An unfortunate own goal from Alex Darlington condemned Aberystwyth Town to their third consecutive 1-0 reverse in the JD Cymru Premier.
The goal mid-way through the first half was enough to settle the tie and secured Bala Town’s first win of the season.
Birthday boy Lee Jenkins failed to shake off an injury sustained at Flint Town Unirws which gave Owen Orford his first league start for the Seasiders. Elsewhere, there was a home debut for Raul Correia after he overcame the knock he sustained on the North Wales coast on the weekend.
Under a cool and cloudy August night sky, the hosts started the contests brightly and fashioned two early opportunities which both fell to the feet of midfielder Jamie Veale. His first effort, a volley from outside the area, was comfortably stopped by Alex Ramsay before he blazed a shot over following excellent work out wide from Harry Franklin.
The visitors, who came in to the match on the back of three successive draws, created chances of their own through Stephen Leslie, who could only hit the side netting from a free kick and Welsh international David Edwards who dragged a shot wide after a swift counter attack.
The Lakesiders took the lead in the 27th minute when Darlington turned in a dangerous Will Evans cross past the helpless Gregor Zabret in the home goal.
The lead was somewhat harsh on Corbesiero’s men who despite not creating many chances, were strong in possession and looked dangerous when going forward.
In fact, they had a fantastic opportunity to draw level just seconds after going behind when Harry Franklin was fed through. The former Evesham man ran from deep, beat the offside trap and charged towards the away goal but his shot could only trickle agonisingly past Ramsay’s post.
Jack Thorn went close for Aber when he hooked a chance over the crossbar from close range following good work from Orford down the right whilst for Colin Caton’s side, Lassana Mendes intercepted well on the edge of the area but could only curl his shot harmlessly wide of the far post.
After the interval, Aber had a good opportunity within seconds of the referee’s whistle as Jon Owen sliced a shot wide following good build up play down the left whilst just minutes later, only the crossbar denied Bala increasing their lead as Mendes cut inside and curled a shot which cannoned off the woodwork and away to safety.
Darlington saw a shot comfortably saved and the visitors carved out half chances of their own through Edwards, Leslie and Nathan Peate none of which seriously tested Zabret.
As the half progressed, Aber looked for an equaliser but the imperious duo of Jonny Spittle and Peate at the heart of the Bala defence dealt superbly with everything thrown in their direction. With the hosts pushing forward, the team in white broke forward and Mendes had a great chance to confirm the victory but could only shoot wide after a brisk counter attack.
Despite two stoppage time goals in three games in games involving Aber this season, there was to be no late drama this time around although substitute Jonny Evans nearly delivered a third game of spectacular endings. He delivered a superb cross into the penalty area deep into the added time. The ball landed on the penalty spot but no one in green could get a telling touch and the ball was eventually cleared by Peate to earn Bala their maiden three points of the season.
After a busy start to the league season, attention turns to the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday with the visit of Aber Valley. With a large crowd expected, it looks set to be a fantastic occasion. Kick off is at 2:00pm. We hope to see you there!
Aberystwyth Town vs Bala Town
JD Cymru Premier
Tuesday 31st August
Antonio Corbisiero’s men return home to Park Avenue for a clash with European entrants Bala Town, having not got the points return that their efforts deserved from the last two games on the road.
A valiant performance against reigning Champions Connahs Quay ten days ago was followed by Saturday's stoppage time defeat at Flint Town United, where the Seasiders looked to have secured a point, before Alex Jones’ controversial winner broke the hearts of the travelling Black & Green Army.
Colin Caton’s Bala Town arrive at Park Avenue having registered three draws from their opening three games in 2021/22. An opening 2-2 draw at home to Penybont has been followed by two consecutive 0-0’s, away at Barry Town United and back at Maes Tegid on Saturday against Cardiff Met.
They also represented the Cymru Premier in the new Europa Conference League, where they bowed out to Northern Irish side Larne, having been narrowly beaten 1-0 in both legs.
