Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Wednesday 31st August
Rhyl v Aberystwyth Town
The final fixture of August sees Town travel the North Wales coast to take on twice Welsh Premier League champions Rhyl FC. Following the dramatic conclusion to Sunday’s game vs Llandudno, Aber sit in fourth place on six points out of a possible nine. Having kept two consecutive clean sheets and buoyed by a last minute winner on Sunday, the Seasiders go to Belle Vue in a confident mood.
Aber will also be boosted by the returning Kostya Georgiesvky, who returns to the squad having served his three-match suspension after a sending off for Port Talbot at the end of last year. With the rest of the squad coming through Sunday’s game unscathed, Bishop has a full squad at his disposal for the first time this campaign.
Rhyl have seen a number of comings and goings throughout the summer. Niall McGuinness at just 24 is the youngest manager in the league and has overseen a number of comings and goings in the club during the offseason, signing over thirty players from the end of the last season. The latest man to commit to the Lilywhites is Carl Lamb, who played a number of games in Preseason for Aberystwyth Town.
The North Walians come into this game with one point from their first three games after a credible draw against Llandudno followed by defeats against Cefn Druids and last year’s champions TNS.
Despite the hosts losing heavily on the weekend, manager Matthew Bishop knows that they are in for another difficult afternoon away from home. “We’ll do our preparation like we do for any other game. They’ve got their threats. They’ve just signed Carl Lamb who we know well at the football club and is a threat. The important thing for us is that we go there in confident mood but not taking anything for granted because we know we need to do a job to get the result we want.”
The supporters coach leaves Aberystwyth at 3:30pm and a return will cost £10 for Adults and £5 Concessions. It’s sure to be a Rhylly entertaining evening!
The full time 0-0 tweet was ready to be sent from the club’s Twitter account when Aber won a last minute corner, the latest in the series of set piece opportunities for the Seasiders.
Kurtis March took the final set piece of the day. His corner was flicked on by Geoff Kellaway at the nearpost and substitute Jonathan Evans was the quickest to react, bundling the ball into the back of the net, sparking scenes of wild jubilation amongst players and supporters alike.
The last minute winner from Town delighted the boss, “I thought we did very well in spells today. We used the ball really well. We probably could have been better in the final third. If we’d have taken our chances we could have got something a bit earlier but I’m delighted.” He told our Youtube channel following the completion of the game.
What pleased the boss was the fact that it was two substitutes that came on to make the difference for Town. With the starting XI putting in incredulous levels of effort and guile from the first whistle, the three substitutes of Coyle, March and Evans added extra impetus for Town to go onwards to claim all three points against last season’s third placed side.
“I’ve said all season it’s a squad game and today’s proved that with the substitutions. It’s something we’ve spoken about in training and luckily, Jonny’s alive and taken his chance.”
The results marks Aber’s second consecutive clean sheet. Whilst the back four and keeper take the plaudits, the manager also praised his midfield for the work they put in to protect his defence.
“It’s definitely a team thing. That’s two and a half games we’ve gone now without conceding. I thought the back four were immense as well as Dom. But as well as that, Sherbs and Clarkey were in midfield along with the rest of the team. It’s about putting a shift in, not just what you do with the ball but what you do without it. We’ve got a good, strong group here who want to work hard and don’t like conceding goals.”
There’s little in the way of relaxation for the side now with another big away game coming up on Wednesday night against Rhyl. The Lilywhites will be on the lookout for their first win of the season and will be very dangerous opposition for Town, something Bishop is very aware of.
“We’ll do our preparation like we do for any other game. They’ve got their threats. They’ve just signed Carl Lamb who we know well at the football club and is a threat. The important thing for us is that we go there in confident mood but not taking anything for granted because we know we need to do a job to get the result we want.”
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Sunday 28th August
Llandudno 0 Aberystwyth Town 1
A strong squad performance, crowned by a 93rd minute headed winner from super sub Jonathan Evans earned the Black and Greens a significant victory away to Dafabet WPL Bronze Medallists Llandudno this afternoon.
