A twenty three minute hat trick from substitute Greg Draper condemned Aber to a defeat on a ground they’ve not won at since 1993.
The New Zealand international, introduced in the second half, broke the hearts of the hardworking Seasiders who had gone into the break level after Stephen Hewitt had cancelled out Dean Ebbe’s opening header.
Gavin Allen made six changes to his starting charges from a fortnight ago in the capital. Jamie Veale, celebrating his 24th birthday, skippered the side which also featured a first start for ex-Wrexham man Jack Thorn. Elsewhere in the match day squad, there were places for Louis Gerrard and Shama Bako following their deadline day arrival on the Ceredigion coast.
The Saints got off to the best start possible when they broke the deadlock after just four minutes. A good cross from the left-hand side found Ebbe who powerfully headed the ball home despite Alex Pennock getting a hand to his effort.
Following the goal, the hosts were in a buoyant mood and created more chances to increase their advantage. Lee Jenkins put in a great challenge to stop Adrian Cieslewicz, Louis Robles saw a glancing header fall narrowly wide of the post and Jon Routledge’s audacious lob had the Seasiders’ defence scrambling with the ball thankfully dropping over the bar.
At the other end, the tireless Adam Davies was Aber’s main goalscoring threat. First seeing a powerful drive was just over before then pouncing on a defensive error in the final third but his shot was easily stopped by Paul Harrison in the Saints’ goal.
After half an hour, Aber were forced into an early change with Owain Jones replacing Matias Ethegoyen and within minutes of the former Merthyr man coming on, Aber were level. Davies beat the offside trap down the left-hand side and his deflected cross met the head of the onrushing Stephen Hewitt to equalise.
The goal lifted Aber as they went in search of a go-ahead goal. They enjoyed more possession and Veale’s free kick from the edge of the area came within a whisker of meeting to head of the onrushing Jenkins in the box.
But it was the hosts that ended the opening stanza the stronger as they enjoyed a succession of corners and a golden opportunity to regain the lead. The dangerous Ebbe saw his shot well stopped before the sound of Thomas Owen’s whistle signalled half time.
The second half started with the league leaders enjoying the possession and the territorial advantage but with little in goal mouth action to report as the visiting defence repelled everything thrown their way.
Both sides looked to their reinforcements to force the initiative with the former champions introducing Jamie Mullan instead of Louis Robles and the men in yellow replacing Davies with Shama Bako and the Saints interchange nearly instantly paid dividends for them. Aber defended the penalty area well but the ball fell to Mullan whose wicked strike powered narrowly wide of Pennock’s far post.
Just after the hour, Scott Ruscoe turned to his bench again with the introduction of Tom Holland and Draper and the latter, so often a thorn in Aber’s defence, was again the man who gave the Saints the lead. After Pennock blocked Blaine Hudson’s header superbly, a cross back into the box was faintly touched by the New Zealander to give the home side the lead.
With the fog drowning the pitch at Park Hall, the only side in the JD Cymru Premier with an unbeaten record smelled blood. A smart block on the line from Jenkins stopped Aber going further behind whilst the linesman’s flag prevented Draper claiming his second. Aber did create their own opportunity but Owain Jones’ header landed over the bar.
With fifteen minutes left to play, captain Marc Williams was introduced to the action but ten minutes later, the hosts sealed the points. Again, it was Draper who increased the advantage as he coolly turned in the box and slotted home into the far corner of the net.
And the experienced marksman put a gloss on the final score as he grabbed his third. He rose well in the penalty area and his header looped over the head of Pennock in the goal to give the final score line a lopsided look.
Whilst the end result looked disappointing, there were many positives to take from the game including many individuals putting their hands up for selection during this busy schedule. Aber will look to bounce back when they take on Haverfordwest County this Tuesday (1st December) which you can watch live on Sgorio.
