- Gwent Weekend Preview


CWMBRAN Celtic's home clash against Llanwern is the feature of Saturday's Welsh Cup ties while Nathaniel Cars Welsh League strugglers Monmouth Town and Aberbargoed Buds meet in a Division One derby.
 
Saturday (League games kick off at 2.30pm).
 
Division One (figures in brackets relate to league positions of 16).
 
Plough Road: Goytre (3) v Briton Ferry Llansawel (11).
 
It's been a hugely encouraging beginning for Goytre joined bosses Carl Evans and Lee Relish, whose unbeaten side looks heads and shoulders above the one which finished 2014-2015 in a disappointing 10th position.
Goytre are placed just a couple of points behind table-topping Cardiff Metropolitan University and only one adrift of second-placed Goytre United - the trio being the only three unbeaten teams in the top tier.
Goytre were 3-0 victors at Monmouth Town in their last league outing, although they slipped out of the League Cup last Saturday - losing 1-0 at divisional rivals Ton Pentre.
BFS beat visiting Risca United 1-0 on the opening Saturday of the campaign last month, but have not won any of their three outings since.
 
Form guide:
Goytre: W D W D W
Briton Ferry: W D L D
 
Sports Ground: Monmouth Town (14) v Aberbargoed Buds (12).
 
This is a county derby between two sides who between them have won only one game in 10 league starts, Monmouth experiencing their worst beginning to a season since they entered the league in 2007-2008.
Given Dan MacDonald and Nick Harrhy have already scored four and three goals respectively, The Kingfishers' current plight is something of a surprise.
After four without success, Aberbargoed finally out a tick in their win column by seeing off visiting League Cup holders Taffs Well 4-0.
With both sides knowing they can not, even at this relatively early stage of the season, afford to lose - maybe this match has all the ingredients to end all square.
 
Form guide:
Monmouth Town: L D L D L
Aberbargoed Buds: D L L L W
 
Centre of Excellence, Ystrad Mynach: Risca United (10) v Goytre United (2).
 
Given they suffered defeats in their first three matches, Risca appear to be on something of a roll having since beaten Garden Village (2-1 away) and defending champions Caerau (Ely) (2-0 at home).
That win over the title-holders was important because it proved the players can produce positive results on this venue's 4G playing surface following two consecutive reverses.
Unlike last season, there are no easy encounters in the top tier and this is yet another difficult test for The Cuckoos - but one they are capable of passing.
The Port Talbot-based visitors, who also play home fixtures on an artificial pitch, have won all four of their league games and are just a point behind leaders Cardiff Metropolitan University with a game in hand.
 
Form guide:
Risca United: L L L W W
Goytre: W D W D W
 
Division Three (figures in brackets relate to table positions of 19).
 
Mendgalief Road: Newport YMCA (8) v Tredegar Town (9).
 
This is a mid-table derby clash between two clubs, who had contrasting fortunes last season - the home side rallying to eventually finish 13th while another seven points would have seen the visitors promoted.
New YMCA boss Nicky Morgan's remitt is to get the club back to Division Two while his Tredegar counterpart Gareth Harbord seeks to make up for successive near-misses in the race to go up.
YMCA start on the back of last weekend's 1-0 League Cup defeat at divisional rivals Caerleon with Tredegar's last outing producing a 1-1 draw at Treowen Stars.
Because this is the division's only fixture of the day, any winner will moved up to sixth position and half a dozen points behind table-topping Abergavenny Town
 
Form guide:
Newport YMCA: W L D
Tredegar: L W D
 
JD Welsh Cup, qualifying-round two (all 2.30pm kick offs and to be played to a conclusion).
 
Cwmbran Park: Cwmbran Celtic v Llanwern.
 
This clash is a repeat of a Division Two game at the same venue two weeks ago, when Celtic emerged 2-1 victors after going a goal down - although their leading scorer Josh Bull has missed the last two games with a hamstring.
Since, Celtic have won 5-0 at Newport YMCA in a League Cup tie, but Llanwern lost 4-1 at Ely Rangers in the same competition.
The home side have been more consistent this season, although don't rule out this tie going all the way to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
 
Woodland Road: Croesyceiliog v Llanelli Town.
 
This really is a difficult tie for Croesyceiliog to progress from, even though they are the home side, because their Division Two rivals have won all four of their league and cup fixtures following promotion.
Croesyceiliog, on the other hand, sit one from the bottom and were dumped out of the League Cup last time out in being beaten 4-1 at home by Cwmamman United.
 
Panteg House: Panteg v Ammanford.
 
While Panteg's Division Three form is poor, they lie bottom of the 19-strong Division Three table with no wins from three fixtures, they have already won two cup games in 2015-2016.
They saw off Newport YMCA 2-1 at home in the Welsh Cup before knocking out visiting Lliswerry of the League Cup with a 5-2 triumph.
This will be a tough ask because Ammanford are unbeaten in five outings in their first season back in Division Two following a one-season absence.
 
Canal Park, Loudon Square: AFC Butetown v Chepstow Town.
 
It's been an inconsistent start for Division Two side Chepstow with two wins and four defeats - including s 7-1 loss and a 6-0 victory.
They sit ninth in the second-tier table and start here on the back of last Saturday's 2-1 home league reverse at the hands of promoted Ammanford.
The hosts may well be a non-league side, but they lead the newly-formed South Wales Alliance with four wins from five fixtures and this won't be an easy task for Chepstow to reach the first round proper.
 
Dinas Park: AFC Porth v Undy Athletic.
 
This is a meeting of former Llanwern bosses with Undy's Laurence Owen, alongside fellow-joint manager Michael Flynn, up against Porth's Gareth Morgan.
Undy are fourth in the Division Two table with two wins and a draw from six while Porth are 12th having played three matches less - with a victory and a draw from two.
Undy may have a physiological advantage because the beat Porth 6-1 in a home league game on August 15, although Morgan had since strengthened by bringing in several new faces.
 
Mynydd Newydd: Penlan v Caldicot Town.
 
Caldicot have made a 100 per cent beginning to their Division Two campaign with four wins on the trot, keeping two clean-sheets in the process.
Because of that and the fact they play in a much-higher standard of football, manager Mark Williams' side will start as red-hot favourites against their Swansea Senior League hosts.
However cup tie are not scripted and form often goes out of the window, therefore Caldicot will have to work hard for any positive result they may gain.
 
Morgan Jones Park, Caerphilly: Dynamo Aber v Treowen Stars.
 
After starting with two successive defeats, Treowen have rallied well and are unbeaten in their last four league and cup fixtures.
Boss Simon Evans will be keen to stretched that record to five and will doubtless be the more fancied side as the host play at a lower level.
However they have won both of their first two South Wales Alliance Division Two games and reached this stage by winning 4-1 on penalties following a 4-4 draw at Gwent County League side FC Tredegar.
 
Ivor Park: Pontyclun v Caerleon.
 
Caerleon are on the road to recovery following last season's relegation to Division Three and are unbeaten in five league and cup games.
They have won and drawn twice in league outings while they earned a 2-0 victory at Tredegar Town in qualifying-round one plus 5-1 at home against Treharris Athletic Western in a League Cup tie.
Pontyclun have not made a good beginning to their South Wales Alliance Premier Division fixtures and they sit one from the bottom with a win and three defeats.