Aberystwyth Town suffered another blow to their top six hopes as they fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of Newtown at Latham Park on Sunday afternoon. A first half goal from Neil Mitchell (2) had put the hosts in front, before Nick Rushton (60) doubled their lead on the hour mark and despite Rio Ahmadi's (90) late strike, Aber were unable to salvage a draw as they fell to their fourth consecutive defeat.
Manager Nev Powell made three changes to the side defeated by the Robins on Boxing Day, with Alan Goodall, Geoff Kellaway and Rio Ahmadi entering the starting line up. In similar fashion to the Boxing Day clash, it was Newtown who started the game faster, and they took the lead with their first meaningful attack of the game as Callum Roberts crossed for Neil Mitchell to head home within the opening 90 seconds to make it 1-0. Despite the early setback, Aber fought their way back into the game and tested home keeper Dave Jones with long range efforts from Wes Baynes and Rio Ahmadi. On 13 minutes, the Seasiders carved out their best opening yet as Geoff Kellaway forced jones into a fine save after breaking free on the left side of the penalty area. But as the first half wore on, the game became a closely contested affair with neither side able to carve out any clear opportunities and the hosts would enter the break with the advantage.
The Black and Greens started the second half in much brighter fashion, and very nearly equalised on 50 minutes when Paulo Mendes saw his header smartly saved by Jones in goal. Then, on 56 minutes the visitors went closer still, as Rio Ahmadi cut inside and fired a low effort from outside the area against the base of the post. It seemed a matter of time before Aber were back on level terms, but on 60 minutes came the sucker punch that all but sealed three points for the Robins. Sam Phillips broke free on the edge of the area before playing in Nick Rushton, who rifled a shot into the bottom corner of the net to make it 2-0 very much against the run of play. Soon after, they almost well and truly buried the Seasiders as Luke Boundford went through one-on-one with Terry McCormick, but the Aber keeper stood strong and produced an excellent save to smother the shot. Substitutes Ash Ruane and Joe Phillips were introduced in place of Kellaway and Ryan Edwards, and soon after Aber went close once more as Ryan Wollacott met Mathew Jones' corner, only to see his header cleared off the line. As stoppage time approached, Aber did find a way back into the game as Declan Walker flicked the ball through for Ahmadi, who produced a neat chip into the corner of the net to make it 1-2 with five minutes of additional time remaining. And in the very last minute of stoppage time, Paulo Mendes appeared to be fouled in the penalty area, only for his appeals to be waved away by referee Cheryl Foster, and the Seasiders would leave Latham Park empty handed.
It was an improved performance from the Seasiders' previous defeats, but manager Nev Powell will be disappointed his side were unable to convert the chances they carved out at Latham Park on Sunday afternoon. Town now face a real uphill battle to finish in the league's top six as they welcome Conah's Quay Nomads to Park Avenue next Friday evening in the JD Welsh Premier League.
Newtown: Jones, Roberts, Denny, Mills-Evans, Kenton, Fletcher, Phillips (60), Mitchell, Boundford, Leslie, Rushton. Subs: Cadwallader, Williams (60), Jones, Perry, Evans
Aberystwyth Town: McCormick, Baynes, Wollacott, Goodall, S Edwards, R Edwards (71), Walker, Jones, Mendes, Kellaway (82), Ahmadi. Subs: Rimmer, Blake, Phillips (82), Ruane (71), Rowe.
JD Welsh Premier League
Sunday 30th December (2:30p.m Kick Off)
Newtown v Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town prepare for their third JD Welsh Premier League fixture in ten days as they travel to Latham Park to face Newtown in a game which holds huge implications for their top six hopes on Sunday afternoon. Aber fell to a 2-0 home defeat against the Robins on Boxing Day, slipping five points adrift of their Mid Wales rivals in the league table, and travel to Latham Park on Sunday needing a positive result as they aim to secure their place in the top half at the league split in three weeks' time.
After the Boxing Day defeat, Aber manager Nev Powell labelled Sunday's reverse clash with the Robins a must win game, and admitted his side haven't quite had the rub of the green in recent weeks. Powell commented "When you're on a poor run and needing a result, sometimes things don't seem to fall your way. But we have to keep fighting and we'll go to Newtown knowing it's a must win game for us". Town's manager will hope his side are able to re-kindle the November form which saw them climb up the league table and go eight games without defeat, as they enter their final three league games of the season needing as many points as possible.
The Seasiders have lost just once in their last six away fixtures in all competitions, and will need to demonstrate the resilience and attacking flair that has seen them beat the likes of Cardiff Met and Bala on the road in recent weeks. Nev Powell's side need to look no further for inspiration than their last fixture away at Newtown, when Joe Phillips' strike secured a 1-0 victory on the road last season.
Meanwhile, Sunday's hosts Newtown know that victory against the Black and Greens will secure their spot in the top six for the second half of the season. Chris Hughes' side have an excellent home record this season, undefeated in nine JD Welsh Premier League games at Latham Park. Fixtures between the two teams have been closely contested over the years, with Aber recording five victories compared to Newtown's four, and one draw in the last ten games between the sides in all competitions.
