The ninth round of the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League kicks off this weekend with three matches on Friday night, starting with an intriguing clash between the league’s bottom two sides, Aberystwyth (11/10) and Afan Lido (15/8) at Park Avenue.
Given the dreaded vote of confidence this week, Aberystwyth manager Tomi Morgan will be all too aware that his side must start to deliver the goods sooner rather later, and his side are yet to win at home so far this season. Opponents Afan Lido could be heavy-legged after being forced to play extra-time in their League Cup tie midweek in which marksman Mark Jones scored four. 12/5 is the price for the draw – a result which would do little for either side.
Third-placed Bangor City (4/11) shaded past Carmarthen Town last weekend and go into their game with Bala Town (6/1) in the knowledge that a win would put them top of the table – for a few hours at least. Bangor City’s 100% record at home will be challenged by a Bala side coming off successive wins after a slow start.
Despite being swept aside 5-0 last weekend, Port Talbot (4/5) have generally proven to be a difficult outfit to beat this season and will savour the challenge of a Friday night match against Carmarthen Town (11/4). The visitors injury problems appearing to be lifting and the return of keeper Stephen Cann last weekend will reinforce the Old Gold but striker Craig Hughes remains sidelined. The two sides could well cancel each other out at 5/2.
Llanelli (6/4) are another side who’re travel with players returning from injury and suspension, but their severe financial worries continue to dominant the headlines. Embarrassed by Bala Town last week, an even stiffer test awaits on Saturday at Airbus UK (11/8). The Wingmakers have grown into a formidable side in recent weeks and have a strike record to be fearful of, having scored 16 goals in their last three.
High-flying Prestatyn (11/10) travel to Newtown (15/8) looking for their fifth win in six matches. Prestatyn have been freely-scoring this term with Jason Price and Andy Parkinson developing a clinical partnership in front of goal to send the North Walian’s joint top-of-the-table, second only on goal difference. Bernard McNally’s Newtown have developed into an inconsistent side of late and an injury-ravaged squad will do little to ease his selection worries.
Connah’s Quay (11/2) will face their most difficult test yet since promotion to the top-flight with the visit of champions TNS (2/5), in Saturday afternoon’s televised fixture (live on S4C and online). The league leaders were in devastating form last weekend, cruising to a 5-0 win over Port Talbot and look to have found their stride following a three-game blip a few weeks ago. Connah’s Quay have been gutsy this season, particularly at the Deeside stadium where they have won three of their four home fixtures but TNS should be a challenge too far.
Aberystwyth 11/10 Draw 12/5 Afan Lido 15/8
Bangor City 4/11 Draw 10/3 Bala Town 6/1
Port Talbot 4/5 Draw 5/2 Carmarthen 11/4
Airbus UK 11/8 Draw 12/5 Llanelli 6/4
Newtown 15/8 Draw 12/5 Prestatyn 11/10
Connah’s Quay 11/2 Draw 3/1 TNS 2/5