Even with the rain lambasting the plastic turf of Park Avenue, little could quell the celebrations, jubilation and relief felt by the lion’s share of the 735 spectators at Aberystwyth Town Football Club on Friday night, writes Club Media Assistant Matthew Wallace.
Outside agencies had described the fixture against Rhyl as a relegation decider and with the eyes of the Welsh Premier League as well as many around the world primed thanks to Sgorio's Live Facebook feed on the Black and Greens, Tony Pennock’s men rose magnificently to the challenge with a sumptuous and professional performance against the Lilywhites by four goals to nil. A brace apiece from Luke Borrelli and Jon Owen sealed all three points for Aberystwyth and ensured that the club would keep its proud tradition of being a mainstay in the Welsh Premier League since its inception in 1992.
A delighted Pennock told Aber Town's Youtube Channel “When you ask your players to do a job and they do it as well as they did out there, then it’s extremely pleasing. They did up in Llandudno last Sunday. We took our chances last week and we’ve certainly done that here this evening with four great goals.”
Friday’s game also showcased the squad Town have at their disposal. With both Jack Rimmer and Jon Owen coming off the bench to impact on the game. Pennock was pleased with the attitude and commitment his squad showed on Friday evening.
“Everyone wants to play. I spoke to both Jack and Jon before the game and explained they wouldn’t be starting but I knew that they would be needed during the game. Jack came on very early and then Jon came on, I can’t ask for more than what they gave me tonight. Both of them made an impact.”
With league survival secured and no chance of reaching 7th spot, one could argue that next week’s game against mid Wales rivals Newtown is a dead rubber however, the management team are not adopting this belief and are challenging the players to finish the season on a high. “We want to target eighth. We’re pleased with tonight and we’ve secured our league status but it’s about getting as high up the league as we can. A club of this size shouldn’t be in the situation it’s found itself in."
An 8th place finish would equal last year’s standing, a remarkable feat considering the club has enjoyed a flirtatious relationship with the relegation zone over the past few months. Although the arrival of Pennock has yielded more positive results, he is quick to attribute the upturn to his squad and the previous management.
“Football changes weekly, but I’ve been fortunate enough that before coming in, the boys had a good result against Cefn Druids and we’ve built on that. Hopefully we can continue that next week in the last game of the season against Newtown.”
A win at Newtown on Saturday would give Aber the chance of matching last season's eighth placed finish. Kick off at Latham Park is at 5.15pm.