A preview of the weekend’s fixtures in the WPL 2016/17, and with any luck half of the games won’t be goalless this time around.
Rhyl v Cefn Druids | Saturday – 14:30
It was a frustrating start to the season for Cefn Druids who lost 2-1 at Bangor on Friday night after conceding two sloppy goals from defensive errors.
Although there were mix-ups at the back, Huw Griffiths saw some flashes of tidy attacking football from his side and the late goal from Stuart Cook proved that the Druids will definitely not be push-overs this season.
Considering Llandudno’s success last season, Rhyl manager Niall McGuinnes will be happy with a point from their opening game on Sunday, but there will be more pressure on the Lilywhites against Cefn Druids.
Druids striker, Aaron Bowen will relish the chance to return to the Corbett Sports Stadium to face his former club and will hope to help his team get off the mark in the WPL.
Rhyl 2-1 Cefn Druids (18/04/15)
Newtown v Carmarthen | Saturday – 14:30
Before the opening weekend it would be fair to say that both Newtown and Carmarthen managers would’ve been happy to take a point from their challenging first fixtures, but following both games, Chris Hughes and Mark Aizlewood will be slightly disappointed not to have nicked a win against their strong oppositions.
Newtown faced Bala Town on Saturday and although the Lakesiders have finished runners-up for the last two seasons, it was the Robins that dominated the game and they were unlucky not to pick up all three pointa after Neil Mitchell’s second half penalty was well-saved by Bala stand-in keeper, Alex Lynch.
It was also goalless at Richmond Park where gap Connah’s Quay were strong favourites to beat Carmarthen.
The Nomads were the strongest of the two teams before defender Ian Kearney was sent off on 65
Luke Boundford scored two headers from corners to help Newtown to a 4-1 win over Carmarthen the last time the teams met back in December, but it should be a closer game this weekend as the Old Gold have strengthened defensively over the summer.
Newtown 4-1 Carmarthen (19/12/15)
Llandudno v The New Saints | Saturday – 17:15
Live on S4C – Full preview here
Llandudno 1-5 The New Saints (23/04/16)
Airbus UK v Aberystwyth | Sunday – 15:00
Airbus made a good start to their season with a 1-0 win over Cardiff Met as Tony Gray started where he left off last season and scored the only goal of the game.
Andy Preece left his role as Airbus UK’s Director of Football only two days before the Wingmakers’ first game of the season and under the direction of caretaker manager Andy Thomas, six players made their debuts for Airbus last weekend.
It was always going to be a tough task for i Aberystwyth in their opening fixture against The New Saints at Park Hall, but losting 2-1 away to the champions is far from embarrassing, especially when considering that Aber lost 3-0 and 0-4 to TNS last season.
Of the 14 that featured for Aber this weekend, 10 of the players made their debuts for the club so naturally it will take some time for Matthew Bishop’s new look squad to gel on the field.
Airbus UK 2-0 Aberystwyth (21/11/15)
Bangor City v gap Connah’s Quay | Sunday – 15:00
Bangor City start the weekend on top of the WPL after a 2-1 win over Cefn Druids at Nantporth on Friday night.
It was a dream start to Andy Legg’s tenure as Citizens manager with two of his summer signings getting off the mark and netting on their debuts.
Things didn’t go to plan for gap Connah’s Quay who were strong favourites to beat Carmarthen but could only secure a point at Richmond Park after they played out a goalless draw.
The Nomads threatened from long throws and set pieces but lacked a creative cutting edge despite making several big signings during the transfer window.
gap Connah’s Quay 1-3 Bangor City (06/10/15)
Cardiff Met v Bala Town | Sunday – 15:00
Cardiff Met fell to a 1-0 defeat at Broughton in their first ever game in the Welsh Premier League.
It will be another tough challenge for the students on Sunday as they welcome Bala Town to the Cyncoed Campus.
It was a flat performance from Colin Caton’s side at Newtown on Saturday and Bala were lucky to come away with a point after the Robins’ Neil Mitchell’s psecond half penalty was saved by Alex Lynch.
Met manager Christian Edwards will be hoping for a repeat result of their last meeting back in 2011 when the students beat Bala 4-1 in the Welsh Cup fourth round.
Cardiff Met 4-1 Bala Town (08/02/11)
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On this day in 1971 one of the football world's most succesful managers, Josep Guardiola i Sala - or Pep to his friends - was born.