the afternoon pupils watched our educational film, which gave them a last opportunity to obtain further knowledge on the topic before the question and answer session in our “media / press conference event.
Aber players Lee Jenkins, Kelly Thomas and coach Steven Brookes attended the event to take part in the press conference joined by former Wales player Steve Jenkins. Pupils now in the role of newspaper journalists were selected to ask questions, introduce themselves and the newspaper they “worked” for followed by their question. The journalists posed some really challenging questions for the players and had clearly researched and planned some well thought out questions.
Prize winners Genny and Aarush won a Aberystwyth Town shirt, along with a SRtRC goodie bag for asking the best question.
When the pupils return to school they will use all the information they had learnt at the event along with the responses from the players to write and design their article.
We would like to the schools for attending the event and the club for working in partnership to host the event and for providing the prizes for the pupils. Our educational club events are funded by the Football Association of Wales."
Welsh Women's League
Sunday 17th March 2019
Splott Albion Ladies 0
Aberystwyth Town Ladies 2 (Cat Davies 45+2, N. Evans 75)
Following a hard-fought victory in Cardiff along-side Caldicot's 6-2 victory at Barry Town United Ladies, Aber Town took a huge step closer to winning the league and gaining promotion to the Welsh Premier League. Goals from Cat Davies and Naomi Evans secured a very hard-fought victory in difficult weather conditions in the Capital, writes Steven Brookes.
In what promised to be a difficult match for the Black and Greens, it was the visitors who came close to taking an early lead. Top Scorer Tania Wylde was denied a 23rd goal of the season by the foot of the post after a low shot from the edge of the box whilst Naomi Evans had a close-range effort saved by the feet of the home side's goalkeeper. Later in the half, Cat Davies was also denied by the keeper who was quick off her line to block the forward's shot and keep the scores level. The Mid-Wales side were the stronger of the two teams in the first half and two minutes into added time, Aber got the goal they deserved. A Caroline Cooper free-kick was heading into the net already but Catherine Davies got a head to the ball just before the ball crossed the line to make sure Town went into the break ahead.
Aberystwyth were keen to get an early second goal to put some breathing space between themselves and Splott and it was Cat Davies who came close to getting it. An excellent run and cross from Ffiona Evans found Davies but the forward was unable to convert. At the other end of the pitch Ffion Ashman was called into action and had to make a good one-on-one save to prevent the hosts from finding an equaliser. From the resulting corner Josie Pugh made an important block to keep the visitors ahead. With the rain becoming heavier the game was far from easy for Aber but with fifteen minutes of the ninety remaining the league-leaders scored the vital second goal, Davies putting through strike-partner Naomi Evans, whose superb lob from outside the area found the back of the net to double their lead.
Davies came close to adding a third but it wasn't needed though as Town took a valuable three points back home.
After Caldicot's impressive victory against Barry Town United Ladies, Aberystwyth now move eight points clear at the top of the table ahead of Barry. But having played one game more than the second place side and with an away league fixture against Caldicot coming up, promotion is far from sealed.
Next up for the Black and Greens is a very difficult Semi-Final fixture against Caldicot Town Ladies in the Welsh Women's League Cup on 31st March 2019.