Aber’s unchanged XI started full of confidence, passing the ball around nicely on Maesdu’s 3G surface, and Joe Clarke fired a shot wide from the first move of the game showing their attacking intent. Swashbuckling right back Ricky Watts set up the effervescent Blake Davies up front but he couldn’t quite get his shot away, and he was denied again soon afterwards as Geoff Kellaway set him up after a nice ball from Luke Sherbon. With Sherbon and Clarke anchoring the midfield superbly Aber were on top, and although Marc Williams deflected a James Joyce shot wide, back came Town with Sherbon and Chris Jones next to go close. Town were creating chances at will but were missing a cutting edge with Clarke and Jones shooting wide, and then Jones ran 50 yards to send in a great left wing cross which Davies just failed to connect with. Llandudno reminded those present that they could still be a threat as Lewis Buckley curled a free kick just wide before the break, but overall visiting supporters felt that the Seasiders deserved more than a 0-0 score at half time.
The hosts came more into things after the break but Aber continued to create openings too. Davies, played in by Geoff Kellaway missed the target down the left flank, and then Sam Rodon, a giant at the back for Aber, headed wide from Jones’ corner. Davies stabbed home from an offside position but then Town had a real scare when James Joyce’s free kick was headed back across goal by Buckley and Williams failed to convert with a back post header. Williams was denied by a goal saving tackle by Will Bell, and then Aber keeper Dominic Richards calmed the nerves by confidently picking out a looping goalbound header and a shot from Leo Riley, and Town’s excellent back four of Watts, Bell, Rodon and Ryan Wollacott had survived the storm. Sherbon tested Dave Roberts’ handiwork, Chris Jones’ audacious effort from the touchline was next to concern him, and Luke Borrelli saw a shot deflected to Kellaway who went agonizingly close from a promising position. It seemed like the goal would never come but then Aber’s force of will came into play and their three substitutes Lewis Coyle, Kurtis March and Evans had the final word. A free kick from Clarke earned Aber a 93rd minute corner, and March’s pinpoint ball was nodded on by Kellaway for Evans to head home gleefully from a yard, bringing on ecstatic celebrations shared between the squad and the travelling supporters, echoed seconds later at the final whistle.
Scoring an away winner in the 93rd minute is a massive high for any team and this result will have brought Matthew Bishop’s squad together yet further – the clenched fists and cheers at the end were witness to that. They have had a good week with two wins out of two, and will need to be together again on Wednesday night for another away appointment at Rhyl FC (kick off 7.45pm). The Coach leaves Park Avenue at 3.30pm and it will be a happy place after today’s result!
Llandudno vs Aberystwyth Town
Sunday 28th August (Kick Off 3pm)
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Aber make the trip from the West to the North Wales Coast in bullish mood this weekend. Following an encouraging performance against league champions TNS in the opening fixture, Town secured their first three points of the season with a superb victory over Airbus away at Broughton last Sunday, and will now be looking to repeat that trick further up the North Wales Coastline at Maesdu Park this time round.
Llandudno were arguably the surprise package of last season. Securing a top 6 berth, they followed that up with automatic qualification for the Europa League on their maiden season in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League. Llandudno have one point from their opening two fixtures after picking up a draw against Rhyl before suffering a heavy defeat at home to TNS in front of the Sgorio camera’s last Saturday. Ex Aber boss Alan Morgan Manages Llandudno now and their netminder Dave Roberts also had a spell in Black and Green.
Town will have to do without Kostya Georgievsky who serves the final match of his suspension for a sending off whilst playing for Port Talbot Town. Elsewhere, Greg Walters looks set to return to the squad after sitting out last week’s game following a head injury attained whilst playing against TNS. Manager Matthew Bishop told atfc.org.uk this week: “We’ll approach the game exactly the same way (as last week). We’ll dust ourselves off, rest and work on it in training on Wednesday. We’ll come up with a game plan. Llandudno are a very good side with some very good players and they offer us a different challenge and hopefully get another result.”
With both sides keen to get victory following last week’s results, this fixture looks set to be a Bank Holiday Blockbuster. The Coach will cost just £10 for Adults and £5 Concessions, and leaves Park Avenue at 10.30am.
With seconds to go at Airbus last Sunday Aberystwyth Town found themselves battling to preserve their one goal cushion they’d developed thanks to Geoff Kellaway’s 31st minute strike.