The Lakesiders boast an impressive squad with ex-ATFC talisman and regular Cymru Premier Golden Boot Winner Chris Venables now joined by the likes of Chris Sang, Oliver Southern & Danny Walker-Rice, who joined from Wrexham, Curzon Ashton & Tranmere Rovers respectively. Their most eye-catching signing of the summer however was that of Dave Edwards – a member of the Wales’ legendary Euro 2016 squad – who joined having spent the last two & a half years back at boyhood club Shrewsbury Town.
This will be the first of three consecutive home games for ATFC, as Aber Valley FC visit on Saturday in the Welsh Cup Second Round (2pm) before Cardiff Met Uni visit for a league match the following week (5.15pm).
The Seasiders’ performances so far this season have been encouraging, and the vocal backing of the Black & Green Army at home over the next few weeks will only motivate the players further. Kick-off is at 8pm, with tickets priced at £7 for Adults / £4 for Concessions / Under 16’s free. Put it in your diary!
Aberystwyth Town Football Club COVID-19 Notice:
In accordance with the FAW Return to Play Protocols for Alert Level 0 Regulations, published in August 2021, please do not enter the ground if
You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days
You have been or are currently a contact of a COVID-19 case or a suspected case
You are currently self-isolating
You are feeling unwell
You have a cough, throat pain, muscle pain, unusual weakness, short of breath, chest pain, any palpitations (abnormal heart rate), diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, a loss of taste or smell or any other signs or symptoms of COVID-19
Please refer to HSE guidelines (https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/index.htm) on how you should proceed should any of these conditions apply to you
If you are in any doubt please do not attend the fixture
The Board of Directors, Aberystwyth Town Football Club
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 28th August
Flint Town United 1 Aberystwyth Town 0
On a beautiful August Bank Holiday Saturday Aber Town suffered last minute heartbreak on Deeside yesterday as Alex Jones’ 93rd minute winner denied them any reward for a resolute and solid defensive performance, and snatched all three points for Top of the Table Flint Town United.
New signing Raul Correia made his bow for the Black and Greens, bedecked in yellow for the day, however in front of an expectant large crowd it was the hosts who began stronger. Mike Wilde headed Sam Hart’s free kick wide early on, and as the half wore on a series of free kicks and long throws were pummelled at Aber’s penalty area, with Town’s back four of Jack Rimmer, Rhys Davies, Lee Jenkins and Matty Jones holding firm. The incessant pressure made it hard for Aber to create too much, although Correia and Jon Owen did show flashes up front which augured well. Callum Brately showed some nice trickery before sending a btame shot at Gregor Zabret, then at the other end Jamie Veale sent a low rasping volley wide for Aber’s first salvo. Ben Nash had a header blocked for Flint and then the unfortunate Lee Jenkins went down with a nasty shoulder injury, and he was replaced by the swashbuckling Owen Orford, with Rimmer filling in superbly at centre half. Jack Kenny was the next to head off target for the hosts, before Aber enjoyed a series of corners and long throws which ultimately came to nothing. Ben Maher was unlucky with a brilliant free kick which flashed past Zabret’s far post, and then tested Zabret again with a low volley. Kenny headed wide again then at the other end Jon Owen saw a shot flashed away for a corner, and then curled an effort just past the post from the resulting set piece. More home free kicks were repelled, with Nash again heading wide, and a strong rearguard action by the hosts saw them reach the break level at 0-0.
