- Gwent Weekend Preview


Gwent Saturday preview
 
A HOME tie against Ammanford awaits the winners of Saturday's JD Welsh Cup clash between Panteg and Newport YMCA while Division Two leaders Caldicot Town, who have a 100 per cent record from four games, are not in action.
 
Saturday (all 2.30pm kick offs).
 
JD Welsh Cup, qualifying round one (to be played to a conclusion).
Panteg House: Panteg v Newport YMCA.
This is a re-arranged tie following the club's 4-4 draw last weekend, when the match referee decided fading light would prevent 30 minutes of extra time and any would-be penalty shoot-out from taking place.
Panteg slipped to an away Division Three defeat at unbeaten Abergavenny Town on Wednesday night, when a Tom Wise penalty was their only reward in a 3-1 reverse.
YMCA, under new boss Nicky Morgan, had Dan Cueto and Newri Greenaway on the mark in Wednesday's 2-2 home draw with rivals Caerleon.
 
Division One: (fixtures in brackets indicate table positions of 16).
 
Centre for Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach. Aberbargoed Buds (13) v Taffs Well (3).
After gaining a point from a 1-1 home draw with Penybont on the opening day of the campaign, Aberbargoed have slipped to three consecutive defeats.
The latest came on Wednesday night, when they were beaten 2-1 at home by now-leaders Cardiff Metropolitan University - Seb Haggett scoring with a long-range effort.
However manager Adrian Needs will hope to be able call on the vast majority of the eight players who were unavailable for that game.
Taffs Well lifted the League Cup in 2014-2015 and their two victories have been 2-1 against visiting Monmouth Town and 6-0 at home to Afan Lido.
Form guide:
Aberbargoed Buds: D L L L
Taffs Well: W D W
 
Marston's Stadium, Port Talbot: Afan Lido (14) v Monmouth Town (12).
Monmouth have yet to win and that's a highly-unusual occurrence for them at this stage of any season and because clubs play only 30 league fixtures, getting off to a good start in absolutely essential.
On the plus side, leading scorer Dan MacDonald has already scored four time in three outings - although The Kingfishers also have several other quality goalscorers.
While manager Andrew Smith and his troops will never take anything for granted, this match-up does offer a reasonable opportunity to post that elusive first success.
Lido have yet to score in three fixtures - two of which produced respective 6-0 and 4-0 defeats at the hands of Taffs Well and Goytre.
Form guide:
Afan Lido: L D L
Monmouth Town: L D L
 
Stafford Common, Kingsbridge: Garden Village (15) v Risca United (16).
Having spending 18 seasons outside of the top-tier, three successive defeats means Risca are already sitting rock bottom of the table.
However it must be pointed out two of those reverses were by 1-0 scorelines and the consensus of opinion is that it will not be too long before Risca put a tick in their win column.
Player-boss Paul Michael's team have not enjoyed the best of luck during their matches and expect them to climb away from the danger zone when it turns in their favour.
The hosts are just one place above Risca having lost both of their opening matches, 3-1 at home by defending champions Caerau (Ely) and 5-4 at Aberdare Town.
Form guide:
Garden Village: L L
Risca United: L L L
 
Division Two (figures in brackets relate to table positions of 16).
 
Dinas Park: AFC Porth (14) v Chepstow Town (10).
Chepstow were beaten for the third time in four outings on Wednesday, this time 2-1 at home against closest rivals Caldicot Town - who won for the fourth consecutive game since the season's start.
On target for Chepstow at Jubilee Way was Leo Ross with Caldicot's goals coming from Richard Sharratt and Mitchell Slape.
It was Ross' third league goal of the campaign and with Chepstow also having other regular scorers on board such as Simon Prangley, then the victories will surely start to roll in soon.
This is the first home game in charge for former Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran Celtic and Llanwern manager Gareth, who began his Porth tenure with a 2-1 loss at Margam-based Tata Steel last weekend.
Form guide:
AFC Porth: L D L
Chepstow Town: L L W L
 
Celtic Park: Cwmbran Celtic (4) v Llanwern (12).
Celtic lost their proud 100 per cent win record in mid-week, when they slipped to a hugely disappointing 2-0 home defeat at the hands of county rivals Undy Athletic.
Now new boss Nicky Church must quickly raise moral because although Llanwern have not yet won a game, derby matches are rarely cut and dried.
Llanwern also have a new man in charge and Dan Hartrey watched on as his team picked up it's first point from a 2-2 home draw with visiting Croesyceiliog in only its second game.
Alex North (penalty) and Richard Veale scored for Llanwern with Anthony Richards netting both of Croesyceiliog's efforts.
Form guide:
Cwmbran Celtic: W W W L
Llanwern: L D
 
