South Wales Womens and Girls League
Sunday 30th September
Dafen Welfare Ladies 0 Aberystwyth Town Ladies 1
A first half goal from Kelly Thomas was enough to give Aber Town Ladies all three points in South Wales as the Black and Greens got back to winning ways, writes Steven Brookes.
After a week off, Aber Town Ladies were back in league action against Llanelli based side, Dafen Welfare. Before the match Tania Wylde had scored a fantastic 6 goals in just two matches and it was the attacking midfielder who looked the most dangerous going forward for the Black and Greens. Wylde was managed to get a few shots on goal but was unable to really test the home team's goalkeeper. At the other end of the pitch, Ffion Ashman made a couple of good one on one saves to deny the hosts the lead. The deadock was broken in the first half though when Tania Wylde passed across the edge of the box and a left footed shot from Kelly Thomas found the bottom corner.
In the second half the youthful Aber side were determined to increase their lead. Kelly Thomas saw her long range effort go narrowly over the bar before later seeing her header cleared off the line, whilst Wylde's shot from the edge of the area took a big deflection before going just wide of the post.
This wasn't quite as exciting or high-scoring as Aber's recent matches but most importantly it was another three points. Next up is a return to Park Avenue on Sunday 7th October against Willows Ladies.
JD Welsh Premier League
Saturday 29th September
Aberystwyth Town 0-1 Barry Town United
Aberystwyth Town endured a difficult afternoon in the JD Welsh Premier League as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of a well organised Barry Town United side at Park Avenue. Clayton Green's 17th minute strike was enough to hand the Dragons all three points, in a game where the hosts were never quite able to match their opponents.
Aber made three changes from the starting eleven that drew 2-2 away at Carmarthen last weekend, with Alan Goodall, Rio Ahmadi and Paulo Mendes replacing Lee Jenkins, Geoff Kellaway and Joe Phillips. The game was slow to take off as both sides struggled to get into an early rhythm, and it was the hosts who had the first meaningful effort towards goal as Paulo Mendes turned and dragged his effort wide of the post. Aber were also forced into an early substitution as Ryan Edwards departed through injury, replaced by Joe Phillips. Then, on 13 minutes came the game's first clear cut opportunity as Barry 'keeper Mike Lewis let the ball slip, where Mathew Jones was on hand to slide the ball towards goal only for Lewis Cosslett to clear off the goal line. But on 17 minutes, the visitors landed a sucker punch with their first effort on goal, as Clayton Green shifted the ball to his left before rifling a shot above Leigh Jenkins and into the net for 0-1. As they so often have this season, Aber responded brightly to going behind, as Alan Goodall saw his effort blocked by Luke Cooper before Ryan Wollacott strode forwards from defence and unleashed a powerful effort that was deflected inches wide of Mike Lewis' post. On 28 minutes, the visitors caught Aber on the break once more as Chris Hugh fizzed a low cross into the penalty area only for Mo Touray to slide a fraction of a second too late to get his toe on the ball. The black and greens continued to shade possession, but as half time approached it was the visitors who went close once more as Jonathan Hood broke clear on the right hand side of the penalty area, only to see his shot go inches wide of Leigh Jenkins' far post, and it was to remain 0-1 at the break.
The early stages of the second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with neither side able to get a grip on possession in the opening 5 minutes. On 53 minutes, Aber came close to finding an equaliser as Paulo Mendes turned in the box before his cross-come-shot bounced off the crossbar, and Joe Phillips dragged the rebound just wide of the post. On 62 minutes, wingman Geoff Kellaway was introduced in place of Alan Goodall as the hosts began to commit more bodies forward, but the visitors thrived on this and began to create further opportunities to extend their lead. On 65 minutes, Luke Cooper looked set to score from a corner kick, only to be denied by a brilliant fingertip save from Jenkins, before substitute Jordan Cotterill curled an effort just wide of the post with the outside of his foot. The hosts looked increasingly desperate and were struggling by now to create many goal scoring opportunities, and on 84 minutes Chris Hugh went close once more for Barry with a curling free-kick. The dragons began to sit deeper in their own half but in truth they never looked in danger of relinquishing their lead, as Mo Touray broke down field in additional time before seeing his low shot saved by Jenkins, and Aber spent the remainder of the game struggling to regain possession from a Barry side who saw the game out in a very professional manner.
