Aberystwyth Town FC will not play any matches during the Welsh Government "Fire Breaker" period, between 23rd October and 9th November 2020.
On Monday October 19th 2020 the Welsh Government announced the suspension of the elite programme during the period of the ‘fire-breaker’ (23/10/20 – 09/11/20).
The Welsh Government did stipulate that clubs who complied with the following criteria, would be allowed to continue playing during the ‘fire-breaker’ period.
"Sportspeople who work and earn a living through sport are allowed to continue working, and like everyone else they can leave home to do so if they cannot work from home. Fixtures involving professional sportspeople are allowed to continue behind closed doors. All participants, such as players, officials, coaches, and broadcasters, are there in a working capacity."
The JD Cymru Premier League consulted with its Member Clubs overnight and decided to sanction some fixtures between clubs who could safely meet the stipulated criteria.
In common with the majority of Cymru Premier Clubs, Aberystwyth Town FC rely heavily on unpaid Directors and Club volunteers to host and play matches, and as such do not have sufficient professional staff to fully meet the stated requirements during this difficult period.
The following matches therefore are postponed until further notice:
Caernarfon Town v Aberystwyth Town, 24th October
Aberystwyth Town v Penybont, 30th October
Aberystwyth Town v Newtown, 6th November
Rearranged dates will be communicated in due course.
Aberystwyth Town Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of Matias Etchegoyen from Gibraltar National League club Mons Calpe SC. The 25-year-old right-footed midfielder, who excels in a deeper role as well as further upfield, offers manager Gavin Allen another strong option in the middle of the park.
Born in Florida, Argentina, Matias joined the junior ranks at Acassuso CF where he spent almost 14 years progressing through the ranks and making the step into senior football in January 2016. 23 senior appearances in his two-and-a-half-year spell in the Primera B Metropolitana lead to a six-month spell with Italian side Varese in the 18/19 season. This was followed by a year with Venezuelan First Division side Metropolitanos, where he made 27 appearances, before Matias moved to the First Tier of Gibraltar in January where he featured before season curtailment in March.
First Team Manager Gavin Allen commented: “I am very happy to be able to welcome Matias to our squad. We have been busy over recent weeks in looking to recruit new players to strengthen certain areas - Matias has played in several different countries and his experience and knowledge will be a huge asset for the team as we hopefully push for a spot in the Top 6.”
All at Park Avenue look forward to welcoming Matias to Park Avenue and to Aberystwyth – croeso i Gymru, Matias!
Goals from local duo Jon Foligno and Steff Davies gave Aber a come-from-behind lead against the multi title-winning New Saints at Park Avenue on Friday night, before the visitors equalised late to take a share of the spoils on a hugely entertaining night at Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium.
Going into Friday night’s game, The New Saints held a 100% record and were yet to even concede a goal after 7 games, placing Aber as enormous underdogs on the night. A busier night than usual in the Press Box featured live commentary from BBC Radio Wales with Simon Davies and the lesser known Allen brother, Malcolm, as well as TNS officials hosting their regular TNS FC Radio broadcast from the club shop!
Gavin Allen named 5 changes to his team that lost away at Bala Town, with Connor Roberts and Louis Bradford ineligible to play against their parent club. Also dropping to the bench were Miles John and Gavin Jones, as well as Mathew Jones following his shoulder injury. Thus, Allen’s side was a notably young side that featured 6 locals in the XI and another who made an impact from the bench.
Prior to kick-off, a minute’s silence was held and flag’s flown at half-mast to remember club stalwart Tony Payne, who passed away last week following a short illness. This being Town’s first home game since the tragic news, there were sure to be a few misty eyes among those in and outside the ground to commemorate a great friend to all.
As was the story for the majority of the game, TNS began in control with sharp passing and clever movement to frustrate the Aber press. With former Caernarfon man Leo Smith orchestrating the midfield, the visitors were comfortable in possession, but Aber were resilient in their shape.
Boateng went close for the visitors on 5 minutes followed by a rasping volley from Smith that sailed past the post. On 11 minutes, Aber were gifted 2 chances by a miscued Chris Marriott pass that went for a corner, forcing Harrison to make an excellent point-blank stop, before Lee Jenkins headed over from a free kick.
Soon though, TNS were back in control as Draper was set free through the middle but his chipped effort over Pennock was cleared brilliantly by Rimmer, and Pennock saved well from a long ranger from Routledge. On 24 minutes, the post came to Aber’s rescue for the first time as Hudson’s header ricocheted off the upright to the relief of the home side, but the pressure was building with half-time on the horizon.
On 36 minutes, the visitors finally found the net following another stop from Pennock that looped in the air for Robles to poke home from a yard. It was almost doubled minutes later as the impressive Leo Smith and his silky feet found Jamie Mullan who struck the post.
