Friday 30th August
JD Cymru Premier
Cefn Druids 1 Aberystwyth Town 2
A nineteenth minute wonderstrike from Captain Marc Williams, and Geoff Kellaway's 87th minute back post tap in sealed a huge victory for Aberystwyth Town Football Club away to bogey side Cefn Druids, to ensure that the Black and Greens end a tumultuous week sitting pretty in the Top Six, with six points from their opening four matches. Cody Ruberto did equalise for the hosts on 42 minutes but Aber's resolute performance ensured that the Seasiders rewrote the week's narrative in the most positive way possible.
After Monday’s infamous events an astonishing display of solidarity from Aber’s most loyal supporters galvanised the Club before kick off, with at least 35 fans making the long Friday night journey at the Rock to roar their team back into respectability. Connor Roberts, Marc Williams, Lee Jenkins and Matthew Jones returned to the starting line up with new loan signing Adam Hughes also making his debut at left back. On a pleasant evening Town started positively, enjoying good possession and Matthew Jones sent in an early cross for Luke Boundford to head wide. Druids’ Alex Mudimu was forced into a desperate late challenge to deny another attack, and Ryan Wollacott headed a Matthew Jones corner wide. Tyrone Ofiri’s shot was easily saved by Roberts in Aber’s goal, then good work from Paulo Mendes set up Williams, who found space and unleashed a brilliant 25 yard volley into the top corner to delight the vociferous visiting fans and establish a well deserved lead. Iwan Cartwright sent in a cross for Ruberto to head wide for the hosts and then a superb move by Aber ended with Ryan Edwards being denied a killer second in a one on one with Michael Jones in Cefn’s goal. James Rittenberg curled wide for the hosts and then a Boundford ball in just about evaded Williams at the other end. Druids were coming back into the game but with Aber banked up well their chances were limited. Matthew Jones headed one attempt off the line but in the next attack the influential Ryan Kershaw crossed in for Ruberto to head home an equaliser. A Wes Baynes free kick dropped for the impressive Hughes to lob over, and at half time Aber were probably slightly unlucky to be level on the balance of play.
Druids started the second half on the front foot and Mudimu set up Ruberto to scoop wide in the first few minutes. Another excellent free kick delivery from Baynes set up Mendes for a header, saved by Jones, and then Roberts at the other end was called on to make a save after a Kershaw free kick. Matthew Jones crossed for Williams to test the keeper again from close range, Aber had a penalty shout and Williams was again denied by Kershaw’s back tracking, with Aber looking dangerous on the break. Cefn then started to press with a series of free kicks and corners. Mudimu headed over the bar, James Davies curled an effort just wide before heading over from a corner and with the home set pieces racking up visiting supporters were starting to fear the worst. It was tense – but then with just three minutes to go, and the Black and Green tifosi signing their lungs out, Williams bravely tried to win a ball with his head and won a free kick. Baynes dispatched it to the back post and the ball was headed back across the box for Kellaway to stab home from close range, sending Aber’s loyal supporters into paroxysms of delight. The Seasiders defended out the four minutes of injury time and held on stoutly to ensure a huge victory and the perfect ending to the most challenging week: the Celebrations were visceral.
Matthew Bishop’s men knew that this game would likely be a season defining one, with their response to their Bad Bank Holiday showing what they could aim for in 2019/20. Their first win at the Rock since 2016, after a solid and competent performance, leaves Town in the Top Six and looking forward positively, hopefully to an awesome Autumn. Finally the Club would like to sincerely thank all the loyal supporters who made the journey to Cefn last night – we hope it was worth it!
Aberystwyth Town FC are delighted to announce the signing of Central Defender Adam Hughes, who joins the Club on loan from The New Saints until the New Year.
Ironically Hughes played – and scored against Aberystwyth Town on Monday, notching TNS’s tenth and final goal with a super swerving volley worthy of a seasoned Centre Forward!
22 year old Adam started his football career at Tranmere Rovers, where he spent 10 years until the age of 16. He then went on to play for the likes of Cammell Laird, Marine FC, and Warrington Town, also featuring in the National League North for Vauxhall Motors.
It was while playing for Marine that he featured in the same team as ex-TNS FC legend, Pip Baker, whose positivity regarding the club was a key influence on Hughes moving to Park Hall. Perhaps Pip mentioned his brief period at Park Avenue too!
Everyone at Aberystwyth Town FC welcomes Adam on board and he goes straight into tomorrow night’s squad, wearing squad number 19.
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 30th August (ko 7.45pm)
Cefn Druids v Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town bid to bounce back from their worst ever Cymru Premier result when they travel north to the picturesque Rock Ground to face Cefn Druids on Friday night. The heavy defeat at home to TNS has been a major talking point over the past few days and has brought an abrupt halt to what had up to the Bank Holiday weekend been a very good start to the season for the Black and Greens.
Despite the hyperbole, Aber's three points from three games to date, gained in the 3-2 victory over Carmarthen, sees them in eighth place. Defeats against the sides who finished Third and First last season could probably have been foreseen, but Town will be back playing against their peers on Friday night, fully determined to make good for the Bank Holiday Bombshell. Druids for their part have made a solid start to 2019/20, drawing at Newtown and Caernarfon Town and beating Airbus at home in between.
Neutrals will be hoping for an improvement on the last meeting between the two sides, which ended 0-0 at Park Avenue when the Sgorio highlights package centred around a floodlight failure in injury time. The result however did ensure that Aber finished above the Druids, who ended last season frustrated in ninth place, so the Black and Greens can gain confidence from that outcome.
