Following several unexpected results on the opening weekend of the new season, The New Saints, Connah’s Quay and Bala Town will all be looking for their first league wins on Matchday 2.
Friday, 19 August
Connah’s Quay v Airbus UK | Friday – 19:45
Connah’s Quay had never lost a league match against Cardiff Met before the defeat at Cyncoed Campus last Saturday (Met 2-0 CQ).
It wasn’t the ideal start to the league season for Neil Gibson who will take some comfort from the fact that The New Saints and Bala Town also dropped points.
The Nomads’ Flintshire rivals, Airbus UK were another club to suffer an opening weekend loss although Steve O’Shaughnessy’s side certainly showed some promise against Aberystwyth Town (Air 1-2 Aber).
We were treated to a nine-goal thriller when these two teams collided in the Nathaniel MG Cup last year as Connah’s Quay came out 6-3 winners over Airbus in what was their tenth consecutive victory against the Broughton bunch.
New Year’s Day 2016 was the last time the Wingmakers got the better of the Nomads (Air 3-2 CQ), and it was exactly a year earlier that Airbus last won at the Deeside Stadium (CQ 0-3 Air).
Newtown v Flint Town United | Friday – 19:45
Newtown managed to pick a valuable point from the champions in a goalless draw on the opening weekend of the season, but Chris Hughes will be aiming for nothing less than three points against Flint Town United this Friday.
Flint Town United were somewhat of an unknown quantity following a major haul of personnel over the summer, but Lee Fowler began his reign as Silkmen’s boss with a vital victory away to newcomers Pontypridd United (Pont 0-1 Ffl).
The Robins will have their chests out going into this game as they have won every one of their four home fixtures against Flint Town United since their promotion to the top-flight in 2020.
Saturday, 20 August
Caernarfon Town v Pontypridd United | Saturday – 14:30
A 1-0 defeat at Haverfordwest County last Saturday will have left Huw Griffiths frustrated and determined to get his Cofis off the mark at the Oval this weekend.
It was also a poor start to Pontypridd’s campaign as they lost at home to Flint Town United in their first ever game in the JD Cymru Premier.
But Saturday will be an exciting occasion for the Ponty Dragons as they make their longest ever away trip in their first away game in the top-flight.
Bala Town v Haverfordwest County | Saturday – 14:30
Following their 2nd placed finish last term, Bala Town will be disappointed to have lost 2-0 against Pen-y-bont in their first league game of the new season.
There were celebrations at Bridge Meadow on Saturday as Jordan Davies’ late header against Caernarfon Town provided Tony Pennock with three points in his first league game in charge at Haverfordwest County.
These two teams met three times last season and Bala Town got the better of the Bluebirds with two wins and one goalless draw.
The New Saints v Pen-y-bont | Saturday – 14:30
Craig Harrison hasn’t had the perfect start to his second spell as The New Saints’ manager since a penalty shoot-out defeat to Connah’s Quay in the Nathaniel MG Cup was followed up with a 0-0 draw at Newtown last Saturday.
Which means that the Oswestry outfit have now gone five games without a win for the first time in over 20 years.
Pen-y-bont had a tremendous start to their season as Rhys Kavanagh’s brace against Bala secured their first win at home since February.
But Rhys Griffiths’ gang have failed to win any of their previous 12 meetings with The New Saints which includes their JD Welsh Cup final loss back in May (drawn two, lost 10).
Aberystwyth Town v Cardiff Met | Saturday – 17:45 (S4C)
Aberystwyth Town and Cardiff Met both enjoyed a strong start to their campaigns and will now go head-to-head live on Sgorio this Saturday.
It should be an interesting battle on the sidelines between two new managers who worked closely together for many years at Cardiff Met as part of Dr Christian Edwards’ backroom staff.
And in his first league game in charge for the Archers, Ryan Jenkins managed a feat that his predecessor failed to do in 18 attempts, which was to beat Connah’s Quay in a league encounter.
There was also an encouraging start to Anthony Williams’ tenure as Aberystwyth Town manager with the Black & Greens becoming the first team to win a league game away at Airbus since February 2020.
Cardiff Met could have the upper hand psychologically as they haven’t lost on any of their last six visits to Park Avenue (won four, drawn two).
All goals can be viewed on Sgorio’s online accounts, and the weekend’s highlights will be on Sgorio on Monday night at 9:35 on S4C.