Saturday 16th July
Caernarfon Town 1 Aberystwyth Town 2
Matthew Bishop’s new look Black and Greens squad emerged with a hard earned victory at Cymru Alliance Champions Caernarfon Town’s Oval ground this afternoon, and an impressive team performance to boot which provided a good start to life under Bishop and Assistant Manager Wayne Jones’ reign.
Five of Aber’s new signings went straight into the starting line up along with four players from last season, one trialist and Aber’s Academy goalkeeper, 16 year old Olly Fairbrother. Well drilled Aber settled quickly into a nice shape off the ball, and showed penetration on the ball to create a number of very promising first half openings. Debutant Luke Borelli earned a free kick and his goalbound effort was palmed over by home keeper Carl Jones, then another player making his first start, Will Bell, hit the post with a header from a corner. Michael Johnston’s glanced header was saved by Fairbrother but back came Aber with Jonathan Evans lofting an effort just wide from a long clearance, then hitting the crossbar with a second effort seconds later. Joe Clarke did well to release Evans once again but this time Jones caught his attempted lob. Evans again went close, as did Sam Rodon with a header, followed by Geoff Kellaway and after 25 imperious minutes the visitors finally got the goal they deserved when the impressive Joe Clarke slid a ball through for a triallist to find the bottom corner. Luke Sherbon then cleared Jamie Breeze’s effort off the line to retain the lead and with Ricky Watts, Sam Rodon and Cledan Davies ably assisting Bell at the back they kept the hosts at bay. Borelli saw another shot deflected and then two minutes before the break Jonathan Evans’ corner eventually fell nicely for Bell to drill home an instinctive low shot into the bottom corner to give Aber a two goal lead their strong, authoritative performance had thoroughly merited.
With four changes for Aber at half time, and three more on the hour the second half was probably more about match fitness for both sides, but the Cofis did snatch a goal back a minute after the re start when Breeze slotted home from inside the area. From that point on Aber did well to control the game and keep possession at god times, without creating a glut of chances. New Signing Greg Walters looked good buzzing up and down the left and then in centre midfield and six more trialists also made their claims for a squad place. Bell had another goalbound header cleared off the line, then at the other end Fairbrother did excellently to collect a difficult cross. A few strong defensive tackles later, and Aber’s young side had won the game with a commendable team performance full of hunger and desire.
After a positive result and performance, Black and Green supporters will be heartened by the opportunity to get a closer look at Matthew Bishop’s new look squad when the play their second Pre Season Friendly of the season on Wednesday evening at Caersws. Kick off at the Recreation Ground is at 7.30pm.