Matthew Jones became the third Aberystwyth Town player to notch a hattrick in this season's Welsh Cup as Aber secured safe passage into the last 16 of the competition at Aberystwyth University Park Avenue.
Following three apiece for Harry Franklin and Owain Jones, who himself was on the scoresheet today, in the last round, the Comins Coch man grabbed the headlines this time round with two spot kicks and a thunderous drive to put the Seasiders’ name into Monday night's draw.
With boss Antonio Corbisiero naming an unchanged starting eleven from the side that defeated Newton last Friday evening, his side started the game brightly and carved out two good opportunities in the opening minutes with both falling to striker Raul Correia. The former Bala man dragged a shot wide after a good interception from Jamie Veale inside the Druids half before some great work from Jones and Jack Rimmer saw him miss the target by a matter of inches.
The home side did make their early pressure count when on 17 minutes, Gregor Zabret started a swift counter attack which saw Owain Jones chip the onrushing Michael Jones in the visiting goal. The ex-Swansea man made no mistake as he weighted his chip to perfection to give the men from Ceredigion the lead.
To their credit, the goal galvanised the visitors with both Pavel Vieira and Ben Wynne both creating half chances but it was Aber who doubled the lead with game half an hour old. Correia was again the danger man as he was felled by Vieira inside the area. Jones sent his namesake the wrong way to increase the Black and Green’s lead and grab his first of the afternoon.
Jones etched his name onto the scoresheet again deep into first half stoppage time. A corner was half cleared and the former Shrewsbury Town youngster thundered a strike from 25-yards out which nestled into the bottom corner to put Aber into a strong position going into the half time interval.
The Ancients carved out two good chances to begin the second stanza as Aber-born Charley Edge curled a shot wide and Max Davidson saw a shot go over the bar. At the other end, the lively Correia was unfortunate not to increase the lead further as his chip found its home on the roof of the net.
The Ancients pulled one back with ten to go as the busy Wynne rolled the ball home from close range and they sensed they could push for the most unlikely of comebacks.
As a result, the Ancients were leaving more space in behind the midfield which Jonathan Evans was happy to exploit. His first effort was superbly stopped down low by Jones. Just a minute later, last week’s goal hero drove at the Druids defence and was felled in the area by Edge. The spot kick offered Jones the chance to complete his hattrick to which he made no mistake, finding the bottom right hand corner.
There was nearly a 5th for Aberystwyth late on as substitute Harry Franklin, making his first appearance since returning from injury saw his shot well stopped by Jones and cleared away to safety.
Aber will be pleased with their afternoon's work in front of a crowd of 363. Aber face the daunting task of heading to League leaders The New Saints next Friday night. After today's game, they will go full of confidence!
Aberystwyth Town vs Cefn Druids
Welsh Cup Third Round
Saturday 25th September
The excitement of the Welsh Cup returns to Park Avenue on Saturday with the visit of fellow Cymru Premier side Cefn Druids. This will be the Seasiders second cup tie of the week, following Tuesday night’s Nathaniel MG match against Cardiff Met.
Antonio Corbisiero’s side reached this stage by beating South Wales Alliance Premier side Aber Valley at the start of the month – an afternoon that will be remembered for a long time not only because of the 9-0 scoreline, but also because of the terrific atmosphere created by both the Black & Green Army and Aber Valley’s superb group of travelling supporters.
The third round pairs the Seasiders with a more familiar opponent. Cefn Druids are currently in a transitional period as manager Niall McGuinness parted company with the club on Friday morning with Druids yet to pick up a point in the JD Cymru Premier. They did defeat Holyhead Hotspur in the 2nd Round to reach this stage however, and with some experienced players in their ranks, should certainly not be taken lightly.
Their squad list for this year includes a number of former ATFC players. Steff Edwards has had two spells at Park Avenue, initially under Alan Morgan from 2010-11 before returning under Nev Powell in 2018 for an 18 month spell. Pavel Viera made a handful of appearances in early 2020 before Covid-19 curtailed the season, whilst George Harry did likewise at the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
Last season, the Black & Greens recorded four victories against Druids – 4-0 and 3-0 at The Rock and 3-1 and 5-1 at Park Avenue; the 3-0 victory at The Rock in April in particular being memorable for Jamie Reed scoring his 100th Cymru Premier goal, whilst club icon Geoff Kellaway made his 350th Cymru Premier appearance.
