The news broke on Wednesday that Connah’s Quay have been charged for an alleged breach of the JD Cymru Premier Rules by playing an ineligible player in six league matches, and if found guilty the champions of Wales could face an 18-point deduction. 

Cymru Premier clubs can only sign one free agent between transfer windows and it is alleged that Connah’s Quay broke the rule by signing ex-Welsh international Neal Eardley in October, having already signed Paulo Mendes outside of the transfer window. 

The Nomads are currently 6th in the table, but losing 18 points would see the champions drop into the relegation zone, ending their hopes of reaching the Top Six and therefore unable to qualify for Europe through the league.  

The matter has been referred directly to independent arbitration and a date for the hearing will be confirmed in due course. 

Caernarfon Town and Cardiff Met will be keeping a close eye on the situation as they are the two teams who are trailing Connah’s Quay in the race to reach the Top Six. 

With just two full rounds of fixtures left until the league split, The New Saints, Pen-y-bont and Flint Town United have already secured their place in the Top Six, while Newtown and Bala Town will be looking to cross the line this weekend. 


Friday, 11 February 

Connah’s Quay (6th) v Flint Town United (3rd) | Friday – 19:45 

While the problems are on-going off the field, Connah’s Quay’s players will be full of confidence after retaining the Nathaniel MG Cup last Sunday following a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Cardiff Met. 

And the Nomads could mathematically seal a place in the Top Six if other results go their way this weekend, but the potential point deduction would presumably put any further celebrations on hold. 

Connah’s Quay have finished in the top half for six consecutive years and manager Craig Harrison stated that last weekend’s cup win means nothing if they fail to reach the Top Six. 

Flint Town United have already clinched their place in the top half, and Neil Gibson’s gang are level on points with Pen-y-bont in the race for 2nd spot and European qualification. 

It ended 1-1 in the reverse fixture last month with Connor Simpson scoring his first goal for the Nomads before Callum Bratley equalised for the Silkmen in the 95th minute. 

Connah’s Quay had won five on the bounce against Flint Town United before Bratley’s late strike at Cae-y-Castell, but the Nomads remain unbeaten in the Flintshire derby since 2011. 

League form: 

Connah’s Quay: ➖✅❌➖❌
Flint Town United: ❌❌✅➖➖ 


Cefn Druids (12th) v The New Saints (1st) | Friday – 19:45 

10 days since the reverse fixture at Park Hall the two teams on opposite ends of the table with two contrasting stories go head-to-head once again this Friday night. 

Cefn Druids did remarkably well to keep the league leaders at bay in the first half, but three half-time substitutions and a tactical tweak did the trick for Anthony Limbrick’s side who netted five times after the interval before Nacho Torres nicked a consolation goal for the visitors (TNS 5-1 Cefn). 

The Ancients are 16 points behind the rest of the pack following a run of 29 league games without a win and have only picked up two points this season. 

The New Saints, on the other hand, are 19 points clear at the summit after six consecutive victories, and it seems it’s just a matter of time before the Oswestry outfit get to lift the league trophy for the first time in three years. 

The Saints have won each of their last eight games against the Druids and are unbeaten in 23 meetings with the Ancients (won 21, drawn 2). 

League form: 
The New Saints: ✅✅✅✅✅ 

Cefn Druids: ❌❌❌❌❌ 


Haverfordwest County (11th) v Aberystwyth Town (9th) | Friday – 19:45 

Aberystwyth Town claimed a crucial three points against Haverfordwest County when the clubs met at Park Avenue last Tuesday to open a five-point gap between the two teams. 

The 2-0 defeat extended Haverfordwest County’s run without a win to nine games, and the Bluebirds will feel that this Friday’s fixture is a must-win match if they are to get out of the relegation hole. 

Aberystwyth Town have scored seven goals in their last two outings, a huge improvement on the menial 14 goals they had scored in their previous 18 league games. 

League form: 

Aberystwyth Town: ❌➖❌✅✅
Haverfordwest County: ➖❌➖➖❌

Barry Town United (10th) v Pen-y-bont (2nd) | Friday – 19:45 

Pen-y-bont have secured their place in the Top Six for the second consecutive season, and the next target for Rhys Griffiths’ side will be to try and hold on to 2nd spot which would mean European qualification for the first time in the club’s history. 

Barry Town United have reached the Top Six for the last three years, but the Dragons are facing a relegation battle this season as Gavin Chesterfield’s men are only four points above the bottom two. 

Pen-y-bont are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Barry Town United, winning four of those fixtures without conceding a goal, including their comfortable 4-0 win last weekend. 

Barry Town United have lost six of their last seven games, while the Bryntirion boys have lost just once in their last eight games which was a narrow defeat at the home of table-toppers The New Saints (TNS 3-2 Pen). 

League form: 

Pen-y-bont: ✅❌✅͏͏➖✅
Barry Town United: ❌❌❌✅❌ 


Saturday, 12 February 

Cardiff Met (8th) v Newtown (2nd) | Saturday – 14:30 

After a strong start to the campaign, things have not gone so smoothly for Newtown since the restart as the Robins have drawn 1-1 with struggling Haverfordwest County before losing 1-0 at Bala Town. 

Regardless of the last two results, Newtown will still secure a Top Six spot if they can pick up just one point from their next three games. 

Cardiff Met will be eager to bounce back from last Sunday’s disappointment after losing an epic penalty shoot-out against Connah’s Quay in the Nathaniel MG Cup final. 

Cardiff Met and Newtown have a game in hand on the rest (which is the reverse fixture next weekend), and with the students unbeaten in their last five league games they still have an outside chance of making the Top Six. 

Newtown will be determined to get the job done on Saturday and end their 23-year wait for an away win at Cardiff Met (under previous name of Inter Cardiff). 

League form: 

Cardiff Met: ✅➖͏➖✅➖ 

Newtown: ✅✅✅➖❌ 


Caernarfon Town (7th) v Bala Town (5th) | Saturday – 17:15 

Following their 3-0 win against the Cofis last Friday night, Bala Town know that another win on Saturday would clinch their place in the Top Six for the eighth year running. 

Bala Town are unbeaten in their last five outings (four clean sheets) and are now only two points behind 2nd placed Pen-y-bont in the automatic European spot. 

Caernarfon Town have reached the Top Six in each of the last three seasons, but with just two games left until the split, the Canaries are currently one point below the cut. 

However, the situation would change significantly for the Cofis if Connah’s Quay were to be found guilty of breaking the league’s rules. 

League form: 

Bala Town: ➖✅➖✅✅
Caernarfon Town: ➖✅✅❌❌


Highlights of all matches will be available on Sgorio’s online accounts. 

Rhys Llwyd

Author Rhys Llwyd

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