- Gwent Weekend Preview


Gwent weeknd preview
 
DIVISION Two rivals Caldicot Town and Llanwern kick off the weekend's action on Friday while Goytre continue their bid to land the Division One title on Saturday with a a home match against namesakes Goytre United.
 
Friday (7.30pm).
 
Division Two (figures in brackets relate to table positions of 16).
 
Jubilee Way: Caldicot Town (2) v Llanwern (14).
 
These clubs have vastly different targets with Caldicot attempting to regain the top-flight status they lost in 2010-2011
and the visitors trying to avoid a drop back to the lower level from where they gained promotion two seasons ago.
Current form suggest the hosts will begin as red-hot favourites to land an 11th win from 13 starts while success for the visitors will be only their third in 15 league fixtures.
Caldicot are just two points adrift of table-topping Undy Athletic, but a couple of matches in hand with Llanwern only one from safety having played the same amount of games as the team above them, Penrhiwceiber Rangers,
Scoring goals has been a problem for Llanwern, who have netted just 15 times, while Caldicot's clean-sheet record
shows seven kept to follow on from last season's total of 14.
 
Last-six guide:
Caldicot Town: W W L W W W
Llanwern: W L L W L L
 
Saturday (all 2..00pm).
 
Division One (figures in brackets relate to table positions of 16).
 
Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach: Aberbargoed Buds (15) v Barry Town United (3).
 
Aberbargoed returned to winning ways with a 3-1 home triumph over Division Two outfit Ammanford in a home League Cup tie.
The success should act as a confidence boost because they failed to score in losing all of their previous three league games.
That kind of form goes against their goal record because with 25, Aberbargoed are the top scorers among division's bottom six.
Unbeaten-in-four Barry, who like Aberbargoed also play on a 3G surface, scored 13 times in those quartet of matches and trail leaders Cardiff Metropolitan University for only four points.
 
Last-six guide:
Aberbargoed Buds: W W L W L L
Barry: D L W D W W
 
Lakeside Sports Academy: Clydach Vale: Cambrian & Clydach (6) v Risca United (12).
 
Not so very long ago, gaining a positive result from this type of fixture may have looked a massive task for a then-struggling Risca
But three wins from their last four league and cup fixtures have given them a massive lift and they will go into this match full of confidence.
They will, however, want to play far better than they did when losing 2-0 at home against Cambrian & Clydach on October 9 last year.
This venue's 3G pitch will hold no fears for Risca as they also play on one, although they will be aware the hosts are unbeaten in six - winning all of their last three outings.
 
Last-six guide:
Cambrian & Clydach: W W D W W W
Risca United: L L L W L W
 
Plough Road: Goytre (2) v Goytre United (7).
 
Goytre put an end to a depressing run of three consecutive defeats by winning 5-0 at bottom-placed Garden Village last time out.
That result may have not been of a surprise to anyone, but often such a scoreline can prove to be a catalyst for a long, unbeaten run.
Goytre are just a single point adrift of leaders Cardiff Metropolitan University with each side having 13 fixtures remaining.
The visitors defeated their namesakes 3-0 at home back early October, have lost only one if 11 and have enough matches in hand to eventually join in the race for the title.
 
Last-six guide:
Goytre: W W L L L W
Goytre United: D W W L D D
 
Sports Ground: Monmouth Town (10) v Ton Pentre (11).
 
Monmouth's record of just four wins from 18 league games means they are not clear of the relegation zone
and they really do need to start to put some ticks in their W column.
Their only success in their last eight league outings was 3-0 at Aberbargoed Buds three weeks ago and they
have just a dozen matches remaining.
However with Richard Greaves and Nick Harrhy in fine goalscoring form with 12 and 10 respectively, the
general feeling is The Kingfishers have enough fire power to maintain their top-level status.
The visitors are just a point behind, but have played five games less - although they won only twice in their
previous nine league matches.
 
Last-six guide:
Monmouth Town: L D D L W L
Ton Pentre: W D L L W L
 
Division Two (figures in brackets relate to table positions of 16).
 
Merthyr Road: AFC Llwydcoed (8) v Undy Athletic (1).
 
This game marks the end of the first half of Undy's 30-fixture programme and there's little doubt a repeat in the
second 15 games will see them gain promotion to the top flight for the first time.
However football is not as simple as that and Undy have an experienced enough manager in Laurence Owen not to look any further than this particular match.
Stretched their unbeaten league run to nine with a 2-0 home win over Penrhiwceiber Rangers, taking their goal tally
to 38 - the highest in the entire division.
Mid-table Llwydcoed visited the region last weekend, when they won 2-1 against struggling Llanwern at Newport
Stadium - an outcome took their run of successive victories to three.
 