Following Saturday's match, the Seasiders will spent the week preparing for a trip to Shropshire to face league leaders The New Saints at Park Hall.
As usual, Tickets are £7 for Adults / £4 for Concessions / Under 16’s free and kick-off is at 2.30pm. Come down and help roar the Seasiders onto another cup victory!
Nathaniel MG Cup Round Three
Tuesday 21st September
Aberystwyth Town 2 Cardiff Met 5
Aberystwyth Town lost their Nathaniel Cup Third Round tie at home to Cardiff Met last night by two goal to five, in an entertaining match which ultimately provided a very disappointing outcome for the men in Black and Green. Emlyn Lewis and Dan Warre both scored twice for Met, with Liam Warman adding a fifth, while Matty Jones and Jonathan Evans retorted for the Ceredigion side.
Aber’s starting XI was injury affected, with no fewer than five absentees, and indeed Cardiff Met started the game very strongly, attacking down both wings with gusto and a purpose which Town could not match. Joey Evans blasted wide early on but Liam Warman down the right and Dan Warre down the left were probing, and Warman sent in a dangerous cross which almost dropped into the net. Louis Bradford headed Matty Jones’ free kick wide, but then at the other end Warman won a corner, Kyle McCarthy sent it across and the ball was nodded back for Aber’s bete noir Emlyn Lewis to convert from close range just ten minutes in. The visitors were dominant with Aber struggling to create any decent chances, although Owain Jones did show some trickery before his low shot was blocked for a corner. Then on 32 minutes stand in striker Lewis Rees picked out Warre with a cross ball, and the left winger turned and fired home to double the lead. Aber had an effort deflected over for a corner, and then Steff Davies headed wide, and despite a series of corners for the home team it was Warre again who popped up at the other end to score a 44th minute third. Jonathan Evans headed a Matty Jones corner over but in truth the Met were good value for a 0-3 lead after a very disappointing half from the Black and Greens.
Credit to the Seasiders, they did give a much improved showing in the second half. On 49 minutes, under the amber light of a waxing moon, Matty Jones raised thoughts of an unlikely comeback when his brilliant free kick kissed in off the near post, and it was game on. Visiting keeper Alex Lang had to be replaced by Max Manson after sustaining an injury, Owain Jones volleyed wide and sub Rhys Davies fired a shot wide. Just as it looked like the comeback might be on however, Davies received a straight red card for a 73rd minute challenge, and the Seasiders’ odds grew longer again. Three minutes later Lewis volleyed home Met’s fourth goal from a corner and the game was surely done. Lewis volleyed over from another corner, but then with just ten minutes left Matty Jones’ free kick into the area was fumbled by Manson, and Jonathan Evans snaffled up a second goal in two games with a low drive. Bradford headed wide from another Matty Jones corner, and when eight minutes of injury time was shown the hosts dreamed again. They were lucky to escape a three on one when Adam Roscrow saw his shot blocked, but at the other end Owen Orford’s excellent right wing cross almost sneaked in. Orford had another shot blocked for a corner but then Met broke away in the 99th minute and a crazy game ended with Warman netting the visitors’ fifth goal with a low drive, to bring an end to a Bad Night at the Office for Antonio Corbsiero’s men.
Aber did at least show some fight in the second half and threatened a recovery, however a three goal home defeat is never pleasant, and Town will have to play much better on Saturday afternoon to make it through their Welsh Cup Third Round tie at home to Cefn Druids. Kick off is at 2.30pm.
Aberystwyth Town vs Cardiff Metropolitan University
Nathaniel MG Cup – Round Three
Tuesday 21st September
The Black & Greens kick-off back to back cup home cup ties with the visit of Cardiff Met to Park Avenue tomorrow in the Nathaniel MG. It will be the third visit in just over two months for former Seasider Christian Edwards and his team, following a friendly in July and the league encounter just 10 days ago.
