Newtown 0-4 Aberystwyth Town
Saturday 15th May 2021
JD CYMRU PREMIER
Aberystwyth Town rounded off the 2020/21 Cymru Premier season with an emphatic victory at Latham Park against Playoff Qualifiers Newtown. On a rain-soaked afternoon in Powys, goals from Matthew Jones (p), Jonathan Evans, Owain Jones and Harry Franklin ensured the Seasiders completed their fixture list on a positive note going into the summer break.
There was only one change made to last weeks starting XI, with Owain Jones replacing John Owen in attack, whilst youngsters Richy Ricketts and Joe Saunders were added to the bench. Newtown, with one eye on next weeks Playoff Semi-Final at Penybont, made a number of changes themselves.
The opening period was slow, with both teams cancelling each other out. Jonathan Evans tested young Robins’ keeper Kham Steventon early on before Louis Bradford had to be alert to stop a Newtown attack after 7 minutes. Evans, who was to put in one of his best performances of the season, then delivered a teasing cross into the box, but no one in Black & Green was able to connect.
On 22 minutes, Owain Jones was played through one on one with Steventon and was brought down by the young goalkeeper. Mathew Jones stepped up confidently and gave Aber the lead from the spot.
Jonathan Evans then had the chance to double Aber’s lead on 31 minutes, as he produced a chip from the edge of the box, which hit the crossbar. He was again involved two minutes later, as his flicked header went narrowly over onto the roof of the net.
The first half then filtered out without any incident bar a somewhat harsh yellow card for Aber Captain Lee Jenkins, and the Seasiders went in at half time a goal to the good.
The second half started in eventful fashion as Jonathan Evans got the goal that his tireless work deserved on 48 minutes. A delicious through ball from Jamie Veale in his own half saw Evans find some space between the Robins’ defenders, and he prodded the ball past Steventon to give Aber a 2-0 lead.
Three minutes later, it was 3-0 as Owain Jones capitalised on a poor back pass to calmly slot the ball home for Aber’s third and end the match as a contest. Jones could well have added another moments later after being set up by some more excellent play from Jonathan Evans down the right, but Steventon produced an excellent block.
The exciting second half continued as Nick Rushton tested Connor Roberts with a low drive on 56 minutes before Jamie Veale curled a shot over from distance and then Callum Roberts had an effort which hit the bar for Newtown.
Owain Jones was then involved in the action again on 70 minutes, as he was played through one on one, but Steventon was there again to deny the striker his 5th goal in the last 6 games.
Aber did not have to wait long for their next goal however, and they were saving the best until last! Jamie Veale’s superb outside of the foot pass found Louis Bradford pushing forward on the right. The New Saints loanee drove forward and crossed for Harry Franklin to tuck the ball home for Aber’s fourth, which wrapped up the win and secured all three points to end the season.
There was just enough time for Richy Ricketts and Joe Saunders to both make brief appearances off the bench before the referee sounded the whistle and brought the curtain down on Season 2020/21.
This win means that Aberystwyth Town finish the season in 10th place and ensures that the Seasiders proud record of never finishing in the bottom two of the Cymru Premier continues.
Next season will be the 30th since the inception of the Cymru Premier (then League of Wales) in 1992. Only two clubs will have played in every season and Aberystwyth Town are extremely proud to be one of those (yesterday’s hosts Newtown being the other). Let’s hope next season is a successful one on the pitch, but more importantly, one that we can all enjoy together with the gates of Park Avenue open again and our wonderful Black & Green Army inside cheering on the lads. It just has not been the same without you!
FULL TIME: NEWTOWN 0-4 ABERYSTWYTH TOWN
NEWTOWN: Steventon, Phillips, McAllister, Mills-Evans, O’Neill, Mitchell (Downs), Rushton, Breese (Hesden), Ofori, Edwards (A. Jones), Roberts.
Subs not used: D. Jones, Evans, Fletcher, Mwandwe
ABERYSTWYTH TOWN: Roberts, Bradford, Jenkins, Kearney (Saunders), Franklin, M. Jones, Veale, R. Davies (Ricketts), Evans (Reed), O. Jones (J. Owen), Thorn.
