Welsh Football League MD22 Preview
There are no cup distractions this week so a full fixture list is scheduled for Matchday 22 of the Welsh Football League this weekend.
There are top of the table clashes in every division this weekend, a big clash at the bottom of Division Two and a number of local derbies that won’t be short of action.
If you aren’t already decided which game you’re going to, it isn’t an easy pick because there are so many attractive games on the fixture list. However, to try and help you on your way here is the Welsh League MD22 preview.
Game of the Week
Haverfordwest County v Goytre
This fixture brings 4th placed Goytre to 2nd in the table Haverfordwest County. As well as being a long journey for the Gwent-side, it also provides a stern challenge for a side that has had mixed results on the road this season, up against a team that has yet to taste defeat on their own patch.
Haverfordwest will be keen to remain toe to toe with Llanelli Town in the race for the Welsh League title, while for Goytre this arguably provides an opportunity to keep that race a three-horse battle. Currently Sean Wharton’s side sit ten points off the top, albeit with two games in hand. They also inflicted Haverfordwest’s only league defeat so far this season, winning the fixture at Plough Road 3-2 in September last year.
Defeat wouldn’t be catastrophic for either side, yet both will be wary of allowing Llanelli to build any kind of substantial gap at the top.
Llanelli Town (1st) head east along the M4 to play Goytre United (3rd) in another much-anticipated fixture. The reverse fixture came when Goytre United were at the height of their startling early season form. Llanelli needed a late Lee Trundle penalty that day to salvage a point, so United know they have it in the tank to trouble The Reds.
There is a Gwent derby on Saturday when Cwmbran Celtic (11th) welcome Monmouth Town (13th) to Celtic Park. Celtic ran riot at Monmouth earlier in the campaign and with Josh Bull and Chris Ham back in form this will be a stern test for a Monmouth side that have struggled this season.
Cortez Belle makes his home bow as Port Talbot Town (8th) boss against Undy Athletic (10th), while Caerau Ely (15th) begin life after Nana Baah with a home fixture against Cambrian & Clydach Vale (5th).
Other fixtures: Afan Lido (7th) v Cwmamman United (14th), Penybont (6th) v Briton Ferry Llansawel (12th) [both Friday], Ton Pentre (16th) v Taffs Well (9th)
Caldicot Town (1st) travel to Carmarthenshire to play Ammanford (4th) in Division Two’s biggest game. Ammanford are the form team in the division, having won their last six league games and have emerged as title contenders.
The top six are all at home this weekend, including STM Sports (3rd) – who sacked Gareth Morgan this week – up against Croesyceiliog (9th). Pontypridd Town (2nd) play Abergavenny Town (10th), Garden Village (5th) host AFC Llwydcoed (12th) and Llantwit Major (6th) will be visited by Risca United (7th).
The big game at the bottom sees Dinas Powys (15th) travel north to play Aberdare Town (14th). After their huge victory at West End last weekend, can The Villagers make it two away wins on the bounce and claw back further ground on the teams above them?
There’s also a Swansea derby with Pontardawe Town (8th) at home to West End (13th); both sides will be desperate for a win after recent poor form.
Other fixture: AFC Porth (16th) v Aberbargoed Buds (11th)
There are two massive games in Division Three affecting the top and bottom. At the top Bridgend Street (3rd) will welcome Swansea University (2nd) to The Willows. Cardiff-based Bridgend Street have been chasing down the top two for most of the season and a win in this fixture would move them within two points of the Swansea outfit with two games in hand
At the bottom, Ely Rangers (14th) travel to Ynysygerwn (13th) on Friday night. The home side picked up a morale boosting home win last weekend and if they can make it two in a row they could open up a seven point gap between themselves and the bottom three. A win for Ely will reduce their deficit from safety to a single point. Neuadd Wen (15th) could also claw back some distance if they can pick up their first league win of the season at home to Panteg (8th).
Trefelin BGC (1st) saw their lead cut to a single point last weekend due to their League Cup commitments, this week they are home to bottom club Treowen Stars (16th) and will surely have in their back of their minds that a failure to win could see them lose their long-held position at the top of the division.
Other fixtures: Chepstow Town (9th) v Penrhiwceiber Rangers (10th), Tredegar Town (4th) v Pontyclun (6th), Treharris Athletic Western (11th) v Newport City (5th), Trethomas Bluebirds (7th) v Caerau (12th)
(Featured Image: Lewis Mitchell)