Date: Sat 13 Jan 2018

#JDWPL Saturday Roundup | The Ancients make history in top six battle

What a way to bring Phase One to a close. All 12 JD Welsh Premier League sides were in action this evening, with plenty of talking points amassed between them. Read on to find out how your side got on.

The New Saints 2-1 Bangor City
Park Hall
TNS Scorer: Aeron Edwards 79’, Blaine Hudson 86’
Bangor City Scorer: Luke Wall 83’

The reverse fixture of a game that got this fabulous first phase of JDWPL action off to such a spectacular start, Bangor City travelled to The New Saints this evening to contest a clash with Scott Ruscoe’s side who will have wanted to avenge that opening day defeat and secured a positive result to go into next weekend’s Nathaniel MG Cup final on the back of a positive result.

The Citizens started with the same confidence they showed in that previous meeting this season, with George Harry and Luke Wall causing problems for the home side with their dynamism and hard work in and out of possession, however Greg Draper came up with a glorious chance for the champions as he volleyed over the bar with 15 minutes played.

The JD Welsh Premier League top scorer then forced a fabulous save out of Bangor stopper Matthew Hall after half an hour and the duo continued to do battle through the game but Hall was always equal to whatever effort The New Saints’ striker could come up with.

Blaine Hudson had the ball in the back of the net after some 70 minutes of play and was running off to celebrate putting the home side in front, but the referee disallowed the effort for a foul and the score stayed level, but it wasn’t long before The New Saints were ahead as Aeron Edwards scored with 10 minutes to go to put the champions ahead.

The Citizens responded immediately as Gary Taylor-Fletcher had a shot cleared off the line before Wall charged in to prod the ball over the line and make it 1-1 to set up a very tense finish, but The New Saints held their nerve and went back in front a few minutes later as Hudson had the ball in the back of the net again, but this time it was counted and the centre-back had put the side 2-1 up; a lead they would hold onto until the final whistle.

Aberystwyth Town 4-2 Connah’s Quay Nomads
Park Avenue
Aberystwyth Town Scorers: Joe Phillips 5’, 39’, 63’, Ashley Young 37’
Connah’s Quay Nomads Scorers: Mike Wilde 12’, Andy Owens 72’

A fantastic result for Neville Powell’s side to close out Phase One, Aberystwyth were fantastic against Andy Morrison’s Nomads in Ceredigion and ran out comfortable winners in the end to send themselves into Phase Two with a big gap on the drop zone and not far off the battle for seventh, which looks set to be contested by themselves, Newtown, Llandudno and Barry Town United.

It was a fantastic day for Joe Phillips too, as he secured a superb hat-trick against The Nomads, who will have undoubtedly been disappointed to end what has on the whole been a very positive Phase One in such a manner.

Phillips bagged the opener after just five minutes, before Mike Wilde pegged The Seasiders back to 1-1 with a trademark header with the pace of the game proving frantic and challenging for both sides to deal with. Ashley Young and Phillips scored again in the closing stages of the first half to give the home side a commanding lead going into the break.

Phillips rounded out his hat-trick after an hour, before Andy Owens bagged his first goal for his new club to bring The Nomads back to within two goals, but they couldn’t make any further inroads into reducing the deficit as Aber saw out a comprehensive victory and all three points.

Newtown AFC 3-0 Prestatyn Town
Latham Park
Newtown AFC Scorers: Jamie Reed 25’, Alex Fletcher 71’, Joe Kenton 84’

The Robins finished the first phase of this fantastic 2017/18 season in fine form as they brushed aside Prestatyn Town with ease at Latham Park, putting the confidence of Chris Hughes’ side sky high, no doubt, after they came from behind to beat Cardiff Met in midweek action at Latham Park.

Jamie Reed made it 1-0 after 25 minutes as he converted a cross at the back post to give Newtown a lead they deserved after they started the game strongly, with Luke Boundford and Callum Roberts going close to further extending that lead in the first half but ultimately coming up short.

The home side were totally dominant in the second half as they probed and looked for opportunities to further extend their lead, but it looked like it might be one of those days where The Robins just didn’t convert their many chances. That all changed with 20 minutes to go, however, as Alex Fletcher made it 2-0 and then Joe Kenton made a telling impact off the bench when he made it 3-0 in the closing stages of the game and Newtown’s three goals secured them three points, heaping further misery upon Prestatyn who are in a very difficult run at the moment.

Carmarthen Town 0-2 Cardiff Metropolitan
Richmond Park
Cardiff Met Scorers: Clayton Green OG 78’, Kyle McCarthy 90’

The Archers travelled to Richmond Park this evening knowing that a positive result would be the perfect tonic ahead of next weekend’s Nathaniel MG Cup final, where Christian Edwards’ side face Scott Ruscoe’s TNS at Park Avenue in Aberystwyth.

Always exceptionally physical and challenging affairs between the two sides, Carmarthen and Cardiff went to battle in a clash of styles as both sides would have been very keen to secure the three points and victory for different reasons.

It was a very scrappy game which was low on end-product from both outfits involved, but Met’s class showed in the end as they forced an own goal from a trademark set piece, before Rhys Thomas won a penalty in added time which Kyle McCarthy converted to seal all three points ahead of next weekend’s cup final.

Barry Town United 0-1 Bala Town
Jenner Park
Bala Town Scorer: Mike Hayes 65’

The Lakesiders were bright in their performance at Jenner Park as they started positively and regularly threatened the home goal against The Dragons, but couldn’t quite convert their many chances, with Nathan Burke in particular having a great effort cleared off the line early-on.

Kayne McLaggon was at the heart of Barry’s better play, once again, but it was Mike Hayes who made the crucial difference in this one as he scored the game’s only goal after 65 minutes to give Bala a slender lead and it was enough to secure victory for manager Colin Caton in his 600th game in charge of the club.

Cefn Druids 0-0 Llandudno FC
The Rock

After what was an understandably cautious start to such a monumentally important fixture for both teams, Cefn Druids’ clash with Llandudno exploded into life after some 20 minutes when a good spell of pressure from The Ancients translated into Huw Griffiths’ side starting to create some gaps and get some shots away.

Iwan Williams’ Llandudno stood strong through that difficult period, weathered the storm, and created some glorious chances of their own to take the lead before the interval, with Marc Evans, Danny Hughes and Mike Williams all squandering glorious chances to make it 1-0 to the visitors before the break, leaving the manager with his head in his hands on the touchline as the halftime whistle blew.

Llandudno captain Tom Dix then gave his manager more cause for concern some minutes after the restart as he was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence, following a rash tackle on Alec Mudimu, and the visitors’ hopes of getting the win they needed looking slim.

With the game approaching its conclusion, however, the score was still 0-0 as Druids hadn’t been able to get a goal with their man advantage, and with four minutes added time to play Llandudno threw everything they had at their opponents, but The Ancients stood firm and saw out the game to make certain their place inside the top six for Phase Two, much to the delight of Huw Griffiths and his men as they made history to reach the top six for the first time in the club’s history.

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