Action from Newtown v Airbus earlier in the season (Kevin Hughes)
DESPITE a 7-1 away win at Latham Park earlier this season, Airbus UK Broughton boss Andy Preece is cautious of Newtown's visit to the Hollingsworth Group Stadium on Friday night.
Preece, whose side enjoyed a 5-0 win over Port Talbot Town in their latest outing last weekend, says the struggling Robins will be given the utmost respect. The visitors have been one of the Welsh Premier's Jekyll & Hyde sides this season, winning away to full-timers TNS and at home to current leaders Bangor City.
"They are a good side and they've had some really good results this year," Preece says. "They've beaten Bangor and won 3-0 away at Llanelli, so we know we're in for a tough game.
"There are a lot of good sides in the league this year, I don't think it's ever been like this. But I think we've been consistent and I can't really think of any games when we've played poorly. Another win against Newtown would consolidate our top six position."
Preece will have Ryan Wade, who missed the clash with Steelmen through illness, available for selection again.
"We're playing really good football and if we continue that on Friday we'll give ourselves a good chance against a tough side," Preece added.
Newtown travel to Airbus with more than a little consternation as, despite a couple of defeats, they are still a side capable of getting goals as their tally in the Corbetts Welsh Premier eclipsed all others at the weekend when their 5-0 demolition of Port Talbot not only saw off the Talbot Manager, but pushed their “goals scored” total to 41, one higher than Bangor.
Their 7-1 win against us at Latham Park earlier in the season was a real “bad day at the office”, although the early injury to central defender, Andy Jones was a significant factor in that. With additional strength at the back thanks to the loan signing of Connell Rawlinson, it is to be hoped that defensive problems will be less visible this time round.
Bernie McNally will select from a full squad of players, as, despite the rigorous conditions last weekend, the players all came through unscathed. Zak Evans also rejoins the squad after a three match suspension. Bernie was grateful for a point at the end of the match, given the dramatic miss by Luke Bowen in injury time, but thought the Robins deserved all three points for their second half performance which saw them totally dominate possession.
Slowly, but steadily, the Robins are getting left in the wake of the rise of Aberystwyth and Carmarthen as we have gone without a win since the heroic TNS result six weeks ago. A couple of draws have produced hard earned points, but with our opponents all picking up excellent wins, draws are insufficient. Only Llanelli’s poorer aggregate separates us from the relegation zone, yet just five points separates us from 5th position. Only a win will provide any possible movement up the League ladder, and even that is dependent on defeats for Carmarthen or Aberystwyth in a league that is increasing impossible to predict results.
On a more positive front, Luke Boundford came through a very testing game against Llanelli to prove he is back to fighting fitness and the back four looked very comfortable against Llanelli with Rawlinson proving a good acquisition. Andy Jones’ foray up front was an unlikely sight and he will be more comfortable back in the centre half role.
"The boys were fantastic on Saturday (away to Newtown) and showed a great attitude. We had chances to win the game and can be disappointed not to have taken all three points, but given our injury and suspension situation, it was a point won in difficult conditions. It keeps us in contention to battle for a top six finish at the split, as we remain five points away from sixth placed Gap Connah's Quay."
"We are two points behind Aberystwyth in the table, they will fancy their chances after scoring seven goals in their last two games, but we have a good record against them and won 2-0 earlier this season at Park Avenue."
The game will provide an added spice to fans with the presence of ex-Reds trio Wyn Thomas, Stuart Jones and Jordan Follows in the Aberystwyth team, all immensely popular players during their time at Stebonheath. While the Reds hope to have ex-Aberystwyth stalwart Geoff Kellaway back in the squad following injury.
Jeffrey added "This week's game has all the ingredients to be a cracking spectacle, with ex-players of both teams facing each other for the first time. Jordan Follows came through my Youth team at Stebonheath and is in an excellent run of form at present, while Stuart Jones has been an icon at this club over the last eight years. Then there's Wyn Thomas, a local boy who was a crowd favourite at Stebonheath and gave his all for the club, while we have Geoff Kellaway in our side, who has spent most of his career at Aberystwyth and will face them for the first time on Friday."
Admission Prices - £5 for adults, £3 OAP's / Students, U16's FREE Entry with a paying adult.
Martin Rose and Geoff Kellaway face late fitness tests before seeing if they make the Llanelli line-up against Aberystwyth at Stebonheath. Goalkeeper Craig Morris makes his 50th competitive appearance for his home town club. Craig Williams could also be back after a surprise return last Saturday at Newtown. While Ashley Hollingshead has left the club to join Merthyr Town U19's, James Secker returns for his first appearance of the season. Ashley Evans, Jason Bowen and Corey Jenkins are still suspended.
For the club's longest serving player Antonio Corbisiero, a veteran of 208 Welsh Premier appearances over the last eight years, the game provides an opportunity to show the standard of the Welsh Premier League and give his team mates a boost. He said "It would be fantastic to have a large crowd this Friday.
Lloydie (Gary Lloyd) still talks of the days when over 1000 were here (Stebonheath Park) on a friday night for games, while apart from Europe the largest crowd I've played in front of is about 700 in all my time here."
"This club is steeped in history and it’s heart-breaking sometimes when there's crowds of just over 100 here. All we ask for this Friday is to come and enjoy the evening, even if you are new to Stebo. I know the club has to compete with the Scarlets and a large playing community in the Carmarthenshire League, but this Friday gives a chance to show your support to football in general. I know the boys will appreciate your support"
Aberystwyth town look to further cement their place in the running for a top six spot tomorrow As they take on Llanelli at Stebonheath
After last Saturday's 3-0 win over gap Connah’s quay in the televised match Aberystwyth are now just placed three points from the top six!
Injuries are still playing their part in the Aberystwyth squad with Sean Thornton, Michael Walsh, Josh MacAuley and Bari Morgan all out, while Glyndwr Hughes faces a late fitness test. This means Aberystwyth turn once again to the youngsters, after Rhydian Davies impressing last Saturday he will look to keep his place, while Liam James, Gethin Jones, Ifan Burrell, Samba N'Dong and Emlyn Lewis all appear to be continuing with the first team.
Contributors: Aneurin Venables, www.airbusfc.com, Neil Dymock, Owen Durbridge
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