JD Cymru Premier
Friday 27th September
Bala Town 2 Aberystwyth Town 0
Two goals from ex Black and Green Goal Machine Chris Venables consigned Aber to defeat in their JD Cymru Premier match at Maes Tegid last night. The Lakesiders took the lead on 13 minutes, and although the Seasiders worked hard to remain in the game and threatened an equaliser, Venables again settled the match with eight minutes to go, to cap a disappointing evening for Matthew Bishop’s men.
After a difficult journey for the loyal Green Army up through the flooded Dyfi valley, the match started like a train with chances coming at both ends. Joe Phillips crossed for Paulo Mendes to head wide, and at the other end Venables brought a good save from Connor Roberts. Aber broke from a Bala corner and after a great move Marc Williams’ shot was deflected for a corner. Matthew Jones’ resultant set piece fell perfectly for Mendes, and his header brought a superb point blank save from Ashley Morris to preserve Bala’s clean sheet. Louis Robles tapped wide for the hosts but then the Lakesiders took the initiative when Henry Jones picked out Venables with a defence splitting pass, and he found the net for 1-0. A Jones free kick was punched to safety by Roberts, and then young Lee Jenkins made a goal saving tackle to deny Robles. Jenkins then headed over at the other end from Luke Boundford’s long throw, before Jones was denied from close range by Roberts again. Boundford worked hard to dispossess Morris out by the right touchline, but his goalbound effort was cleared off the line, and as the half time whistle went Bala probably just about deserved their lead, though Aber were certainly still in it, with the next goal crucial.
Roberts denied Jones yet again after the break and then brought off a superb double save from Robles and Venables in turn to keep Aber in it. Joe Phillips’ free kick in response was easy for Morris, and Robles curled wide with Bala again looking threatening. Venables saw another attempt saved, and then defiant Aber went close when Jones’ corner fell for Williams to curl wide. Mathew Jones then set up the effervescent Richie Ricketts who shot wide, with the Black and Greens showing signs that they could indeed grab a battling point. A nice move lead to Alex Boss bringing a save from Morris with a left foot shot, and then sub Geoff Kellaway almost equalised with a snap volley which caused panic at the back for Bala. Aber’s dreams of a comeback were dashed however on 82 minutes when Jones again set up Venables, and he lobbed Roberts with a cute effort for 2-0. Lee Jenkins headed a Jones free kick wide, and time sadly ran out for Town with Bala finishing the match two goals to the good.
In a lively match full of chances Aber played their full part, and on another night could certainly have snatched a draw from this game. Venables’ clinical finishing was the difference between the sides at Maes Tegid however, and Aber will be hoping for better fortunes at Penybont next Friday evening (ko 7.45pm). Keep the faith!
Welsh Premier Womens League
Sunday 22nd September
Swansea City 3 Aberystwyth Town 0
Aberystwyth Town Ladies' return to the Welsh Premier Women's League ended in defeat against one of the title favourites, Swansea City Ladies after two own-goals and a second half cracker from Katy Hosford. Despite defeat the Black and Greens left Swansea with their heads held high after a hard-working, determined performance against a high-quality side writes Steven Brookes.
Swansea City Ladies had opened their new campaign with an excellent victory over last season's champions and new Welsh UEFA Women's Champions League record-breakers Cardiff Met Women.
The Swans side were huge favourites for the fixture against the Ceredigion side but despite a lot of possession it took 43 minutes for the hosts to find the opener and with a bit of good fortune as well. Stacey John-Davis managed to round Ffion Ashman before her attempt, which seemed to be heading wide was unfortunately deflected in off Nia Witts.
Town found themselves two down nine minutes into the second half. Katie Hosford's strike from distance took a huge deflection off Caroline Cooper before ending up in the back of the net. Aber Town's defence remained focused and organised as the hosts pressed for a third. Ex-Swan, Ffion Ashman even pulled off a couple of very impressive saves to keep the score at two but the team in white weren't to be denied for much longer though. Katie Hosford's superb strike from distance finding the top corner to all-but confirm the three points.
