Aberystwyth Town 0-2 Cardiff Metropolitan University
Saturday 10th July 2021
After 16 long months, the gates to Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium were finally opened yesterday, and fans of ATFC were allowed to see their beloved team live once again.
A whole season’s worth of football has come and gone since the last home match that spectators were allowed to attend – a 1-0 defeat to Penybont back on Friday 21st February 2020. The matches played in the intervening period just were not the same for those inside or outside the ground, and hopefully this moment represents a big step back on the road to normality, and a full and vibrant Park Avenue.
Yesterday’s match was also significant as it was the first match for Antonio Corbisiero as First Team Manager, following his appointment in May.
Corbisiero’s first line up included some familiar faces for the returning fans, with locals Alex Pennock, Jack Rimmer, Mathew Jones and Jonathan Evans included in the starting line up. Supporters also had their first opportunity to view Rhys Davies, Jamie Veale, Jack Thorn, Harry Franklin & Owain Jones – who all joined last season whilst matches were being played behind closed doors. Two trialists completed the starting eleven.
Both teams lined up in their away kits; Aber in yellow with Met in Blue & Lime Green. The match started slowly, with neither goalkeeper tested in the opening fifteen minutes. Harry Franklin had Aber’s first chance on 19 minutes with a header which went narrowly over, following a great cross from Jack Rimmer.
On 26 minutes, a Rhys Davies strike from 30 yards was met with a collective “oooh!” from the returning fans, as Met’s goalkeeper did well to tip it just over the bar. The visitors then had a couple of chances of their own – the best falling to Eliot Evans who shot wide from inside the box.
As the referee blew his whistle for half time, supporters retreated to the John Charles Lounge for a half time pint, or for a hot dog and cup of tea from Ruth’s Kitchen, whilst discussing the first half action – important traditions which have been much missed for the last 16 months.
Both sides would make a number of changes early on in the second half, with Aber’s substitutes including some more trialists being given an opportunity to impress, in addition to the familiar faces of John Owen and Richy Ricketts.
It was Met who opened the scoring however, as Eliot Evans struck on 51 minutes. As the second half progressed, there was little chances for both sides, although Harry Franklin and John Owen combined on 69 minutes to test Met’s keeper with a looping shot which went narrowly wide.
On 79 minutes, Met were awarded a penalty and Myles Corson converted to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
The game then filtered out with no further major action, but the main talking point from today will certainly be the return of fans to Park Avenue. The Black & Green Army are back!
Next up for Aber is a trip to Bridgend to take on Penybont next Saturday (17th) before Haverfordwest County visit Park Avenue on 31st July ahead of the first league action on 14th August, when Barry Town United will be the visitors.
Aberystwyth Town FC would like to thank all supporters who attend yesterdays match for their exemplary behaviour and adherence to the protocols in place. It was great to have you back in the ground and we will look forward to seeing you again soon!