Festivities are likely to be at a premium at Latham Park in what is another massive clash between the Robins and the Seasiders. Aber travel to Newtown knowing that they need a positive result, and will be relying on the vocal away support of the Green Army to carry them on to victory as they have already done so often this season. Kick off on Sunday is at 2:30p.m, and Newtown AFC's postcode is listed as SY16 1EN.
JD Welsh Premier League
Wednesday 26th December
Aberystwyth Town 0-2 Newtown
Aberystwyth Town suffered another disappointing home defeat at Park Avenue as Newtown ran out 2-0 winners on Boxing Day. Goals from Steve Leslie (37, Pen) and Nick Rushton (62) were enough to see the Robins to victory on a difficult afternoon for the Seasiders in the JD Welsh Premier League.
Aber made two changes to the starting eleven that lost to Cefn Druids at Park Avenue on Friday evening, with Lee Jenkins and Declan Walker replacing Alan Goodall and Rio Ahmadi. It was visitors Newtown who started the brightest however, and they could have taken the lead within the opening two minutes as Terry McCormick rushed out of his goal to smother Nick Rushton's early shot. Aber's first opening of the game came on 26 minutes as Mathew Jones tested Newtown 'keeper Dave Jones with a curling free kick, but the hosts were unable to exert any sustained pressure, and the visitors took a deserved lead in the 37th minute. Left back Callum Roberts was brought down inside the area and Steve Leslie converted the resulting penalty kick to give the Robins a 0-1 advantage going into the break.
The second half was a similar story, despite Rio Ahmadi's introduction at half time in place of Steff Edwards. On 56 minutes, Ash Ruane did well to get to the by line and cut a cross back for Ryan Edwards, who was unable to keep his effort on target. Then, on 62 minutes the visitors doubled their lead as Leslie played in Nick Rushton who produced a clinical finish beyond McCormick to make it 0-2 and give the hosts a real uphill battle. Geoff Kellaway replaced Joe Phillips on 65 minutes, and soon after created Aber's best chance of the game as he cut inside and unleashed a right footed effort that bounced back out of the post, but try as they might Aber were unable to break down Newtown's resolute defence. The visitors were able to see the game out in comfortable fashion and seal a crucial three points in their bid to finish in the top six.
The defeat leaves Aber in sixth place in the league table, five points adrift of Newtown in fifth place. The Seasiders will need to regroup and bounce back quickly if they are to maintain any hopes of finishing in the top six come January, as they travel to Latham Park to face the Robins in the return clash on Sunday afternoon.
Aberystwyth Town: McCormick, Baynes, Wollacott, Jenkins, S Edwards (45), Mendes, Jones, Walker, R Edwards, Phillips (65) , Ruane. Subs: Goodall, Rimmer, Kellaway (65) , Ahmadi (45), Blake, Rowe.
Newtown: Jones, Kenton, Denny, Mills Evans, Roberts, Fletcher, Phillips (73), Mitchell, Boundford, Rushton, Leslie. Subs: Cadwallader, Williams (73) , Evans, Perry.
JD Welsh Premier League
Wednesday 26th December (2:30p.m)
Aberystwyth Town v Newtown
Aberystwyth Town return to JD Welsh Premier League action on Boxing Day as they welcome Mid Wales rivals Newtown to Park Avenue in a crunch clash, as the battle for a place in the league's top six continues. The Seasiders enter the game on the back of consecutive league defeats, and Nev Powell's side will be keen to get back to winning ways as they enter their final four fixtures before the league split in January.
Manager Powell admitted his side were not at the races during Friday's disappointing home defeat to Cefn Druids, but insisted the work his side have done over the past two months means they still lie in a strong position ahead of Wednesday's fixture agains the Robins. After Friday's defeat, Powell commented; "We're still in a strong position, it's still all to play for (in the race for the top six), and the two fixtures against Newtown will be massive". Aber enter Wednesday's game in the league's top six, hot on the heels of Newtown but also just one point ahead of Caernarfon in seventh.
One factor Powell will be keen to see his side demonstrate is a strong start to Wednesday's game, after going behind to Druids with just four minutes on the clock last weekend; "We've got four cup finals head of us now, and the lads have got to be on the ball and fired up from the start on Boxing Day better than they were tonight". Indeed, Wednesday's clash promises to be a christmas cracker, with both sides still in need of points to secure their place in the top six.
The Black and Greens will be boosted by the return of captain Declan Walker from suspension after he missed last weekend's defeat, whilst Geoff Kellaway will also be pushing for a place in the starting eleven after coming off the bench on Friday. Visitors Newtown travel to Park Avenue having won two of their last nine games in all competitions, most recently securing a 1-1 draw with Carmarthen at Latham Park on Saturday. The Robins currently lie in 5th place in the JD Welsh Premier League table, just two points ahead of Aber. In five fixtures between the sides last season, the Seasiders came out victorious on four occasions, most notably in the JD Welsh Cup semi final where a Declan Walker double secured victory on the way to Town's cup final appearance against Connah's Quay Nomads.