The New Saints vs Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 28th November
MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Following last week’s late postponement of the Seasiders home tie with Bala Town, it is a trip to Shropshire that awaits Gavin Allen and his team this weekend, as they travel to face table topping The New Saints.
Six weeks ago, the Black & Greens came close to pulling off one of the results of the season in the reverse fixture at Park Avenue, as only a late Ben Clark goal denied Aber all three points. A Louis Robles goal had given The New Saints the lead before half time; however goals from local boys Jon Foligno and Steff Davies swung the game in Aber’s favour as the Seasiders dominated much of the second half, before Clark’s equaliser gave the visitors a share of the spoils.
A 1-1 draw away to Cardiff Met has been the only time Aberystwyth Town have been in action since that game, whilst The New Saints were able to play throughout the firebreak lockdown, picking up three wins and a draw to cement their place at the top of the table and their unbeaten status.
Saturday’s hosts have played 12 league games so far this season (plus an additional game at Bala that was expunged from the records due to floodlight failure!) and they have won 10 of these with the other two being draws – including our meeting at Park Avenue. They have scored 35 goals and conceded 6. Greg Draper & Louis Robles have scored 8 goals each, whilst Ben Clark has added 4 and Dean Ebbe 3.
Both Connor Roberts & Louis Bradford will be ineligible for this game as they cannot feature against their parent club. This may provide an opportunity for recent signings Amin Ahmed, Shama Bako and Louis Gerrard to feature in the matchday squad for the first time, whilst Alex Pennock will be looking to replicate his inspired performance in October’s fixture in goal.
The last time Aberystwyth Town recorded an away victory against The New Saints was way back in November 1993, when the club was known as Llansantffraid FC and were competing in their first season in the then League of Wales. Records are there to be broken however, and Gavin Allen’s men have shown on many occasions already this season that they are capable of competing with anyone in the Cymru Premier!
As per Covid-19 regulations, no supporters can be admitted into the ground, however as always you can follow all the action on our Twitter page @AberystwythTown. The New Saints are also providing live commentary via TNS Radio on their Facebook page. The Black & Green Army will be delighted to learn that Tuesday’s match away at Haverfordwest County will be live on Sgorio’s Facebook page – so there are plenty of opportunities to keep in touch with ATFC over the coming days!
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 20th November
Aberystwyth Town v Bala Town: Match Postponed
NHS Wales Test, Trace and Protect Service have today informed the Bala Town squad who faced Penybont on Saturday 14th November to self-isolate 14 days due to three members of the Penybont travelling party testing positive for COVID-19.Consequently this evening's scheduled JD Cymru Premier match at Park Avenue has been postponed.
We apologise for any inconvenience and will communicate a rearranged date for the match as and when we have it.
£750k support package from The National Lottery gives lifeline to 44 Cymru Leagues clubs while fans are unable to attend matches.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) is pleased to announce that all 44 Cymru Leagues clubs are set to receive financial support as part of a unique partnership with The National Lottery. The financial package – established by the FAW and The National Lottery and facilitated by the UK Government – will see clubs in the JD Cymru Premier, JD Cymru North and the JD Cymru South receive funding while matches continue to be played behind closed doors, owing to the current COVID-19 restrictions.
Football clubs and training facilities across the Cymru Leagues are often at the heart of their communities. They act as central hubs that give further opportunities for children and adults to be active, while bringing a source of pride to their towns. This funding stream recognises the essential role that Cymru Leagues clubs play beyond matchday. National Lottery players, who make a difference every time they buy a lottery ticket, will also get a range of benefits as a thank you for their support – including free tickets to football matches, once stadia are safe to reopen, and VIP experiences with the Cymru National Team.
The funds, which will be distributed via the FAW, will play a key role in ensuring that the clubs can continue to exist, and, where possible, operate during these difficult times.
Jonathan Ford, CEO of the Football Association of Wales, “At the FAW, we are incredibly grateful for our unique partnership with The National Lottery and the funding stream which has been provided for our clubs across the Cymru Leagues, while matches continue to be played behind closed doors.”