A more evenly matched second half ensued with Wilde misfiring early on for the hosts. Orford’s surging runs gave Aber an outlet to attack, although clear cut chances were hard to come by. Harry Franklin saw a header saved by Ryan Woods from captain Jack Thorn’s cross, and the game calmed down for a period. Sub Connor Harwood headed wide for Flint, but in general Rimmer and Davies were superb at the back, Davies in particular heading every ball clear and dominating his area. Orford then ran straight through from full back for Aber, but his effort was easy for Woods to collect, before Correia was the next Aber plkayer to go off injured, replaced by Sam Phillips. Zabret made a good save to prevcent Hart’s looping free kick from sneaking in, then Matty Jones had a low volley saved. Franklin then sent in a super left wing cross which Woods just got to in front of Phillips, and the visitors were dreaming of an unlikely win. More superb defending from Aber kept the sheet clean, while a free kick in a very dangerous area for Aber saw Veale require Woods to make another save. Aber repelled a few more attacks, then in the third of four added minutes, Hart sent one a final corner and somehow Alex Jones bundled the ball home, despite strong home protests of a double handball. The elated home celebrations indicated what an excellent defensive performance Aber’s young back five, and indeed the whole team, had put on, and although Aber were unlucky yesterday, if they continue to play with this passion and commitment home supporters can look forward to a positive season.
Black and Green supporters will not have to wait long to see Town in action, as they return to Park Avenue this Tuesday to face Bala Town, with an 8pm kick off. What a perfect way to see off a hectic summer in Ceredigion – see you there!
Flint Town United vs Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 28th August 2021
ATFC’s early season tour of North Wales continues with a visit to Flint Town United, who have set the pace so far this season with two wins from two in the league; both by a four goal margin.
Neil Gibson has revamped his side, with the eye catching additions of Michael Wide and Danny Harrison on the eve of the season adding to the earlier captures of Jack Kenny & Telor Williams from Caernarfon and Jake Phillips from Newtown.
The new boys have already had an impact, with Wilde netting 5 goals whilst Kenny has 2.
Antonio Corbisiero has also added firepower to his squad this week, with Raul Correia checking in at Park Avenue having spent last season at Bala Town. Providing clearance is received in time, he goes into a squad which has impressed so far this season, and which ran reigning champions Connah's Quay close last weekend.
Flint marginally had the better of the fixtures between the two sides last season; winning two of the four. A 3-0 victory at Cae Y Castell in December was followed by a 1-0 victory at Park Avenue in April. ATFC had previously won the first encounter at Park Avenue back in September 3-1, before the second phase fixture at Park Avenue ended in a 0-0 draw.
There is a quick turnaround after this match, as ATFC’s next game is on Tuesday at home to Bala Town (KO 8pm) before Aber Valley visit next Saturday (4th) in the Welsh Cup (KO 2.30pm).
The Black & Green Army travelled in good numbers and were in good voice last weekend at Deeside Stadium and hopefully will be so again this time around! Saturday’s match is a 2.30pm Kick-Off at Essity Stadium and the Postcode for the ground is CH6 5PJ. If you can’t make the match however, our Twitter feed @AberystwythTown will be available to bring you all the action as always!
Aberystwyth Town are delighted to announce the arrival of 26-year-old centre-forward Raul Correia from JD Cymru Premier rivals Bala Town. The imposing front man joins Town with a wealth of National League experience as well as familiarity with Wales’ top flight having spent last season at Maes Tegid.
Born in Luanda, Angola, Raul is a Portuguese citizen who moved to England at the age of nine. He played his youth football in Sheffield before kick-starting his senior career with Cheadle Heath Nomads, Radcliffe Borough, and Chorley. It was at Radcliffe where Raul impressed Football League scouts with his goal-scoring exploits in the lower divisions, enough so to earn himself a move to League Two Blackpool, signing an 18-month contract at Bloomfield Road in January 2017. He made his professional debut for The Tangerines in January 2018 against Shrewsbury Town in the EFL Trophy following separate loan spells with Guiseley and York City during the 2017/18 season.
After release from Blackpool, Raul spent time with Barrow, Radcliffe, Mossley, and Southport before making the move across the border, joining Bala Town for the 2020/21 season where he featured in both Europa League qualifying ties vs Valetta and Standard Liege before making 23 appearances for The Lakesiders in the league, scoring twice and providing two assists. Deployed out wide for the majority of last season, Raul now gets the opportunity at his preferred position to lead the line at Park Avenue.
