Saturday 22nd April (ko 5.15pm)
Newtown v Aberystwyth Town
After the drama and euphoria of last Friday's season saving 4-0 win over Rhyl which safeguarded their WPL status for 2017/8, the resurgent Black and Greens look to complete a remarkable recovery on Saturday by gaining three points which could see them emulate last season's eighth placed finish.
Given the transition this season which saw the Club sign almost an entire new team in the summer, that would represent a remarkable achievement for the Squad and Management Team.
Seven points out of nine from the last three games has installed the Black and Greens as one of the form teams in the WPL and they have also failed to concede in over a month of football. At the other end goals from Mark Jones, Malcolm Melvin, Luke Borrelli (2) and Jon Owen (2) earned those two crucial wins at Llandudno and against Rhyl, with Melvin and Borrelli picked out as Star Performers by Sgorio's selection panel. Although experienced Central Defender Phil Baker has been recalled from his loan period and returns to host Club TNS with thanks and best wishes from all at Park Avenue, the remainder of the Squad which has done so well are available for selection on Saturday and are looking forward to a formidable challenge against a Newtown side whose own upsurge in form came in time to ensure their place in May's UEFA Europa League Play Offs with a 7-0 win at Airbus last weekend.
After late Aber goals from Kurtis March and Joe Clarke condemned Newtown to a 1-0 defeat at Park Avenue and a 2-2 draw at home over Christmas, they punished Aber severely in early March with a 4-0 win which represented a low point in Aber's season: fortunately things have improved remarkably since. Looking up the table Town are level on 34 points with Llandudno and two behind Cefn Druids who effectively need a draw at home to Airbus to guarantee their Top Eight State. Anything less than that will open the door to Aber jumping above them in the final placings with a win at Latham Park.
Aber Assistant Manager Tony Pennock told Aber Town's Youtube Channel this week: "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. 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.”
The Coach leaves Park Avenue at 2.45pm this Saturday afternoon and a good atmosphere is certain to prevail after last week's heroics. Consider yourself invited!
Photo courtesy of Chris Howells