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Swans have the scent for survival

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By Jonathan Twigg

SATURDAY (Feb 10) saw the Liberty Stadium in Swansea witness a ‘turf war’, won by the commemorative, Chinese New Year shirt wearing home side 1-0.

Visitors Burnley continued their miserable winless run which started on December 12, whilst Carlos Carvalhal’s side are now nine games unbeaten, lifting themselves clear of the relegation zone.

“You don’t have to see it; you smell it” can be attributed to an egocentric player who patrolled the left wing for both clubs four decades, Leighton James.

Saturday’s contest was fractious with neither side gaining ascendency, requiring the input of a mercurial talent like James, winner of 54 Welsh caps after his international in October 1971 against Czechoslovakia in Prague.

How former Swan, Jack Cork would have liked a smudging of the influence imposed by James in scoring 124 goals from 645 games to rub off on him, whilst the home faithful welcomed Andre Ayew to the bench, following his £16 million return from West Ham.

Brother Jordan was leading the line and loan signing Andy King also warming the splinters because the Premier Leagues newest ‘Tinkerman’ has taken his side from the depths of the Ocean to now have their heads above water.

This Portuguese man of war is wary of the sharks around him but can see the coastline of the promised land and knows how to get there, with James’ analogy from bygone years, ringing true.

James made his league debut for the Turf Moor outfit in November 1970 against Nottingham Forest, returning twice to the North West in a career which saw him transfer for a mammoth £310,000 to Derby in 1975.

He left Burnley for a second time in 1978 when they were relegated to the third division and signed for Swansea City helping them from the third division to the first division in the heady days of the John Toshack era. He had spells with Sunderland, Bury and Newport County before he retired in 1989 when at Burnley, to explore more avenues.

James, in his punditry role would have vilified Olsson for diving which brought a yellow card before half time, alongside Ayew, Clucas and Ki Sung Yeung’s efforts to hit the target.

They needed to watch the matchday mascot in the half time break as Neyland Pirate Ethan Blockwell gave goalkeeper ‘Cyril the Swan’ a lesson in finishing.

The East stand corner were drumming the beat as everything remained black and white; Johann Gudmundsson forcing a save from Lucas Fabianski, before Andre Ayew made his entrance to replace Olsson after Jeff Hendrick snagged a yellow card for stopping brother Jordan’s charge.

The side needed new life; brothers in arms, possibly ‘Kolo or Yaya’ were joined by Tammy Abraham, the Tinkerman’s batteries now recharged with a ‘Triple A’ strike force taking the game to Burnley.

Referee Marriner received queries over his parentage as Pope made a wonder save to deny Abraham, Jordan Ayew and Kyle Naughton smashed shots goalward, before the breakthrough came with six minutes remaining.

Ki hammered home the winner from the edge of the box after Naughton and Jordan Ayew’s silky build up play invoked the loudest rendition of ‘Land of my Fathers’ west of Twickenham.

Ethan Blockwell: The Neyland Pirate was a match day mascot as Swansea beat Burnley 1-0

Sean Dyche’s side were reduced to humping long balls which drew no change from Alfie Mawson and skipper Frederico Fernandez and when the new King ‘of Wales’ came across the drawbridge for his debut to replace ‘Prince Jordan’, a crescendo of choral voices greeted the signal of four additional minutes without fear.

James tried his hand at management in the League of Wales with Llanelli, taking in spells also at Garden Village and Haverfordwest but he didn’t enjoy the success Carvalhal has kindled way down by the sea.

An echo from the beach portrays the words of Martha and the Muffins from 1979, James surely remembering the wish for the sun not to go down. He didn’t need to see the ball; he could smell it and Carvalhal has the scent of survival from the sea as he approaches a return to his previous Club Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday (Feb 17).

The Swans travel to Hillsborough in search of a place in the FA Cup quarter final for the first time since 1964, where they eventually lost to Preston North End 2-1 in the semi-final at Villa Park, with the backing of the Jack Army who are enjoying the fruits of the BBQ served by Carvalhal.

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Sport

Bow Street celebrate 2018/19 season

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AN excellent gathering of players, wives, girlfriends and officials attended the annual Bow Street Football Club dinner at the Marine Hotel in Aberystwyth on May 17, to celebrate the end of the 2018/2019 season.

The season saw both the first and reserve teams consolidate themselves in their respective leagues after indifferent starts. The highlight though was the Under 19 team winning the Mid Wales League Cup and finishing runners up in their league.

All enjoyed a magnificent carvery, and the Chairman, Wyn Lewis thanked the Marine for the superb welcome and warm hospitality.

The Chairman thanked all at the club who had contributed during the season both on and off the field.

He was particularly proud of all the support that the teams had received during the season.

He then announced the first award of the evening – ‘Clubman Of The Year’.

This proved an extremely popular announcement as it was awarded to Richard Lucas, who is stepping down from the first team Management after 5 years.