Subs not used: Pennock, Horwood, Rimmer
Goals: M. Jones (23’p), Evans (48’), O. Jones (51’), Franklin (84’)
Newtown vs Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 15th May – 12pm KO
MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The 2020/21 Cymru Premier draws to a close tomorrow with a high noon showdown between Aberystwyth Town and Mid Wales rivals Newtown.
The Robins have already secured 7th position in the league and therefore a place in the end of season playoffs but this game still has huge significance for Aber as the Black & Greens look to avoid finishing in the bottom two positions for the first time.
The points have been split equally between both teams across the previous three meetings this season. A late Neil Mitchell equaliser ensured a 1-1 draw back in September, after Jamie Veale had earlier given Aber the lead. Harry Franklin’s excellent solo goal gave the Seasiders all three points at Park Avenue in March, but two weeks later Jordan Evans 93rd minute strike sealed a 2-1 victory for Newtown after earlier goals from Tyrone Ofori and Marc Williams.
Newtown’s form has been excellent since the split and they come into this game with 4 wins from the last 5, which has seen them claim 7th position comfortably, and Chris Hughes’ side will be a match for anyone in the playoffs. They have plenty of goals in their team, as Tyrone Ofori and Jordan Evans both have 10 goals so far this season, whilst Nick Rushton has 9 and James Davies has 8.
Although Aber have only lost one game from the last five, the second half of the season has not quite gone as hoped after expectations were raised coming into the second phase following some great form in March. The Seasiders must win at Latham Park and hope that Flint Town United do not get a victory away at Cardiff Met University, in order to avoid finishing in the bottom two for the first time in Cymru Premier history.
Cymru Premier games kick-off at the unusual time of 12pm on Saturday and history will be made as the league's official broadcast partner, S4C, has confirmed that they will broadcast two live matches simultaneously on the final day for the first time in the league's history; Penybont vs Connah's Quay and The New Saints vs Bala Town as Connah's Quay and The New Saints battle it out for the league title.
This is the final match of the league season and we all hope that it will also be the last match where supporters are not allowed to attend. The late, great Jock Stein once said “football without fans is nothing”, and his words have never been more apt than over the last 12 months. Aberystwyth Town would like to thank our fans for your understanding during this period, for your patience and most importantly, for your unwavering support. Everyone at the club cannot wait to welcome you back into Park Avenue next season!
For the final time this season, you can follow all the action on our Twitter feed @AberystwythTown. Please remember that it is an early kick-off time of 12pm and once again, thank you for your excellent support all season!
Taking time to reflect and improve your wellbeing
As we approach the end of the season (as strange as it has been), now feels like an obvious time to look back in order to learn from the challenges and lows, but also to celebrate the wins and highs; goals, penalty saves, team spirit and of course being the first team to score against/gain points vs TNS back in October, among other highlights.
Thinking not just of this season, but looking back at the last year it has been really difficult for so many. Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our lives and the wider impact we may not yet fully know.
We have seen sports paused, stadiums empty, leagues and teams not being able to train or play at all. Many of us are experiencing job uncertainties, had plans cancelled and unable to be with our friends and families as usual. Some of us have had to say goodbye to loved ones under very difficult circumstances, we may have juggled home-schooling and home-working, had our relationships at home under new pressures or perhaps experienced amplified feelings of loneliness.
If there is one thing we have learned this year, it is that we cannot control everything in life, but maybe we can control our response to uncertainty and surround ourselves with support for the challenges.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (10th-16th May). I know our mental wellbeing can be tough to talk about, we can try to put a brave face on and maybe struggle to be honest with ourselves about how we are affected. But if we are honest, some of these challenges will have impacted us. The Mental Health Foundation has put together 5 top tips for our wellbeing as part of the awareness week:
Connect, Take Notice, Give, Be Active and Keep Learning. You can see more here.
However this season ends and whatever comes next, please know I am always available for a chat, or to simply listen. Please know I am praying for you, your families, and all at the club. This Sunday, 16th May, is National Sports Sunday; a day when Churches across the UK give special attention to pray for Sports clubs and communities; these prayers are for you too.
