JD Cymru Premier
Tuesday 30th August
Aberystwyth Town 0 The New Saints 2
Aber Town fell to defeat against the rampant Champions TNS yesterday night, but worked extremely hard to keep the scoreline respectable against a hugely polished opponent, for whom Ben Clark (49 mins) and Declan McManus (79 mins) made the difference will match winning strikes.
On a pleasant late summer’s evening the Black and Greens made a few changes from Saturday’s line up, with Jack Rimmer, Steff Davies and Jonathan Evans returning to the starting eleven, and Harry Arnison making his debut for the Seasiders. Anyone expecting anything other than a dominant performance from TNS were disappointed from early on as McManus tested Lewis Webb’s handiwork. Clark volleyed wide as the visitors dominated possession around the home box, with the Seasiders working ever so hard to head clear, block and tackle a series of corners and balls into the area. Harri Horwood intercepted the ball and went on a blistering 60 yard run before sending a thrilling dipping volley inches wide. Charley Edge then sent in a free kick which Sam Litchfield headed goalbound, but then normal service resumed with Webb out excellently to deny McManus, before punching clear and catching the ball high up to safeguard the clean sheet. Edge also cleared off the line, John Routledge and Clark were both denied by Webb in the home goal, and although Iwan Lewis sent a volley flying over TNS’s crossbar the disciplined hosts did extremely well to go in level at half time, given TNS’ territorial dominance.
Could Aber survive a second half onslaught? Sadly the answer was no as Dan Redmond’s expertly played deep ball from TNS’s left wing was knocked back by Dan Davies for Ben Clark to snuffle up a vital opener just four minutes into the second half. Redmond sent in another cross which Webb gathered, then at the other end another Litchfield header from an Aber free kick was cleared. Keston Davies fired over for TNS, with the visitors masterful in possession and continuing to dominate the play. Livewire Sam Phillips came on for Aber, sent in a dangerous free kick with his first touch and a low volley (saved) with his second before Litchfield saw a far post shot parried for a corner, with defiant Aber threatening an unlikely equaliser. Back came TNS with Davies’ long range effort tipped over by Webb, and Webb denied the visitors twice more before resistance was finally broken in spectacular fashion as McManus gathered the ball in space 30 yards out, and sent in a superb stunning volley, which arrowed into the far corner to double the lead. Phillips did so well to create space and sent in a left wing cross which Lewis just failed to convert for Aber, and the wonderful Webb denied McManus and Ryan Brobbel in injury time to keep the final score to a respectable two nil.
The hosts were applauded at the end for their hard work and dedication in restricting the Champions to two goals, and threatening on occasions themselves. It was a tough night for Aber, but better days lie ahead and Anthony Williams’ men will go again on Friday night with the visit of Bala Town (ko 8pm). We hope to see you there!
JD Cymru Premier
Tuesday 30th August
Aberystwyth Town vs The New Saints
After two successive defeats, Aberystwyth Town will be looking to return to winning ways tonight in the first mid-week match of the season.
Tonight’s task is a difficult one however, with the reigning champions The New Saints the visitors. However, Park Avenue has not always been a happy hunting ground for the Saints, who have failed to win in three of their last four visits to Ceredigion.
Last seasons meeting was a memorable one, with Jon Owen bagging a late winner to secure a 1-0 win, which was the Saints first defeat of the 2021/22 season and one of only two throughout the entire campaign as they stormed to the league title by a 21-point margin from their nearest challengers, Bala Town.
There have been changes at Park Hall since their title win however. Anthony Limbrick was relieved of his duties on the eve of the new season, with Craig Harrison returning to take charge for a second time following a five and a half year spell between 2011-2017, which saw the Saints break Ajax's 44-year-old world record for the longest winning streak in top-flight football, as well as winning six successive league titles.
Josh Daniels was the highest profile arrival over the summer, joining after two years in League One with Shrewsbury Town. Former Liverpool academy goalkeeper Daniel Atherton also arrived, following the retirement of club legend Paul Harrison.
The Saints have started the new season with 2 wins and a draw, and currently sit joint top of the embryonic Cymru Premier table, with 7 points. They secured their second win on Friday with a 2-1 victory at home to Connahs Quay with goals from John Routledge and Declan McManus.
There will be a familiar face in the Saints goal this evening, with Connor Roberts now established as No.1 at Park Hall. Connor will be assured of a warm welcome following his successful two-year loan spell in Ceredigion between 2019-2021, during which he proved to be a fans favourite.
Admission prices at Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium this season are £8 for Adults, £5 for Concessions / Students, £2 for Secondary School age children and free entry for Primary School age children. Consider yourselves invited!
