In a weekend full of fixtures with marvellous potential, what a way to kick it off with this Gwynedd Derby between Kevin Nicholson’s Bangor City and Colin Caton’s Bala Town – the two outfits occupying second and third place in the table respectively at present.
Well rested after a week off due to JD Welsh Cup action, the Lakesiders will make the trip to the banks of the Menai Strait with their tails up as they’re unbeaten in their previous five fixtures and built up a tremendous head of steam in recent weeks as others around them have dropped points in what is a frantic Top Six battle for second place, with The New Saints having been able thus far to keep a strong grip on top spot.
With Bangor and Connah's Quay set to do battle in a Welsh Cup semi-final next month, both of Bala’s direct competitors for second place therefore have a busier schedule as the season draws to a close. The Lakesiders currently sit two points behind Bangor with a game in hand to be played against the champions next week, but the chance to get all three points and leapfrog the Citizens into second place this weekend will be the only opportunity Caton’s side are focussing on.
An all southern affair at Richmond Park on Friday night, as the Old Gold welcome the Dragons to Carmarthenshire in a match with hugely significant implications for both sides.
Gavin Chesterfield’s outfit currently sit in that coveted seventh position, with a game in hand over Newtown in eighth and a three-point lead over Chris Hughes’ side in the bag too. The Robins will face a regional derby of their own on Saturday as they welcome Aberystwyth to Latham Park, and there will be a lot more riding on that for all concerned depending on the result of this clash in Carmarthen.
Another win for Chesterfield’s side would signify their best run of form in the league this season, with it being the first time they’ll have notched four consecutive wins in the league, but getting one over on Carmarthen in their backyard will be incredibly difficult, especially in the circumstances, with the home side needing results to come together in order to boost any hopes of JDWPL survival.
It was a tough day at the office for Llandudno last time out as they struggled against Barry Town United at Jenner Park, and then crashed out of the JD Welsh Cup on Tuesday night too with a below-par performance against Newtown, so it is undeniable that this is a side in a bit of a rut at the moment.
Former Caernarfon midfield maestro Jay Gibbs is finally set to make his JDWPL debut for Iwan Williams’ side this weekend against Prestatyn, and his impact will surely be very welcome as he brings some drive and fight to a side desperately in need of both at the moment as they look to build some form going into the last handful of games of the season.
For Prestatyn, they sit 11 points away from safety with a game in hand, but they – like Carmarthen in the other Friday night fixture – desperately need to get some results together if they are to avoid the drop at the end of the season, before it is too late to escape a return to the Huws Gray Alliance. Head down to the Giant Hospitality Stadium for this one!
A JD Welsh Cup semi-final preview, here, and what is set to be a fabulous Mid-Wales derby to boot. Aber’s trip to Newtown this weekend has so many implications for both teams involved as we approach the business end of the season.
Excellent Cup quarter-final wins away to Llandudno and Carmarthen respectively saw the Robins and the Seasiders book a date to meet again in early April to do battle for a spot in the season’s showpiece final, but first they must contest this head-to-head clash where Newtown will be eyeing up the victory in order to keep chase with Barry Town United, and Aber will be looking to build up the gap they’ve amassed to the relegation zone.
Don’t miss what surely won’t be the last top fixture between these two sides this season.
What a way for Nomads to bounce back from one of their toughest JDWPL domestic runs of the season with a victory over TNS in the JD Welsh Cup Quarter-Final on Tuesday, to book a date with Bangor in the semi-finals next month.
Such a positive result must now be used to propel Andy Morrison’s side back to more consistent point-scoring form in the next few weeks as they look to chase Bangor and Bala down above them in the standings, and this weekend they welcome Cefn Druids to The Deeside Stadium for what is bound to be a very close encounter between two evenly-matched sides.
Druids’ very own Naim Arsan has been included in Wales’ C International squad for their fixture against England C at Jenner Park in a few weeks, which is a testament to how well this side has been playing this season, and Huw Griffiths’ side will be looking to finish the term strongly ahead of their upcoming playoff journey. Can they kickstart a positive end to the season with a win at the home of the Nomads? Find out on Saturday afternoon!
We have a new timeslot for our live game this week, as the Archers welcome the champions to Cyncoed Campus for a 7pm kick-off on S4C’s Sgorio this Saturday evening, with both sides looking to return to form to varying extents.
The New Saints defeat in midweek to The Nomads means that for the first time since the 2012/13 season the Oswestry outfit won’t be contesting the final of the competition this year. That surely is going to sting Scott Ruscoe’s side, so expect a strong response this weekend against Christian Edwards’ side at Cyncoed.
For Met, however, they’re hardly in the best run themselves at the moment, so they will be desperate to get back into a positive run of results ahead of what will be a hotly-contested playoff battle in a few weeks. Make sure you catch this one in the capital!