On the stroke of half-time, the referee brandished 3 yellow cards following some argy-bargy – TNS’ Holland and Hudson and Town’s Steff Davies.
The second half began in ilk with the first, with TNS showing dominance for the initial 15 – Pennock pulling off another great stop on 49 mins.
However, on 64 minutes the tie as turned on its head, as Jamie Veale delivered a delicious free kick from the right side and found the forehead of the veteran Foligno who fired Aber level. Despite the lack on in-stadium supporters, the roar from the vans, buses, stepladder owners and fence on-lookers was quite something!
With TNS in shock, Aber were sure to not lose their heads and undo their good work to that point. Keeping resilient in their shape and no-nonsense in their clearing, Aber soon found their feet again. A midfield battle found the ball at Veale’s feet again who, after a dummied pirouette, launched an inch perfect pass through the lines for Steff Davies to run onto. With a defender by his side, the Ysgol Plascrug PE teacher made Ryan Harrington his pupil as he zoomed past him and confidently finished through Paul Harrison’s legs to give Aber the lead with 20 to play! Once again, the roar from the onlookers was deafening – reminding many of those pre-2020 Park Avenue nights.
Leading the best team in the league with 20 minutes to play, Aber knew the 3 points wouldn’t be easily earned as TNS pushed their man mountain centre half to play striker and pressure Aber’s young backline (Foligno had been replaced by Rowe at this point). Aber could, and should, have made it 3-1 on 73 minutes when Steff Davies set-up Owain Jones from 10 yards out, but his low shot agonisingly skimmed past the post of the grateful Harrison.
TNS finally found their equaliser on 83 minutes as the recently substituted Ben Clark found himself free at the back post to loop home an effort from Marriott’s cross. And so, Town had 10 minutes to weather the storm or even find their own winner!
The tireless Gwion Owen continued to run like his life depended on it, winning Aber field position and keeping TNS away. On 89 minutes, Alex Pennock once again pulled off an excellent reflex save to keep the score level, before Adam Davies found himself 1-o-1 with Harrison, only to fire at the veteran keeper.
Into stoppage time, Town’s midfield orchestrater and Cardiff Academy graduate Jamie Veale turned former Swansea man Tom Holland who scythed him to the floor, leaving referee Nick Pratt in no doubt to dismiss him on 90+1 minutes, despite the protests of Scott Ruscoe and Steve Evans.
A final TNS corner missed the target, and the final whistle was blown to the delight of the Town faithful.
A fantastic performance from Allen’s men who showed enormous character to keep strong in the face of TNS’ relentless pressure. After a humbling defeat to Bala Town, Aber were able to prove themselves as a strong and resolute unit who, on their day, can give anybody a game. This ends a difficult run of fixtures, as we now face those around us in the table – first up, Caernarfon Town live on Sgorio next Saturday for a 17:15 KO. Your continued support on our social channels and from outside ground boundaries is much appreciated – diolch i chi gyd!
Aberystwyth Town vs The New Saints
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 16th October
MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Aberystwyth Town return to Aberystwyth University Park Avenue following two games on the road and are up against table toppers The New Saints in what should be an intriguing match under the Friday night lights.
Goals were certainly not in short supply during Aber’s two trips north over the last 10 days. A 4-0 victory at Cefn Druids was followed by a 5-2 reverse at Bala Town and Gavin Allen’s men now sit 7th in the Cymru Premier table, with 8 points from 8 games, perfectly poised to make a challenge for the Top Six in the remaining two thirds of the first league phase.
Captain Marc Williams has led the way in the last couple of games, with a goal in each, including a terrific header from a delicious Mathew Jones cross in Saturday’s televised game at Bala. He was joined on the scoresheet by Jonathan Evans, Steff Davies and Jack Thorn at Cefn Druids and by Steven Hewitt, who scored his first goal for the club at Maes Tegid.
Whilst Aber’s attacking talent has taken much of the limelight, Connor Roberts must also be given much praise for his recent displays, which included some top class saves that certainly did not go unnoticed by Sgorio’s commentary and punditry teams at the weekend. Unfortunately, Connor will be ineligible for Friday’s match, along with Louis Bradford, as they cannot play against their parent club.
Gavin Allen also has some injury concerns to contend with as Mathew Jones left the action early on Saturday, as did Jonathan Evans the previous Tuesday. Jack Thorn also continues to self-isolate.
Manager Allen was pleased to be able to get his team back on the training pitch this week, with no midweek fixture. “It’s nice to train to be truthful, we’ve travelled from north to south in the last month and we haven’t had time to do much training with the boys because of their recoveries” he commented following the Bala game.
Friday’s visitors, The New Saints, are a formidable opponent. So far this season they have played 7 league matches and have won every one, scoring 26 goals in the process and not conceding a single goal. Following Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Connahs Quay, they sit two points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand.