Aber will be hoping for a more positive outcome this time around, as Emlyn Lewis’ last minute deflected strike gave Met the victory on their last visit. Spirits in the camp will certainly be high after Friday nights excellent 2-1 win at Newtown, thanks to Jamie Veale’s exquisite 40 yard lob and Jonathan Evans clever back-heel, which finally gave Antonio Corbisiero’s side the reward that their endeavours have deserved after the past few weeks.
The Seasiders progressed to this stage thanks to a dramatic penalty shootout victory against Penybont back in August. Young goalkeeper Alex Pennock was the hero that night, saving from Dan Jeffries spot kick, before Owain Jones tucked away the winning penalty. Cardiff Met secured their place in this fixture with a 4-0 win at Cymru South side Ammanford AFC.
Met’s run of three wins in a row and five without defeat came to an end on Saturday at The Oval, as goals from Danny Gosset and Mike Hayes gave Caernarfon Town a 2-0 victory.
The winner of tomorrow nights match will progress to the Quarter-Finals and ATFC then return to cup action on Saturday with the visit of Cefn Druids to Park Avenue for the Third Round of the Welsh Cup.
Kick-off is at 8pm and tickets are priced at £7 for Adults / £4 for Concessions / Under 16’s free. Where better to spend your Tuesday night than watching some cup football under the lights at Park Avenue?!
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 17th September
Newtown 1 Aberystwyth Town 2
Antonio Corbisiero’s Black and Greens finally got what they deserved for yet another hard working performance with a thrilling 2-1 win against local rivals Newtown at Latham Park last night. Jamie Veale’s astonishing 40 yard lob gave Town the lead on 36 minutes, and although Callum Roberts equalised five minutes into the second half the Black and Greens were not to be denied, and supersub Jonathan Evans snaffled a 71st minute winner only three minutes after coming on, to the delight of the visiting tifosi from Ceredigion.
The Black and Greens went into the game with Harry Franklin, Jon Owen and Lee Jenkins all ruled out to injury, however they started at a high tempo, starting from the front with the hard working Raul Correia showing the lead. Town were getting some promising balls into the box through the likes of Veale and Matty Jones, but Newtown had the first shot on target when Naim Arsam’s low volley deflected off Nick Rushton into Gregor Zabret’s hands. Louis Bradford had Aber’s first chance of note, sending the ball just wide from Veale’s attempted assist, and Correia saw a volley from the edge of the area saved by Dave Jones. Composed Aber were defending strongly and had made a good start, but needed a goal to stamp their authority on proceedings, and on 36 minutes it came. Almost exactly one year ago Veale scored a stunner at Latham Park, and the Treharris Terrier repeated the trick when he dispossessed David Cotterill, spotted Dave Jones off his line and sent an audacious lob from fully 40 yards, which hovered in the air for an eternity, then dropped deliciously just behind the despairing Jones’ arms into the net, to the astonishment and delight of everyone in Black and Green. Definitely a Goal of the Month contender at the very least! Both sides traded corners and free kicks, and Sam Phillips hit the post with a super low effort from Veale’s free kick with Aber’s defence holding firm and Town good value for their half time lead.