Following a tough opening to the season for the recently promoted side, it is already quite clear that the Black and Greens are going to put up a big fight this season as they battle to remain in the Welsh Prem.
Aberystwyth will return to League Cup action on Sunday 29th September at Park Avenue as they host Briton Ferry Llansawel (KO: 2pm). This match will immediately be followed by Aberystwyth Town Ladies Development team's home match against Felinfach Ladies (KO: 5pm).
Aberystwyth Town FC is delighted to give the opportunity to our new Club Chaplain Jon Butler to introduce himself:
Hello all at Aberystwyth Town FC, I wanted to take a moment of your time to say "Shwmae", introducing myself as the new Club Chaplain to explain a little of my role here and how you can contact me. While I am relatively new to Aber (I moved here in August - do feel free to ask me why when you see me), I have a love of football and want to serve this club and all connected with it.
As your Club Chaplain my aim is to serve everyone in the club irrespective of position, beliefs or lifestyle. This includes people of faith, or no faith, offering pastoral and spiritual support wherever appropriate. I am here to provide an impartial and confidential point of contact to talk about any matters you may be worried about on or off the pitch, and with the growing awareness of mental health concerns I believe this is a key time for such a role at the club and across the sporting community. Life may often bring the unexpected and challenges to us all, therefore having someone impartial to listen and be a pastoral support can make a real difference to our well-being. This is one of the key ways I look forward to serving the club.
With over 5 years experience in church leadership and 14 years as a Police Officer I've been able to support and pastor many people in many situations. There's not a lot about the ups and downs of life that surprises me! As your chaplain I'm not here to preach, but I am available to give support whenever and wherever it's needed.
You may be interested to know that Sports Chaplaincy UK have 550 Sports Chaplains across the United Kingdom, with 75 specifically in Wales serving Welsh sport. A growing number of Cymru Premier League Clubs now have Chaplains.
Please do say hello or chat with me when you see me, I will be at most First Team home games and at the club for some midweek training and coaching sessions. If you would like to get in touch with me you can email me at email@example.com. I am honoured to be undertaking this role, serving the club and all connected with Aberystwyth Town FC.
Come on Seasiders!
All the best,
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 27th September
Bala Town v Aberystwyth Town
Aber Town travel North to face Bala at Maes Tegid on Friday night with a huge spring in their step, following their 1-0 win away Nathaniel MG Cup holders Cardiff Met on Tuesday (see photo, below). The win not only earned Aber a place in the Cup Quarter Finals, but finally gained them a clean sheet and came courtesy of a defensive performance which Aber now need to replicate if they are to challenge for a Top Six place this season.
Maes Tegid has been a happy hunting ground for Aber in recent years: two seasons ago they drew in the League and won their Welsh Cup Semi Final at the ground, and last year an incredible late winner from Declan Walker in a 3-2 win over the Lakesiders sent supporters into delirium. Interestingly that victory also followed up on a victory at Cardiff Met.
Manager Matthew Bishop has a number of players returning to the Squad tomorrow evening who were unavailable for Tuesday’s game: Stuart Jones and Luke Boundford should have recovered from knocks, Wes Baynes, Adam Hughes, Ryan Edwards will also be in contention and the great news for Aber fans is that last season’s top scorer Geoff Kellaway, a long time tormenter of Bala Town, may also return to fitness in time to be included in the Squad.
Bala Town sit in sixth in the League; after a very good start including a win over TNS, their form has dipped in the past few weeks and Manager Colin Caton was critical of their defending in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff Met. Onetime Aber strike Chris Venables however has been bang on form for the Lakesiders this term, having been moved to a more attacking position.
Kick off at Maes Tegid is at 7.45pm and a good following is usually a given for what is viewed as a derby by some supporters. You can whet your appetite pre match by viewing the match programme here. Here’s hoping for another classic clean sheet from the boys in Black and Green!