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “Clubs in the Cymru Leagues play a huge role in their local communities and, like many others, they have been struggling in the current climate. I’m delighted that the UK Government could help bring The National Lottery and the football authorities together to deliver for these clubs and for grassroots football in Wales. From Prestatyn to Taffs Well, this funding package will help enable clubs to keep going until fans can safely return.”
Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, said, “The National Lottery and its players have been making a massive difference to communities across the UK for the past 26 years, so we’re thrilled to be able to partner with the Football Association of Wales to provide vital funding for these incredibly important clubs in the Cymru Leagues. As a huge football fan myself, I know what this will mean to fans of these community clubs, and I’m sure they’ll be pleased to hear that their clubs are getting the support they need.”
The partnership follows a similar National Lottery initiative between the FA and National League in England, which was facilitated by the UK government. Work continues on partnerships with the Scottish and Northern Ireland FAs.
Aberystwyth Town vs Bala Town
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 20th November
MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The Black & Greens make their long awaited return to Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium this Friday for the visit of high flying Bala Town.
Having gained a point on the road last week at Cardiff Met, Town will be looking to continue where they left off at home a month ago, where a tremendous performance saw the Seasiders almost claim victory against table topping The New Saints, only to be denied late on.
Friday’s meeting is the second of the season with Colin Caton’s side, the reverse fixture being the live game on 10th October which saw Bala take the points with a 5-2 victory. Marc Williams was on target with a superb header in that match, and Aber’s inspirational captain has continued his good goalscoring form beyond the firebreak lockdown, netting again in the capital last Saturday.
Gavin Allen should have most of his squad available to choose from for this fixture. Jonathan Evans’ return from injury at Cardiff Met was a major boost, as was Mathew Jones. Mati Etchegoyen made his debut with new signings Amin Ahmed, Shama Bako and Louis Gerrard all waiting in the wings for theirs.
Bala Town were one of only three clubs allowed to play during the firebreak and they registered two 1-1 draws with Haverfordwest County and The New Saints, before beating Penybont 4-1 last Saturday as the league returned in full. They currently sit in second place, one point ahead of reigning champions Connah’s Quay Nomads, having played a game more.
As always, the man to watch on the opposition side is Chris Venables. The talismanic former Aber forward has already notched double figures in terms of goals this season, and once again looks to be a favourite for the golden boot.
Unfortunately, fans are still not allowed into the ground, but the Black & Green Army can follow proceedings on our Twitter platform @AberystwythTown as usual. Friday night football under the lights is back!!
As a result of a number of postponements in the JD Cymru Premier, an amended fixture schedule for Aberystwyth Town FC until the end of Phase 1 has now been confirmed.
The amended fixture calendar sees the free weekend of December 15th utilised in order to re-arrange fixtures previously postponed in the JD Cymru Premier, alongside a range of other amendments in December.
Phase 1 is now scheduled to be complete on the weekend of the 6th February 2020.
A full schedule can be found below:
Friday 20th BALA TOWN (Home) KO 7.45pm
Saturday 28th – The New Saints (Away) KO 2.30pm
Tuesday 1st Haverfordwest County (Away) KO 7.45pm
Friday 4th CONNAH'S QUAY NOMADS (Home) KO 7.45pm
Saturday 12th NEWTOWN (Home) KO 2.30pm
Tuesday 15th CAERNARFON TOWN (Home) KO 7.45pm
Saturday 19th – Flint Town (Away) KO 4.30pm
Saturday 26th – HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY (Home) KO 2.30pm
Saturday 16th Caernarfon Town (Away) KO 2.30pm
Saturday 23rd Barry Town (Away) KO 2.30pm
Friday 29th PENYBONT (Home) KO 7.45pm
Saturday 6th CEFN DRUIDS (Home) KO TBC