JD Welsh Premier League Round Up: Matchday 14
The New Saints may have retaken the top spot in the Welsh Premier League with fourteen games played, but this has done little to ease the tension in the table which sees just two points separating the top four.
The race for the top six also remains wide open with no team yet consigned to the bottom six in what should make for a fascinating end of Phase One.
Connah’s Quay Nomads 0-2 Bangor City
Bangor City became only the second team to defeat Connah’s Quay at Deeside in a big win for Kevin Nicholson’s side.
Nomads were on a run of nine games unbeaten which started after an away defeat to the Citizens, who returned to once again get the better of Andy Morrison’s men.
Two goals in two minutes from Dean Rittenburg and Steven Hewitt gave Bangor a firm lead before Nomads were reduced to 10 men when George Horan was shown a straight red.
The second half saw Bangor retain their lead well in a Citizens’ victory only dampened by a red card for Laurence Wilson, who was shown a second yellow late on in the game.
Llandudno 0-1 The New Saints
Following a shock loss to Barry Town at Park Hall, TNS got back to winning ways on Friday evening at Llandudno.
A close range Greg Draper goal after good work from Ryan Brobbel was enough to inflict defeat on Llandudno in Iwan Williams’ first game as manager at Maesdu Park.
Williams did however have plenty of positives to take away from the game, as Llandudno frustrated TNS for much of the game with an effective 4-3-3 system.
It was an encouraging performance in the early stages of the Iwan Williams era, whilst TNS picked up another three points to keep the pressure on the likes of Connah’s Quay and Cardiff Met.
Aberystwyth 1-2 Bala Town
Aberystwyth’s push for top six contention was damaged by a Bala Town side in a rich vein of form on Friday evening.
The first half saw both sides gunning for the advantage, with Aberystwyth keeper Chris Mullock pulling off a great double save to keep the deadlock on for half time.
Bala’s Mike Hayes struck first in the second half, sending a low effort past Mullock on 52 minutes.
The travelling Lakesiders looked to have sealed the victory when Hayes got his brace on 80 minutes, but four minutes later Jonny Spittle reduced the deficit for Aberystwyth Town.
Despite flashes of a late comeback from Neville Powell’s side, Bala held on for the win which extends their unbeaten run to six games.
Newtown 3-0 Barry Town United
The Robins claimed all three points against Barry Town in one of the weekend’s two Saturday afternoon fixtures.
Despite the scoreline, the first half was an even affair which saw Barry start well as they came to Newtown in high spirits after two consecutive league victories.
But a second half goal from Tom Goodwin saw the Robins get in front, with pressure from Barry following as they went close via Kayne McLaggon and Louis Gerrard.
Newtown held on for a tight close to proceedings, with Luke Bounford sealing victory late on with a brace.
The result provides Newtown a much needed boost to go three points clear of the relegation zone, whilst Barry remain within touching distance of the top six.
Carmarthen Town 0-3 Prestatyn Town
Carmarthen’s season has hit a crisis point as their latest defeat leaves them 11 points adrift at the top of the table.
Prestatyn Town enjoyed their away day with Ben Maher netting after five minutes, with Carmarthen being dealt a blow after half an hour when Jordan Knott was sent off.
The second half saw some inspired substitutions from Prestatyn, as Alec Williams came on to score in the 68th minute followed by substitute Jack Higgins sealing the Seasiders’ win three minutes from time.
Prestatyn’s win keeps them in the race for the top six whilst unless there’s a significant turnaround of affairs, relegation to the Welsh Football League is a serious possibility for the Old Gold.
Cardiff Met 1-1 Cefn Druids
Cardiff Met missed their chance to go top of the table with a score draw against Cefn Druids on Sunday afternoon.
Nathan Peate sent Cefn Druids ahead on 24 minutes, with the Students’ star man Adam Roscrow equalising before the break.
A cagey affair in the second half saw Joel Edwards shown a straight red card for a tackle on Druids’ Fisnik Hadjari.
A ten men Met were forced to hold on against Druids who began to dominate possession, but the Students held on to maintain their unbeaten record at Cyncoed Campus.
The result will feel like two points lost for both sides as they look to continue their strong JD Welsh Premier campaigns so far.