Into the second half and Newtown showed that they were not going to roll over. The Human Wall, also known as captain Jack Thorn, blocked an attempt from Rushton, but then Cotterill found a second attempt to cross after a corner and his low ball in was converted from close range by home centre back Roberts for the equaliser. Back came Aber almost straight away and Alex Darlington sent a Jack Rimmer cross off target. The game developed into an exciting end to end game, with Owain Jones seeing a shot saved, and Town keeper Gregor Zabret punching clear a cross from James Davies. Davies was denied again by a super block, this time from dependable Rhys Davies, then Callum Roberts headed over for the hosts from Craig Williams’ cross. With nineteen minutes to go Correia’s evening’s hard graft earned Town a free kick in a dangerous area on the edge of the penalty box, and Matty Jones’ cute ball in was tapped in from close range by the Flying Bus Driver Jonathan Evans, who celebrated with the kind of contagious delight which brings teams together at key times. Gregor Zabret’s performances for Aber have been top notch since he joined: the Slovenian stopper must surely be in the running for a Cymru Premier Player of the Month nomination, and he brought out another special stop to deny Fumpa Mwandwe. With thirteen minutes to go Steff Davies made a return to first team action coming on up front, and the Bow Street battler made his presence felt with a commandeering display up front. Rhys Davies made another great block, and Thorn cleared off the line before Jordan Evans fired over, with Newtown dominating the closing period. Town almost made the game safe with a breakaway from Owain Jones, but Dave Jones parried his goalbound effort and Jonathan Evans fired wide, and there were a few groans as the fourth official indicated six minutes of injury time. Countless balls into the box were repelled, but when Aaron Williams headed over from Craig Williams’ cross, the game was done and Aber were able to celebrate a hugely significant victory which sends them back up into ninth place, two points off the Top Six as Autumn beckons.
Hard work does eventually reap rewards and last night Aber’s young warriors added a cutting edge to previous performances, which will give Town’s supporters great heart going into two home Cup ties, with Cardiff Met and Cefn Druids visiting Park Avenue on Tuesday and Saturday respectively for League Cup and Welsh Cup ties. See you there: it wouldn’t be the same without you!
Newtown vs Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 17th September
The much-anticipated Mid Wales derby takes place under the lights at Latham Park this Friday. The most played fixture in Cymru Premier history is now in its 30th consecutive season, and fans will be able to witness it for the first time since December 2019!
Antonio Corbisiero and his team will be looking to bounce back from the heartbreak of last weekend, when Emlyn Lewis’ deflected last minute winner for Cardiff Met cruelly condemned the Seasiders to an undeserved 4th 1-0 league loss in a row. The defeat was particularly harsh on the outstanding Gregor Zabret, who had been heroic in goal during the game and was rightfully nominated in Sgorio’s 5-on-form during the week.
Chris Hughes’ Newtown have had a reasonable start to their Cymru Premier campaign, with a 2-0 victory at Caernarfon and a 5-0 demolition of Cefn Druids the standout results so far. They sit 7th in the league after 5 games, but only the top two of The New Saints & Flint Town United have scored more goals than The Robins.
Newtown’s summer signing Aaron Williams has already netted 4 times in the league since his arrival at Latham Park, whilst Lifumpa Mwandwe has 3 goals to his name so far. Jordan Evans, James Davies & Kieran Mills-Evans all have a goal each, which brings The Robins total to 10 for the season.
There are three ex-Seasiders in The Robins ranks this season; Club Captain Craig Williams spent two years at Park Avenue under Alan Morgan, whilst Ryan Edwards had 18 months with Aber before making the move down the A44 in January 2020 – the same month that James Rowland arrived at Park Avenue on loan from Shrewsbury Town, making a handful of appearances before Covid-19 curtailed the season.
ATFC Captain Jack Thorn & summer signing Sam Phillips have both had brief spells at Latham Park, following in the footsteps of club legends such as Aneurin Thomas, Jonathan Williams & Kevin Morrison who all played for both sides.
Last season’s meetings were certainly not short of entertainment. Jamie Veale’s excellent strike gave Gavin Allen’s Seasiders the lead at Latham Park back in September 2020, before Neil Mitchell equalised late on. The return first-phase fixture saw a red card, a penalty save and a delightful finish from Harry Franklin as ATFC triumphed 1-0; whilst Jordan Evans 94th minute strike gave Newtown the points three weeks later at Park Avenue after earlier goals from Marc Williams and Tyrone Ofori. The final meeting saw the Seasiders record a 4-0 victory at Latham Park; with goals from Mathew Jones, Jonathan Evans, Owain Jones and another from Harry Franklin.
Entertainment is guaranteed in this fixture and with fans allowed back in and the Black & Green Army expected to travel in great numbers, it has all the makings of a classic! Admission to the match will cost £7 for adults & £5 for concessions. Newtown are also running a special offer of £1 entry for under 21’s. The postcode for Latham Park is SY16 1EN and this one will be well worth the journey!