WPL Round UP: The Champions fall and race for Europe heats up
The second weekend of Phase Two in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League proved to a memorable one for a variety of reasons. The league title, race for Europe and relegation fight all saw key results that could have a significant effect on the final table standings.
Photo Credit: NCM Media
Carmarthen 1-0 The New Saints
The New Saints lost their first game since a 3-0 defeat to Apoel Nicosia in July 2016 on Saturday. Liam Thomas’ goal on the stroke of half time was enough for Carmarthen to become the first team to defeat TNS this season. After the opener the Saints threw everything at the Old Gold to retain their unbeaten record with Scott Quigley going closest but to no avail with Carmarthen holding on for a famous win.
Carmarthen’s victory makes for stunning form having beaten gap Connah’s Quay away the previous week, with their latest win ensuring TNS’ wait to lift the league title is extended.
Bangor 2-1 gap Connah’s Quay
Henry Jones became Bangor City’s hero when his quick fire brace sent Bangor 2-0 up within 20 minutes in a game where they had to win to keep the automatic Europe dream alive. gap Connah’s Quay got one back via Matty Owen in the first half and were infuriated to have two goals disallowed as well as a disputed penalty claim, but they lacked their usual fire and moved to third three points below Bala Town.
Bala Town 3-1 Cardiff Met
Bala Town enjoyed their Friday night against the Students, breaking out from a 1-1 score to take all three points.
Bala’s Chris Venables and Cardiff’s Kyle McCarthy both scored to send the sides in level, but two goals in four minutes from Mike Hayes and Stuart Jones saw Bala take control in the second half and hold out for a valuable win which sends them second.
Airbus UK 0-0 Llandudno
Airbus and Llandudno will have both walked away from this fixture disappointed with a point a piece. Both sides created major goal scoring chances but none were clinical enough, with Marc Willliams consistently threatening and Airbus’ Glenn Rule being denied a 35 yard wonder strike.
The result keeps Airbus bottom of the table, with Llandudno 7th but only one point above the chasing Cefn Druids and Aberystywth Town.
Newtown 3-2 Rhyl
After their 3-3 draw in Phase One, Newtown and Rhyl had another thrilling battle at Latham Park on Saturday. Jason Oswell sent Newtown ahead but Stefan Halewood equalised for Rhyl. Oswell got a brace in the second half but Rhyl yet again equalised via Kristian Pierce just 13 minutes from full time.
Just as the game looked to be ending with both teams level, an 88th minute goal from Nick Rushton gave the Robins a much needed win which sends them 10th and only two points away from 7th.
Cefn Druids 2-1 Aberystwyth Town
Cefn Druids continued their impressive start to Phase Two with a 2-1 win over Aberystwyth. Druids’ Nathan Peate and Aberystwyth’s John Owen both scored to make it 1-1 at the interval with Ashley Ruane sending Druids into the lead just two minutes after the restart.
Aberystwyth pushed for an equaliser in order to avoid going home empty handed, but this was their fate as Druids saw the game out to go 8th in the league and one point away from Llandudno in the Europa League play off position.