Sports Ground, Margam: Tata Steel (7) v Undy Athletic (5).
Undy were delighted to end hosts Cwmbran Celtic's 100 per cent run with a 2-0 victory on Wednesday, when joint player-manager Michael Flynn scored his first goal for the club.
Undy's other chief, Laurence Owen, also saw regular scorer Gareth Cullimore grab his second of the campaign as they posted their first clean-sheet.
It all means Undy have lost only one of their first four fixtures and taking a quick look at the hosts' form guide, maybe parity will reign here.
Tata's reasonable beginning to the campaign includes wins over Dinas Powys (1-0) and Porth (2-1), but a heavy defeat (5-0) against leaders Llanelli Town.
Form guide:
Tata Steel: W L W
Undy Athletic: W L D W
 
Division Three: (figures in brackets indicate table positions of 19).
 
Pen-Y-Pound Stadium: Abergavenny Town (2) v Llantwit Major (17).
Abergavenny secured a third win on the trot in mid-week, when visiting Panteg were beaten 3-1, to keep them in touch with leaders Pontypridd Town.
An own goal plus strikes from Dean Morgan and Dan Jenkins earned last season's unbeaten Gwent County League success over their county rivals.
They will start here as clear favourites to post another triumph and should they do so, then they will be then classed as firm promotion favourites.
The visitors are experiencing massive defensive problems having conceded a quartet of goals in both of their two games, losing 4-0 at Treharris Athletic Western and 4-3 at Cardiff-based newcomers STM Sports.
Form guide:
Abergavenny Town: W W W
Llantwit Major: L L
 
Spytty Park: Lliswerry (11) v Bettws (Bridgend) (14).
Lliswerry lost for the second time in three matches in going down 1-0 to visiting city rivals Newport Civil Service on Wednesday.
It didn't help their cause to miss a late penalty for the second successive game and manager Matty Smith will certainly want that sorted out.
This, though, is a quick-fire opportunity to redeem themselves as the visitors have also made an uninspiring start to the 2015-2016 season.
Bettws have struggled at the wrong end of the table over recent seasons and suffered a second defeat in three outings last time out in losing 3-2 at Caerau.
Form guide:
Lliswerry: L W L
Bettws: L D L
 
Shannon Close, Pill: Newport Civil Service (8) v Caerleon (6).
NCS gained their first three-point haul in winning 1-0 against Lliswerry at Spytty Stadium in mid-week, when Marc Lillygreen netted the only goal.
At the other end, goalkeeper Josh Griffiths was the hero by saving a last-minute penalty from Lliswerry's Ashley Johnson to ensure the victory and the club has recently re-signed midfielder Aysa El Doory .
In their first campaign following relegation, Caerleon have made a reasonable start in their bid for first-time promotion.
Their latest outing saw them draw 2-2 at Newport YMCA in mid-week, when their goal scorers were Luke Cueto and Chris Pearce.
Form guide:
Newport Civil Service: D L W
Caerleon: D W D
 
Ynysangharad Park: Pontypridd Town (1) v Tredegar Town (7).
Tredegar travelled to face rivals Treowen in mid-week and earned a share of the spoils thanks to a first goal of the campaign from Tomas Lynch.
Having come close to promotion in the past couple of seasons, many believe Tredegar are well equipped to end their long stay in the lower tier.
Player-boss Gareth Harbord's has again assembled a decent-looking squad, which is expected once again challenge hard to end the club's time in the lower level.
Pontypridd are the early-season pacesetters and their mid-week 4-2 home triumph over Treharris Athletic Western was their third on the trot.
Form guide:
Pontypridd Town: W W W
Tredegar: L W D
 
Bush Park: Treowen Stars (18) v Cardiff Corinthians (10).
Lewys Golding scored his first goal for Treowen as they finished all square with visiting Tredegar on Wednesday night.
The point from the 1-1 draw was Treowen's first of 2014-2015 and it was enough to take manager Simon Evans' troops off the bottom of the table.
Treowen will doubtless here be be flat out to gain an opening win - although this match-up really does look like ending in a draw.
The Corries' early-season form has seen them win and lose games 2-1 so far, at STM Sports and Cwm Welfare respectively.
Form guide:
Treowen Stars: L L D
Cardiff Corinthians: L W