In what promises to be a festive frenzy, kick off at Park Avenue on Boxing Day is at 2:30p.m, and admission costs £8 adults, £5 concessions and £2 for u16's. Why not bring the family along and cheer on the Black and Greens to a positive result, your support is invaluable to the players and could make all the difference!
Black and Green Supporters have good reason to be merry over the Yuletide season as Aber Town are in Top Six at Christmas for the First Time in Five Seasons!
After a below par showing on Friday night, other results went Aber’s way over the weekend meaning that Neville Powell’s men remain in sixth place in the JD Welsh Premier League, and with four games to go their fate is in their own hands.
Powell told Aber Town’s Youtube Channel on Friday night: “Were still in a strong position, we’ve still got it all to play for, and we’re still fighting for a Top Six place”.
Town now need to harness the vibrancy and intensity shown in the home wins over Bala and TNS, and the devastating attacking punch shown in last minute victories at Bala and Cardiff Met, to make the cut on January 12th.
You have a huge part to play – the super singing Black and Green supporters have kept faith throughout Aber’s journey to the brink of a great achievement, and danced celebrations with the Players as well at key moments on that voyage.
Join the Green Army for the four remaining key games before the split as follows:
Wednesday 26th December Newtown (HOME) KO 2.30pm
Sunday 30th December Newtown (Away) KO 2.30pm
Friday 4th January Connah’s Quay Nomads (HOME) KO 7.45pm
Saturday 12th January Barry Town United (Away) KO 7.30pm
Merry Christmas to all our supporters from Aberystwyth Town FC!
JD Welsh Premier League
Friday 21st December
Aberystwyth Town 0-2 Cefn Druids
Aberystwyth Town fell to a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Cefn Druids on a miserable night for Nev Powell's side in the JD Welsh Premier League. An early James Davies strike (4) followed by a second half stunner by Jordan Evans (56) was enough to hand Huw Griffiths' side a deserved victory on a tough night for the Black and Greens in appalling conditions.
Aber made two changes to the side defeated by Caernarfon at The Oval last weekend as Ryan Wollacott came back into central defence after suspension, and Joe Phillips replaced the suspended Declan Walker. It was the visitors who started brightest as they took the lead with their first meaningful attack of the game. Dean Rittenberg snuck in behind the home defence before sliding an inch perfect cross towards James Davies, who slotted the ball beyond Terry Mccormick to made it 0-1 after just four minutes. Aber were shell shocked, but responded well as Joe Phillips cut inside and forced a fine save from visiting 'keeper Michael Jones. As the wind howled and the rain poured, both sides struggled to create clear cut opportunities with a real midfield battle ensuing. On 25 minutes, Ash Ruane attempted an audacious bicycle kick that sailed harmlessly wide, before Druids carved open an excellent opportunity on 38 minutes as Davies raced through on goal once more only to be denied by a brilliant save from McCormick. As the first half drew to a close, Druids pressed for a second, as Neil Ashton challenged McCormick from a set piece and Davies saw his goal bound effort cleared off the line by Alan Goodall, and the hosts would enter the break somewhat fortunate to be just one goal behind.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with the Seasiders unable to get into their usual rhythm and flow. On 56 minutes, Druids punished more slack Aber defending as Jordan Evans turned and unleashed a powerful half volley from outside the area which flew into the top corner to make it 0-2, and it really was an uphill task for the hosts. Soon after, Aber introduced Geoff Kellaway and Lee Jenkins in place of Paulo Mendes and Alan Goodall as they searched for a way back into the game. But credit to the Druids, they continued to frustrate the home side with some superb defending and threatening attacking play on the break. On 63 minutes, Mathew Jones went close as his half volley sailed inches over the bar, before Ash Ruane fired a low effort inches wide of the post from a Wes Baynes set piece. As the half wore on, it became evident it wasn't to be Aber's night, as James Davies tested McCormick once more in the dying minutes, with Druids seeing out their victory in a comfortable manner on a disappointing evening for the Seasiders.
Despite defeat, Aber continue to occupy 6th place in the league table - a factor they must take heart from as they attack two crucial festive clashes with Mid Wales rivals Newtown. The Black and Greens will be fully aware that two big performances in the coming eight days could well catapult them up the table and confirm their place in the top half of the table by the New Year. The Seasiders are back in action at Park Avenue on Boxing Day, as they welcome Newtown in a 2:30p.m kick off.
Aberystwyth Town: McCormick, Baynes, Goodall (58), Wollacott (C), S Edwards, Mendes (58), Phillips (69), R Edwards, Ahmadi, Jones, Ruane. Subs: Rimmer (69), Kellaway (58), Blake, Rowe, Jenkins (58)
Cefn Druids: Jones, Cartwright, Ashton (C), Peate, Arsan, Owen, Evans, Kershaw, Mudimu, Rittenberg, Davies. Subs: Simpson, Hajdari, Taylor, Ap Gareth, Morris.