Preview: gap Connah’s Quay v Bala Town

cei v bala
Rhys Llwyd

Rhys Llwyd

Thursday, 1 Sep 2016, 14:06

This Saturday we will be live from the Deeside Stadium as gap Connah’s Quay face Bala Town in the Welsh Premier League with a 17:15 kick off.

Expectations were high for these two clubs at the start of the season as the pundits suggested that both Bala and Connah’s Quay could push for the title this year.

But after only four league games, The New Saints are already four points above the Nomads, and seven points ahead of Bala Town as the champions held a 100% record in the WPL in August.

Goalless games have been rather fashionable this season as we have already seen six stalemates this season – two each for the Nomads and Bala (there were only 14 goalless draws in WPL 2015/16).

It seems that Welsh sides have strengthened defensively from the highest level and the work done by the FAW is trickling down to our national league.

In their last 25 games, the Wales national side have conceded only 23 goals (0.9 goals a game) keeping 10 clean sheets (40%).

Goals have been a rare sight at both Bala and Connah’s Quay matches this season, as both sides have a low average of 0.75 goals scored in their games this term.

The Nomads are the only club not to concede in the WPL this season and Andy Morrison’s men are on a run of six domestic games without conceding a single goal (4 WPL + 2 play-offs) which makes it over 580 minutes without conceding (over 9 hours).

Bala Town’s Lee Hunt was the last player to score against the Nomads in the WPL with his 200th WPL goal in their final league game of 2015/16 to secure 2nd place.

That penalty from Hunt, and Anthony Stephens’ penalty against Cardiff Met are the only two goals that Bala have scored in their last nine competitive matches.

Since beating Airbus 3-1 on 25 March 2016, Bala have failed to score from open play in their last nine games (7 WPL + 2 Europe).

There haven’t been more than two goals in any of Bala’s last 7 WPL matches (TNS 2-0 Bala, Bala 0-0 Llan, CQ 0-1 Bala, New 0-0 Bala, Met 0-1 Bala, Ban 2-0 Bala, Bala 0-0 Cam).

Despite signing three-time Golden Boot winner Chris Venables, Bala have been shy in front of goal, but it shouldn’t come as such a surprise considering that 22% of their WPL games last season finished goalless (7/32).

But Venables will be determined to get off the mark for his new club as he has now gone four games without a WPL goal for the first time since March 2013.

It looks like 0-0 would be a good bet for Saturday and although the neutrals would love to see a couple of goals, one man that would be very happy to see another goalless game would be TNS manager Craig Harrison, as the champions look to take advantage on their competitors’ slow start.

gap Connah’s Quay v Bala Town LIVE on S4C this Saturday, 3 September at 17:00.

Web stream will start at 16:30 on s4c.cymru