Their manager, Scott Ruscoe, knows this league as well as anyone and has made some astute signings over the summer, all with good Cymru Premier experience, as his team look to regain the title following it being awarded to Connahs Quay last season – the first time since 2011 that The New Saints haven’t taken home the crown. Former Wrexham youngster Leo Smith has joined from Caernarfon Town, Louis Robles from Bala and Ryan Astles, who had a spell with Rhyl earlier in his career, has joined from Southport.
It is therefore a daunting task that Gavin Allen and his young side face, however this is a fixture that Aberystwyth Town have caused a shock in on a couple of notable occasions in the past! Back in August 2007, The Black & Greens shocked Welsh football with a 5-1 victory; Jamie Reed making the headlines with a hat-trick on his home debut. More recently, a header from a then 17 year old Lee Jenkins secured a 1-0 win in November 2018 on a memorable night where the club celebrated 50 years of the Aberystwyth Junior League – appropriately it was two local teenagers who combined for the winning goal; Mathew Jones setting up hero of the hour Jenkins. You therefore wouldn’t put it past Aber Town to be the first side this season to take points off their guests on Friday…!!
The club would like to thank Bala Town and Sgorio for joining us in a touching minute's silence for Tony Payne at Maes Tegid last Saturday. With Friday night's game being our first home fixture since Tony's passing, we can confirm that a minute's silence will be held pre-match to remember Tony at the ground he served tirelessly and so dearly cherished.
There will be no admittance to supporters for Friday’s match, but The Black & Green Army can listen to the whole game live on BBC Radio Wales, with coverage starting at 7pm. We will of course be bringing you all the key moments on our Twitter platform also and you can follow us @AberystwythTown. As always, thank you for your continued support and we hope that it is not too long before the gates to Aberystwyth University Park Avenue can open fully once again!
Aberystwyth Town made the trip to Bala Town yesterday evening, for what was the Seasiders fourth match in 11 days, and the third away from home in that time. The Black & Greens were joined at Maes Tagid by the Sgorio cameras, with this match being the first time Aber Town have gone live to the nation since lockdown.
Before the match, both teams paid tribute to two club stalwarts who sadly passed away in the week; Bala Town’s Dei Bri Roberts and our own Tony Payne. A minute’s silence was well observed in the ground and Sgorio paid their own classy tribute during the television broadcast. Both men will be sorely missed by their clubs and our thoughts are with their families and friends.
Gavin Allen made one change to his side who triumphed 4-0 at Cefn Druids on Tuesday night as Gavin Jones came in for his first Cymru Premier start in place of the injured Jonathan Evans. It was Jones who had the first shot on target, testing Bala keeper Ramsay from 20 yards in the opening couple of minutes.
Bala then had their own opportunity to open the scoring, as Will Evans capitalised on a loose ball and lifted the ball over Connor Roberts, but it cleared the crossbar also and dropped behind for a goal kick. The hosts then continued to create chances, as a Steven Leslie free-kick was deflected and Connor Roberts had to pull off a magnificent save, diving to his right having been wrong footed and clawing the ball away, before Chris Venables tried an acrobatic overhead kick which went wide.
On 23 minutes, Aber took the lead. A sublime cross from Mathew Jones was met by captain Marc Williams, who outjumped two Bala defenders and goalkeeper Ramsey to put the Seasiders 1-0 ahead, with his second goal in as many games.
Following the goal, Gavin Jones had another long range effort which was deflected wide, before Connor Roberts had to be alert to deny Chris Venables when the former Aber goal machine was sent through one on one.
With seven minutes to go until half time, the hosts pulled level as Will Evans met Steven Leslie’s corner with a powerful header. Connor Roberts then showed fantastic reactions to deny Nathan Peate from another corner, but Bala did go into the break a goal ahead as Evans found Sean Smith, who fired under Roberts to make it 2-1. Aber were also forced to make their first change at this point; Rhys Davies replacing an injured Mathew Jones.
Bala started the second half the brighter of the two teams and Nathan Peate headed wide from a corner on 48 minutes, before referee Dean John awarded the hosts a penalty on 58 minutes as Louis Bradford was deemed to have pulled down Chris Venables. It was Venables who stepped up to take the penalty, and he made no mistake, smashing the ball past Connor Roberts to make it 3-1.
A minute later it was 4-1 as Venables met a Mendes cross to give Bala a commanding lead, but Aber didn’t let their heads drop and were back in the game on 67 minutes as Steff Davies was pulled down by Anthony Stephens and Aber were awarded a penalty. Steven Hewitt converted to register his first goal for the club.
Aber pushed to try and claw back the deficit and Gavin Jones had another attempt at goal, but the game was over on the 81st minute as Raul Correia met a Sean Smith cross to make it 5-2.