Let us support each other in the challenges and celebrate together the successes. After all, connection is good for us.
Aber As One.
Jon Butler, Club Chaplain.
Flint Town United 0-0 Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Aberystwyth Town failed to make their numerical advantage count as they fought out a goalless draw against their nearest league rivals Flint Town United at the Essity Stadium. On a frustrating afternoon on the North East coast, Ben Amiss was dismissed for the hosts with seconds to go until the interval but the Seasiders were unable to make their advantage count over the course of the second half.
With Wales experiencing some unseasonal weather in the build up to the game, the Deeside coast was battered by mother nature in the build-up to the game and full credit must go to the volunteers at the Silkmen for producing an excellent playing surface.
Aber started the game brightly and carved out two great openings in the first five minutes. Firstly, Louis Bradford volleyed over the bar from close range before some brilliant work down the left from Harry Franklin teed up a cross for Jonathan Evans who’s goal bound header looked to have given the Seasiders the initiative. However, home stopper Jon Rushton had other ideas, pulling off a sumptuous save down low, pawing the ball away to safety.
After the two quick chances for Aber, Flint settled into the contest and began creating chances of their own. The home side saw strikes from Alex Jones and Callum Brately fall narrowly wide of the post before creating their best opportunity of the half with 23 minutes having elapsed. Great play down the right flank saw the ball land to Ross Weaver. His strike, via a deflection from Black and Green defender Ian Kearney forced Connor Roberts into a great stop.
Franklin was causing problems for the Silkmen and Aber’s most likely route towards victory looked to be coming down his wing. He had a glorious opportunity to give Aber the lead but couldn’t keep his effort under the crossbar. He did have the ball in the back of the net but an early flag from the linesman denied him his fourth of the season.
The game’s flashpoint came with just seconds to go until the break. A heavy tackle in midfield from Ben Amiss on Jamie Veale, sparking a 19-man melee in midfield and saw referee Bryn Markham Jones reach for his red card for the Flint Town United striker.
With Aber having a numerical advantage, they enjoyed more of the ball in the second stanza but could only create sporadic chances against a well drilled and organised back line. Mathew Jones saw a strike fall narrowly over the bar whilst Kearney’s header from a corner landed on the roof of the home net.
To their credit, Flint did look to gain a winner of their own and had spells of pressure but like their opponents, they couldn’t break down an organised Seasiders’ defence. The lively Jones for the hosts came closest with his header going wide of the far post.
Gavin Allen introduced Owain Jones and Marc Williams as well as Jamie Reed late on in search of the go ahead goal but despite the addition of additional fire power, there was to be no late drama which has plagued our season so far. Jon Owen saw a shot well stopped by Rushton whilst Jenkins tried to connect with a Jack Rimmer cross in the final minute but could only make connection with the home keeper, earning himself a yellow card in the process.
With one game to go, Aber will be hoping for a victory away at local rivals Newtown whilst hoping that Cardiff Met continue their good form with a victory over Flint Town to ensure we don’t finish in the bottom two of the league for the first time since the inception of the Super 12. We also hope that next Saturday’s game will be the last behind closed doors and that by the beginning of next season, the doors to the JD Cymru Premier will be wide open to all once again.
Flint Town United vs Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 8th May – 14.30 KO
MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Having completed their home league campaign on Tuesday night, Gavin Allen’s Seasiders travel to North Wales for their penultimate match of the season against Flint Town United.
Only two points separate the two sides ahead of this game, as Flint climbed above Aber on Tuesday thanks to a 6-0 victory over Cefn Druids at The Rock, as Aber were drawing 2-2 with Haverfordwest County at Park Avenue.
Both clubs come into the match in a similar run of form, with two wins each from their last five, although Flint’s two have come in their last two matches. Aber have also drawn 2 of their last 5, compared to Flint’s single draw.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season, with Flint securing two victories so far to Aber’s one. Goals from Jonathan Evans, Mathew Jones & Lee Jenkins secured the three points for the Seasiders back in September, whilst Flint won the return Phase One match 3-0 in December. The most recent meeting came on 16th April at Park Avenue, with Flint winning 1-0 thanks to a Joshua Amis goal.
