Nomads and Archers lead the pack

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The weekend kicks off on Friday with a live fixture between Llanelli and Barry Town, two southern clubs who have risen from the ashes to return to the Welsh Premier League.

Friday, 24 August

Llanelli v Barry Town | Friday – 19:35 (S4C)
You only have to go five years back to when these two sides were going head to head in the fourth tier of Welsh football (Welsh League Division Three), but now Llanelli and Barry are back where they belong in the top flight.

Both clubs were successful in their previous stints in the WPL, with both getting their hands on the league trophy, but it was off-the-field issues that led to the demise of the sides that had to drop down into the lower leagues.

After heavy defeats on the opening weekend, Llanelli and Barry were celebrating late winners last weekend as they picked up their first points of the season.

There was an element of luck for Barry last Sunday as their winner came from what looked like a certain handball from striker Kayne McLaggon, and Bala’s furious protests resulted in them finishing the match with only eight players left on the pitch.

It should be quite the occasion at Stebonheath Park on Friday as the two ex-WPL winners meet in the top flight for the first time since 2002/03 in what has been described as the ‘Phoenix Derby’!

Connah’s Quay v Aberystwyth | Friday – 19:45
Connah’s Quay lead the pack in the WPL with two wins and no goals conceded so far.

But we did see several goals in the three meetings between these sides last season – six goals in both league meetings (CQ 5-1 Aber, Aber 4-2 CQ), and another five in the Welsh Cup final (CQ 4-1 Aber).

After beating Llandudno on the opening weekend, Aberystwyth were disappointing in their defeat at home to Cardiff Met last Friday (1-4), and Neville Powell will want a reaction from his players against his former club at Deeside.

Bala Town v Cefn Druids | Friday – 19:45
The Bala boys will be feeling aggrieved with the way they lost the game at Barry through a controversial Kayne McLaggon winner.

But worse than that, Colin Caton will have to deal with the suspensions of Sean Smith, Evan Horwood and Chris Venables who all saw red at Jenner Park.

The Druids are the only club who are still without a point in the WPL this season, and Huw Griffiths will be especially frustrated with they way his side threw away a 2-0 lead against Llanelli last Saturday.

Bala won both of their home fixtures against the Druids last season, while the Druids won twice at the Rock, so do the home team have the advantage at Maes Tegid on Friday…?

Saturday, 25 August

Llandudno v Newtown | Saturday – 14:30
Despite the big changes at Llandudno, they are the only club not to have scored a goal in their opening two matches of the new season.

But Iwan Williams’ men have been solid at the other end of the park conceding only once in two games.

Newtown have won their last four matches against Llandudno, and after beating Caernarfon last weekend the Robins are looking to go on a good run.

The New Saints v Carmarthen | Saturday – 14:30
TNS will be hoping to bounce back following their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Connah’s Quay last Sunday.

The Old Gold are without a win this season and it will be another tough challenge for Neil Smothers’ side on Saturday.

The Saints scored 10 goals in two games against Carmarthen last season.

Sunday, 26 August

Cardiff Met v Caernarfon | Sunday – 14:30
The Archers will be aiming to keep their 100% record intact when the Canaries visit the capital on Sunday.

Met winger, Eliot Evans starts the weekend as the WPL top scorer with three goals in two games.

Sean Eardley felt that his side were unlucky to come away empty-handed from Newtown last Friday night after a strong performance from the Cofis.

This will be the first ever meeting between these two clubs.

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