Aber Town points deduction upheld

Peter Hoy wheels away after scoring for Aber. Photo by Chris Howells - atfc.org.uk

Peter Hoy wheels away after scoring for Aber.
Photo by Chris Howells

THE POINTS deduction levelled against Aberystwyth Town has been upheld at an appeals hearing on Friday 7th February. The Seasiders now face a three point deduction which has put paid to their chances of making Europe by ensuring that the team will play in the bottom half of the league throughout phase two of the Welsh Premier League.

Aber had initially been charged under article 38.1.6 of the rules and regulations of the FAW which states that a team may not “field a player while under suspension”. The Green and Blacks had played full back Peter Hoy on the 4th of January when they took on GAP Connah’s Quay. Peter Hoy had previously picked up five yellow cards in the season which meant that he should have been suspended for the match.

A statement issued by the club said that the club were “devastated by the savage punishment” that had been applied by the FAW. They pointed to numerous mitigating factors that had caused the mix up whilst accepting their own failings. Chief amongst these factors was the fact that Hoy’s name was not included on the FAW suspension report for that set of matches. In addition to this the referee’s report from the game against Connah’s Quay was handed in two weeks late which meant that the club were not fully aware of Hoy’s suspension.

The Seasiders were still charged, however, and the points gained in that game, which ended in a 4-0 win, were taken away. Defender Sion James was vocal with his anger at the charge when asked by Aber Student Media. He said that the team was “disappointed as players that people who know nothing about football have done this to us.” He went on to say that the team would continue to fight all season.

The result of the appeals process meant that the fate of Aber lay firmly in the hands of Rhyl when they took to the field to face Port Talbot in the final game of phase one. Sitting just behind Aber, Rhyl were hoping for a win that would see them jump above the Seasiders into sixth place. Despite going behind early on in the game, Rhyl recovered and ran away with a 5-2 win, sealing them a place in the top 6.

Aber Town must now settle for a place in the bottom half of the Welsh Premier League, with a seventh place finish the best the club can now hope for. This is intensely disappointing for the team, who had been playing much better football than in previous seasons.

In better news for the mid-Wales side, they progressed to the quarter finals of the Welsh Cup with a comprehensive victory against Afan Lido on the 1st of February. Two goals from Craig Williams and one a piece from Peter Hoy, Mark Jones and re-debutant Luke Sherbon gave the Seasiders a 5-1 win. The first goal from Williams was a particular highlight as he picked up the ball just inside the Afan Lido half and carried it twenty yards before drilling it past the keeper from the edge of the box.

In truth, however, the game was little more than a practice match for Aber Town who could have scored eight or nine goals had they taken their chances. Following the draw for the quarter finals, Aber stand every chance of making the semi-finals having been drawn at home to mid-Wales rivals Caersws. It will not be an easy game, however, as the Cymru Alliance side will badly want to take the derby bragging rights. The tie will take place at Park Avenue on Saturday 1st March.

According to Sion James, the Welsh Cup has now become a priority for the rest of the season now that European qualification is off the table. James told ASM that the team were “disappointed” to have dropped out of the top six, but that the squad were focused on a seventh place finish in the league as well as a good run in the Welsh Cup.

In other news from Park Avenue, Aberystwyth Town will be holding an extraordinary general meeting today (Wednesday 19th February) to discuss several matters. First on the agenda will be a proposed change to the articles of association of the company. The change would mean that: “Only those persons who are either a Life Vice President or an Honorary Life Vice President or who have paid the annual Vice President’s subscription (determined by the Directors from time to time) of Aberystwyth Town Football Club (“The Club”) shall be eligible for membership of the Company. Any person who, for any reasons, ceases to be a Vice President of the Club shall cease to be a member of the Company.”

The meeting will also discuss a proposed planning application relating to the Park Avenue stadium. We are yet to learn what the nature of this ‘planning application’ is but it is possible that the club could be looking to move from their home ground.