It was a frustrating start to the campaign for the league newcomers, but Barry Town United and Colwyn Bay will go head-to-head on Saturday as they both look to get off the mark in the JD Cymru Premier.
Friday, 18 August
Caernarfon Town v Newtown | Friday – 19:45
Caernarfon Town had the perfect start to their season with a comfortable 4-0 win away at Colwyn Bay on Sunday afternoon.
It was a promising performance for the Cofis with the new attacking duo of Adam Davies and Zack Clarke impressing by netting three goals between them, and the evergreen Darren Thomas heading in the other.
It was a different story for Newtown who lost 3-1 at home to Pen-y-bont with the Robins contributing to their own demise with a disastrous own goal.
There were a few positives for Chris Hughes’ side, the main one being Jason Oswell’s late consolation goal as the 2016/17 Golden Boot winner got his first league goal for Newtown since 2017.
Despite the defeat, the Robins will be confident as they’ve won their last eight meetings with Caernarfon Town and haven’t lost at the Oval since March 2020.
Connah’s Quay v Aberystwyth Town | Friday – 19:45
Connah’s Quay start the weekend near the foot of the table after conceding six against The New Saints last Friday.
The Nomads had gone ahead twice at Park Hall, but the champions showed their teeth in the second half and made an early statement with a 6-2 thrashing.
Aberystwyth Town came extremely close to relegation last term, and their new season began with a narrow defeat at home to Cardiff Met.
Eliot Evans scored the only goal of the game after 34 minutes, before being dismissed in the second half but Aberystwyth Town failed to capitalise on the extra man.
Aberystwyth Town won 2-1 at home to Connah’s Quay last September, but that’s been their only win in 13 games against the Nomads, and it’s almost eight years since the Black & Greens won away at Connah’s Quay.
It will be an historic day for Connah’s Quay as they host a match at Cae-y-Castell (Flint) for the first time since leaving their previous home at the Deeside Stadium.
Pen-y-bont v Haverfordwest County | Friday – 19:45
Chris Venables was the hero for Pen-y-bont on Saturday, bagging twice on his league debut in a 3-1 victory against Newtown, making it four goals in four games in all competitions since his arrival.
It ended goalless between Haverfordwest County and Pontypridd United on Friday with Kiwi keeper, Zac Jones putting in another splendid display for the Bluebirds.
Both clubs have had a taste of European football over the summer and will be desperate to qualify again this year.
Haverfordwest County have only beaten Pen-y-bont once in their six meetings in the JD Cymru Premier, but that triumph came in the last clash between the two teams back in December (Hav 2-1 Pen).
Saturday, 19 August
Cardiff Met v Bala Town | Saturday – 14:30
You can’t ask for more than three points and a clean sheet in your opening fixture, and that’s exactly what these two teams got last weekend.
Despite Eliot Evans’ first red card in over 200 JD Cymru Premier appearances, the Archers held on for a 1-0 away win at Park Avenue on Saturday.
Bala Town had to wait until the 92nd minute before debutant Iwan Roberts nicked the win for the Lakesiders against a battling Barry Town United.
These teams met five times last season and there was no separating them overall (Met won two, Bala won two, drawn one), but Colin Caton’s crew haven’t won away at Cyncoed Campus since December 2017.
Pontypridd United v The New Saints | Saturday – 14:30
A point away at Haverfordwest County was not a bad start to the season for Pontypridd United, but they face a tougher test this Saturday as they welcome champions, The New Saints to the Rhondda.
The New Saints have shot straight up to their familiar top spot after seeing off last season’s runners-up on Friday following a dominant second half performance (TNS 6-2 CQ).
Declan McManus has started where he left off last season, scoring a brace on the opening weekend, also adding an assist as the Scotsman sets his sight on a hat-trick of Golden Boots.
The teams met twice last season with TNS winning 2-0 on both occasions, and Craig Harrison will be demanding another victory as the Oswestry outfit go in search of their 16th league title.
Barry Town United v Colwyn Bay | Saturday – 17:15 (S4C)
Barry Town United got a disappointing return to the league at Maes Tegid last Saturday with captain Kayne McLaggon getting sent off before Bala Town scored late on to take the spoils.
It wasn’t the dream start for newly appointed manager Steve Jenkins in his first game at the helm for the Dragons.
And it was also a real baptism of fire for Colwyn Bay who got crushed 4-0 at home against Caernarfon Town, and Bay boss Steve Evans will expect a reaction from his side on Saturday.
On a positive note, there was 1,411 in attendance at Llanelian Road for Colwyn Bay’s first ever JD Cymru Premier match, and there should be another good turnout at Jenner Park this weekend.
The clubs did meet only four months ago in the Welsh Blood Service League Cup final (second tier cup), but with Colwyn Bay fielding their youth team due to confusion over the match date, Barry Town came away with a substantial 6-0 victory.
This weekend’s contest will be a much tighter affair and a measuring block of where we should expect these two newcomers to compete this season.