It was a tough afternoon for the seasiders in a game where they were never really able to get any rhythm and pattern going in their play. Visitors Barry Town United deserve credit for their organisation and work rate, and will feel they fully deserved to go back to South Wales with all three points. Aber must now regroup and turn their attentions to next Friday evening, when they travel to The Rock to face Cefn Druids in the JD Welsh Premier League.
Aberystwyth Town: Leigh Jenkins, Walker, Baynes, Wollacott, S Edwards, Ahmadi (79), Jones, Mendes, Goodall (62), R Edwards (13), Ruane. Subs: Rimmer, Kellaway (62), L Jenkins, Blake (79), Morgan, Rowe, Phillips (13)
Barry Town United: M Lewis, Southam-Hales, Cooper, Cosslett, Hugh, McLaggon (68), Greening, Patten, Green (81), Hood, Touray (90). Subs: Gerrard, Morgan, Fahiya (90), Fry (81), Cotterill (68), Baker.
JD Welsh Premier League
Saturday 29th September (2:30 pm Kick Off)
Aberystwyth Town v Barry Town United
Aberystwyth Town will look to continue their fine form at Park Avenue as they welcome Barry Town in the JD Welsh Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Aber have taken maximum points from their last two home league games, after victories against Llanelli and Bala, scoring six goals in the process, and will be keen to extend that winning run on Saturday afternoon.
It’s been an action-packed week for the seasiders, picking up a valuable point on the road away at Carmarthen Town last Saturday, despite being 2-0 down at half time, before falling to defeat at Cambrian & Clydach in the Nathaniel MG Cup on Tuesday evening. Nevertheless, Director of Football, Neville Powell, will be pleased with his side’s start to the league campaign as the black and greens sit in 7th place in the table, just three points off third placed Barry Town United.
After salvaging a point at Richmond Park last weekend, Powell admitted his side need to start games on the front foot but also admitted he was impressed with the character his side showed to earn a point. He commented; “The first half wasn’t really acceptable, we were slow and half a yard off the pace, and we’ve got to make sure we prepare properly moving forwards. To be fair to the players, they took what we had to say on board at half time, and it says a lot about their character the way they performed in that second half.”
One element that’s certainly been evident so far this season is the character and togetherness within the Aber squad – holding on to victory against Llandudno with striker Rio Ahmadi having to play in goal and producing a second half fightback to beat Llanelli 3-1 at Park Avenue three weeks ago. It’s a factor Powell believes will favour his side moving forwards this season; “There’s a great mentality and team spirit within the squad and we’re finishing games strongly which is pleasing. What we’ve now got to do is find that consistency where we’re able to put those types of performances in over the course of the game, but I’m pleased with the team and hopefully we can continue to improve.”
Saturday’s fixture poses another difficult test for the black and greens, as they face a Barry Town side who’ve started the season in excellent form. The Dragons currently lie in third place in the JD Welsh Premier League table, having already beaten the likes of Bala and Connah’s Quay at Jenner Park this season. Their away form has been a slight worry in the opening weeks, having lost away at Llandudno and The New Saints and snatching a last-minute draw away at Llanelli, before beating Caernarfon at the Oval two weeks ago. Gavin Chesterfield’s side will undoubtedly be targeting a top six finish this season, after suffering heartbreak in last season’s Europa League play-off semi-final at Cardiff Met.
Aber failed to beat the Jenner Park outfit in four attempts last season, but they will be keen to put that right on Saturday as they aim to make Park Avenue a fortress once more. Kick off is at 2:30p.m and admission costs £8 for adults, £5 concessions and £2 for u16’s. The black and greens could climb as high as third in the league table with victory!
Thousands of Aberystwyth University Students have arrived back into the town over the past couple of weeks and the club are delighted to confirm that this weekend's fixture will be FREE of charge for all Students. A very warm welcome awaits at Park Avenue, simply show your Aber Card at the gate and join the Green Army!
Nathaniel MG Cup: Second Round
Tuesday 25th September
Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC 3-1 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town fell at the second round of the Nathaniel MG Cup as they were defeated by Welsh League Division 1 outfit Cambrian & Clydach at the M&P Group 3G Facility on Tuesday evening. Aber's starting line-up included five changes from Saturday's 2-2 draw with Carmarthen Town, but the mixed team of youth and experience were unlucky to come away empty handed after putting in a solid performance on Tuesday evening.
