WPL weekend preview

IMG_3615

The weekend starts early in the Welsh Premier League as Llandudno take on Prestatyn live on Facebook on Thursday night as the home side look to extend their 100% record in the league this season.

Thursday

Llandudno v Prestatyn | Thursday – 19:45
Llandudno have had the perfect start to the WPL season, winning all three of their games without conceding a single goal.

Alan Morgan’s men are the only club with their 100% record still intact, and are the only club not to concede this season.

Consistency has been key for Llandudno who have used the same startin 11 for all three league games so far – Connah’s Quay (2nd) are the only other club to have done that.

Prestatyn have returned to the WPL after two years in the Huws Gray Alliance, but it hasn’t been a smooth return for Neil Gibson’s side who have won one and lost two in the league this season.

Prestatyn netted an impressive 114 goals in 30 league games last season (3.8 goals per game,) but have only scored once in the three games this season (0.3 goals per game).

Along with Aberystwyth and Barry Town, Prestatyn are the league’s lowest scorers with only one goal each this season.

Both managers will be hoping for a reaction from their players following disappointing defeats for both sides in the League Cup last week which saw both teams knocked out in the first round by Huws Gray opponents – Llandudno 0-1 Caernarfon, Holywell 3-3 Prestatyn (Holywell win 5-4 on pens)

Last meeting:
The clubs have not met since the 2007/08 season in the Huws Gray Alliance

Friday

Connah’s Quay v Bala Town | Friday – 19:45
Connah’s Quay and Bala Town start the weekend on six points apiece after two wins and one defeat each in the WPL this season.

Like Bala last season, the Nomads fell at the first hurdle in the Irn Bru Cup as they lost 2-1 after extra time against Scottish Championship side Dumbarton last Saturday.

The Lakesiders also come into the game on the back of a cup defeat after they were dumped out of the League Cup by Newtown last week.

Three of the four meetings between these two sides last seasons were drawn, and Connah’s Quay won the last match between them which turned out to be a vital win as the Nomads finished the season only three points above Bala Town.

Connah’s Quay won their first two games of the season but lost 1-0 at Llandudno in the last league outing.

Andy Morrison’s side are certainly a force on grass pitches, but they have struggled recently on artificial surfaces as they have failed to win any of their last five matches on the 3G’s, scoring only once (Bala 0-0 CQ, Bala 1-1 CQ, TNS 1-0 CQ, Met 0-0 CQ, Llan 1-0 CQ).

Last meeting:
Connah’s Quay 2-0 Bala Town (14/04/17)

The New Saints v Cefn Druids | Friday – 19:45
There’s over 10 years since Cefn Druids last beat The New Saints in the Welsh Premier League (1-0, Ricky Evans – August 2007) and TNS have won eight of the nine games between them since.

In those nine encounters since 2007, TNS have scored 25 times while Cefn Druids have only netted twice.

The last match between these sides back in December 2016 was an historical event, as it was the game that saw TNS break the world record for most consecutive wins (27).

The Saints beat Livingston on penalties last weekend to book a place in the Irn Bru Cup third round, while Cefn Druids were knocked out of the League Cup in extra time against Airbus UK in their last outing.

Last meeting:
Cefn Druids 0-2 The New Saints (30/12/16)

Saturday

Aberystwyth v Cardiff Met | Saturday – 14:30
Aberystwyth start the weekend in the bottom two after only picking up one point from their opening three league fixtures.

Neville Powell’s men have only scored once this season, and that was a debatable goal on the opening weekend against Barry Town.

Cardiff Met on the other hand, have started strongly, and after winning their first two games were unlucky to lose late on against Bala Town in their last league outing.

Striker Adam Roscrow has scored three times this season and is already halfway to equalling his goal tally from last term (6 goals in WPL 2016/17).

Archers’ winger Jordan Lam is leading the assists chart after creating four goals in three WPL games this season.

Cardiff Met won both games against Aberystwyth last season and kept two clean sheets, so Neville Powell’s Seasiders will be eager to get their first ever league goal, and their first ever league win against the students this weekend.

Last meeting:
Aberystwyth 0-2 Cardiff Met (14/01/17)

Bangor City v Carmarthen | Saturday – 14:30
After three losses this season, Mark Aizlewood will want to pick up his first points of the season away at Nantporth, where Carmarthen are unbeaten in their last four visits.

The Old Gold play their opening six fixtures away from home while the work is completed on the new 3G pitch at the Cymru Tyres Stadium, and they will have to make sure that they start picking up points while on the road otherwise Mark Aizlewood’s men could find themselves trailing the rest of the pack.

Bangor City are one of five clubs that start the weekend equal on six points each following two wins and one defeat.

Citizens striker, Dean Rittenberg will be hoping he’s done enough to earn himself a starting place after netting four times against Denbigh Town in the League Cup last week.

Last meeting:
Bangor City 0-2 Carmarthen (22/04/17)

Barry Town v Newtown | Saturday – 14:30
These two teams go head to head for the first time in 13 years, since Barry’s relegation from the WPL at the end of the 2003/04 season.

After a slow start to the season, Newtown come into this game on the back of two impressive victories – Newtown 4-1 Carmarthen, Bala Town 0-1 Newtown (League Cup).

Newly promoted Barry Town are still waiting for their first win of the season, but Gavin Chesterfield can take positives from their strong performance against the champions in their latest defeat (0-1).

Putting the ball in the back of the net has been Barry’s biggest issue as they have been solid defensively (conceded 1 goal per game) but have only managed to score once (0.3 goals per game).

Last meeting:
Barry Town 3-2 Newtown (27/03/04)

Highlights of all WPL matches will be on Sgorio every Monday at 5:35 on S4C.