JD Welsh Premier League
Monday 1st January 2018 (2:30p.m Kick Off)
Aberystwyth Town v Carmarthen Town
Aberystwyth Town will look to kick off 2018 by returning to winning ways in the JD Welsh Premier League, as they welcome Carmarthen Town to Park Avenue on Monday afternoon. Aber’s festive period has not been an enjoyable one thus far, after falling to consecutive league defeats to The New Saints and Carmarthen Town in their last two games. Nev Powell’s side will now look to avenge their Boxing Day defeat away to the Old Gold by extending their three-game winning streak at Park Avenue, after consecutive home victories over Newtown, Bala Town and Prestatyn Town.
Aber’s home form has been the shining light in a tumultuous few weeks for the seasiders, after picking up three victories and four losses in their last seven games in all competitions. All three of those victories have come at Park Avenue, with Nev Powell’s side scoring fourteen goals in the process and conceding just once. Aber’s manager will be keen to see his team continue that type of form as they welcome Carmarthen Town to Park Avenue just six days after falling to a 1-0 defeat to the Old Gold at Richmond Park. Liam Thomas scored the game’s only goal on Boxing Day, with Aber producing a performance that fell below the standards they have set in recent weeks, and the Black and Greens must now re-kindle the goal-scoring form that has seen them climb the JD Welsh Premier League table in the last six weeks. Nev Powell will be hopeful of having a fully fit squad to choose from again on Monday afternoon, as his side face their third league game in just eleven days. Midfield maestro Malcolm Melvin, along with strikers Craig Hobson and John Owen are all expected to be fit and available for Monday’s clash.
Visitors Carmarthen Town will travel to Park Avenue in high spirits, after picking up just their second league victory of the season on Boxing Day against Aber. Last Tuesday’s victory was not enough to see Mark Aizelwood’s side climb off the bottom of the JD Welsh Premier League table, with the Old Gold still nine points adrift of Nev Powell’s side in 10th place.
In what is sure to be another frantic tussle between the two sides, Town will be relying on the green army of supporters to cheer them on to a positive result. Kick off at Park Avenue is at 2:30p.m, and admission costs £7 for adults, £4 concessions and £1 children. What better way to start 2018 than some festive football at fortress Park Avenue!
JD Welsh Premier League
Tuesday 26th December
Carmarthen Town 1-0 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town fell to a bitterly disappointing 1-0 defeat away at the hands of West Wales rivals Carmarthen Town on a dismal Boxing Day for the seasiders at Richmond Park. In a scrappy game of very few chances, Carmarthen captain Liam Thomas scored the game’s only goal with a well-placed half volley in the 35th minute. The defeat all but ends Aber’s chances of finishing in the league’s top six positions at the split in January, with Nev Powell’s side now lying nine points adrift of sixth placed Barry Town in the JD Welsh Premier League table.
On a cold and rainy day in Carmarthenshire, Aber made one change to the starting eleven that lost away at The New Saints on Friday evening, with John Owen replacing Joe Phillips on the left flank. Hosts Carmarthen started the brightest, with Liam Thomas forcing a smart save from Chris Mullock at his near post, before Dave Vincent headed narrowly wide from a corner kick. Aber struggled to adapt to the hosts’ physical approach, and were unable to get any kind of meaningful attacking play going in the final third of the pitch. The closest Nev Powell’s side came to opening the scoring in the first 30 minutes was through a Ryan Wade volley; which sailed harmlessly over the crossbar. On 35 minutes, the hosts took the lead as Liam Thomas pounced on a poor clearance, before turning and striking a right-footed half volley into the bottom corner beyond the reach of Chris Mullock to make it 1-0. Aber continued to struggle to get into the game, as Carmarthen continued to break up the play and stop Nev Powell’s side from finding their usual rhythm and tempo. On 43 minutes, Liam Thomas very nearly scored his second goal of the game as he forced his way into the penalty area, only for his scuffed effort roll inches wide of Mullock’s post. Aber’s goal was living a charmed life, and the seasiders were somewhat fortunate to go into the break only one goal behind.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with both teams struggling to keep the ball on the floor and Carmarthen winning the majority of the second balls. On 51 minutes, Aber created their first meaningful effort on goal as Ashley Young strode forward before unleashing a thunderous strike that was excellently tipped over the crossbar by Carmarthen ‘keeper Lee Idzi. Suddenly Nev Powell’s side had some momentum, and soon after, they had another good opportunity as Craig Hobson fired a shot over the crossbar from inside the penalty area. However, on 62 minutes, the hosts should have put the game to bed when Kyle Bassett was given the freedom of the penalty are to fire his shot beyond Chris Mullock; only for Declan Walker to produce a miraculous goal-line clearance and keep the score at 1-0. On 70 minutes, both Geoff Kellaway and Joe Phillips were introduced from the bench to provide some added impetus for the visitors, but nothing seemed to be going Aber’s way. Declan Walker came closest to finding the breakthrough for Town as his cross-come-shot was tipped on to the crossbar by Idzi, before John McKenna’s late effort was well saved by Carmarthen’s ‘keeper. However, it wasn’t to be for Nev Powell’s side as they succumbed to their fourth consecutive away defeat in the league.
