For stupendous form, see Aberystwyth Town. The Seasiders have absolutely stormed their way to fifth place in the standings, trailing Bala in fourth on goal difference alone, and sitting just three adrift of second place.
What a run it has been for Neville Powell’s side in recent weeks, the only team in the league with an unblemished record across their last five JDWPL fixtures, and this weekend they welcome the Old Gold to Park Avenue, who are experiencing somewhat of a resurgence themselves. The last time the sides met here, Aber got the point they needed to ensure survival at the back end of last season, though they lost the corresponding fixture on New Year's Day, in which Lee Idzi managed to get on the scoresheet.
The form guide may just show two wins in the last five, but Neil Smothers’ side have been impressive in recent weeks and will have felt unlucky not to have been going into this game off the back of three consecutive victories, after falling to a sublime comeback by Cefn Druids in MD14 action.
Cefn Druids will have had some thinking to do after their MD15 defeat to Llanelli Town, where Andy Hill’s side controlled proceedings at Stebonheath Park. The Reds were excellent as they overcame the Ancients 2-0 for their first win in six, and that leaves Druids with one win in their last five outings – although until the MD15 defeat they were unbeaten in four.
Bala themselves suffered a disappointing result in MD15 action and will have had plenty of time to mull over how best to move forward from here as they succumbed to a last-gasp defeat against the in-form Aberystwyth last time out, with the Seasiders securing a Phase One double over the Lakesiders.
There is no chance that Bala will drop out of the top six this weekend, nor can Druids be pulled back into the relegation zone, but a victory for either of these sides would be crucial as they look to build momentum with the split fast approaching.
It hasn’t been the best of weeks for the Nomads, who certainly have had an opportunity to catch a break in recent times – their 2-1 win over Queens Park at Hampden Park was a famous moment, but since then a draw at Newtown and a first-ever defeat to Cardiff Met at the end of a bonkers week in the Nathaniel MG Cup semis means the Nomads are out of the competition thanks to the Archers.
They’re still top of the JDWPL standings by a point, so that will please Morrison no-end, especially in a period where they’ve only secured one JDWPL win in their last five, so there is plenty of room for improvement for the Nomads, and with half of their remaining Phase One fixtures coming against sides in the bottom six, perhaps they can go on a run of picking up victories.
For Llandudno, it was a bitter blow to them two weeks ago to lose to the Old Gold at the Giant Hospitality Stadium, with Llanelli’s win over Druids meaning the Reds leapfrogged the Seasiders to put Iwan Williams’ side bottom of the league. They also lost the services of Gary Taylor-Fletcher midweek, who returned to Bangor City to take over the vacant manager's role.
We would also like to offer our condolences to Nomads boss Andy Morrison, after his brother passed away this week in hospital.
Llanelli will feel like they’re competing for top honours in the league after the manner of their victory over Cefn Druids in MD15 finally brought the club their first home victory of this 2018/19 season and took them off the foot of the table.
With a two-week break for both of these sides since bagging significant wins in MD15, confidence will be sky high for Andy Hill’s side and Sean Eardley’s Cofis, with Llanelli keen to overturn the 3-0 defeat they suffered up at the Oval back in September, and after the way they performed against Druids last time out they’ll be eager to follow that up with their second home victory of the term.
Caernarfon are coming into this one off the back of a break also, and two big victories over TNS and Cardiff Met, but will be weary of the fact that their opponents this weekend could well be a different animal to the one they faced before in Gwynedd. Who do you see taking this one? Can Llanelli grab consecutive wins for the first time this season, or will the Cofis make it three straight victories?
A big game for both of these sides as they look to build some momentum for different reasons, The New Saints welcome Cardiff Met to Park Hall this Saturday for the reverse of Met’s 4-1 thumping of the champions at Cyncoed earlier in the season.
Whilst The New Saints have won more recently in the JDWPL, their defeat to Cambrian & Clydach in the Nathaniel MG Cup semis on Friday night will have been a big blow to them as it means they’ve only won one of their last five fixtures in all competitions, but Met secured an historic first-ever win over the Nomads to advance to the final of the same competition on Saturday.
Met’s league form needs a jolt, with just two points amassed from their last five fixtures, and they must do better if they’re to achieve their goals, but perhaps their cup final berth can prove the perfect inspiration for Christian Edwards’ side to find more consistency.
A big game live in front of the Sgorio cameras on Saturday evening, as we have two of this season’s surprise packages competing at Jenner Park as Barry host Newtown.
Gavin Chesterfield’s side lost their first game in some time in MD15 as The New Saints walked away from Jenner Park with all three points, but the Dragons have had two weeks off to process that fixture now and regroup, so they’ll be itching to get back to winning ways against the Robins.
Chris Hughes’ side secured a creditable draw some 10 days ago against the Nomads, and are in a decent run of form themselves, and it would mean an awful lot to Newtown to be able to travel home from this late fixture at Jenner Park with all three points.
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