ABERYSTWYTH Town boss Neville Powell has praised his team’s efforts after they capped a perfect week by following up their Welsh Cup quarter-final success in Carmarthen with a crucial derby win away against rivals Newtown.
The Cambrian News reported “Joe Phillips scored the only goal of the game at Latham Park to close the gap on the Robins to just three points, and the two sides meet again in the showpiece Welsh Cup semi-final at Bala’s Maes Tegid on Sunday, 8 April.
“It was a huge result,” said Powell. “With Carmarthen losing, it was a massive game at Newtown, but we thoroughly deserved to take the three points.
“I thought we were excellent all over the pitch, we nullified their attacks, looked dangerous on the break, and we could have had a few more goals.
“The boys have had a hard week, after their long trip to Carmarthen in the Welsh Cup on Tuesday, but they have got two wins, and I couldn’t praise them more. They were outstanding, every single one of them.”
Having moved clear of the relegation zone, the Seasiders are nine points behind Play-Off Conference leaders Barry Town United, who they play next, after a week’s break, on Saturday, 24 March at Park Avenue.
Powell added: “The win puts us 11 points clear of the drop zone, so we’ve got to be looking towards seventh or eighth place now. We have got five league games left to play, so we just want to go on and win every game.
“We were missing Declan Walker and Ryan Wade, but the players that came in have done a good job, and that shows how much confidence there is in the players at the moment.
“We’ve been on a good run since Christmas, apart from the Barry result, and we want to keep that going.”
Meanwhile Aber are relishing facing Newtown again in the semi-finals of the JD Welsh Cup at Maes Tegid, Bala on Sunday, 8 April, after their 3-1 win at Carmarthen on Tuesday evening.
Goals from Joe Phillips, John Owen and Malcolm Melvin steered the Seasiders through to the last four of the competition – and Powell has never lost a Welsh Cup semi-final match.
“I’m over the moon that we’re through, especially for the players,” said Powell. “We came to Carmarthen in the league 10 days ago and threw it away at the death, but we made sure that wasn’t going to happen again.
“We deserve to be in the semi-finals, we’ve beat Bala and Cardiff Met, and we thoroughly deserved to win at Carmarthen. We are hitting form at the right time, and it’s nice to watch.”
Powell, who guided Bangor City to four successive finals and a hat-trick of Welsh Cup wins between 2008 and 2010, is hoping to guide Aber to glory for the first time in over a century.
He added: “Twenty years ago, I reached the Welsh Cup Final with Connah’s Quay, and lost to Bangor on penalties, and 10 years ago I won it as Bangor manager against Llanelli.
“So, who knows, it could be Aberystwyth’s time this year. This will be the seventh Welsh Cup semi-final tie that I’ve participated in. I haven’t lost one yet, so fingers crossed.”
Aber have meanwhile been boosted by the availability of young centre back Sam Kersh, who was named as a substitute last Tuesday for the first time since joining the Club in January.
Although he has impressed in training for almost two months, 23 year old Sam’s international clearance only came through in late February.
Most recently playing in the USA for California State University in Los Angeles, Kersh was previously with Burscough Dynamos in the North West, and recently returned from the States to his roots in Liverpool. He will wear shirt number three for Aber.
There was also a first appearance off the bench on Saturday for Kurt Sherlock, who like midfielder Tom Owens, joined from Radcliffe, in January.
The 26 year-old Liverpudlian had made five appearances for the Evo-Stick side earlier in the season, scoring four goals, having previously played for Formby, Bootle, Runcorn Linnets, Stalybridge Celtic and Marine” here.