Overall, a very disappointing display from an Aber side that has shown so much promise in recent weeks. Town must now focus on bouncing back and getting a positive result on New Years Day, as they host Carmarthen Town at Park Avenue in the second part of their festive double-header with the Old Gold.
JD Welsh Premier League
Tuesday 26th December (2:30p.m Kick Off)
Carmarthen Town v Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town return to JD Welsh Premier League action on Boxing Day as they travel south to face Carmarthen Town in the West Wales derby. A Greg Draper hat-trick along with a Chris Marriott strike sentenced Aber to a 4-0 defeat away at current league champions The New Saints just two days ago, and Nev Powell’s side will now be keen to get back to winning ways with just four games remaining before the league split in January.
Despite falling to a disappointing defeat away at the league’s only full-time outfit on Friday evening, there were still positive aspects to take away for Nev Powell and his side, which Aber’s manager will be keen to reinforce ahead of Tuesday’s crunch clash. Powell will have been satisfied with the endeavour and persistence shown by his side right up until the very last minute at Park Hall, when it would have been far easier to lie down and lose that spirit that’s helped carry them so far in recent weeks. Prior to Friday night’s defeat, Aber had won five out of their last eight games in all competitions, including a memorable victory over Bala Town in the JD Welsh Cup and a 7-1 thrashing of Prestatyn Town in their last home fixture. The Black and Greens must now aim to carry that form forwards over the festive period as they keep their slim hopes of finishing in the league’s top 6 positions alive. Striker Craig Hobson and winger John Owen will be hoping to pass late fitness tests ahead of Tuesday’s game, with both players carrying knocks in Friday evening’s defeat to The New Saints.
Carmarthen Town have endured a torrid season in the JD Welsh Premier League so far, picking up just six points from eighteen games, and currently lying bottom of the league table. However, their form has picked up of late, with their most recent result being a creditable goalless draw at home to Bangor City on Saturday. Tuesday’s fixture will be the first of two games between the West Wales rivals in the space of just seven days, with the Seasiders hosting the Old Gold at Park Avenue in the reverse fixture on New Years Day.
In what is sure to be another exciting affair between the sides, kick off at Richmond Park is at 2:30p.m. The club will be running a supporters coach to the game, which will be leaving Park Avenue at 11:15a.m and will cost just £10. For those travelling by car to the game, Carmarthen Town’s address is listed as Richmond Park, Priory Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1LR. In what is the first game of a crucial festive double-header, get yourselves down to Richmond Park and cheer on the Black and Greens!
JD Welsh Premier League
Friday 22nd December
The New Saints 4-0 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town fell to a resounding 4-0 defeat at the hands of current JD Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints at Park Hall on Friday evening. A hat-trick from Greg Draper (6, 21, 83) along with a Chris Marriott strike were enough for the hosts to see off Aber on a disappointing night in Oswestry for Nev Powell’s side.
Aber made one change to the line-up from last weekend’s victory over Prestatyn, with Luke Borrelli replacing Malcolm Melvin in central midfield, and the tandem of Ryan Wade and Craig Hobson asked to lead the line in attack again. It was the hosts who started on the front foot, as Aeron Edwards prodded a gilt-edged chance over the crossbar from Jamie Mullan’s cross after just 2 minutes. The warning signs were there for Aber, but they were not heeded as The New Saints took the lead on 6 minutes. Tricky winger Mullan again scampered down the right flank before crossing for Greg Draper to head the ball in from close-range to make it 1-0. Despite the early setback, the goal seemed to spark Nev Powell’s side into life as they began to keep possession with more confidence and work their way towards the hosts’ penalty area. Aber captain Jonny Spittle saw his header sail narrowly over the crossbar from a corner kick, before Ryan Wade produced a fingertip save from Saints ‘keeper Paul Harrison after an excellent right-footed strike. However, on 21 minutes the hosts doubled their lead in clinical fashion; Jamie Mullan was again in the thick of the action as he played a neat one-two with Simon Spender before crossing for Draper to head past Chris Mullock from close-range yet again and make it 2-0. The second goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Aber somewhat, as the Saints took full control of the game with some neat interplay down both flanks. On 31 minutes it was 3-0, as left back Chris Marriott went on a marauding run forward before unleashing a left-footed strike into the top corner of the net. To their credit, Aber continued to battle and seek a way back into the game, buoyed by their fantastic vocal supporters who added a sense of atmosphere to the occasion. Craig Hobson forced another save from Harrison on 37 minutes but the visitors were unable to create any more clear-cut chances before the half time whistle.
