Yes, this weekend Connah’s Quay Nomads head north to face Ross County in the final of the IRN-BRU Cup – we all send Andy Morrison’s side our best wishes. Back in Wales, there’s plenty of action to keep you occupied.
Before we preview the weekend's matches, here are the permutations that could be settled this weekend.
- Llanelli Town will be relegated should they lose to Cefn Druids AND Carmarthen Town also beat Cardiff Met
- Cefn Druids will be guaranteed safety should they beat Llanelli AND Llandudno lose to Aberystwyth
With the Nomads out of action this weekend, The New Saints have the chance to retake top spot as they welcome Bala Town to Park Hall for a big clash between two of the league’s European heavyweights.
Saints are in fantastic form at the moment and have barely missed a beat in recent weeks, with 13 points out of a possible previous 15 to show for their efforts, including a big win against the Nomads in the process.
Bala will travel to Park Hall having put a difficult run of results to bed with a convincing 2-0 win over Barry Town United at Jenner Park last time out – no mean feat as Gavin Chesterfield’s side have been near-perfect at home this season – and they’ll go into this game full of confidence.
Another huge game for Llandudno in their hunt for survival, they welcome Aberystwyth to the Giant Hospitality Stadium. Aber have really turned a corner in recent weeks with only one defeat in their last five seeing them mount a challenge to Cardiff Met in the chase for seventh place.
A draw for Llandudno at Cefn Druids last time out was a good result, however a win for Mark Cowan’s team would have really put the cat amongst the pigeons at the bottom as Llandudno would have only been six points off Carmarthen in tenth with a game against the Old Gold to come. As it stands, the gap is eight, so more wins are needed if Llandudno are to complete a survival push.
Aber similarly have their sites set on climbing the table, as they’re only two points off the seventh-placed Cardiff Met at this stage with an away game against the Archers to come. A loss for either team could be hugely damaging to their respective ambitions this season – a win for either would set them up nicely for the remaining four games.
Cardiff Met welcome the Old Gold to Cyncoed on Saturday afternoon, with both sides looking to shore up their respective positions in the standings.
Met sit in seventh at present, two points ahead of Aberystwyth in the battle for a European playoff berth, whereas Carmarthen are in tenth – eight clear of the relegation places – and know the games are running out for their challengers to take their spots.
Clashes between these two sides have always thrown up interesting results, with Met and Carmarthen securing big results against each other home and away in recent years. Carmarthen have lost their last two on the bounce, so will want to put a stop to that run, and Liam Thomas is gunning for the golden boot too, so don’t be surprised if he has something to say about putting a stop to the Carmarthen slide this weekend.
A poor run of form in Phase Two has put Llanelli in a very difficult situation as they currently occupy the bottom of the table with five games to go and need a lot to go their way at present if they’re to get out of that rut.
They could be relegated this weekend though, should they lose and Carmarthen beat Cardiff Met, so getting three points is vital for the Reds.
The visit of Cefn Druids to Stebonheath Park will encourage them somewhat, as the Reds have done well against the Ancients this season, with two of their four league wins this term coming against Huw Griffiths’ side.
Druids are continuing their mini-revival since the closure of the transfer window, with just one defeat in their last five to show for their efforts, and two wins in their last three as well.
The signings they made in the winter window have made a significant difference to a Druids side that has struggled at times this season to cope with the rigours of a European campaign prior to the start of the term.
A win for Druids and a loss for Llandudno would secure their JD Welsh Premier League status for the 2019/20 season, as they’d have a 13-point gap over the Seasiders with four games to go, so plenty of incentive for the Ancients to go out and bag that win on the weekend.
A game between two sides who have struggled for consistency somewhat in their first terms in the top six since their returns to JDWPL level, but make no mistake this game between Barry Town United and Caernarfon Town has all the makings of a belter.
Gavin Chesterfield’s side have struggled for results since the split, and are looking for their first win of Phase Two on Saturday, whereas Caernarfon have fared better but will still feel they could have done better.
Starting Phase Two with a win over this weekend’s opponents was perfect for Sean Eardley’s side, and a Phase Two double over the Jenner Park side would be huge considering they lost both Phase One iterations of this fixture.
The Cofi Army is sure to travel in it’s droves for this one, and will be met by a significant Barry faithful, so it has all the makings of a big game on Saturday afternoon.
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