Matthew Bishop's squad for Friday should be strengthened by the return of keeper Connor Roberts and Matthew Jones, while Captain Marc Williams could be back in the running for a start after a strong and goalscoring 45 minutes on Monday. Normally Players would bemoan 3 games in seven days but the Black and Greens will be raring to go after Monday's defeat.
Kick off at the Rock is at 7.45pm and a good number of supporters have already shown their loyalty by promising to travel up to Cefn Mawr. Any further recruits will be more than welcome!
Monday’s defeat to The New Saints was a devastating experience for those of a Black and Green persuasion, and Aber fans have been reacting with an understandable mixture of shock, dismay and anger. It was Town’s heaviest ever Welsh Prem defeat, and equalled the record away win in 27 years of the League of Wales/Welsh Premier/Cymru Leagues. One man in the Park Avenue dressing room however, has seen it all before, giving him a useful perspective: Aberystwyth Town Director of Football Neville Powell.
Nev after all was in charge of Bangor City in 2013/4, during their second season at Nantporth. The Citizens had made the Top Six but then The New Saints came visiting: “We had a couple of players missing, and I think we even went one up. We played in a similar way to Aber on Monday, we tried to press them and it worked early on. But if you don’t take your chances against TNS you get punished. We ended up losing 9-1. ”
“TNS could beat anyone 10-0 on any given day, and they did it to us that day. We (the Management Team and Players) felt dreadful. We didn’t want to show our faces, we lay low because it was embarrassing. But at the same time we couldn’t wait for the next game to come.”
“These freak results do happen but it’s important not to be too hard on the Players, and keep focused on the next game. Judge them on the whole season rather than one game.”
As it happens, Nev’s Bangor City side of 2013/4 did focus on the longer term, with remarkable results: “The reaction was good – we won the next game against Rhyl, and the Players realised that in football you do get rewarded for hard work. Believe it or not we ended up that season beating Rhyl in the Play Off Final at Nantporth in front of 1,400 people and qualifying for the UEFA Europa League. We played Stjaernen from Iceland, but after the Play Off Final we were all looking back at the 9-1 game and we realised that football is a funny old game.”
With the benefit of perspective Nev points out that: “If we could manage to win at Druids on Friday, then six points from four games would represent a good start to the season overall.”
Aber Town will be aiming to rectify things away to Cefn Druids on Friday evening: atfc.org.uk's customary Match Preview will follow later on today.
Aberystwyth Town Football Club were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of long-time stalwart and club legend Bryan Pugh-Jones, who passed away in the early hours of Monday, the 26th of August. A highly respected and popular figure at Park Avenue and the wider Aberystwyth community for over 60 years, Bryan devoted his life to the Black & Greens and Aberystwyth RNLI. He was a truly unique and modest individual who was a hard worker for his community in ways not many could match.
Making 574 appearances and scoring 17 goals between 1959-80 for the 1st team - serving 10 of those years as captain - Bryan was part of the famous 60s defensive line alongside fellow ATFC legends Alan Blair and Derrick Dawson. He won 5 trophies in this time - 3x Mid Wales League Cup in 67/68, 70/71 and 73/74, Welsh Amateur Cup in 69/70 and the Central Wales Challenge Cup in 75/76. Following his long spell with the 1st team, Bryan would go on to play for the 2nd and 3rd teams until the early 90s, serving as a leader and role model for many generations of Seasiders. He represented Town in 5 decades from the 50s until the 90s, proving he was indeed Mr. ATFC. In recognition of his contribution to the club, Bryan was awarded the club’s first ever testimonial with names such as Geoff Hurst and Gerald Davies featuring in his honour.
Bryan’s influence on the pitch didn’t end there - it extends two generations to the current day. His son-in-law Richie Jones played for and managed Aber Reserves for many years and both Bryan’s grandsons have represented the club, the eldest being current Seasider and inaugural holder of the Aberystwyth University Scholarship – Mathew Jones.
Following his well-earned retirement from the hallowed Park Avenue pitch, Bryan devoted his time to maintaining it as he served as groundsman for over 20 years, having to deal with some challenging conditions to say the least! During this time, he was a source of wisdom, advice and countless stories from his playing days, making his acquaintance and unmistakable wit a true pleasure to all he encountered. In his later years, he passed on his duties to Phil Thomas who served until the installation of the current 3G pitch – the opening ceremony of which Bryan was involved. That same night, Bryan was appointed patron of the club in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Aberystwyth Town Football Club.
His broad reach and influence across the community leaves a legacy that reaches from Park Avenue to the Aberystwyth RNLI and beyond. Bryan was a true pillar of society for over six decades and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky enough to call him a friend and acquaintance. We at Aberystwyth Town extend our deepest sympathies to his widow Joan, his daughter Sharon, Richie and grandsons Mathew and Jamie during this difficult time.
Flags at Park Avenue will be kept at half-mast and a minute’s silence will be observed before our next home fixture vs Airbus UK Broughton on Saturday, 7th of September.
Bryan’s family have asked the Club to announce that his funeral will be at the Crematorium on Wednesday 4th September at 12pm, followed by a Reception at Parc Lodge. All are welcome.
Aberystwyth Town Football Club is devastated to announce the passing of long-time stalwart and club legend Bryan Pugh Jones over the weekend.
Flags were flown at half-mast for yesterday’s match and a full tribute will follow, accompanied by a minute's silence at the next available opportunity.
At this sad time the thoughts and condolences of everyone at Aberystwyth Town Football Club are extended to Bryan's family and friends.