Monday’s defeat to The New Saints was a devastating experience for those of a Black and Green persuasion, and Aber fans have been reacting with an understandable mixture of shock, dismay and anger. It was Town’s heaviest ever Welsh Prem defeat, and equalled the record away win in 27 years of the League of Wales/Welsh Premier/Cymru Leagues. One man in the Park Avenue dressing room however, has seen it all before, giving him a useful perspective: Aberystwyth Town Director of Football Neville Powell.
Nev after all was in charge of Bangor City in 2013/4, during their second season at Nantporth. The Citizens had made the Top Six but then The New Saints came visiting: “We had a couple of players missing, and I think we even went one up. We played in a similar way to Aber on Monday, we tried to press them and it worked early on. But if you don’t take your chances against TNS you get punished. We ended up losing 9-1. ”
“TNS could beat anyone 10-0 on any given day, and they did it to us that day. We (the Management Team and Players) felt dreadful. We didn’t want to show our faces, we lay low because it was embarrassing. But at the same time we couldn’t wait for the next game to come.”
“These freak results do happen but it’s important not to be too hard on the Players, and keep focused on the next game. Judge them on the whole season rather than one game.”
As it happens, Nev’s Bangor City side of 2013/4 did focus on the longer term, with remarkable results: “The reaction was good – we won the next game against Rhyl, and the Players realised that in football you do get rewarded for hard work. Believe it or not we ended up that season beating Rhyl in the Play Off Final at Nantporth in front of 1,400 people and qualifying for the UEFA Europa League. We played Stjaernen from Iceland, but after the Play Off Final we were all looking back at the 9-1 game and we realised that football is a funny old game.”
With the benefit of perspective Nev points out that: “If we could manage to win at Druids on Friday, then six points from four games would represent a good start to the season overall.”
Aber Town will be aiming to rectify things away to Cefn Druids on Friday evening: atfc.org.uk's customary Match Preview will follow later on today.