It’s the final weekend of the first phase in the JD Cymru Premier season, but the Top Six teams will already be setting their sights on automatic European qualification, while the Bottom Six teams will be battling to avoid relegation. 

 Saturday, 21 January 

Aberystwyth Town (11th) v Caernarfon Town (7th) | Saturday – 17:15  

Caernarfon Town have had to settle for a place in the Bottom Six for the first time since their promotion in 2018, but the Cofis will be determined to secure the 7th position which would guarantee their ticket to the end of season play-offs, which Caernarfon won last season. 

A win for Caernarfon Town on Saturday would put the Canaries nine points clear of the bottom two and allow Huw Griffiths to concentrate on looking up rather than down for the 10 matches remaining in the second phase of the campaign. 

It’s a worrying time for Aberystwyth Town who have dropped into the relegation zone after picking up just one point from their last seven league games. 

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 Anthony Williams will be desperate not to see the Black & Greens slip into the second tier. 

The Seasiders are still without a clean sheet in the league this season, therefore Caernarfon Town will feel confident ahead of the trip to Park Avenue as the Cofis have lost only once in their last 10 meetings with Aberystwyth Town (won six, drawn three).  


League form: 

Aberystwyth Town: ❌➖❌❌❌
Caernarfon Town: ✅❌❌❌❌ 


Haverfordwest County (8th) v Connah’s Quay (2nd) | Saturday – 17:15 

Connah’s Quay are enjoying a phenomenal run of 21 games without defeat in all competitions (won 16, drawn five), and with the Nathaniel MG Cup final against Bala Town to look forward to next weekend, Neil Gibson has a real chance of making his first season at the helm for the Nomads a successful one. 


Connah’s Quay won 0-2 away at Llanelli Town on Saturday, keeping a fifth consecutive clean sheet and securing their place in the JD Welsh Cup quarter final where they will face their fellow Flintshire top-flight counterparts, Airbus UK. 


Haverfordwest County have won only once in their last six outings and will need to turn the corner quickly if they are to compete for 7th spot rather than slide into a relegation scrap. 


Connah’s Quay are unbeaten in their last 10 meetings with Haverfordwest County (won eight, drawn two), and the Nomads will therefore have faith that they can be the first team to win away at Bridge Meadow since October. 


League form:
Haverfordwest County: ❌➖❌ ✅❌ 

Connah’s Quay: ➖➖➖✅➖

 Cardiff Met (5th) v Airbus UK (12th) | Saturday – 17:15 

With just one draw, 20 losses and no victories since their promotion back into the JD Cymru Premier, Airbus UK will inevitably break the record as the team with the least number of points at the split. 

Last year, a struggling Cefn Druids side finished the first phase with only two points, which was the lowest ever tally at the split. 

But this season, a three-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player against Caernarfon Town has left Airbus on -2 points, and it seems that relegation is now a matter of when, not if.  


An impressive run of eight league matches without a loss (won six, drawn two), has secured Cardiff Met’s position in the Top Six for the first time since 2017/18. 

Finishing in 3rd place has been enough to seal a ticket to Europe in each of the last eight seasons, and with just two points separating Bala Town (3rd) and Cardiff Met (5th) it bodes to be a thrilling and competitive second phase to the campaign. 

In August 2016, Cardiff Met played their first ever JD Cymru Premier fixture, losing 1-0 away at Airbus UK, but since that defeat the Archers are unbeaten in five meetings with the Broughton bunch (won three, drawn two). 


League form: 

Cardiff Met: ✅➖✅✅✅
Airbus UK:❌❌❌❌❌ 

 Pen-y-bont (4th) v Newtown (6th) | Saturday – 17:15 

Last year’s JD Welsh Cup runners-up, Pen-y-bont have progressed into this season’s quarter finals following a 0-2 triumph over Gresford Athletic, and Rhys Griffiths’ gang will now face Holywell Town in the last eight. 