Abe started the game the brighter of the sides, with Joe Phillips and Elliot Assi producing some neat interplay in the final third, but they were unable to carve out any clear cut chances in the opening 10 minutes. Hosts Cambrian & Clydach gradually grew into the game, breaking on Aber's defence with pace, but it was the visitors who came closest to opening the scoring when Phillips unleashed a low effort that was easily saved by Dan Bradley in goal. Soon after, Aber went close once more as Ryan Wollacott rose highest from a corner only to see his header blocked on the goal line. Then, on 20 minutes, the hosts took the lead with their first meaningful attack as Leigh Jenkins saved well from Josh Maksimovic but Sam Jones was on hand to prod home the rebound for 1-0. The visitors, unfazed, continued to play some neat football and very nearly got back on level terms when Geoff Kellaway raced through on goal only to be denied by Bradley. Soon after, Elliot Assi was denied by the 'keeper as he tipped a 25 yard rasper over the crossbar. The visitors continued to press for an equaliser, and on 39 minutes went agonisingly close once more as Joe phillips crossed for Assi, who's shot was somehow blocked on the goal line by Cameron Keetch. Less than a minute later, as Aber raced back to defend the counter attack, the hosts doubled their lead as Sam Jones again pounced on a rebound in the penalty area to make it 2-0. It was a sucker punch that Aber didn't deserve after their first half play.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with Aber on the front foot looking for a way back into the game. On 56 minutes, they found their breakthrough as Harri Rowe surged down the left flank before finding Geoff Kellaway with a pinpoint cross, before Geoff rifled home a half volley into the roof of the net for 2-1. The goal gave Aber a lift, and they were very nearly back on level terms just eight minutes later as Joe Phillips raced clear before being denied by Bradley's outstretched right hand. As time ticked on, the hosts found a surge of energy, clinging on to their slender advantage. On 72 minutes, they almost found a third goal as Lee Jenkins produced a last ditch tackle in the penalty area, but on 87 minutes they made sure of victory as the referee pointed to the spot for an apparent foul on substitute Morgan Grahame, and Dai Thomas stepped up from the spot to make it 3-1.
It was a disappointing and frustrating end to what had been a solid performance from a largely inexperienced black and greens side. The mixed team of youthful and experienced players can be proud of their performance despite defeat, and will rue those missed chances that could so easily have got them back into the game. Aber's attentions now turn to Saturday's crunch JD Welsh Premier League clash with Barry Town United at Park Avenue - in a game where the seasiders could climb as high as third place in the league table with victory!
Cambrian & Clydach: Bradley, Griffiths, C Thomas, Coles, Keetch, D Thomas, K Jones, Strinati, S Jones, Maksimovich, M Jones.
Aberystwyth Town: Leigh Jenkins, C Morgan, Wollacott, Lee Jenkins, Assidjo, Kellaway, M Jones, Rowe, Phillips, Blake, Assi.
Nathaniel MG Cup - Second Round
Tuesday 25th September (7:45p.m Kick Off)
Cambrian & Clydach BGC v Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town return to action on Tuesday evening as they travel to face Welsh League 1 side Cambrian & Clydach Vale BCG in the second round of the Nathaniel MG Cup. Aber picked up a vital away KD Welsh Premier League point at Carmarthen on Saturday afternoon, and will be keen to build on their momentum as they face another tough test in South Wales.
Director of Football, Nev Powell, admitted it was a game of two halves at Richmond Park on Saturday afternoon, but also praised his players for the way they responded after going two goals behind against the Old Gold. After the game, Powell commented; "The first half wasn't really acceptable and we were very poor, but second half we were a lot brighter and a lot better. We've got a great group of players at the club, and they took what we had to say at half time on board and produced a performance in the second half."
It's not the first time the seasiders have had to come from behind in a game this season, after similar stories against Llanelli and Welshpool earlier in the campaign - which is great testament to the spirit and character within the current squad. Tuesday evening's game will be another test of character, and Powell admitted he'll need to call on the squad as a whole if Aber are to gain a positive result - "We want to carry on our good form now, both in the league and in the cup, and it's going to be important that we pick the right team for both games so that we can get the right results".
Tuesday's hosts Cambrian and Clydach BGC have already caused an upset in the Nathaniel MG Cup this season, after knocking Barry Town out on penalties in the first round of the competition. They currently lie in 4th place in Welsh League 1 and gained a notable victory over Haverfordwest County last weekend. Amongst their current squad is former Carmarthen talisman Craig Hughes, and they will be keen to inflict another cup upset on a welsh premier league side as they face Aber Tuesday evening.
