Sgorio picks the five Welsh Premier League stars that stood out over the opening weekend of the season.
Connor Roberts (Bangor City)
Bangor City enjoyed the perfect start to the season as they upset the odds to beat league holders The New Saints 5-2 on the opening weekend. Connor Roberts made two acrobatic saves to deny long-range efforts from Jon Routledge, and was unlucky to concede two goals since he saved both initial shots but for TNS to net on the follow up on both occasions. The New Saints have now lost on their last three visits to the Bangor University Stadium (5-2 v Bangor, 2-1 v Bala, 3-0 v Bangor).
Chris Baker (Cardiff Met)
Chris Baker scored twice at The Rock on Saturday as Cardiff Met enjoyed a convincing 0-3 away win against Cefn Druids in their opening fixture of the 2017/18 season. Both of Baker’s goals were similar as the Archers’ midfielder benefited from creative runs by Jordan Lam before placing the ball into the bottom corner from outside the box. Cardiff Met have managed to keep clean sheets in all three of their WPL meetings with Cefn Druids since both clubs were promoted to the top flight last summer.
Nathan Burke (Bala Town)
Bala Town put in a solid display against Newtown at Maes Tegid on Friday night and came out of the game with a comfortable 3-0 victory. Midfielder Nathan Burke played a vital part in the Lakesiders’ win as he protected the back four effectively, controlled the tempo of the game and released his attackers with penetrating passes. The win on Friday stretches Bala’s unbeaten run against the Robins to seven matches.
Ryan Wignall (Connah’s Quay)
Andy Morrison couldn’t have wished for a better start to the season than a comprehensive 0-4 away win at Prestatyn on the opening weekend. The Nomads’ boss will also be pleased that four different players chipped in with the goals, including midfielder James Owen who finally scored his first WPL goal in his 96th league appearance. Despite not being one of the four goal scorers, Ryan Wignall was debatably the most influential player on the field as he made three assists with crosses from the right and from the left, and the pacey winger was a constant threat to the Prestatyn defence all night.
Brayden Shaw (Bangor City)
It took only six minutes of the season opener before Brayden Shaw proved why Bangor rightly broke their record fee to secure his signature over the summer. After impressing for the Citizens during a loan spell from Accrington Stanley last season, Shaw was making his second debut on Friday since returning to Bangor on a permanent basis, and got Bangor off to a flyer as he rose high to head home and put his side in front early on against the champions. It was a night to remember for Brayden Shaw who topped it off by smashing in his second of the night with a fabulous strike from distance that flew into the top corner, sending the Nantporth faithful wild with celebrations and sending Bangor City to the top end of the table.