The second half started with an early substitution for Aber as Jack Rimmer was introduced in place of Craig Hobson, with Luke Borrelli being asked to play as the lone striker. The hosts struggled to replicate their first half rhythm and flow as Aber stifled their attacking play. The first notable chance of the second half fell to the visitors when Declan Walker fired a low effort narrowly wide of the post, before the Saints went up the other end and almost added a fourth through substitute Alex Darlington. Aber continued to plug away with Ryan Wade and Joe Phillips threatening to get in behind the hosts’ back line on more than one occasion. However, on 83 minutes the Saints did indeed add a fourth goal as Greg Draper grabbed his hat trick as he slotted the ball home from Chris Marriott’s fizzing low cross. Even then, Nev Powell’s side refused to lie down as they looked for a consolation goal that the fantastic away supporters so thoroughly deserved. On 85 minutes, Harri Horwood and Geoff Kellaway were introduced in place of Joe Phillips and Luke Borrelli respectively, and soon after, Ryan Wade produced one last curling effort that stung the palms of Paul Harrison in goal. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be on the night, as Aber failed to find a way past the hosts’ resolute back line.
Town’s players and fans came together at the end of the game, to show their appreciation for each others’ efforts on the night; a move which really highlighted the spirit and determination that is now required as Nev Powell’s side turn their attentions to Tuesday’s massive clash away at Carmarthen Town.
JD Welsh Premier League
Friday 22nd December (7:45p.m Kick Off)
The New Saints v Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town will look to continue their climb up the JD Welsh Premier League table on Friday evening as they travel to face current league champions The New Saints at Park Hall. Aber enter the game on the back of a thumping 7-1 victory over Prestatyn Town last weekend, and will be looking to maintain that type of form on Friday evening in what is sure to be a far sterner test for Nev Powell’s side. With just five games remaining before the league split in January, points have now become a necessity for Town, who look to maintain their slim hopes of securing a top 6 finish next month.
Since falling to defeat at the hands of The New Saints at Park Avenue back in October, Nev Powell’s side have been on a strong run of form, winning five games out of eight in all competitions, and scoring a whopping twenty-one goals in the process. However, Aber’s manager was keen to emphasise the importance of adapting his side’s style of play away from home as they enter a vital segment of the season. In an interview with Aber Town’s Youtube channel after last weekend’s victory, Powell commented “We’re very good going forwards, but perhaps we try and take that style of play away from home with us, and we’ve got to start getting a bit tighter and more compact (away from home)”. Town’s manager went on to add; “If you look back at the Bala game, the lads worked their socks off and we’ve got to get back to trying to pick up any points we’re able to on the road, and let our home form continue to take care of us”. Indeed, Aber will need to produce another organised and spirited performance if they are to achieve the result they’re hoping for at the home of the champions on Friday evening.
The New Saints enter Friday night’s clash on a fine run of form, having won their last seven games in all competitions; most recently notching a 3-0 home victory in the league against Connah’s Quay. The Saints, who are the JD Welsh Premier League’s only full-time outfit, currently sit top of the league table on 38 points. In the reverse fixture back in October, the champions ran out narrow 2-1 victors at Park Avenue despite a spirited performance by Nev Powell’s side.
In what is sure to be a Christmas cracker of a game, be sure to cheer on the Black and Greens and see whether Santa delivers an early present for Nev Powell and his side. Kick off at Park Hall on Friday evening is at 7:45p.m, and The New Saints address is listed as Park Hall, Whittington, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 4AS. Admission costs are £8 adults, £4 concessions and £1 for juniors - festive football at it’s finest!