In what is sure to be another classic cup tie, kick off at the M & P Group 3G facility is at 7:45p.m, and Cambrian & Clydach BGC's address is listed as NR Cambrian Industrial Estate, Clydach Vale, Rhondda, CF40 2XX. The black and greens will be keen to book their place in the Nathaniel MG Cup quarter finals with a victory!
JD Welsh Premier League
Saturday 22nd September
Carmarthen Town 2-2 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town earned a valuable point on their travels as they clawed back a two goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Carmarthen Town at Richmond Park on Saturday afternoon. In a miserable first half, goals from Luke Bowen (10) and Liam Thomas (38) put the hosts in firm control, but a spirited second half performance saw the black and greens claw their way back thanks to goals from Ash Ruane (64) and Declan Walker (78) to earn a valuable JD Welsh Premier League point on the road.
Aber named an unchanged side from the one which beat Bala Town at Park Avenue last weekend, but they got off to a slow start at Richmond Park as Declan Carroll fired an early warning sign within the opening five minutes with an effort over the bar. Soon after, Carmarthen were in behind Aber's defence as Luke Bowen was brought down outside the area by Leigh Jenkins, resulting in a booking and Sean Hanbury's free kick going over the bar once more. The visitors failed to heed the early warnings and Carmarthen took the lead on 10 minutes as Luke Bowen pounced on a defensive error to slide the ball beyond Jenkins and make it 1-0. The black and greens tried to find a way into the game, but continued to struggle, with Ryan Edwards and Geoff Kellaway seeing their efforts drift wide of either post. Meanwhile Carmarthen continued to threaten, with Leigh Jenkins producing a good save from Tyrrell Webbe's long range strike, before young centre half Lee Jenkins produced an outstanding block to deny Bowen another goal. Then, on 38 minutes, the hosts doubled their lead as Liam Thomas collected a loose ball on the edge of the area before firing a half volley over Jenkins and into the top corner for 2-0. Half time approached with the visitors somewhat fortunate to be two goals behind in an utterly disappointing first half.
Aber's first half performance merited a double substitution at half time, with Rio Ahmadi and Paulo Mendes being introduced in place of Geoff Kellaway and Lee Jenkins as the seasiders searched for a way back into the game. There was a marked improvement as soon as the second half started, with Aber playing at a higher tempo and forcing the hosts deeper into their own half. On 50 minutes, wingman Joe Phillips went close with a half volley before dragging a left footed effort just wide from a corner kick moment later. On 64 minutes, after a sustained period of pressure, Aber found their way back into the game as Ryan Edwards produced a pinpoint cross for Ashley Ruane to flick a header into the net at the back post and make it 2-1. Suddenly the seasiders were a different side, and sensed it was time to push for the equaliser. On 68 minutes they went close once more as Mathew Jones darted into the penalty area only to see his right footed strike go narrowly wide of the post. Then, on 78 minutes came the moment the Aber fans had been sensing as the visitors took a quick free kick, and Declan Walker picked up the ball on the right flank before cutting inside and unleashing a left footed effort into the bottom corner to make it 2-2. Hosts Carmarthen dropped deeper and deeper into their own half as the black and greens suddenly saw all three points there for the taking. On 82 minutes, Walker cut inside once more before firing over the crossbar, before Wes Baynes drilled his free kick narrowly over the bar. The visitors continued to push for the victory into the dying moments, but were unable to find that third goal as they were forced to settle for a hard earned away point.
It was a tale of two halves for the seasiders, who to their credit showed great desire and character to get themselves back into the game from such a daunting position at half time. Director of Football, Nev Powell and Assistant Manager Gavin Allen will be delighted with Town's work over the past week - picking up four points from two difficult games and currently lying in 7th place in the league table. Town's attentions now turn to Tuesday evening's Nathaniel MG Cup tie away at Cambrian & Clydach, before welcoming Barry Town to Park Avenue in the JD Welsh Premier League next Saturday.
Carmarthen Town: Idzi, Davies, Knott, Surman, Hanbury (70), Webbe (81), Morgan, Carroll, Walters, Thomas, Bowen. Subs: Hanford (70), Vickers (81), Vincent, Woodford, Cummings
Aberystwyth Town: Leigh Jenkins, Baynes, Wollacott, Lee Jenkins (45), Steff Edwards, Ryan Edwards, Jones, Walker, Phillips (76), Kellaway (45), Ruane. Subs: Rowe, Morgan, Blake (76), Mendes (45), Ahmadi (45)