Richard has contributed fully to the activities of the club for over 20 years as a player, junior coach and coordinator and as part of the senior team management.

Sion Manley and Rhys Evans the Under 19 Managers then introduced the awards for a team which had exceeded all expectations by winning the prestigious League Cup.

The popular management duo of Rhodri Jones and Leighton Reynolds introduced the awards in relation to the Reserve team, and Barry Williams, Richard Lucas and Amlyn Ifans, the First team management, announced the awards relating to the senior team.

The final award of the evening was the Pat Evans Memorial Award, which was given to the ‘Supporters’ Player Of The Year’ – winner being Tomos Wyn Roberts.

The evening, concluded with short speeches from Dylan Roberts on behalf of the sponsors and Allan ‘Baba’ Evans, vice president of the club.

Awards:

Bow Street FC Firsts

Players player of the year: Matthew Pemberthy & Tom Wyn Roberts

Supporters player of the year: Tom Wyn Roberts

Top Goalscorer: Tomos Williams

Manager’s player of the year: Matthew Pemberthy

Young player of the year: Ryan Evans

Most improved young player: Bradley Walsh

Bow Street Reserves

Managers Player of the Year: Jac Williams

Player of the year: Neil Davies & Shaun Jones

Top goalscorer: Shaun Jones

Under 19

Top goalscorer: Shaun Jones

Players Player: Siencyn Jones

Managers Player: Harry Turner

Clubman Of The Year: Richard Lucas

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Sport

Bow Street reveal new Football Festival sponsor

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THE prestigious Bow Street FC Junior festival celebrates its 17th anniversary on July 13-14 this year, and the club are delighted to reveal their new event sponsor.

Castell Howell Foods, firmly established as one of the UK’s leading independent food wholesalers, has agreed to sponsor the extremely popular event for the next two years.

Bow Street FC Chairman Wyn Lewis said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Brian Jones and Castell Howell Foods on board as our tournament sponsors.

“Castell Howell are well known for their commitment to community-based activities especially junior sport, and we appreciate the faith they have shown in us by agreeing to become our new partners.

“Brian Jones is a hugely respected figure in Welsh life and having been fortunate to meet him on a few occasions, it is obvious he has a huge passion for supporting youngsters and grass roots organisations.

“Our well-established Junior football festival is now supported by teams from across Wales and we believe that our new partnership demonstrates both its profile and the Club’s values and aspirations.”

Castell Howell’s Managing Director, Brian Jones said: “May I say how delighted, happy and proud we are to be associated with this now very well established, popular and hugely successful Junior Football Festival organised by Bow Street FC.

“We at Castell Howell are big supporters of communities and believe greatly in giving our youngsters opportunities and we are delighted to support this superb event in Bow Street.”

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Under 19s retain National League trophy

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ABERYSTWYTH Town’s Black and Green Under 19s retained their National League Trophy on Monday night (May 6) at Newtown with a well deserved 2-1 victory over Northern Champions Cefn Druids, thanks to goals from Lee Jenkins (36 mins) and captain Tom Evans, whose 75th minute strike won the match following Lewis George’s injury time equaliser for the Ancients.

Looking to repeat their first of last season by winning the Club’s first ever National League Trophy, Bari Morgan’s team started well with Dylan Benjamin and Tom Evans prominent down the right, and Harri Rowe impressing on the left side.

A number of opportunities were created with Liam Doherty and Niall Coleridge amongst others going close, but then nine minutes before the break Welsh Schools Captain Jenkins rose like a salmon to power home a header and give the Ceredigion side a priceless lead.

Oli Farebrother did brilliantly to deny George in a one on one but then in the third minute of injury time George sneaked in at the back post to equalise, leaving the game in the balance.

In truth Aber had dominated the first half without taking all their opportunities, and that pattern was repeated in the second half with Town’s back four of Rowe, Jenkins, Ryan Evans and Benjamin looking solid, Liam Berner, Carwyn Morgan and the tricky Niall Coleridge controlling the midfield and the front three of Steff Gittins, Doherty and Evans always looking dangerous.

Finally with a quarter hour remaining Evans down the right was played in by Doherty, and he expertly spun his man before blasting the winner low into the corner of the net.

Druids’ Ryan Davies was sent off with eight minutes to go and Aber saw the game out comfortably to ensure another hugely impressive triumph.

Captain Tom Evans received the Trophy amid joyous scenes and Manager Bari Morgan, Assistant Stefano Antoniazzi and Goalkeeping Coach Dave Owen were proud men as their young side celebrated another remarkable triumph.

They have a chance to earn a third Trophy of the season on Friday night at Machynlleth when they face Llanidloes Town in the Central Wales FA Youth Cup Final.

Everyone at the Club congratulates the entire squad on a wonderful achievement, which bodes well for the future of Aberystwyth Town FC and football in Ceredigion.

Photo by Colin Ewart

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