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 27th August
Pontypridd United 2 Aberystwyth Town 1
Aberystwyth Town were inchers away from snatching a draw, but ultimately fell to defeat away to newly promoted Pontypridd United at the USW Sports Park on a sunny afternoon in late August. Owain Jones, who left Town in the summer, scored United’s opener on 26 minutes and sub Ben Ahmun doubled their lead with sixteen minutes remaining. Alex Darlington snatched a goal back for Aber on 86 minutes, and despite dominating the end of the game the Black and Greens could not quite grab a second.
Another excellent following turned up to support the Black and Greens, playing yesterday in Yellow and Black, and they were pleased with what they saw in the opening stages. Newly signed Louis Bradford went on a marauding run down the right but was blocked off, Iwan Lewis hung in a decent ball from the right which Charley Edge headed wide, then Niall Flint surged down the left to set up Darlington, who swivelled and shot wide. Sam Phillips then made good progess down the right wing to set up Darlington again, but his effort was somehow blocked on the line. As the half progressed however the hosts got back into it: Lewis Twamley surged right through but shot wide in a big let off for Aber, then Jones shot wide from Joe Hunt’s cross, before Luke Cummings crossed for Jones to nod home at the near post for a crucial opener. Darlington had a header saved from Edge’s free kick but then Ponty dominated the latter period of the half. Danny Williams had a shot deflected for a corner, Twamley slalomed around the home defence before being denied by big Sam Litchfield, and Aber cleared a header off the line to stay in the game. Flint almost connected to a great through ball by Jack Thorn, but then Clayton Green was blocked by the hard working Phillips, and the half time whistle blew with Ponty 1-0 up.
The chances continued to come after the break. Flint and Phillips both went close for Aber but the hosts were also threatening, with Lewis Rees claiming a flicked back header to keep the score at one. Sam Phillips took a corner, and Bradford nearly scored with a header before Flint saw a shot blocked, and the game was wide open. Twamley went on another trademark run before firing over, then Jarrad Wright headed over a Cummings free kick, and finally Ahmun tapped home to double the lead from a Williams back heel, after his original effort had been parried onto the bar by Rees. Ahmun then hit the crossbar but once again Aber ended a game strongly. Phillips had a free kick cleared with Lewis’ goalbound volley caught by Ash Morris in the home goal, and then Thorn’s long throw fell nicely for Darlington to snaffle up a goal at the back post to set up a grandstand finish. Another long throw caused havoc with Lewis’ header missing the target, Flint’s free kick out on the left fell for Litchfield and his header dropped inches wide of the back post, and finally Lewis was inches away from scoring with a last minute volley after a nice move, but Ponty held on for a crucial win.
Anthony Williams’ team started and finished the match well and came agonisingly close to a draw, but in an open game the hosts probably did enough in between to merit the victory. The Black and Greens do not have long to lick their wounds as Cymru Premier Champions The New Saints visit Park Avenue on Tuesday evening for an 8pm kick off. Can Aber repeat their heroics against the Saints last season? There is only one way to find out: see you there!
Aberystwyth Town are delighted to welcome TNS defender Louis Bradford back to Park Avenue for his 3rd loan with The Seasiders, having spent the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons with Town. Louis initially re-joins until January 2023 and goes straight into tomorrow's squad at Pontypridd!
Wolverhampton-born Louis joined TNS Academy at U15 level following time with Shrewsbury Town, where he impressed at youth level to secure himself a loan move in the JD Cymru Premier for the 2020/21 season with The Seasiders.
A tall and agile defender, Louis showed his proficiency through the middle and as a right-back early on with Town before settling at centre-back throughout the following season, racking up 56 total appearances in Black & Green over two seasons, scoring five - including a winning goal away at Haverfordwest County in April to collect a crucial three points.
Manager Anthony Williams said:
"Louis has been a crucial part of the squad over the past couple years and from speaking to him recently, I've come to see how much the club means to him.
He trained with us on Tuesday night and he looked sharp and ready to go. He's already an experienced player in this league, so he'll be a top quality addition for us. We're delighted to welcome him back."
Croeso nol, Louis (eto!) / Welcome back, Louis (again!)
Pontypridd Utd vs Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 27th August
After last Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Cardiff Met, ATFC will look to pick themselves up and go again this weekend with a first league meeting with newcomers Pontypridd United on the agenda.
This was the first time that Anthony Williams has tasted defeat since taking over at Park Avenue in the summer and having already won one match away from home this season, the gaffer and his squad will be keen to get back to winning ways in South Wales.
One boost last weekend was new signing Harry Arnison being named in the matchday squad for the first time and the former Sunshine Coast Warriors star will be chomping at the bit to get on the pitch and make an impression in the famous Black & Green.
