The third and perhaps final fixture between these two sides this season, depending on where Chris Hughes and Colin Caton’s sides end up after the split in January and JD Welsh Cup draws of course, promises to be just as intriguing as the previous iterations with both Bala and Newtown having won one each of their previous fixtures in The JD WPL and Nathaniel MG Cup.
A seemingly comfortable 4-0 win on opening night over Newtown for The Lakesiders is one of only two wins Bala have secured in eight league games so far, with Caton’s side only scoring two more goals since then. The performance against Bangor last weekend offered plenty of encouragement, as Bala put in perhaps their best performance of the season and only narrowly came up short against the table-topping Citizens.
For The Robins, they got their revenge over Bala in The Nathaniel MG Cup at Maes Tegid a few weeks ago by knocking The Lakesiders out of the competition, and currently sit two points higher up the standings than their opponents tonight. Don’t forget to follow the action on Sgorio’s Facebook page.
Having conceded for the first time since opening night on Tuesday against Connah’s Quay Nomads in their 2-2 draw at The Deeside Stadium, Scott Ruscoe in his post-match interview did seem to cut somewhat of a frustrated figure that their clean sheet run had come to an end.
We don’t think six consecutive clean sheets is that bad, but there we are – The New Saints will have an opportunity to get back to their usual defensive stinginess on Saturday as Neil Gibson’s Seasiders travel to Park Hall with Prestatyn bouncing as a result of their last-gasp victory at Bastion Gardens over Carmarthen last week.
Having only conceded one more goal than The New Saints themselves so far this season, Prestatyn’s problem hasn’t necessarily been defensively but at the other end of the pitch when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net. Finding clear goal-scoring opportunities on Saturday won’t be easy either, so Gibson’s men will have to be at their best to take them and secure any points for their trip back home post-match. Don’t miss it.
Seven points from their last three games is something both of these teams can boast to have achieved, and both are coming into the fixture at Jenner Park in a rich vein of form.
Barry Town United have certainly impressed on their return to JD WPL level, and Cefn Druids have done remarkably well with their early season form too as The Ancients sit in sixth place at the moment on 12 points with The Dragons one point further back in seventh.
Kayne McLaggon has been one of the stars of the season so far, with his goal-scoring exploits a bit factor behind Barry’s success, but he came off early against Aberystwyth last week and was strapped up heavily in the Bangor victory where he scored the crucial goal a week before, so might he be absent on Saturday? Druids’ team is starting to take shape too, with new midfielder Alec Mudimu beginning to make a name for himself at this level.
Get down to Jenner Park and see how this one goes!
A tough result to take up in North Wales last weekend as The Old Gold lost out in the last minute to Prestatyn Town will be quickly forgotten, if Mark Aizlewood’s men can repeat last season’s success against The Nomads and secure victory.
A draw against TNS in their last game will leave Andy Morrison with mixed emotions, perhaps, coming into this game, as in truth The New Saints’ two goals in that fixture came from two entirely preventable defensive errors, which will no doubt frustrate Morrison no end, but on the other hand his team showed great desire to get back into the game after both goals.
Carmarthen have posed The Nomads real problems at times over their last few encounters, so don’t miss this one on Saturday afternoon as there could be a big result in store for the team currently at the foot of the table.
A 2-0 loss to Llandudno was the result for Aberystwyth Town when they hosted Alan Morgan’s men earlier in the season, and Neville Powell’s men are the only team left in The JD WPL without a win so far this season – three draws and five defeats are what they have to show for their efforts so far this season.
Llandudno are in the middle of a slide themselves at the moment, having lost to The New Saints, Cefn Druids and Cardiff Met in their last three games after embarking on a five-match unbeaten run to start the season, so perhaps this as good a time as any for Aberystwyth to play them.
Returning to Maesdu Park will be very welcome to Llandudno, after their lengthy trip to the capital last week, and they’ll be hoping to return to winning ways too.
There’s just something about these fixtures, isn’t there? Last season there were some classics between these two sides and their clash at Cyncoed earlier this term was a great one too, and now Christian Edwards’ charges head up the A470 to take on the table-toppers after inflicting Bangor’s first defeat of the season last month.
Granted, it hasn’t traditionally gone Met’s way when they’ve ventured to Gwynedd, whether against Bala Town or Bangor City in The JDWPL, but with Met returning to the scene where they were stopped at the very last hurdle from reaching The UEFA Europa League last year, can that bring something extra out of them and see Cardiff secure two wins from two in Phase One against Kevin Nicholson’s side?
There’s only one thing for it. Get over to The Bangor University Stadium on Saturday afternoon and find out for yourself!