Amis is Flint’s top scorer so far this season, netting 6 goals in 13 appearances, as well as contributing 4 assists. Mark Cadwallader has hit 5 goals, whilst also contributing 3 assists. Connor Harwood is on 5 goals too and has provided 2 assists.
An interesting fact is that Flint have been involved in the least amount of draws this season, only one (0-0 at Haverfordwest on 24th April) out of 30 matches played, whilst Aber have been involved in the most (8). However, none of the three matches between the 3 have been draws, so this should be an interesting and certainly unpredictable game to follow!
Aber will wrap up the season at Latham Park next Saturday as this most unusual season finally comes to a close against Newtown, who may well have secured 7th place and a spot in the end of season playoffs depending on results this weekend.
The match at Cae Y Castell is behind closed doors but you can follow all the action on our Twitter feed as usual @AberystwythTown. Thanks for your continued support and we hope to see you all soon.
Aberystwyth Town 2-2 Haverfordwest County
JD Cymru Premier
Aberystwyth Town ended their 2020/21 home campaign on Tuesday night as the Black & Greens welcomed Wayne Jones' Bluebirds to Park Avenue. On a particularly blustery evening in West Wales, it was a frantic first half that saw the action as the sides took home a point apiece, with Owain Jones and Jamie Reed finding the net.
The game began in the air with the winds playing havoc with both sides' attacking intents, but it didn't take long for Aber get a nose in front as ever-impressive Louis Bradford found a ball down the left channel to Owain Jones on 9 minutes. The winger accelerated towards goal, spotting keeper Wojciech Gadja off his line and chipping confidently from 30 yards, collecting his fourth goal in as many matches.
County looked to answer with a pair of dangerous crosses to the Town box but Connor Roberts was equal to both, before Owain Jones and skipper Marc Williams couldn't quite find each other at the other end to create a chance to double the lead. The pressure from visitors built on 30 minutes as another long-range free-kick was delivered to the six-yard box for Roberts to claim, though his clean sheet was dirtied two minutes later. The pacey attackers Williams and Wilson connected as the latter latched onto a low-cross to find the bottom corner and bring the score level.
However, Town responded quickly as Jamie Reed fired wide on 34 minutes before Harry Franklin did well to get a touch to a loose ball before a County defender who brought the young man down in the area for a penalty. After some brief penalty-taking discussion, it was the veteran Jamie Reed who stepped up and fired down the middle to restore Town's lead.
As half-time loomed, Aber looked well-placed for a lead at the half, but Danny Williams had other plans as he dropped a shoulder or two to create some space from the left and fire confidently to the far post, leaving Roberts with no chance. The first half had one more trick up its sleeve as a corner for Town in the 45+5th minute caused mayhem in the box and almost another lead for the home side but the eventual shot was fired wide, thus ending an exciting first 45.
The second half was a cagier affair as temperatures dropped and winds continued with clear-cut chances fewer and further between than the opening half - Jonathan Evans replacing Owain Jones at the break. A County counter attack evaded a final touch on 57 mins before Town did the same 5 minutes later as Reed couldn't get a foot to the cross. On 65 mins Louis Bradford made a fantastic goal line tackle to keep the scores level before a trio of chances for Town with Marc Williams and Harry Franklin firing wide from distance.
Aber's best chance of the half came on 77 mins when Jamie Veale delivered a perfect free kick from 35 yards to find Marc Williams who glanced his header towards the far post, only for Gadja to save brilliantly.
Jon Owen and Steff Davies were introduced late on but to no avail as this tightly contested match came to a close, as did this unprecedented season at Park Avenue.
A point for each team seemed a fair result as we look forward to a final two fixtures in this season's JD Cymru Premier campaign, first to Flint then to Newtown. Thank you to all the supporters who have backed the team all term, showing great initiative to get a glimpse of the action at Park Avenue despite the extremely difficult circumstances we have all faced. We cannot wait to welcome the Green Amy back through the turnstiles in the near future. Diolch yn fawr!