Date: Wed 19 Apr 2017

Dafabet WPL MD32 Preview

Well here we are – the final round of fixtures of the regular season, and what a term it has been in The Dafabet Welsh Premier League! Home advantage in the playoffs and an Irn Bru Cup spot are still up for grabs this weekend, as well as a possible highest-ever finish for Cefn Druids if results go their way. Read on to find out about Saturday’s six fixtures.

Bangor City v Carmarthen Town AFC | Saturday, April 22nd 2017 (17:15 Live on Sgorio)

This game is all about momentum going into the playoffs, and if The Citizens get a victory then they could have some serious clout behind them going into their clash with Newtown AFC next month, particularly after their superb Good Friday victory over The New Saints at The Bangor University Stadium.

For Carmarthen, on the other hand, their early Phase Two form has completely dissipated, with no wins in their last seven games, and they’re in danger of being overtaken by Cardiff Metropolitan into fifth place and handing the home advantage to The Students in their impending Playoff Clash.

These two sides couldn’t be at more different places going into this game, with Bangor on a huge high and Carmarthen coming in off the back of a 4-0 defeat to Cardiff at Richmond Park last time out, but if The Old Gold get back to their mentality earlier in Phase Two, just trying to enjoy themselves and relishing the position they find themselves in with a playoff place guaranteed, then they’ve already won once at Bangor this season. Might they do it again?


Bala Town FC v The New Saints | Saturday, April 22nd 2017 (17:15)

A dress rehearsal of next weekend’s JD Welsh Cup Final, The Lakesiders go into this game knowing a victory will give them their highest ever points total in The Dafabet Welsh Premier League, but that this won’t necessarily guarantee them another second place finish and an Irn Bru Cup place for next season.

With both of these teams having lost their last fixture, these are certainly very rare circumstances and, depending on the way this fixture goes, one team could go into next week’s game off the back of two consecutive defeats.

For Colin Caton’s side to secure second, they need to better The Nomads’ result down in the capital against Cardiff Met, but, regardless of that, with European football secured for both sides, matches between these two sides are always full of intrigue and entertainment, so perhaps we’ll see a super clash at Maes Tegid on Saturday!


Cardiff Metropolitan v Gap Connah’s Quay | Saturday, April 22nd 2017 (17:15)

Well, The Students got a smashing victory over The Old Gold last weekend, didn’t they? 4-0? What a result, especially away from home against Mark Aizlewood’s men!

Now the challenge is to carry that into the playoffs, but first Cardiff have to overcome Andy Morrison’s Nomads, who are a win away from securing an historic runners-up finish in The Dafabet Welsh Premier League, just 18 months after taking the reins at Deeside when the club were in the relegation zone.

An Irn Bru Cup place is also on the line for The Nomads, which would surely be a great source of pride for their Scottish boss to take his Welsh side into a competition against other Celtic sides – certainly Bala and TNS have relished that experience this season – so this game has an awful lot on it for both sides, and is the only WPL game in South Wales on this final day of the season, so don’t miss it!


Rhyl FC v Llandudno FC | Saturday, April 22nd 2017 (17:15)

Its free entry for this game at The Belle Vue, as The Lilywhites will contest their last Dafabet WPL game at the stadium for at least another season and both of these sides are finishing the season how they started it, by facing off against each other in Sunny Rhyl.

With nothing really on the line for either side, with Rhyl already confirmed as relegated and a European Playoff place out of reach for The Seasiders, pride is all that is on the line this Saturday, but it goes without saying that Niall McGuinness will want to have his young men bowing out of Wales’ Premier division with a bang and not a whimper, so expect a spirited performance from The Lilywhites.

As for Llandudno, Alan Morgan is far from a happy manager at the moment, particularly after the team’s last two defeats to Aberystwyth and Cefn Druids meaning that the side are winless in six games. It hasn’t been the season they wanted at Maesdu Park, but still, a chance to end it on a positive note this weekend could stand the team in good stead going into next season.


Cefn Druids v Airbus UK Broughton | Saturday, April 22nd 2017 (17:15)

Huw Griffiths was one of the happiest men in Wales last weekend, without a doubt, as his Ancients secured Dafabet WPL status for next season with a superb performance against Llandudno at The Rock.

A 3-2 win for Druids doesn’t do their performance justice, as they controlled the majority of the game and put in a real shift against a Llandudno side who looked like they’d only had a few weeks off since the start of last season.

Andy Thomas is probably at the opposite end of that spectrum, as his Wingmakers were thumped 7-0 by Newtown AFC at The Hollingsworth Group Stadium on Good Friday, and this Druids game presents an opportunity to finish the season on some sort of high if they can secure a result at The Rock, or put in a strong performance. The Ancients are chasing highest ever WPL finish of eighth though, so they’ll be very much up for this game, indeed!


Newtown AFC v Aberystwyth Town | Saturday, April 22nd 2017 (17:15)

What a turnaround at Park Avenue! After securing just one point in their previous five fixtures, The Seasiders have now picked up seven points from their last three games and not conceded a goal on the way to securing survival in The Dafabet Wesh Premier League, ranking alongside Newtown AFC and Bangor City as the only three sides to feature in every season of The Welsh Premier League.

Facing Newtown this weekend will be perhaps the biggest test yet to the new management structure, as The Robins have been in some unbelievable form since the new year and haven’t lost in 11 matches, with seven wins coming in that run, most recently the 7-0 win over Airbus last weekend.

Jason Oswell will be lining up for his last fixture of the season in Ceredigion, as Newtown’s star striker will miss the playoffs to undertake some humanitarian work in Uganda with a charity called Knowledge for Change, helping children with neurological conditions.

He’s had a great season, sitting pretty at the top of The Dafabet WPL Top Scorers chart with 22 goals, seven clear of TNS’ Greg Draper and Alex Darlington, so it seems fairly certain that Oswell will take the golden boot come season’s end barring something unbelievable happening at Maes Tegid.

Both of these sides have been in good form over the last few weeks and have contested some great fixtures throughout the season, so make sure you don’t miss this final outing between the two.


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Cefn Druids 3-1 Bala