In terms of opening fixtures, Town couldn’t have asked for a more difficult opening assignment after being paired with champions TNS away from home. The treble winners from the previous two campaigns form a stern challenge to opposition the length and breadth of the country and only a few teams have taken points from there, including Aber in the previous two seasons. With two players from his Squad unavailable, Manager Matthew Bishop was in the main pleased with his team's efforts:
"Playing TNS away is tough at the best of times but although we had two out (Kostya Georgievsky out suspended after being sent off at the end of last season and Kurtis March unavailable due to a personal issue), I think the boys did quite well."
Aber were to return to the Cambrian coast with no points after falling to a 2-1 defeat thanks to First half goals from Ryan Brobbel and Adrian Cieslewicz although a pleasing second half performance saw the Seasiders nearly claim a famous point after Chris Jones’ stunning free kick halved the deficit late on.
“In the first half we gave the ball away cheaply and in situations that didn’t need to be. We played a shape that didn’t suit us. We changed a few things at half time and that helped us second half in terms of performance and getting hold of the ball." Manager Matthew Bishop told atfc.org.uk following the match.
“There was no point going in to the dressing room and shouting at the players, we decided the tactics and I put my hand up to the group and said we’re going to change it and this is going to be better for us . We got our goal and kept a clean sheet in the second half.”
Aber were rocked early on after conceding with little over a quarter of an hour played and the unfortunate injury to Greg Walters although the former Bluebird has thankfully recovered thanks to sterling work by both Aberystwyth and TNS medical staff.
“He’s fine now. He’s taken a bump to the head and he wasn’t sure where he was when he came off but he’s fine in the dressing room. We’ll assess him in the week and hopefully he’ll be ready for next weekend. “
Walters’ withdrawal saw the introduction of Ricky Watts into the match, the first of three substitutes used that day that all impacted on the game. Bishop’s final changes, strikers Lewis Coyle and Chris Jones, combined together for Aber’s goal with the former winning the freekick for the latter to curl home. The impact of his bench pleased the boss.
“When I came to the football club, I wanted to get a squad of players together that can challenge for positions and bring that quality off the bench and we’ve seen that today. Obviously we’ve got a few lads missing today. Kurtis March and Kostya Georgievsky are to come back in and we’re still looking to improve the squad until the end of the window.”
Aber return to action playing away at Airbus UK in Broughton next Sunday who themselves earned an excellent 1-0 victory against Welsh Premier League newcomers Cardiff Met. Aber know they will have to be at their very best to earn their maiden victory of the season.
“We’ve got 9 away games now. It’s another away performance we need. If we perform like we did in the second half today and put certain things right then we’ve got a chance of getting something from the game.”