The league split is looming as the pressure to reach the Top Six is mounting, and on Boxing Day there will be six derby games going ahead in the JD Cymru Premier, before the clubs will go head-to head once again in the reverse fixtures in a few days time.  


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


On average, 31 points has been the magic number of points needed to secure a Top Six spot, and The New Saints, Connah’s Quay and Cardiff Met have already surpassed that all-important mark. 


Chasing the top three are five clubs who have a realistic chance of making the cut, with just eight points separating the teams between the 4th and 8th positions. 


 Monday, 26 December  


Aberystwyth Town (10th) v Newtown (6th) | Monday – 14:30 


In the mid-wales derby, Aberystwyth Town will be hoping to keep their Top Six ambitions alive ahead of their double-header with Newtown who currently sit in 6th place. 


Aberystwyth Town are eight points behind Newtown, but with a game in hand and vital fixtures coming up against Flint Town United and Caernarfon Town, the race isn’t over for the Black & Greens. 


But the Seasiders have lost five of their last six matches in all competitions, therefore improved performances are certainly needed if they are to make the cut and get into the Top Six for the first time since the 2014/15 season. 


Aberystwyth Town are still waiting for their first clean sheet in the league this season, therefore it’s no surprise that Anthony Williams’ men have the worst defensive record in the JD Cymru Premier. 


Newtown’s notable run of six consecutive wins finally came to an end on Thursday night as they were beaten 2-1 by Cardiff Met, and with tough games approaching against Connah’s Quay and Pen-y-bont, Chris Hughes’ clan will be seeking six points against Aberystwyth in the coming week to secure a Top Six berth. 


The Robins have been victorious on five of their last six visits to Park Avenue, which includes their 3-1 away win in the JD Welsh Cup third round last month. 


League form: 

Aberystwyth Town: ❌❌❌✅❌
Newtown: ❌✅✅✅✅ 


 Caernarfon Town (8th) v Bala Town (4th) | Monday – 14:30 

A difficult run of games has left Caernarfon Town with no wins in five games in all competitions (lost four, drawn one), and the Cofis must turn the corner quickly if they are to get into the Top Six for the fifth successive season. 


But the Canaries have further challenging fixtures ahead as they prepare to face Bala Town twice, The New Saints and Pen-y-bont, all in the coming fortnight. 


Bala Town need just one point from their remaining six first phase fixtures to reach the elusive 31-point mark, which is usually enough to seal a Top Six ticket. 


Colin Caton’s colony have reached the Top Six for eight consecutive years, and after losing only once in their last nine matches, Bala Town are on course to achieve the goal yet again. 


This will be the sixth meeting between the two teams in 2022, and the Lakesiders are unbeaten in the previous five games (won five, drawn one). 


League form: 

Caernarfon Town: ❌❌➖❌✅ 

Bala Town: ✅✅❌✅➖ 




Connah’s Quay (2nd) v Flint Town United (9th) | Monday – 14:30 


It was heartbreak for Connah’s Quay on Friday night as they conceded a 95th minute equaliser against The New Saints in a feisty festive top of the table contest at the Deeside Stadium (CQ 1-1 TNS). 


A win would have left the Nomads’ fate in their own hands, but now Connah’s Quay must rely on other teams to take points from TNS if they are to challenge for the championship. 


But there’s no time to dwell as the games come thick and fast, and on Monday, Neil Gibson will clash with his former club for the first time since leaving Cae-y-Castell over the summer. 


Gibson had led Flint Town United to a 5th placed finish, and into the play-off final last season, but after a cut to the budget, the well-respected manager decided to depart the club, which led to an exodus of players. 


New Flint boss, Lee Fowler has built a squad up from scratch, and following a period of poor results, the Silkmen had reason to celebrate on Friday as they conquered Caernarfon Town to keep the Top Six dream alive. 


Connah’s Quay are on a run of seven games without defeat against Flint Town United (won six, drawon one) and the Slikmen haven’t beaten the Nomads in the top-flight since 1997. 


League form: 

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

Pen-y-bont (5th) v Cardiff Met (3rd) | Monday – 14:30 

With six games remaining until the split, Pen-y-bont need three points to reach the 31-point mark, which should be enough to claim a Top Six spot. 


An impressive run of five league matches without a loss (won four, drawn one) has meant that Cardiff Met have already arrived at the 31-point juncture, and the Archers may be setting their sights on a return to Europe this year. 


Cardiff Met haven’t played in the Top Six since the 2017/18 season, and to accomplish that would be a tremendous triumph for Ryan Jenkins in his first season in charge at Cyncoed Campus. 


Pen-y-bont are aiming for a third consecutive season in the Top Six, and since they’ve won four of the last five meetings with Cardiff Met, Rhys Griffiths’ side will be confident ahead of the late December double-header. 


League form:
Pen-y-bont: ✅❌➖✅➖ 

Cardiff Met: ✅✅➖✅✅

 Pontypridd United (11th) v Haverfordwest County (7th) | Monday – 14:30 


Haverfordwest County will be hoping for six points against Pontypridd United in the coming week as the Bluebirds go searching for their first Top Six finish since the league restructure in 2010. 


Tony Pennock’s troop have only four games to go until the split, and with the remaining two matches against the top two (The New Saints and Connah’s Quay), there will be an emphasis on securing maximum points against Ponty if they are to compete for the top half. 


Pontypridd United remain in the relegation zone after losing seven of their last eight league games with the only success coming against bottom of the league side, Airbus. 

Haverfordwest County have won each of their last five meetings with Pontypridd United, but this will be the first ever encounter between the clubs in the JD Cymru Premier. 


League form:
Pontypridd United: ❌❌❌❌❌
Haverfordwest County: ✅❌❌✅✅


The New Saints (1st) v Airbus UK (12th) | Monday – 14:30 

An injury time strike from Gwion Dafydd for The New Saints against Connah’s Quay on Friday has kept Craig Harrison’s clique four points clear at the summit with a game in hand. 


The New Saints are still unbeaten in the league this season, and the reigning champions have now gone 22 league games without defeat since March (won 18, drawn four). 


Airbus UK will be determined not to reach the split on negative points with the Wingmakers in real danger of breaking the record as the worst team to ever play in the league. 

A three-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player against Caernarfon Town has left Airbus on -2 points, after losing 15 of their 16 league games since their promotion. 


This will be the first meeting between the sides since November 2019 when the Saints broke the record for the biggest away win in JD Cymru Premier history with an astounding 12-0 trouncing at the Airfield. 


April 2016 was the last time Airbus got the better of TNS, and since then the Oswestry outfit have won six on the bounce against the Broughton bunch. 


League form:
The New Saints: ➖✅➖✅✅
Airbus UK: ❌❌❌❌❌ 


 All goals and highlights can be viewed on Sgorio’s online accounts. 


Rhys Llwyd

Author Rhys Llwyd

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