Raul told us:
“The manager and the playing time were the main attraction for me to join the club. From the very first moment the manager found out I was available, he tried to get me in but it wasn't easy for him to get this deal done. I appreciate all the effort he put in to get me here and I will do everything I can to repay him on the football pitch. I know the style of football the manager wants to implement in the squad and it’s something that I would like to be a part of.
In regard to myself, I'm a powerful and explosive player who’s willing to work for the team at all times whilst putting in maximum effort at every opportunity I get to step onto the pitch. I bring speed, power, strength and just a little bit of everything. My goals for the season are for the team to finish in the Top 6 and for myself, hitting double-figure goals.”
Manager Antonio Corbisiero commented:
“Raul is a player we’ve been after all summer – he’s a very physical and quick centre-froward who wants an opportunity to play up top, so we’re delighted to give him that opportunity. He’s full of confidence and keen to make an impression on the club so we’re very excited to have got him over the line.
I think he’s the type of player that the opposition will be looking out for each week given his abilities to run at players or dominate aerially. Hopefully we can get him cleared in time to play at the weekend away at Flint. An excellent addition to the squad – welcome Raul!”
Croeso i Geredigion / Welcome to Ceredigion, Raul!
Craig Curran’s header on the half hour mark ensured champions Connah's Quay Nomads made a perfect home defence of their title against a valiant Aberystwyth Town.
Having made one change from last week’s victorious eleven against Barry Town United with Alex Darlington replacing Owain Jones, Aber nearly made a perfect start to proceedings. With just three minutes of the game having elapsed, Jon Owen met a corner at the far post but saw a post deny him his first of the campaign.
Andy Morrison’s men had two half chances of their own with Jamie Insall and Curran going close before Owen set up Harry Franklin brilliantly only for a last-ditch challenge to deny the midfielder a strike on goal. The home side grew into the game and fashioned their best opportunity with 26 minutes gone. A dangerous corner was whipped into the 6-yard box but George Horan could only power his header over the bar thanks to the attention of Lee Jenkins.
Nomads did take the lead with four minutes later. The ball was worked well between both sides of the penalty area and crossed delicately to the back post for Curran to nod home from two yards.
Antonio Corbisiero’s men were nearly back in it just seconds later when a deep freekick evaded everyone in red bar Oliver Byrne in the home goal. The faintest of touches pushed the ball towards the onrushing Rhys Davies who could only fire his header into the side netting as a result. Just before the interval, Nomads had a golden opportunity to double their advantage when Jordan Davies headed goalward but saw Gregor Zabret equal to it as the Slovenian stopper pulled off a great save from point blank range.
The Deesiders started the second half well and missed two glaring opportunities to make it 2-0. Firstly, the ball was worked well down the right hand side and into Declan Poole but the striker blasted over with the goal at his mercy before Horan headed wide from a corner.
Despite the home side dominating the ball and carving out further chances through Insall and Ryan Harrington the men from Ceredigion had chances of their own to draw level. Alex Darlington saw his shot smothered by Byrne before Jamie Veale’s audacious effort from the half way line was cleared off the line by John Disney following a clearance from Byrne.
With 20 minutes to go, Insall found space in the box and produced a spectacular goal bound overhead kick but Jack Thorn’s brilliant positional play stopped the ball going into the back of the net. Five minutes later, Aber sent on Owain Jones in place of Alex Darlington and shifted formation in search of an equaliser. This gave Aber fresh momentum and Owen again was dangerous for Town as he carved out a couple of openings. His first effort was saved bravely by Byrne before he dragged a shot narrowly wide with five to play.
A grandstand finish was instore as Aber pressed for a leveller and Nomads sensed a second. Insall again headed wide before sub Jones saw his shot saved brilliantly by Byrne in the home goal who held on to maintain their perfect start to the season.
A valiant performance from the Black & Greens had them inches from a result away to the reigning champions, returning to Ceredigion empty-handed but encouraged after another strong showing. Corbisiero's young squad now look forward to another away trip to Deeside next Saturday, this time to Essity Stadium where Flint Town await. A big thank you to the travelling Green Army tonight - see you next week!