NEWTOWN Football Club will celebrate their 1,000th top flight fixture next month.

Along with mid Wales rivals Aberystwyth Town, the Robins are unbroken members of the League of Wales and the JD Cymru Premier which the top flight has been known as since 2010.

For 30 years the club has enjoyed highs and lows as Latham Park has evolved and become home to generations of supporters.

Originally one of the so called 'Irate Eight' Welsh clubs to have refused to join the new league, the club struggled in its new surroundings in the inaugural season and narrowly avoided relegation.

County Times: Brian Coyne.

Brian Coyne.

Just six points separated Newtown and relegated Llanidloes Town at the end of the 1992-93 season under manager Brian Coyne.

The following season proved much more successful with the Robins ending sixth and the improvements continued with a fourth place finish in 1995.

1996 proved Newtown's best season in their history, ending second to runaway champions Barry Town and qualifying for the UEFA Cup for the first time.

County Times:

Newtown FC v FC Skonto. Pictured is captain Colin Reynolds.

A 4-1 defeat at home to Latvians Skonto Riga went down in history as Romilly Brown scored the club's first ever European goal before losing the second leg 3-0 in the Baltics.

County Times: Mark Roberts.

Marc Roberts in action for Newtown.

The Robins ended the following season in a respectable fifth place before returning to Europe the following season with a second place finish to Barry Town who secured the 1996 title by a massive 26 point margin.

Polish side Wisla Krakow were held to a goalless draw at Latham Park but the Robins were crushed 7-0 in the second leg.

County Times: Keith Harding, chairman of Newtown football club took time out to provide a tour to Newtown high school girls lunchtime football club around Latham park in Newtown.

The late Keith Harding, chairman of Newtown Football Club, during its successful era during the mid-nineties.

The Robins missed out in Europe the following season, ending sixth as mid Wales rivals Aberystwyth Town claimed their mantle as the region's highest placed club.

Newtown had to be content with an eighth place finish as the nineties turned into a new century in 2000.

In 2001 the Robins were joined by Caersws in a battle for the final European spot but both missed out as Newtown ended behind Carmarthen Town on goal difference.

County Times:

Newtown hosted David Ginola's Aston Villa in a 2001 friendly.

Newtown struggled to recover from this set-back as fortunes turned the following season with a 13th placed finish in 2002 their lowest since the inaugural season.

County Times: Justin Wickham.

Justin Wickham in action for Newtown.

Newtown ended 10th in 2003 when Coyne departed after a decade at the helm to be succeeded by ex-Chester City and Shrewsbury Town player Roger Preece.

Preece led the Robins to 10th in 2004 and 2005 while 2006 had proved to be a year to forget as the club ended 16th after being deducted five points for fielding an ineligible player and Preece departed Latham Park mid-season to be replaced by Darren Ryan.

County Times: Darren Ryan.

Darren Ryan.

Ryan struggled in his first full season at the helm in 2007 with the club ending second from bottom and only spared relegation due to a lack of compliant applicants from the second tier.

The signing of Marc Lloyd-Williams helped the Robins to an improved 13th place finish in 2008 with the legendary League of Wales striker bagging 23 goals.

While Lloyd-Williams had departed the following season the emergence of a young Craig Williams helped Newtown to the more familiar 10th place finish in 2009.

County Times: Action from Newtown's clash with Dundalk. Picture by H18-PDW Photography.

Craig Williams in action for Newtown.

The following year saw the Robins complete a great escape.

With the League of Wales culling its membership and becoming the Cymru Premier a season like none before took place across the country as mass relegations ensued.

Caersws and Welshpool Town were almost joined in demotion by Newtown only for the Robins to be spared after Rhyl failed the domestic license.

County Times: Callum Wright in action for Newtown against Caersws in 2010.

Callum Wright in action for Newtown against Caersws in 2010.

Newtown made the most of their reprieve with a ninth place finish in the inaugural 12 club Cymru Premier of 2011 under ex-TNS manager Andy Cale after Darren Ryan's resignation the previous summer.

Ryan returned to the helm the following year but remained for just 17 days before resigning with the club bidding to steady the ship under former Shrewsbury Town and West Bromwich Albion star Bernard McNally.

County Times: Picture by Rob Davies.

Corbett Sports Welsh Premier: Newtown v Port Talbot Town.

Pic is. Bernard McNally.


Bernard McNally.

The club ended the 2012 season as league cup runners-up but bottom of the table with just 23 points having been stripped of five points for fielding an ineligible player and once again only spared the drop thanks to a lack of promotion applicants.

Newtown ended ninth in 2013 but in 2014 the club appointed Chris Hughes as McNally departed for a coaching role at Shrewsbury Town.

The Robins would go on to celebrate their highest finish since 2001 with fifth place enough to qualify for the Europa League play-offs as Hughes marked his arrival with immediate progress.

County Times: NEWTOWN, WALES - 27 APRIL 2021: JD Cymru Premier playoff conference league fixture between Newtown AFC & Flint Town United, Newtown, Latham Park, Wales, UK , April 27th 2021. (Pic By John Smith/FAW)..Game finished 1-0 to Newtown.  Newtowns Jordan

Chris Hughes.

The new manager tasted immediate success as Jason Oswell struck 18 goals to help Newtown to sixth place while an end of season play-off win at Aberystwyth Town sealed an unlikely return to Europe.

Newtown celebrated their finest hour by eliminating Maltese side, Valletta in the first qualifying round of the Europa League, winning both legs 2-1 to complete a 4-2 aggregate win.

County Times:

Newtown celebrate the winning goal in their famous Europa League win against Valletta at Latham Park. Picture by Rob Davies.

Oswell netted in both legs while Luke Boundford and Matty Owen goals in either tie ensured Newtown their first ever European victory and a second qualifying round clash with Danish giants Copenhagen.

A 2-0 defeat in the Danish capital was followed by a 3-1 home leg defeat with Tom Goodwin netting a consolation.

County Times: 25/9/2018 - Luke Boundford of Newtown during the Welsh Leaguer Cup fixture between Newtown and Penybont at Latham Park...Pic: Mike Sheridan/County Times.MS227-2018-2018.

Luke Boundford.

The Robins also reached the Welsh Cup final for the first time in over 100 years, hosting TNS who ran out 2-0 winners in front of 1,400 people at Latham Park.

County Times: PB200-2015-24
Matty Cook in action for Newtown in the 2015 Welsh Cup final.

Matty Cook in action for Newtown in the 2015 Welsh Cup final.

Newtown ended fifth in 2016 and seventh in 2017, losing in the Europa League play-off semi-finals on both occasions while Oswell ended the latter campaign with the league golden boot with 22 goals.

County Times: Jason Oswell celebrates his late winner against Valletta.

Jason Oswell celebrates his late winner against Valletta. 

The Robins slipped to an eighth place finish in 2018 but were back in the top six in 2019, only to taste Europa League play-off semi-final defeat to Bala Town.

Newtown had been in a Europa League play-off qualifying place when the 2020 season was halted due to the global health crisis and last season completed a remarkable return to Europe after ending seventh and winning the play-offs in a thrilling 5-3 victory at Caernarfon Town.

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Newtown celebrate their victory at Caernarfon Town last May.

Sadly the Robins were unable to recreate the magic of 2016 with the second leg tie against Irish side Dundalk played at Park Hall in Oswestry where the Robins lost 1-0 to complete their 5-0 aggregate defeat.

Newtown currently sit in second place and vying for a fifth European adventure as the club continues to go from strength to strength.