Author: Lewis Sharpe
Publisher: Y Clwb Pel-Droed
Penybont have started their Cymru Premier campaign excellently as they currently lie in fifth position going into the firebreak lockdown.
Their three wins on the bounce in late September and early October have put them in good stead for the remainder of the season.
Attacker Nathan Wood has become a talisman for Penybont this season. The 23-year-old has added end-product to his list of assets, making him a danger for opposition.
A nightmare for defenders, Wood utilises his pace and dribbling ability to help him in the final third.
Wood’s excellence was on show as his side thrashed Haverfordwest County by four goals earlier this season. He assisted twice and had a huge part to play in his manager’s first goal of the game.
Penybont signed the explosive attacker from Undy Athletic after being promoted up to the Cymru Premier in the 2018/19 season.
Wood’s first season plying his trade at the SDM Glass stadium was promising as he netted eight times in all competitions.
Not only has he proven to be deadly in front of goal, Wood also possesses great creativity. He was the fifth highest assist provider in the Cymru Premier last season as he created six goals.
The ex-Newport County man scored a long-range strike earlier this season against Aberystwyth Town to gave his side the lead, showing he has goal-scoring ability.
In a recent interview with Y Clwb Pêl-Droed, we asked Nathan about this season so far, playing under Rhys Griffiths and his thoughts for the rest of the season.
‘’As soon as the restart came, we were really confident that we could not only just compete with the top-six, but that we could maybe push on and do well in the top-half of the table, rather than being one of the teams in the bottom-half,’’ said Wood.
‘’We’re all on a high at the moment and we’ve just got to keep working hard.’’
‘’The talent in the dressing room is there for everyone to see.’’
Penybont have been unlucky not to pick up all three points from a few of their games this season.
‘’We should be looking at particularly the Aberystwyth and Caernarfon games. Caernarfon equalised in the 87th minute and we dominated against Aberystwyth for 90 per cent of the game.’’
‘’ We haven’t really felt like we’ve been outplayed at all.’’
Wood also finds himself improving further under his manager.
‘’ I couldn’t ask for a better manager to play under. He encourages me to get into the final third and make the right decisions. He gives me to licence to, when I get the ball, do what I feel comfortable with and if it leads to an error or a mistake, he’s okay with that.’’
‘’Griff has brought the best out of me as well in the last season I’ve been with him.’’
‘’I think having a manager like Griff as well, obviously a goal-scoring striker, there’s nobody better to learn off in training in terms of getting the ball into the box.’’
Player-manager Rhys Griffiths came on and scored two in Penybont’s 4-0 victory against Haverfordwest County, bringing his Cymru Premier tally up to 271 goals.
‘’He’s just in the right place at the right time and that’s a skill in itself. It’s no coincidence that he’s 40 years of age and still scoring goals because he’s in ridiculous shape physically and he believes in himself and believes in us.’’
‘’He can still score goals so I just put the ball into an area for the second one, didn’t even look up because I knew he would win the header.’’
‘’There’ll be chances again because he’ll win his headers 99.9 times out of one-hundred so I’m not shocked to be honest, not at all.’’
Penybont have also been without their captain in the last three games as Kane Owen picked up a three-game suspension against Bala Town.
‘’Kane is a massive part of us and the football we want to play.’’
‘’Obviously, we missed him, especially in the second half against Bala. I know hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I think if we had Kane in the second half, it’s a different scoreline.’’
The acquisition of Ben Ahmun has also been beneficial for Wood.
‘’Ben is a similar sort of player to myself, really. Our games are quite similar as we want to get the ball in behind and beat defenders so there’s definitely a partnership there.’’
Wood’s aspiration for the rest of the season is to keep improving his output.
‘’I want to kick on and score and goals are an area of my game that I feel I need to improve on. That is something Rhys is teaching me at the minute – if you are in the box, you’ll score more goals.’’
(Featured image: Dafydd Jones)