Bala Town vs Aberystwyth Town
JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 10th October
MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Live on Sgorio (S4C) – 5.15pm KO
Aber Town go live to the nation for the first time this season on Saturday, at Bala Town’s Maes Tegid. The Seasiders come into the game on the back of an impressive 4-0 victory at Cefn Druids on Tuesday night, and currently sit in the Top 6; a place and a point above Saturday’s hosts.
On what was a difficult night for everyone at the club following the news of the passing of club stalwart Tony Payne earlier in the day, Gavin Allen’s side put in a performance which really lifted spirits and goals from Jonathan Evans, Marc Williams, Steff Davies and Jack Thorn ensuring a fitting tribute to a man who contributed so much to Aberystwyth Town FC over many years, and who was a good friend to all.
After the match, Gavin Allen commented “It was a great performance from the boys with four goals and a clean sheet. They have showed character tonight. I thought the back line were excellent – they won everything. At times we’ve looked threatening, and it was a decent performance. I hope Tony would be looking down on us and smiling tonight and Tony, that’s 3 points for you mate”.
Allen will be hoping that a number of injury worries ease before Saturdays match. Jonathan Evans had to be taken off with ten minutes to go on Saturday, which was a huge blow following an influential performance from the local lad. He joins Ilan Hughes & Sam Barnes on the treatment table, but his manager is hoping that a return to action won’t be too far away and praised the quality of his medical staff. “We’ve got some fantastic physios, who are working tirelessly to ensure that everything is correct at the club. I’m hoping that they can work wonders for us”.
In the last 24 hours, the club has also learnt that Jack Thorn is self-isolating for 14 days following a family member testing positive for COVID-19. Therefore, Jack will be unavailable for Saturday’s match.
Our opponents on Saturday have had a whirlwind opening to the new 2020/21 season. Their campaign started in Malta with a 1-0 win the Europa League preliminary qualifying round. Their prize for this was a tie away to Belgian giants Standard Liege and they did the Cymru Premier proud, limiting the European regulars to a 2-0 victory.
Their league form has been mixed so far. They were unlucky not to get three points on the opening night, as a Sameron Dool wonderstrike gave Connahs Quay a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw. This was followed by successive wins over Cefn Druids & Penybont before a bizarre match against The New Saints. Bala had raced into a two goal lead, before TNS fought back and equalised at 2-2 on the 87th minute, but moments later a floodlight failure occurred and the match was abandoned. The game has subsequently been rearranged and therefore the result does not stand.
On Saturday, Bala suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Haverfordwest County and their match on Tuesday away at Flint was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. They therefore sit 7th in the league, having only officially played 4 games, and trail ourselves by a point, albeit with three games in hand.
Colin Caton has built a formidable squad over the years with the likes of ex-Swansea youth Henry Jones and Steven Leslie, who made over 100 football league appearances for Shrewsbury Town, now joined by the likes of Nathan Peate, Alex Ramsay and Will Evans.
Of course, one player in Bala’s squad who needs no introduction is former Seasider and Cymru Premier legend, Chris Venables. Chris had two spells at Park Avenue; being part of the team who reached Aber’s first Welsh Cup Final in 109 years in 2009 before departing for Llanelli, who he returned from in 2013. For the next three years he was unstoppable in Black & Green, netting 24, 28 & 20 goals in consecutive seasons to secure three Golden Boot’s in a row and two Player of the Season awards in 2014 & 2015.
He moved to Bala in 2016, where his goalscoring exploits have continued and he is joined at Maes Tegid by another former Aberystwyth Town player in Jonny Spittle; who spent six months at Park Avenue in 2017 under Neville Powell, captaining the club on a number of occasions.
Coverage starts on S4C at 5pm and you can also follow the action on our Twitter page @AberystwythTown. The match is behind closed doors but as always, the players know the Black & Green Army will be behind them and appreciate your superb support!