WPL: Good Friday fixtures

DANIEL ALFIE (GREEN) ABERYSTWYTH

With a full set of fixtures scheduled for this Good Friday, we could know by the end of the day which clubs will be relegated and which clubs will participate in the play-offs this year.

The New Saints and Bala Town have already claimed two of the four European spots, while Airbus’ relegation has been confirmed – but there’s still plenty to play for with two games remaining in the WPL season.

Friday

Bangor City v The New Saints | Friday – 14:30
This Friday, Bangor and The New Saints will go head to head for the sixth time this season and the Citizens know that anything other than a win would topple their hopes of finishing 3rd and securing an automatic Europa spot.

The New Saints have won all five of their previous meetings this season (3 WPL, 1 Welsh Cup, 1 League Cup).

The New Saints have won their last 17 league games against Bangor City, since losing 3-4 at Park Hall in November 2011.

Bangor’s most recent win against TNS came in April 2013 in a Welsh Cup semi final through a Chris Jones late strike at the Corbett Sports Stadium.

In their most recent meeting, TNS came out 4-0 winners to secure the WPL title with Jamie Mullan putting in a man of the match performance, scoring two of the Saints’ four goals.

Latest meetings:
The New Saints 4-0 Bangor City (04/03/17)
The New Saints 2-1 Bangor City (a.e.t) – Welsh Cup Quarter Final (25/02/17)
Bangor City 1-2 The New Saints (05/11/16)
Bangor City 0-2 The New Saints – Nathaniel MG Cup (25/10/16)
The New Saints 4-0 Bangor City (11/09/16)

Remaining fixtures:
BAN: 22/04 Cfin (h)
YSN: 22/04 Bala (a), 30/04 Bala (WC)

Carmarthen v Cardiff Met | Friday – 14:30
The second half of the season has been quite a rough ride for these two clubs who are eagerly counting the days down until the play-offs.

Following a great start to the second phase with wins against both The New Saints & gap Connah’s Quay, the Old Gold have lost momentum recently after failing to win any of their last six fixtures (drawn 2, lost 4).

And it’s been even tougher for the students who are still searching for their first win in the Top Six, picking up only one point in their eight games since the split (drew with Carmarthen).

The Archers have not beaten the Old Gold this season, and changing that will be the aim for Wayne Allison & Christian Edwards on Friday.

This fixture will be a good measure of which club stands in good stead before their very likely meeting in the play-off semi final next month.

Latest meetings:
Cardiff Met 2-2 Carmarthen (04/03/17)
Cardiff Met 1-3 Carmarthen (31/12/16)
Carmarthen 0-0 Cardiff Met (26/12/16)

Remaining fixtures:
CFIN: 22/04 Ban (a)
MET: 22/04 Cei (h)

gap Connah’s Quay v Bala Town | Friday – 14:30
gap Connah’s Quay need two points from their remaining two league fixtures to secure a place in Europe for the second season on the bounce.

But Andy Morrison will be aiming even higher as he will want to finish the season as runners-up, and a win against Bala on Friday would lift the Nomads to 2nd place on goal difference.

The runners-up will receive £12,500, while the 3rd placed side will claim £10,000 (as well as their European winnings).

A win for Bala would be enough to see Colin Caton’s side seal the second spot for the third consecutive year.

All three meetings between the two sides this season have been drawn, and another draw would leave things quite interesting before the final weekend as Bala Town would need a point against TNS to secure 2nd place as Connah’s Quay travel to the capital to face Cardiff Met who are yet to win in the second phase.

Latest meetings:
Bala Town 1-1 gap Connah’s Quay (03/03/17)
Bala Town 0-0 gap Connah’s Quay (14/01/17)
gap Connah’s Quay 1-1 Bala Town (03/09/16)

Remaining fixtures:
CEI: 22/04 Met (a)
BALA: 22/04 YSN (h), 30/04 YSN (WC)

Airbus UK v Newtown | Friday – 14:30
Following their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Rhyl on Saturday, Airbus UK will be relegated at the end of the season after a 12 year stint in the Welsh Premier League.

As the Wingmakers deal with their disappointment, Newtown will look to pounce as a win for them would be enough to secure 7th spot and a place in the play-offs.

Chris Hughes’ side are on a run of 10 games without defeat since December, and they will be going into the play-offs with confidence and momentum.

Jason Oswell’s goals have been a huge factor in Newtown’s success as the striker has climbed to the top of the top scorer chart (19) after netting 10 goals in the eight games since the split.

Airbus will be playing for pride, and as they’ve already beaten Newtown once this season they will be no push-overs this weekend.

Latest meetings:
Newtown 4-1 Airbus UK (04/03/17)
Airbus UK 0-2 Newtown (05/11/16)
Newtown 2-4 Airbus UK (24/09/16)

Remaining fixtures:
AIR: 22/04 Cefn (a)
DRE: 22/04 Aber (h)

Cefn Druids v Llandudno | Friday – 14:30
The message will be clear from both managers in their pre-match team talks – a win would be enough to secure safety from the drop.

Llandudno enjoyed a fantastic first season in the WPL, finishing 3rd and qualifying for Europe, but Alan Morgan will be frustrated that his team have failed to build on that this season.

On the other hand, Huw Griffiths would be chuffed with a 10th place finish as Cefn Druids have not managed to end a season in the top flight without being relegated since 2008/09.

Two of the three meetings between these two sides have ended goalless this season.

Latest meetings:
Llandudno 0-0 Cefn Druids (03/03/17)
Cefn Druids 1-3 Llandudno (04/11/16)
Llandudno 0-0 Cefn Druids (25/09/16)

Remaining fixtures:
CEFN: 22/04 Air (h)
LLAN: 22/04 Rhyl (a)

Aberystwyth v Rhyl | Friday – 19:45
The biggest game of the weekend kicks off later in the day as Aber and Rhyl go head to head in a real scrap for survival.

It’s quite simple for Aber – a win against the Lilywhites on Friday would relegate Rhyl and ensure their own safety in the top flight.

Rhyl go into the game in 11th place, two points behind Aber and a defeat for them would see Niall McGuinness’ side drop into the Huws Gray Alliance four years after their promotion in 2013.

The Lilywhites were lucky to avoid relegation last season after finishing in the bottom two as 10th placed Port Talbot failed to secure the domestic license and were relegated in their place.

Aberystwyth are one of only three ever-present clubs in the WPL since the first season back in 1992/93 (along with Bangor City and Newtown).

The Black & Greens enjoyed a 4-0 win over Rhyl when they last visited Park Avenue, but both clubs have made big changes since then and from the 28 players that featured in that game back in October, only nine played for Aberystwyth or Rhyl last weekend.

Latest meetings:
Rhyl 2-2 Aberystwyth (03/03/17)
Aberystwyth 4-0 Rhyl (14/10/16)
Rhyl 3-1 Aberystwyth (31/08/16)

Remaining fixtures:
RHYL: 22/04 Llan (h)
ABER: 22/04 Dre (a)

Highlights of all WPL matches will be on Sgorio every Monday at 6:30 on S4C.