Druids aim to climb off rock bottom

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Connah’s Quay have gone three points clear at the top of the table, but there is a big game scheduled for Saturday night as struggling Cefn Druids and Llandudno look to kick-start their season live on Sgorio.

Friday, 31 August

Aberystwyth v Llanelli | Friday – 19:45
After beating Llandudno 1-0 on the opening weekend, Aberystwyth have lost two on the bounce in the WPL to two tough oppositions in Cardiff Met and Connah’s Quay.

Declan Walker has been moved into a more attacking role after his fine scoring season from the right-back season, and strangely it’s the new right-back Wes Baynes who has now taken over as Aber’s leading scorer with two goals in his last two league games.

Many were worrying that it could be a long and troublesome season for Llanelli especially after their 0-7 thumping at home to Connah’s Quay on their return to the top flight.

But since then, Andy Hill’s reds have beaten the Druids and picked up a point against Barry and have started to find their feet in the WPL.

Caernarfon v The New Saints | Friday – 19:45
Only goal difference separates the Canaries and the Saints who have both won twice and lost once in the league this season.

Caernarfon have kept two clean sheets in three WPL matches, but there was disappointment for the Cofi Army on Tuesday night as they lost 4-2 to Rhyl in the Nathaniel MG Cup despite being 2-0 up at the break.

TNS were back to their old tricks as they knocked six past the Old Gold last weekend to stay tight on the heels of the Nomads.

These two sides have met several times in cup competitions over the last few years, but this will be their first league meeting in nine years.

Saturday, 1 September

Carmarthen v Cardiff Met | Saturday – 14:30
The Old Gold only have one point and one goal to their name after a tough start to the WPL season (Bala 2-1 Cfin, Cfin 0-0 Llno, TNS 6-0 Cfin).

It’ll be another test for Carmarthen on Saturday as Cardiff Met venture to Richmond Park on the back of a 0-1 defeat to Caernarfon.

The students look to stay within touching distance of the front runners while Carmarthen are eager to get their first win and to avoid another long season down the deep end.

Barry Town v Connah’s Quay | Saturday – 14:30
Leaders Connah’s Quay travel to Jenner Park looking to keep their 100% record intact.

The Nomads are the only club to win their opening three fixtures and had not conceded until Wes Baynes’ late consolation strike for Aberystwyth last weekend.

The Barry boys will still be wondering how they didn’t come away from Stebonheath with all three points as they missed chance after chance against Llanelli last Friday.

But since Barry have already given Bala a shock at Jenner Park this season, it definitely won’t be an easy ride for Andy Morrison’s men.

Newtown v Bala Town | Saturday – 14:30
Henry Jones scored a delightful last minute winner for Bala against the Druids last weekend to keep things tight at the top.

Newtown’s only win so far this season came from their only home fixture so far (Dre 2-0 Cfon).

But Bala Town have not lost away to Newtown at Latham Park since October 2013 (five years).

Cefn Druids v Llandudno | Saturday – 19:30 (S4C)
Cefn Druids enjoyed a sensational summer after their highest ever WPL finish resulted in an European adventure… but things can change quickly in the world of football.

Having lost their three WPL matches this season, Cefn Druids are bottom of the table and are the only club without a single point.

And there was more disappointment for Huw Griffiths’ side on Tuesday as they were knocked out of the Nathaniel MG Cup in extra time by Huws Gray leaders Airbus UK.

What will make things harder to take is that the Druids have lost all three of their last outings to last minute goals – Cefn 2-3 Llni, Bala 2-1 Cefn, Cefn 3-4 Air (a.e.t).

The Druids were the ‘underdogs’ last season – as they enjoyed a successful year with no expectations on their shoulders.

But after a 5th placed finish and an European return, their rivals have started giving the Druids more respect which has made things more complicated for Huw Griffiths’ Ancients.

It’s a similar story to what happened at Llandudno a few years back – they finished 3rd in their first season in the WPL when they were the ‘unknowns’ – but slipped down to 9th the following year.

Llandudno are the only club not to have scored in their opening three games in the WPL this season, but they do have two points on the board after goalless draws against Carmarthen and Newtown.

Iwan Williams’ side did manage a goal in the Nathaniel MG Cup on Tuesday as John Owen grabbed the only goal of the game against his old club, Bangor, and it could be the goal that Llandudno needed to lift their confidence as they are without a league win since March.

One thing is for sure, both managers will be desperate to get their seasons going, and what better time to do it than in front of the live cameras on Sgorio this Saturday.

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