After a five week break the JD Cymru Premier returns this Friday with a fascinating fixture between the league leaders, The New Saints and current champions Connah’s Quay.
Friday, 21 January
Cefn Druids (12th) v Caernarfon Town (7th) | Friday – 19:45
A month-long break may have been just what was needed for Cefn Druids who are without a win in their last 26 league games.
The Ancients have just two points to their name this season and are the only club certain to finish in the bottom half of the table.
There are high expectations for the Cofis who have made the Top Six in every season since their promotion in 2018 and following an impressive victory against Flint Town United in their last game before Christmas, Caernarfon Town have closed the gap between them and 6th placed Bala Town to a single point.
Caernarfon Town won 3-0 in the reverse fixture with Darren Thomas, Robert Hughes and Gwion Dafydd grabbing the goals at the Oval in September.
Cefn Druids: ➖❌❌❌❌
Caernarfon Town: ❌✅❌➖✅
Pen-y-bont (4th) v Aberystwyth Town (10th) | Friday – 19:45
Spirits are high at the SDM Glass Stadium as Pen-y-bont have won seven of their last 10 games in all competitions and are in a strong position to secure a place in the Top Six for the second year running.
But Pen-y-bont have lost their top scorer James Waite during the January transfer window as the 22-year-old attacking midfielder has made the move back into professional football with EFL League Two side, Newport County.
James Waite scored twice in the reverse fixture as Pen-y-bont came away with a 3-0 win at Park Avenue back in October.
The addition of 33-year-old Shaun MacDonald is an exciting one for Rhys Griffiths’ side as he becomes the next ex-Wales international to try and leave his mark on the JD Cymru Premier.
Aberystwyth Town are one of only two clubs who have been ever-present since the league’s formation back in 1992 (along with Newtown), and with just one point separating the Seasiders and the relegation zone, Antonio Corbisiero will be determined not to become the first manager to relegate the Black & Greens into the second tier.
Aberystwyth Town: ✅✅❌❌➖
The New Saints (1st) v Connah’s Quay (5th) | Friday – 19:45
This Friday Craig Harrison will take charge of a team at Park Hall for the first time since leaving the club in May 2017.
Ex-Middlesbrough defender Craig Harrison won the championship six times during his time at the helm for The New Saints (2011-17) – which makes him the most successful manager in JD Cymru Premier history.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that he’s been able to turn things around for Connah’s Quay who had a slow start to the season, but are now on a run of 11 games without defeat in all competitions (won eight, drawn three).
The Nomads have not conceded in their last seven league games meaning they have the best defensive record in the league (conceded nine goals in 17 games).
But it was a 1-0 defeat for Craig Harrison’s side in his second game in charge against The New Saints at the Deeside Stadium back in October.
Declan McManus scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot, and the league’s top scorer will be looking to add to his 16-goal tally this Friday.
After losing just once in their last 20 matches in all competitions, The New Saints find themselves 12 points clear at the summit and are the only team who have sealed their spot in the Top Six ahead of the split.
The New Saints: ❌✅✅✅✅
Connah’s Quay: ✅➖✅➖✅
Saturday, 22 January
Cardiff Met (9th) v Bala Town (6th) | Saturday – 14:30
Bala Town are six points ahead of Cardiff Met in the hunt for a Top Six berth, but with a game in hand, a victory for the Archers would open the door for the students to try and get into the top half for the first time since the 2017/18 season.
The Lakesiders have won only six of their 17 league games this season (35%), but manager Colin Caton will be confident that his side can make the cut into the Top Six for the eighth consecutive year.
The reverse fixture ended goalless back in August, and Bala Town have failed to win on their last four visits to Cyncoed Campus (lost three, drawn one).
Cardiff Met: ❌❌❌✅➖
Bala Town: ➖✅❌➖✅
Barry Town United (8th) v Flint Town United (3rd) | Saturday – 14:30
Flint Town United have lost their grip on second spot after winning just one of their last five matches, and Neil Gibson’s main priority now will be to ensure that the Silkmen don’t drop further down the ladder and lose their place in the top half.
Barry Town United have also won just one in five, and the Dragons are in danger of missing out on the Top Six for the first time since the 2017/18 season.
The most recent two meetings between these sides have produced a spectacular total of 14 goals as Flint Town United won 3-2 earlier this season thanks to a late thunderbolt from Ben Maher, and Barry Town United won 6-3 in another classic at Jenner Park during the last campaign.
Barry Town United: ➖➖✅❌❌
Flint Town United: ➖❌✅❌❌
Newtown (2nd) v Haverfordwest County (11th) | Saturday – 14:30
Newtown could become the next team to secure a Top Six place if results go their way this weekend.
The Robins’ have an excellent home record this season and Chris Hughes’ side are currently on a run of five games without defeat at Latham Park (won four, drawn one).
But it was Haverfordwest County who won the reverse fixture at Bridge Meadow back in October with Touray Sisay netting the only goal of the game.
Since that victory the Pembrokeshire outfit have failed to win in six matches, but new Belgian manager Nicky Hayen will be looking to bring the bad spell to an end in his first competitive game as Bluebirds boss.
Haverfordwest County: ➖❌❌➖❌
Highlights will be available on Sgorio’s online accounts and on S4C at 5:30 on Monday afternoon.