WPL weekend preview


This weekend is packed with WPL fixtures as it all begins on Friday night when Cefn Druids face Bangor City in the Top Six, and the action will reach it’s climax on Sunday night when Carmarthen face Aberystwyth live on S4C in a must-win match for the struggling Old Gold.

Friday, 23 February

Cefn Druids v Bangor City | Friday – 19:45
After Cefn Druids’ first ever win over Cardiff Met last weekend (1-3) the students have took a hit a in their attempt to finish 2nd.

Connah’s Quay (2nd) and Bangor City (3rd) are level on points while Bala is only two points behind with a game in hand – but finishing 3rd has been enough to secure an European spot in the last three season as the Welsh Cup winners had already qualified, so there’s plenty to play for in the Top Six.

Bangor are without an away win in their last four WPL trips, and have only won one of their last six WPL fixtures on the road, that win coming at The Rock against Cefn Druids in December (0-2).

A win for the Druids would put them level on points with Cardiff Met, and finishing 5th could potentially secure a home tie in the play-off semi finals.

Cefn Druids have not won at home against Bangor City since March 2009.

Last meetings:
Cefn Druids 0-2 Bangor City (16/12/17)
Bangor City 0-1 Cefn Druids (27/10/17)

Saturday, 24 February

Connah’s Quay v The New Saints | Saturday – 14:00
The New Saints start the weekend 12 points clear at the top of the table and need only 10 points from their remaining eight WPL fixtures to secure the title for the seventh consecutive season.

Scott Ruscoe will demand a win from his players following their disappointing defeat in the Irn Bru Cup semi final last weekend.

TNS have the best attacking record in the league with Greg Draper (15 goals) leading the WPL top scorer chart, while Connah’s Quay boast the strongest defence in the league.

The Nomads have not scored a single goal at Park Hall since December 2012, and have not won away against TNS since October 1995.

The clubs will meet yet again next weekend in the Welsh Cup quarter final, when the Saints hope to knock Connah’s Quay out of the Welsh Cup for the third consecutive season, having already knocked the Nomads out of the League Cup this season for the second year running.

Last meetings:
The New Saints 3-0 Connah’s Quay (19/12/17)
Connah’s Quay 0-1 The New Saints (20/11/17) League Cup Semi Final
Connah’s Quay 2-2 The New Saints (10/10/17)

Barry Town v Llandudno | Saturday – 16:15
Only two points separate Barry Town (7th) and Llandudno (8th) in the race for the play-offs.

Barry have won their two games since the split and sit comfortably on top of the Top Six with a game in hand.

Gavin Chesterfield’s men have only lost once in their last six home games in the WPL (won 4, drawn 1, lost 1).

While Llandudno have only won one in five away from home (won 1, drawn 2, lost 2), scoring only three goals in their last five on the road.

Last meetings:
Barry Town 2-0 Llandudno (11/11/17)
Llandudno 1-0 Barry Town (16/09/17)

Bala Town v Cardiff Met | Saturday – 17:30
Colin Caton’s Lakesiders have a 100% record against Cardiff Met in the WPL having won all six of the meetings between the sides in the WPL since the students’ promotion in 2016.

It’s a tough period for Christian Edwards’ crew who have lost six of their last seven games, only avoiding defeat against Carmarthen (11th) during that run.

Cardiff Met have only won two of their last 12 WPL fixtures (Carm 0-2 Met, Met 3-0 Bar).

Bala Town, on the other hand are on an impressive run having only lost one in nine games (Bala 0-3 TNS).

The Lakesiders have been scraping wins as they have not scored more than once in any of their last six games, and have not scored more than twice in a game since October.

Last meetings:
Cardiff Met 1-2 Bala Town (16/12/17)
Bala Town 2-1 Cardiff Met (26/08/17)

Sunday, 25 February

Prestatyn v Newtown | Sunday – 14:30
Prestatyn start the weekend at the bottom of the table, 10 points from safety and look likely to be relegated straight back down to the Huws Gray Alliance.

Both clubs were fined this week for the melee which included players and technical staff during their last meeting.

January 2014 was the last time Prestatyn beat Newtown in the WPL (4 years ago).

Prestatyn are on a run of 11 games without a win in all competitions but did manage to pick up a point at Aberystwyth last weekend (drawn 1, lost 10).

Last meetings:
Newtown 3-0 Prestatyn (13/01/18)
Prestatyn 0-0 Newtown (23/10/17)

Carmarthen v Aberystwyth | Sunday – 17:15 (S4C)
With eight points separating Carmarthen (11th) and Aberystwyth (10th), this will surely be a must-win match for the Old Gold if they are to avoid relegation.

Aberystwyth were the only club to lose twice against Carmarthen in the first phase of the season.

Neil Smothers’ side have won their last two home games, and have scored 12 goals in their last four outings (4-1 vs Air, 3-1 v Pres, 3-2 v New, lost 3-2 v Llan).

The addition of ex-Aber striker Mark Jones to the Carmarthen squad has been effective as he has already scored once and made four assists in only three WPL appearances since returning to Richmond Park.

The clubs will meet again next weekend in the Welsh Cup quarter final.

Last meetings:
Aberystwyth 1-2 Carmarthen (01/01/18)
Carmarthen 1-0 Aberystwyth (26/12/17)

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

On this day in history

18 March

On this day in 1981 Newport County hosted East German side, Carl Zeiss Jena