Saturday’s fixture will be the first time ATFC have faced new opposition in the league for three years. Pontypridd were promoted to the Cymru Premier for the first time at the end of last season, having finished 2nd in the Cymru South, and become the 41st team to participate in the league since its inception 30 years ago.
The club itself was formed in the same year as the Cymru Premier, 1992, after Ynysybwl and Pontypridd Sports & Social Club merged. For the majority of their existence, the club played at Ynysangharad Park but were forced to find new facilities in 2018 as the ground did not comply with the FAW’s newly introduced Tier 2 Ground standards. They now play at USW’s Treforest Campus. Following their promotion this year, the club changed its name from Pontypridd Town to Pontypridd United.
Although this is the first time that the two clubs have met in the Cymru Premier, Pontypridd did famously knock ATFC out of the Welsh Cup back in 2005 with Liam Grant scoring the only goal of the game, three minutes into extra-time.
The newcomers are yet to register a point from their opening two matches having lost 1-0 at home to Flint Town United on the opening day, followed by a 2-0 defeat at Caernarfon last weekend. They did however knock Carmarthen Town out of the Nathaniel MG Cup with a 2-0 victory.
Andrew Stokes is the man in the hotseat at Pontypridd, having been appointed during the summer following a successful spell at Pontardawe Town. He has assembled a squad with plenty of Cymru Premier experience with recognisable names such as former Penybont & Bala goalkeeper Ashley Morris, ex-Barry Town United pair Clayton Green and Luke Cummings, Joe Evans from Cardiff Met and former Carmarthen Town defender Dave Vincent all now at USW Sport Park.
One player who will need no introduction to the Black & Green faithful is Owain Jones, who spent the last two seasons at Park Avenue before moving to Pontypridd in the summer. Owain made 41 league appearances in that time, bagging 7 league goals, but his most memorable moment came in the Welsh Cup as he was one of two players to score a hat-trick in the 9-0 victory over Aber Valley last September.
USW Sport Park can be found on the Treforest Industrial Estate and the ground’s postcode is CF37 5UP. Tickets are priced at £7 for Adults, £5 for Seniors / Students / Concessions and £2 for Under 16s. A Supporters minibus is being organised from the ATFC clubhouse and interested parties are invited to contact the club at email@example.com. The Green Army are on the road again!
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 20th August
Aberystwyth Town 0 Cardiff Met 4
Aberystwyth Town suffered their first defeat in seven matches under Manager Anthony Williams in comprehensive fashion, as Cardiff Met prevailed by four goals to nil at Park Avenue on Saturday evening. Met striker Sam Jones ended the game as a contest with a first half hat trick (8, 29 and 34 mins), and Eliot Evans completed the scoring with twenty minutes to go on a tough evening for Black and Green supporters.
The visitors started the game at high pace, pressing Aber back into their own half and after Evans had volleyed wide, Tom Price’s ball into the box deflected perfectly into Jones’ path, and he finished clinically to take the lead. Chris Baker was next to volley wide for Met, with Aber only threatening sporadically from corners and set pieces against a visiting defence which was faultless on the evening. With the half hour mark approaching Lewis Rees sent in a left wing cross, and Jones converted again from close range to double the advantage. Evans was denied at the back post by a goal line clearance, but the lively right winger redeemed himself almost immediately by crossing from the by line for Jones to complete his hat trick with a back post header. Home sub Sam Phillips worked tirelessly to craft a response, and Alex Darlington volleyed in Aber’s first attempt, but it was blocked. Home keeper Lewis Webb denied Rees, then Phillips almost burst through but was blocked off by Emlyn Lewis. Baker volleyed over for Met, then Darlington fed Phillips who himself volleyed just wide, and a chastening half ended at 0-3 in favour of the University side.
With the game won, the second half was a quieter affair, with Aber struggling to strike a defiant note. Cardiff’s Harry Owen sent an attempt over the bar, then Darlington was fed by a flick on, but volleyed wide from an offside position. Charley Edge’s corner was then met powerfully by Jack Thorn, but Alex Lang pulled off an acrobatic save to protect the clean sheet. Darlington swivelled and sent a low effort past the post, but then back came Met. Webb saved a flick header by Rees but was powerless on 70 minutes when Evans found himself in space on the right side of the penalty area and volleyed home a deflected fourth goal for Ryan Jenkins’ buoyant side. Rees fired over one final attempt from Met and a bad day at the office for the Black and Greens ended with a scoreline of four nil to the visitors.
There is no denying that Cardiff Met were much the better side yesterday, and they deserved to win with a convincing scoreline. Manager Anthony Williams’ unbeaten run with the Black and Greens came to an end and after a disappointing performance his side will need to craft a response away to Pontypridd United on Saturday (ko 2.30pm). A Supporters minibus is being organised and interested parties are invited to contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org. Better luck next time!