The second period in Aberystwyth’s first fixture at TNS provided much cause for encouragement and optimism, writes atfc.org.uk's Matthew Wallace. To the delight of all affiliated with the club, those predictions came to fruition as Aber returned from the Hollingsworth Group Stadium with all three points yesterday against last year’s Welsh Cup Finalists Airbus UK. Geoff Kellaway’s strike in the 31st minute was enough to separate the sides on the score line after he latched onto a beautifully weighted through ball from midfielder Joe Clarke. With that strike, Aber registered their first three points of the season to the delight of manager Matthew Bishop.
“I’m absolutely delighted in terms of the performance and obviously the three points but I’m as pleased with getting the clean sheet. We could have got a few more. We’ve survived a bit of a storm at the end but we’ve dug in and done really well.” He told atfc.org.uk following the conclusion of the game.
From the first to last whistle, the men in orange looked to play an attractive brand of football on Airbus’ excellent 3G surface; an encouraging sight for the Green Army with the completion of our own synthetic pitch drawing ever nearer. Bishop credits this to the work done in training and the mentality of his players.
“We want players who can play football. I’m pleased that things we’re doing in training are coming off in the games. We worked on the movement for the goal in training so it’s really nice when they come off and it’s a great finish from Geoff. That’s what he’s all about! “
Despite enjoying the lion's share of the goalscoring opportunities throughout the game, the Aber goal came under siege late on as the Wingmakers looked to draw level. However, the back four of Ryan Wollacott, Will Bell, Sam Rodon, Ricky Watts and goalkeeper Dom Richards held firm to secure the first shut out of the season.
“I’m delighted we’ve kept that clean sheet. It’s really important to have a good defence. You’re not going to go anywhere in this league if you haven’t got a good defence. It starts with the keeper and goes right along the back four and into the midfield.”
“They’ve battled and worked really hard today to get that clean sheet. It’s pleasing because Ryan Wollacott has slotted in at left back today and played really well. Cledan was unfortunate not to play but it’s good we’ve got options.”
After a summer of change at Park Avenue, Bishop is pleased with the work his squad are putting in and the options he has available to him. Young striker Blake Davies, who only joined the club on Friday, put in a mature performance and was a constant menace for the home side’s back four. The boss was quick to praise his newly acquired youngster.
“It’s difficult when new players come to the side but Blake’s fitted in really well. He’ll be pleased with his performance today and was unlucky not to get one of his own with his one on one chance. But his hold up play was really good and he linked up well with the midfield as well.”
Next week offers yet another difficult challenge for Town as they go to last season’s third placed side Llandudno, managed by former ATFC boss Alan Morgan. But the former Hereford assistant is quietly confident his boys can get a result.
“We’ll approach that game exactly the same way. We’ll dust ourselves off, rest and work on it in training on Wednesday. We’ll come up with a game plan. Llandudno are a very good side with some very good players and they offer us a different challenge and hopefully get another result.”
Watch the interview in full on Aber Town's Youtube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrOQw8HG06E.
Photo courtesy of Chris Howells