Pen-y-bont have won four games on the bounce, kept eight clean sheets in 11 matches and the players look completely committed in trying to reach their goal of securing European qualification for the first time in the club’s history. 

Newtown will also be dreaming of representing Wales in Europe as the Robins aim to qualify for the third successive season. 

There are four European tickets up for grabs this year, and those will be granted to the top two in the league, the JD Welsh Cup winners, and the play-off winners. 

But following Newtown’s 7-0 thrashing at the hands of The New Saints last Saturday, the Welsh Cup route is now shut for Chris Hughes’ clan. 

If either one of the league’s top two teams also go on to lift the Welsh Cup, then the 3rd placed team would automatically qualify for Europe, which highlights the importance for Newtown to close the seven-point gap between themselves and Bala Town (3rd). 

The Robins have lost just once in their last nine league fixtures (won seven, drawn one) and the mid-Wales Reds haven’t lost on any of their last three visits to Pen-y-bont (won two, drawn one). 


League form: 

Pen-y-bont: ✅✅✅➖❌
Newtown: ➖✅✅❌✅ 


Flint Town United (9th) v Pontypridd United (10th) | Saturday – 17:15 

With 11 rounds of matches left to play in the JD Cymru Premier season, this will be a real ‘six-pointer’ between two teams battling to avoid relegation. 

There’s just one point separating Flint Town United and Pontypridd United – two clubs who went through real overhauls during the summer and will be looking to kick on in the second phase. 

Since Lee Fowler took over at Flint Town United, all but one of the playing squad have departed the club, which emphasises the magnitude of their win against Pontypridd United on the opening weekend of the season (Pontypridd 0-1 Flint). 

Andrew Stokes has also built a brand-new squad after taking the helm at Pontypridd last May, and the improved results over the Christmas period are a sign that the league newcomers have started to find their feet in the JD Cymru Premier. 


After Flint Town United’s disappointing 1-8 home defeat to The New Saints, the Silkmen will be eager to end the first phase on a more positive note, while Pontypridd United will be glad to be facing anyone rather than Bala Town after three successive games against the Lakesiders. 


League form: 

Flint Town United: ❌➖➖❌✅
Pontypridd United: ❌✅➖✅❌

 The New Saints (1st) v Bala Town (3rd) | Saturday – 17:15 (S4C) 

It was a successful Saturday for both The New Saints and Bala Town last weekend as the two teams booked their place in the JD Welsh Cup quarter finals with victories over top-flight opponents (TNS 7-0 Newtown, Bala Town 2-1 Pontypridd United). 

Welsh Cup holders, The New Saints will travel to either Cwmbrân Celtic or Penydarren in the last eight, while Bala Town will host one of JD Cymru South’s strongest sides, Briton Ferry Llansawel. 

Since their 0-3 defeat to Dundee in the Scottish Challenge Cup in September, The New Saints have gone 18 games without a loss in all competitions (won 16, drawn two), which includes their comfortable 0-5 win away at Bala Town in October.  

The New Saints played out a goalless draw at Pen-y-bont in November, but since then the champions have run riot, scoring a sensational 46 goals in eight games (5.75 goals per game). 

The Oswestry outfit only need another six goals to reach their total tally from the end of last season (86), and Craig Harrison’s crew would need to score 22 goals in their remaining 11 games to break their own record for goals scored in a single campaign (101 goals in 2016/17). 


The New Saints are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings with Bala Town (won seven, drawn four) but Colin Caton will be cautious to try and avoid a heavy defeat ahead of the Lakesiders’ Nathaniel MG Cup final against Connah’s Quay next Saturday. 


League form: 

The New Saints: ✅✅✅✅✅
Bala Town: ➖✅❌✅✅ 

 All goals can be viewed on Sgorio’s online accounts, and the weekend’s highlights will be on Sgorio on Monday night at 10:00 on S4C. 

Rhys Llwyd

Author Rhys Llwyd

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