Then, in the 93rd minute, the ever-dangerous Tony Grey connected with a header that looked destined to break the hearts of the Seasiders. But goalkeeper Dominic Richards had other ideas. The 21 year old who joined Bishop’s squad from Stourport Swifts in the summer, threw himself at the ball and produced a stunning save and produce an early contender for save of the season.
“I was just ecstatic to save it! I’ve had very little to do all game so to get a finger tip to that one and save the three points, I’m really happy with it. It’s always great to get a clean sheet and the team played well. I’m already looking forward to next week and getting going again.” Richards told atfc.org.uk after the match.
The former Swifts stopper has been pleased with his introduction to the Welsh Premier league. “I came in late to Pre Season but the lads have made me feel really welcome. There is a step up in standard but Bishop really gets us playing the right way.”
With the first three points of the campaign registered, Richards and the rest of the squad are ambitious that they can achieve a Top 6 finish come the January split: “I want to keep working hard, keep doing what I can so that the results can come so that we can get the top 6 finish that I and the rest of the lads want come the end of the season.”
Watch Dominic Richards' post match interview at Airbus in full on Aber Town's Youtube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s13uRWpyvo
Brilliant photo courtesy of Chris Howells
The second period in Aberystwyth’s first fixture at TNS provided much cause for encouragement and optimism, writes atfc.org.uk's Matthew Wallace. To the delight of all affiliated with the club, those predictions came to fruition as Aber returned from the Hollingsworth Group Stadium with all three points yesterday against last year’s Welsh Cup Finalists Airbus UK. Geoff Kellaway’s strike in the 31st minute was enough to separate the sides on the score line after he latched onto a beautifully weighted through ball from midfielder Joe Clarke. With that strike, Aber registered their first three points of the season to the delight of manager Matthew Bishop.
“I’m absolutely delighted in terms of the performance and obviously the three points but I’m as pleased with getting the clean sheet. We could have got a few more. We’ve survived a bit of a storm at the end but we’ve dug in and done really well.” He told atfc.org.uk following the conclusion of the game.
From the first to last whistle, the men in orange looked to play an attractive brand of football on Airbus’ excellent 3G surface; an encouraging sight for the Green Army with the completion of our own synthetic pitch drawing ever nearer. Bishop credits this to the work done in training and the mentality of his players.
“We want players who can play football. I’m pleased that things we’re doing in training are coming off in the games. We worked on the movement for the goal in training so it’s really nice when they come off and it’s a great finish from Geoff. That’s what he’s all about! “
Despite enjoying the lion's share of the goalscoring opportunities throughout the game, the Aber goal came under siege late on as the Wingmakers looked to draw level. However, the back four of Ryan Wollacott, Will Bell, Sam Rodon, Ricky Watts and goalkeeper Dom Richards held firm to secure the first shut out of the season.
“I’m delighted we’ve kept that clean sheet. It’s really important to have a good defence. You’re not going to go anywhere in this league if you haven’t got a good defence. It starts with the keeper and goes right along the back four and into the midfield.”
“They’ve battled and worked really hard today to get that clean sheet. It’s pleasing because Ryan Wollacott has slotted in at left back today and played really well. Cledan was unfortunate not to play but it’s good we’ve got options.”
After a summer of change at Park Avenue, Bishop is pleased with the work his squad are putting in and the options he has available to him. Young striker Blake Davies, who only joined the club on Friday, put in a mature performance and was a constant menace for the home side’s back four. The boss was quick to praise his newly acquired youngster.
“It’s difficult when new players come to the side but Blake’s fitted in really well. He’ll be pleased with his performance today and was unlucky not to get one of his own with his one on one chance. But his hold up play was really good and he linked up well with the midfield as well.”
Next week offers yet another difficult challenge for Town as they go to last season’s third placed side Llandudno, managed by former ATFC boss Alan Morgan. But the former Hereford assistant is quietly confident his boys can get a result.
“We’ll approach that game exactly the same way. We’ll dust ourselves off, rest and work on it in training on Wednesday. We’ll come up with a game plan. Llandudno are a very good side with some very good players and they offer us a different challenge and hopefully get another result.”
Watch the interview in full on Aber Town's Youtube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrOQw8HG06E.
Photo courtesy of Chris Howells