There was just time for Connor Roberts to once again show why he is rated so highly by everyone at Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium, as he denied Nathan Peate from point blank range before tipping over a Henry Jones free-kick, as the rain lashed down at Maes Tegid, and the game ended 5-2 to the hosts.
Gavin Allen gave an honest assessment after the match. “We’ve gone 1-0 up but unfortunately we’ve conceded some bad goals. We defended well for the first couple of corners but maybe fell asleep for three or four of the goals. We know Bala play the percentages of the game, from corners and free-kicks, but they get results at the end of the day and you’ve got to say well done to them. At times we’ve played some decent football; we’ve kept the ball well, but we just need to address a couple of areas”.
Next up for the Black & Greens is the visit of The New Saints to Aberystwyth University Park Avenue on Friday night. Whilst supporters are still not allowed to be admitted into the ground, you can follow all the action on our Twitter @AberystwythTown and you will be able to catch our next away match live on Sgorio again, as the cameras will be present at The Oval when we visit Caernarfon Town on Saturday 24th (5.15pm KO).
Bala Town vs Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 10th October
MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Live on Sgorio (S4C) – 5.15pm KO
Aber Town go live to the nation for the first time this season on Saturday, at Bala Town’s Maes Tegid. The Seasiders come into the game on the back of an impressive 4-0 victory at Cefn Druids on Tuesday night, and currently sit in the Top 6; a place and a point above Saturday’s hosts.
On what was a difficult night for everyone at the club following the news of the passing of club stalwart Tony Payne earlier in the day, Gavin Allen’s side put in a performance which really lifted spirits and goals from Jonathan Evans, Marc Williams, Steff Davies and Jack Thorn ensuring a fitting tribute to a man who contributed so much to Aberystwyth Town FC over many years, and who was a good friend to all.
After the match, Gavin Allen commented “It was a great performance from the boys with four goals and a clean sheet. They have showed character tonight. I thought the back line were excellent – they won everything. At times we’ve looked threatening, and it was a decent performance. I hope Tony would be looking down on us and smiling tonight and Tony, that’s 3 points for you mate”.
Allen will be hoping that a number of injury worries ease before Saturdays match. Jonathan Evans had to be taken off with ten minutes to go on Saturday, which was a huge blow following an influential performance from the local lad. He joins Ilan Hughes & Sam Barnes on the treatment table, but his manager is hoping that a return to action won’t be too far away and praised the quality of his medical staff. “We’ve got some fantastic physios, who are working tirelessly to ensure that everything is correct at the club. I’m hoping that they can work wonders for us”.
In the last 24 hours, the club has also learnt that Jack Thorn is self-isolating for 14 days following a family member testing positive for COVID-19. Therefore, Jack will be unavailable for Saturday’s match.
Our opponents on Saturday have had a whirlwind opening to the new 2020/21 season. Their campaign started in Malta with a 1-0 win the Europa League preliminary qualifying round. Their prize for this was a tie away to Belgian giants Standard Liege and they did the Cymru Premier proud, limiting the European regulars to a 2-0 victory.
Their league form has been mixed so far. They were unlucky not to get three points on the opening night, as a Sameron Dool wonderstrike gave Connahs Quay a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw. This was followed by successive wins over Cefn Druids & Penybont before a bizarre match against The New Saints. Bala had raced into a two goal lead, before TNS fought back and equalised at 2-2 on the 87th minute, but moments later a floodlight failure occurred and the match was abandoned. The game has subsequently been rearranged and therefore the result does not stand.
On Saturday, Bala suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Haverfordwest County and their match on Tuesday away at Flint was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. They therefore sit 7th in the league, having only officially played 4 games, and trail ourselves by a point, albeit with three games in hand.
Colin Caton has built a formidable squad over the years with the likes of ex-Swansea youth Henry Jones and Steven Leslie, who made over 100 football league appearances for Shrewsbury Town, now joined by the likes of Nathan Peate, Alex Ramsay and Will Evans.
Of course, one player in Bala’s squad who needs no introduction is former Seasider and Cymru Premier legend, Chris Venables. Chris had two spells at Park Avenue; being part of the team who reached Aber’s first Welsh Cup Final in 109 years in 2009 before departing for Llanelli, who he returned from in 2013. For the next three years he was unstoppable in Black & Green, netting 24, 28 & 20 goals in consecutive seasons to secure three Golden Boot’s in a row and two Player of the Season awards in 2014 & 2015.
He moved to Bala in 2016, where his goalscoring exploits have continued and he is joined at Maes Tegid by another former Aberystwyth Town player in Jonny Spittle; who spent six months at Park Avenue in 2017 under Neville Powell, captaining the club on a number of occasions.
Coverage starts on S4C at 5pm and you can also follow the action on our Twitter page @AberystwythTown. The match is behind closed doors but as always, the players know the Black & Green Army will be behind them and appreciate your superb support!