Cardiff Met 0 Aber Town 1: Reaction
Praise has been poured on the Aber Town side which gained a big Nathaniel MG Cup win last night at Cardiff Met by Wales Semi Pro Team Manager Mark Jones, on the Cymru Premier Audioboom podcast, produced late last night by genial host Marc Webber. Jones was present at Cyncoed last night and told Webber after the game:
"I think it's a shock. Aber came on a long journey on a Tuesday evening, so you have to give them a lot of credit. To come and knock the holders out, it's a big scalp for Aber."
Jonah believes Aber can take confidence from the win, and also noted the contribution of Mattie Jones, whom he selected for last season's Wales Semi Pro Squad:
"It must encourage them to think, to go almost anywhere in the League and get themselves a win, if they set out and play with as much passion (as tonight). They took their goal well too, a great goal from Mattie Jones."
The bigger picture for the Black and Greens is that the clean sheet may kick start their season and herald better results to come. Jones agrees:
"It's a great win for the Seasiders and it could turn their season around. Will they be amongst the favourites for the Cup? They might fancy their chances!"
Listen to Webber and Jonah's Nathaniel MG Cup Round Three Review here. You may also wish to keep abreast of the Club's Social Media accounts for news of the Nathaniel MG Cup Quarter Final draw.
MG Nathaniel Cup Third Round
Tuesday 24th September
Cardiff Met 0 Aberystwyth Town 1
Aberystwyth Town kick started their season with a huge win at a rainswept Cardiff Met this evening, Mathew Jones’ 38th minute strike from distance inflicting Met's first home defeat since November 2018, and earning Town a place in the MG Nathaniel Cup Quarter Finals, to be played on October 29th.
Manager Mathew Bishop made some changes to Friday’s side, with Edmilson Vaz, Lee Jenkins, Mathew Jones, Paulo Mendes and Richie Ricketts all making the starting eleven. The new look team showed an excellent defensive shape and discipline from the start, restricting Met to half chances. Dion Phillips’ early shot was easy for Town keeper Connor Roberts, and Dan Spencer had a shot deflected over from a promising position. Mathew Jones sent an early free kick just over the bar with Aber’s first shot on goal. The impressive Mael Davies tested Roberts again, before Tom Price forced Alex Lang into a save with a dangerous cross. Dion Phillips brought a great save from Roberts from close range, and the visiting keeper also parried Spencer’s header: but it would be wrong to say it was all Met with Aber’s forward four forcing the Cup holders into mistakes with their high press. Joe Phillips showed some trickery before testing Lang again with a cross, but then came a huge moment in the game when Captain Fantastic Marc Williams showed some great play to set up Jones, and his low 30 yard volley nestled into the bottom corner for a priceless lead which vindicated Aber’s tactics on the evening. Alex Boss’ angled shot was saved by Lang, and then just before the break Spencer missed out on Mael Davies’ right wing cross, and Aber’s half time lead was intact.
Town continued their excellent defensive display after the break with Ryan Wollacott a rock at the back, and Richie Ricketts doing excellently well to snuff out Phillips on Met’s right wing, and showing the odd attacking flourish to boot. Jones and Paulo Mendes were huge in front of the back four as Aber restricted the Studenst to half chances. At the other end Joe Phillips cut inside but his shot was blocked, Jones’ free kick just evaded Wollacott and Jenkins at the back post, and Phillips picked out Tom Price with a dinky ball into the box, but the talented Swansea based midfielder just failed to connect. With Met relying increasingly on long throws Aber were nearly there, but Roberts did have to make one final save to deny Kyle McCarthy from Phillips’ cross, and as in the last round, the Black and Greens held out in the driving rain, with the choruses of their super singing supporters ringing in their ears.
Knocking out both of last season’s MG Nathaniel Cup Finalists away from home is a big coup for the Seasiders but the bigger picture is that a first clean sheet and a really positive defensive performance is a huge boost to Aber’s season. Town will now face either Carmarthen Town, Newtown or STM Sports/Haverfordwest County in the regionalised Quarter Finals, but before then visit Bala Town on Friday evening for a JD Cymru Premier match (ko 7.45pm). Things are looking up!
Photos courtesy of Colin Ewart