JD Welsh Premier League
Saturday 16th December
Aberystwyth Town 7 Prestatyn Town 1
Aberystwyth Town put their supporters in seventh heaven, delivering them a huge home victory in their last home game before Christmas with a 7-1 triumph over Prestatyn Town. First half goals from Ashley Young (31 mins), John McKenna (41), Malcolm Melvin (43) and Joe Phillips (45+3 mins) put Aber fully in charge, only for Noah Edwards to reduce the arrears with an obstinate strike seven minutes into the second half. Stunning finishes from Ryan Wade (67) and Declan Walker (82 mins) increased the margin, and after Chris Mullock had saved Jack Higgins' late penalty, Craig Hobson made it seven with two minutes left to crown Aber's best result of the season.
In what was a frantic first half, the visitors started the brightest as striker Jack Kenny saw his header well saved by Chris Mullock, before having a penalty appeal waved away by referee Lee Evans. Aber were unable to find their usual rhythm and fluency in the early stages, as Prestatyn imposed their high-press game to great effect. On 15 minutes, Town created their first opportunity when Ashley Young’s corner kick was headed narrowly wide by Declan Walker. Soon after, Walker again went close with a header from a set piece as Nev Powell’s men began to find their feet in the game. On 31 minutes, Aber found the breakthrough when Ashley Young sent a rasping shot beyond the reach of Prestatyn goalkeeper Ryan Roberts and into the corner of the net, via the post, to make it 1-0. The momentum of the game suddenly swung in Town’s favour, as Malcolm Melvin saw his effort sail narrowly over the crossbar before Craig Hobson was inches away from getting on the end of Ryan Wade’s inviting cross into the penalty area. Aber began to boss the game, and on 41 minutes they doubled their lead when John Mckenna rose highest from a corner kick to head the ball low into the bottom corner and make it 2-0. Aber weren’t finished there however; as on 43 minutes, Declan Walker surged down the right flank before lofting an inch perfect cross into the box where Malcolm Melvin was on hand to head the ball beyond Roberts and make it 3-0. The visitors were evidently in shock after two sucker punches in quick succession, but no sooner had they caught their breath, Town were on the attack again. As the game entered first half stoppage time, Aber broke once more at breakneck speed as Ryan Wade played in Joe Phillips, who rounded the goalkeeper and produced an excellent left-footed finish to make it 4-0. Soon after, the half time whistle went with Town in cruise control after what had been a difficult start to the game.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first; with the visitors dominating the opening stages and testing Aber’s resolute back line. On 52 minutes, they were handed the smallest of lifelines as tricky midfielder Noah Edwards cut inside before unleashing a right-footed shot into the top corner to make it 4-1. Soon after, Chris Mullock produced a smart save from Jack Kenny, before Damian Ketley went close as his shot was well blocked by Ryan Wollacott in the six-yard box. On 58 minutes, Luke Borrelli came on to replace Malcolm Melvin as Town looked to settle the game down again and stretch the visitors’ defence with some additional pace. On 67 minutes, Aber well and truly put the game to bed with a fantastically worked goal. Declan Walker sent a 40-yard pass towards Ryan Wade, who brought the ball down with finesse, before lifting the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper with a magnificent chip to make it 5-1. Geoff Kellaway was then introduced to the game in place of Joe Phillips, and he very nearly extended Town’s lead with his first touch as he sent a curling effort just over the crossbar. But on 81 minutes, Town did indeed extend their lead as Ashley Young played a short free kick into the path of Declan Walker, who sent a thunderous shot beyond hapless goalkeeper Roberts to make it 6-1. Despite the resounding score line, the visitors continued to press for a consolation goal, and they were awarded a golden opportunity late in the game as Jonny Spittle was adjudged to have fouled Alec Williams in the penalty area. Substitute Jack Higgins stepped up to take the spot kick, but goalkeeper Chris Mullock dived low to his right and produced a fabulous save to preserve Aber’s lead. As the game entered the closing minutes, the home side sent their supporters into seventh heaven as Geoff Kellaway crossed for Craig Hobson to nod home with a magnificent diving header; a goal that was thoroughly deserved for the striker after leading the line with another stellar performance. One final positive note to come from the game was the JD Welsh Premier League debut of promising young defender Lee Jenkins, who came on to replace captain Jonny Spittle late on for Aber.
A fantastic victory for Nev Powell’s side, who move up to 10th place in the JD Welsh Premier League table. More importantly, Aber now lie just five points behind sixth placed Cefn Druids as they maintain their hopes of grabbing a top 6 spot before the league split in January. Town’s attentions now turn to next Friday evening, when they travel to face current champions The New Saints in the JD Welsh Premier League.