JD Welsh Premier Round Up: Matchweek 18
There are now no games until after Christmas Day in Wales, but for Welsh Premier League sides it may not be the most relaxing of breaks as the table stays tight with a place in the top six still up for grabs.
TNS 4-0 Aberystwyth Town
TNS came into this game full of confidence having brushed aside their old foes Connah’s Quay Nomads with a 3-0 victory in the week.
The home side struck early with Greg Draper opening the scoring in the sixth minute, and returning to make it 2-0 on 21 minutes. Trademark discipline saw the Champions stay in control of the proceedings, as they added a third goal in the 32nd minute via Chris Marriott.
Aberystwyth had experienced good form of late, but ended up no match for Scott Ruscoe’s side who extended their lead to 4-0 in the final stages of the game with Draper sealing his hat trick.
The result was one of three 4-0’s in the JD Welsh Premier during the weekend, but more importantly for TNS it sends them six points clear at the top as they look to once again be on a title march.
Connah’s Quay Nomads 4-0 Newtown AFC
Newtown’s hopes of a top six finish were all but ended by a rampant Connah’s Quay Nomads at Deeside.
Old hand Michael Wilde scored after just 16 minutes, with Callum Morris driving home with a close range volley on 21 minutes to hand a heavy advantage to Andy Morrison’s side.
Both of Nomads’ first half goals were assisted by Ryan Wignall, who got one his own in the second half when he cut inside of the left wing and sent a low finish in on 53 minutes.
Newtown stayed in the game despite trailing 3-0, but their efforts were limited by a Nomads’ defence boosted by the return of captain George Horan.
Wilde added a fourth deep into injury time, sending a header past keeper David Jones from a Declan Poole cross.
A 4-0 win for Nomads in the @WPL_Official tonight.
First half goals from Michael Wilde and Callum Morris put Nomads in the driving seat, before Ryan Wignall got Nomads' third early in the second half.
Michael Wilde got his brace with a headed goal in injury time.
— Connah's Quay Nomads (@the_nomads) December 22, 2017
Bala Town 2-1 Cefn Druids
Bala claimed a valuable win over this season’s surprise package, Cefn Druids. The visiting side are only in their second consecutive season in the top flight, but are gunning for a top six finish.
After a quiet start, perhaps owing to both sides showing each other too much respect, the game burst into life when Druids’ Ashley Ruane went close, Ian Sheridan headed home to make it 1-0 to Bala on 33 minutes.
Bala did well to hold on against a dangerous Druids in the second half, with the Lakesiders’ Stuart Jones tapping home a corner to null chances of a comeback.
But Naim Arsan brought his side back into the game a wicked half volley goal on 77 minutes before Bala keeper Ashley Morris made a great to prevent an equaliser.
Bala’s win prolong Druids’ top six qualification as they enter a challenging back-to-back set of fixtures against Connah’s Quay Nomads.
Barry Town 4-0 Prestatyn Town
Barry kept the pressure on Druids with an emphatic 4-0 win over Prestatyn. In a historic fixture which saw Prestatyn play at Jenner Park for the first time ever, Barry struck first with Jordan Cotterill making it 1-0 on 15 minutes.
Although the first half belonged to Barry, they couldn’t extend their lead before the break and grew to regret this as Prestatyn came out fighting.
Zyaac Edwards netted to apparently equalise, but this was disallowed as it transpired his shot had gone in off his offside team mate Jack Kenny.
Barry replied with a double from Macauley Southam in the 70th and 75th minute, with Jordan Cotterill bagging a brace 10 minutes later against a then 10-man Prestatyn side after goalkeeper Carl Jones was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.
— ian gwyn hughes (@IanGwyn) December 23, 2017
The win is an early Christmas present for Barry who go into consecutive fixtures against Cardiff Met well in with a chance of beating Druids to sixth place before the January split.
Carmarthen 0-0 Bangor City
The odds were heavily in Bangor’s favour against basement boys Carmarthen, but the Old Gold pulled off an impressive draw against the Citizens.
It was a game of half chances with both sides missing opportunities to break the deadlock. Anthony Miley headed just wide early on for the visitors, who will be frustrated to not have got all three points to secure their second place ranking over Christmas.
Llandudno 0-0 Cardiff Met
The scoreline may look dull, but this midweek game showed things are coming together for new Llandudno manager Iwan Williams.
The game kept both goalkeepers Dave Roberts Will Fuller busy, with Cardiff’s Fuller stopping Cavanagh in the first half and Roberts pulling off a game-deciding save against a Cardiff free kick on 15 minutes.
It was Fuller’s turn to be in the limelight for the second half as he denied Llandudno’s Toby Jones, before Jordan Lam went one on one with Roberts only for the goalkeeper to come out on top again.
Cardiff will be satisfied with a point away from home on a Wednesday night, whilst Llandudno look to be getting used to life under Iwan Williams, who will want to turn home draws into wins very soon.
It’s been a tough week after Newtown followed by a tough start to the game tonight. However, I thought we adapted well tactically against a very good side. In terms of effort and desire, that’s the bare minimum we expect and credit to the players for giving us that @LlandudnoFC
— Iwan Williams (@iwanwilliams9) December 20, 2017
Featured Image: Rhys Skinner