Saints setting the pace

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The New Saints have gone three points clear at the top of the table, but four clubs are chasing them down, including Bala Town who travel to Park Avenue on Saturday night.

Friday, 14 September

Connah’s Quay v Newtown | Friday – 19:45
Connah’s Quay have lost their last two league games, and following a strong start to the season where they beat TNS, the Nomads are now one of four clubs that are three points behind the champions.

Andy Morrison will be determined not to lose three WPL games on the bounce since his appointment as Nomads manager in November 2015.

Newtown have won their two home games this season, but are yet to win away.

The Robins haven’t won away against Connah’s Quay in three years (August 2015), and have not scored on their last three visits to the Deeside Stadium.

Llanelli v The New Saints | Friday – 19:45
TNS hit six past Aberystwyth on Tuesday night to move away from the pack in the WPL as they go in search of their eighth consecutive title.

Scott Ruscoe’s side have scored 15 goals in their last three league outings without conceding a single goal.

Llanelli are still waiting for their first home win at Stebonheath this season (drawn 1, lost 1),

TNS won 6-0 on their last visit to Llanelli with Chris Jones, who now plays for the Reds, netting twice for the Saints.

Saturday, 15 September

Caernarfon v Barry Town | Saturday – 14:30
It’s been a strong start for Sean Eardley’s Cofis who have won against three of last season’s Top Six sides.

Caernarfon have only scored three goals in five games, but those goals have been enough to secure 1-0 wins against Cefn Druids, Cardiff Met and Connah’s Quay.

Gavin Chesterfield’s men have beaten title challengers Bala Town and Connah’s Quay at Jenner Park this season, but have failed to win any of their four away games (3 WPL, 1 League Cup).

The clubs went head-to-head in the Welsh Cup third round last season when Jamie Breese and Nathan Craig secured a 2-0 win for the Cofis.

The last league match between the sides at the Oval ended in embarrassment for Barry as Caernarfon won 8-0 to record their biggest ever win in the WPL back in 2003.

Cefn Druids v Carmarthen | Saturday – 14:30
The Druids have had a slow start to the season, losing four of their opening five fixtures.

Those four defeats have only been by a one goal margin which should encourage the Druids to start picking up some points.

Carmarthen have lost both of their away games this season, but have been solid at home and are yet to concede at Richmond Park.

These games tend to be tight affairs as there has only been one goal scored in the last three meetings between these sides (Carm 0-1 Cefn, Cefn 0-0 Carm, Carm 0-0 Cefn).

Aberystwyth v Bala Town | Saturday – 19:30 (S4C)
Bala Town travel to Aberystwyth in search of their first away win of the season.

The Lakesiders have impressed at home, but have lost on their travels to Newtown and Barry.

Two of Bala’s summer signings have settled quickly at Maes Tegid with Henry Jones winning the first ‘WPL Player of the Month’ award for his sparkling performances in August, while Bala top scorer Steven Tames won the ‘Goal of the Month’ accolade, although Henry Jones will take most of the credit for that one as well due to his delightful rabona assist.

Aberystwyth enjoyed a remarkable 4-0 win when Bala last visited Park Avenue as Neville Powell’s side knocked the Welsh Cup holders out of the competition.

But it’s been four years since the Black & Greens have won a league fixture at home to Bala Town, so Colin Caton will be confident that his side can keep the pressure on table-toppers TNS.

Aberystwyth suffered a 6-0 defeat at the hands of the champions on Tuesday night and will want to put that right this weekend.

The heavy loss was Aber’s worst result in the WPL in six years, since the 7-1 defeat to Bangor in September 2012 who were managed by Neville Powell.

Sunday, 16 September

Cardiff Met v Llandudno | Sunday – 14:30
Llandudno breathed a sigh of relief last Saturday as they claimed their first league win of the season to climb out of the bottom two.

Iwan Williams’ side have one of the worst attacking records in the league (3 goals in 5 games), but have been solid defensively, conceding only three times.

Cardiff Met have had a decent start to the season and a win would keep them tight on the heels of TNS .

Llandudno have not won any of their previous four WPL games against Cardiff Met, with goals being limited in all four meetings to date (Llan 0-0 Met, Met 1-0 Llan, Met 1-1 Llan, Llan 0-1 Met).

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