JD Cymru Premier weekend preview

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The second phase of the JD Cymru Premier season kicks off this weekend and with only 10 league games left to play it’s going to be an interesting race for the title, a tight battle for that all-important 7th place, and a serious scrap to avoid relegation.

Friday, 7 February

Airbus UK v Cefn Druids | Friday – 19:45
One of the biggest shocks of the January transfer window was seeing Huw Griffiths leave his post as Druids manager and join the coaching staff at Caernarfon.

After two draws at the end of the first phase, Airbus are off the bottom and are only two points from safety.

The Druids haven’t won at the Airfield since September 2014, but Steve O’Shaughnessy’s Wingmakers are on a run of 12 games without a win.

Cefn Druids ended the first phase only one point behind Newtown (6th), and the Ancients will now set their sights on sealing a play-off spot by finishing 7th.

Previous meetings:
Airbus UK 1-1 Cefn Druids (21/12/19)
Cefn Druids 3-1 Airbus UK (23/08/19)

Recent league form:
Airbus UK: ➖❌❌➖➖
Cefn Druids: ➖❌❌❌✅

Pen-y-bont v Carmarthen | Friday – 19:45
A little over a month since these clubs went head to head in a double header over the Christmas period they meet again in what will be another three pointer at the bottom of the table.

Carmarthen start the second phase at the bottom but a win would lift them above their opponents Pen-y-bont (10th).

It looks likely that it will be a three horse race to avoid relegation between Carmarthen, Airbus and Pen-y-bont (Aber are 10pts clear of the drop zone), so the meetings between these sides could prove vital.

Old Gold striker Luke Bowen has already netted 12 times this season, with three of those goals coming against fellow strugglers Pen-y-bont.

Previous meetings:
Pen-y-bont 1-1 Carmarthen (01/01/20)
Carmarthen 3-2 Pen-y-bont (26/12/19)

Recent league form:
Pen-y-bont: ❌➖➖✅❌
Carmarthen: ❌✅➖➖❌

The New Saints v Newtown | Friday – 19:45
The New Saints start the second phase four points clear at the top of the table after seeing off challengers Connah’s Quay on the last weekend before the split (TNS 2-1 CQ).

Ruscoe’s Saints were a point adrift of Barry at this stage last season, but still managed to end the term 12 points clear of the pack, so they will currently feel that they are firmly in the driver’s seat.

TNS have won their last five meetings with Newtown scoring 19 goals and conceding only once.

Previous meetings:
Newtown 0-2 The New Saints (10/01/20)
The New Saints 2-1 Newtown (10/09/19)

Recent league form:
The New Saints: ❌✅✅✅✅
Newtown: ✅➖✅❌➖

Caernarfon v Bala Town | Friday – 20:00 (S4C)
After five games without a win and almost 400 minutes without a goal the Cofis were relieved to knock four at Ammanford in the Welsh Cup on their last outing.

Bala have won their last three meetings with Caernarfon and start the season seven points above the Canaries.

The Lakesiders were in the mix at the top of the table after doing the double over the Cofis over the Christmas period, but since then Colin Caton’s side fell to late defeats against Cardiff Met and Cefn Druids which has left Bala nine points behind the league leaders.

Huw Griffiths will be excited for his first fixture as Caernarfon manager, and after beating Bala in his last league game as Druids manager, he’ll be hoping to repeat that feat with the Cofis on Friday night.

Previous meetings:
Bala Town 3-0 Caernarfon (30/12/19)
Caernarfon 1-2 Bala Town (26/12/19)

Recent league form:
Caernarfon: ❌❌➖❌❌
Bala Town: ❌✅✅❌❌

Saturday, 8 February

Cardiff Met v Aberystwyth | Saturday – 14:30
Cardiff Met begin the sceond phase level on points with Cefn Druids in the race for that elusive 7th spot.

After a difficult spell between September and December the students have gone on a strong run recently winning three on the bounce, losing only once in their last six games.

Aberystwyth start the second phase eight points behind Met (7th) and 10 points above the bottom two, so this weekend’s results could determine if the Black & Greens will be looking up or down for the remainder of the season.

Previous meetings:
Cardiff Met 1-2 Aberystwyth (14/12/19)
Aberystwyth 2-2 Cardiff Met (12/10/19)

Recent league form:
Cardiff Met: ✅➖❌✅✅
Aberystwyth: ❌➖❌✅✅

Barry Town v Connah’s Quay | Saturday – 14:30
Barry Town have arguably done the best deal of the January transfer window by acquiring the signature of former Wales international, David Cotterill.

The Dragons had only scored four goals in seven games before their last outing where they struck seven past a helpless Carmarthen side to secure their biggest top flight win since 2001.

After lifting the Nathaniel MG Cup last weekend, Andy Morrison will now turn his attention to pushing The New Saints all the way in the race for the championship.

Connah’s Quay striker Jamie Insall has already netted three times against Gavin Chesterfield’s men this season, and the Nomads are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Barry Town (won 2, drawn 3).

Previous meetings:
Connah’s Quay 2-0 Barry Town (11/01/20)
Barry Town 0-4 Connah’s Quay (09/11/19)

Recent league form:
Barry Town: ✅➖✅❌✅
Connah’s Quay: ✅✅✅✅❌

Highlights of all the weekend’s action will be on Sgorio on Monday night at 5:30 on S4C.