We’ve reached the halfway point of the first phase in the JD Cymru Premier and reigning champions The New Saints have opened a seven-point lead, while Connah’s Quay, Bala Town and Pen-y-bont are also in the hunt of European qualification. 


The league will be split into two after 22 games, where the Top Six teams will secure their place in the league for next season and claim a spot in the European play-offs, while the Bottom Six will all be battling to avoid relegation. 


 Friday, 28 October  


Connah’s Quay (2nd) v Newtown (10th) | Friday – 19:45 (S4C online) 


Connah’s Quay are up to 2nd place after eight consecutive wins in all competitions, conceding only once during the impressive spell. 


Despite the formidable form, it’s surprising to see that only the bottom two have scored fewer league goals than Connah’s Quay this season (13 goals in 11 games). 


But the Nomads’ defensive record is remarkable as Neil Gibson’s gang have not conceded a league goal at home since January (12 clean sheets and 18 hours without conceding). 


Newtown have had a frustrating season so far with the Robins only a point above the relegation zone in 10th position. 


Newtown started promisingly with a goalless draw against The New Saints, but after only three wins in 11 games, Chris Hughes’ hopes of equalling last year’s top three finish is looking less and less likely. 


The Robins have won just one of their last 12 meetings with Connah’s Quay, but that victory came on their most recent visit to the Deeside Stadium last October (CQ 0-2 New). 


Since that defeat over a year ago, Connah’s Quay have only lost one league game at home (CQ 2-3 Barry), which is also the only game in which they’ve conceded at home in 12 months (16 clean sheets in 17 league games at home). 


League form:
Connah’s Quay: ✅✅✅✅✅
Newtown: ❌✅❌❌➖ 


Aberystwyth Town (8th) v Flint Town United (7th) | Friday – 20:00 


At Park Avenue, Anthony Williams’ unit will aim to make it four consecutive home victories to go level on points with Flint Town United. 


Aberystwyth Town have won 2-1 at home to Connah’s Quay, Airbus UK and Haverfordwest County in the last month, but have lost three away fixtures between those triumphs. 


Following a strong start to the season, Flint Town United have now won just two of their last nine league games, with both victories coming against bottom of the league side, Airbus UK. 


But the Silkmen are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Aberystwyth Town, conceding only once against the Black & Greens during that period (won four, drawn one). 


League form:
Aberystwyth Town: ❌✅❌✅❌
Flint Town United: ✅❌➖❌➖



Saturday, 22 October 


 Airbus UK (12th) v Pontypridd United (11th) | Saturday – 14:30 


It hasn’t been the dream start to life in the JD Cymru Premier for Pontypridd United nor the returning Airbus UK since their promotion over the summer, but it’s fair to say that it’s Ponty who have settled in best this season. 


There was no fairy-tale story for Jamie Reed as he took charge of Airbus UK for the first time last Saturday with the Wingmakers falling to their 10th defeat in 11 league games at the hands of Flint Town United. 


Pontypridd United also tasted defeat last Saturday (TNS 2-0 Pont), but with only two points separating Andrew Stokes’ squad and 8th placed Aberystwyth Town at the start of the weekend there is certainly some optimism in the Pontypridd camp. 


It was Danny Williams’ late penalty that secured the points for Ponty when the teams met in the reverse fixture last month (Pont 1-0 Air).  


League form: 

Airbus UK: ❌❌❌❌➖ 

Pontypridd United: ❌❌✅➖❌


Haverfordwest County (9th) v The New Saints (1st) | Saturday – 14:30 


With just one win from their last 10 outings there haven’t been many happy faces at Haverfordwest County lately. 


The west Wales Bluebirds led the way after the opening three games, but since then Haverfordwest County have lost six of their eight league fixtures, as well as losing to lower league opposition in both the Nathaniel MG Cup and the JD Welsh Cup. 


The New Saints go into the weekend seven points clear at the summit, and although we’re only in October it’s difficult to see anyone catching up with the Oswestry outfit this season. 


Since their goalless draw with Newtown on the opening weekend, the Saints have won 10 league games on the bounce, and Craig Harrison’s crew seem to have gone up a gear in the last month, scoring 27 goals in six matches (4.5 goals per game). 


To give Tony Pennock further concerns, TNS have won 10 of their last 11 meetings with Haverfordwest County, losing only once in their last 22 games against the Bluebirds. 


League form:
Haverfordwest County: ❌❌❌✅➖
The New Saints: ✅✅✅✅✅


Cardiff Met (6th) v Caernarfon Town (5th) | Saturday – 14:30 


In the race to reach the Top Six, these two teams are level on points after winning six and losing five of their league games to date. 


Cardiff Met have been solid at home this year, losing only once in 14 league matches at Cyncoed Campus in 2022, but that one defeat was suffered in some style (Met 0-7 TNS). 


The Cofis have struggled on the road during this campaign, losing all four of their away games in the league and have had to depend on their impressive home form to pick up their points, winning six out of seven at the Oval. 


Draws have been few and far between for these two teams recently as the students haven’t drawn a league game since April (15 games) while Caernarfon haven’t had to share the spoils since February (22 games). 


The Canaries have a fantastic record against the Archers as Caernarfon Town have won their last six meetings with Cardiff Met which includes the 5-1 hammering at the Oval earlier this season. 


League form:
Cardiff Met: ✅❌✅❌❌
Caernarfon Town: ❌✅✅❌❌


Bala Town (3rd) v Pen-y-bont (4th) | Saturday – 14:30 

It should be an exciting encounter at Maes Tegid on Saturday between another two teams who are level on points in their quest for European qualification. 

Bala Town travelled to Sligo Rovers over the summer as the Lakesiders appeared in Europe for the eighth time since 2013, but Pen-y-bont fell at the final hurdle, missing out on European football yet again, and will therefore be more determined than ever to achieve that goal this season. 

Finishing in 3rd place has been enough to seal a ticket to Europe in each of the last eight seasons, and since Pen-y-bont have only lost to the top two this term (TNS and Connah’s Quay), a top-three finish is certainly a realistic target. 

Bala Town have won seven out of their last eight games in all competitions, with the solitary defeat coming against the champions, The New Saints. 

Colin Caton’s Lakesiders were last year’s runners-up, but Pen-y-bont have already beaten Bala Town this season thanks to two second-half goals from Rhys Kavanagh on the opening weekend (Pen 2-0 Bala), but Rhys Griffiths’ gang have never won away at Maes Tegid. 


League form:
Bala Town: ✅❌✅✅✅ 

Pen-y-bont: ❌✅➖➖✅ 


 All goals can be viewed on Sgorio’s online accounts, and the weekend’s highlights will be on Sgorio on Monday night at 10:30 on S4C. 


Rhys Llwyd

Author Rhys Llwyd

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