Last-six guide:
AFC Llwydcoed: D L L W W W
Undy Athletic: W W W D W W
 
Dinas Park: AFC Porth (10) v Cwmbran Celtic (6).
 
Celtic have hit a slight form dip of two consecutive league and cup reverses and must recover from throwing away a 2-0 lead in losing 3-2 at home to Cwmamman United in a League Cup tie last Saturday.
Previous to those defeats, there was a run of four successive wins and because they have many games in hand over
all of the teams above them, Celtic remain in the promotion hunt.
With 23 goals, they are the lowest scorers in the top seven - although that can certainly be put down to the fact
they have played only 11 league fixtures.
Porth are managed by former Celtic boss Gareth Morgan and stand 10 points behind having played two matches more and were 4-0 losers at Llanelli Town last time out a couple of weeks ago.
 
Last-six guide:
AFC Porth: W L L W D L
Cwmbran Celtic: L W W W W L
 
Larkfield Ground: Chepstow Town (16) v Cwmamman United (7).
 
Chepstow are another club way behind on league fixtures and their last outing in this competiton was as far back as
October 31, when they lost 3-1 at home to Pontardawe Town.
In between, they did manage a couple of League Cup ties, winning 3-2 at Ely Rangers on November 21 before going
down 3-1 at Division One Briton Ferry Llansawel last Saturday.
Obviously they have played less times than all of the teams above them, although this could well prove to be a
difficult task for them.
Cwmamman have won seven of the only eight league fixtures they have played and although their last was on October
24, they looked a decent side when winning a League Cup tie 3-2 at Cwmbran Celtic last Saturday.
Last-six guide:
Chepstow Town: W L L D L L
Cwmamman United: L W W W W W
 
Glasbrook Field: Penrhiwceiber Rangers (13) v Croesyceiliog (12).
 
Croesyceiliog posted only their second win of the 2015-2016 campaign recently with a 2-1 home success over
fellow-strugglers Dinas Powys
However the result was enough to lift manager Mark Waddon's side off the very bottom of the table, although they
lead basement side Chepstow by just a couple of points having played two games more.
Nonetheless, the win ended a sequence of five successive defeats and raises hope they can eventually avoid dropping
down to the lowest level.
An alarming slump of six defeats from their last seven league outings, including last weekend's 2-0 reverse at
table-topping Undy Athletic, has placed Rangers just above the drop zone.
 
Last-six guide:
Penrhiwceiber Rangers: L L W L L L
Croesyceiliog: L L L L L W
 
Division Three (figures in brackets relate to table positions of 18).
 
Athletic Ground: Caerau (5) v Tredegar Town (6).
 
Tredegar are in a similar positions to many other clubs in terms of a lack of match practice and they will be hoping this will prove to be their first outing since losing 2-0 at Abergavenny Town on December 12.
That made it four without a win for manager Gareth Harbord's troops following as many consecutive wins and
the sequence has more or less scuppered their promotion hopes.
Only two will go up to the next level and Tredegar will start here 13 points adrift of second-placed Bridgend
Street having played one more fixture.
Therefore a mid-table spot is the likely outcome for Tredegar, whose 23-goal tally is the lowest among the division's
top eight clubs.
Caerau looked genuine promotion contenders in winning eight out of nine games, but three defeats on the trot has
hindered their prospects of going up.
 
Last-six guide:
Caerau: L W W L L L
Tredegar: W W L L D L
 
Cold Bath Road: Caerleon (10) v Bettws (11).
 
In terms of results, Caerleon are probably going through their best spell for a couple of seasons and start here
with three wins and a draw from their last five league and cup fixtures.
The last of those victories was against the visitors who they thrashed 6-1 at their Bridgend base only last weekend
in a League Cup tie.
However football has a way of getting its own back and that result only means Caerleon will begin as favourites
to land the three points.
Bettws will undoubtedly want to gain some sort of revenge and although they have lost their last two league games,
they previously had gone down just once in six outings.
 
Last-six guide:
Caerleon: L L W L D W
Bettws: L W D W L L
 
Station Road, Wenvoe: Ely Rangers (14) v Treowen Stars (13).
 
Treowen's relegation problems continued on Wednesday night, when they slumped to a 9-2 away defeat at the hands
of league debutants STM Sports.
Manager Simon Evans' side actually led 2-1 before the interval through goals by Johnny Edwards, his fifth of the season, and Scott Jones.
However the wheels fell off following the harsh-looking sending off of goalkeeper Cael Jones and the outcome pushed Treowen down one place below Ely on goal difference.
Ely have recovered enough from a terrible start to the season to produce a form run of only one defeat in their last
six league matches and were 2-1 victors at fellow-strugglers Treharris recently
 
Last-six guide:
Ely Rangers: D W D D L W
Treowen Stars: W L W L L L
 
Windmill Ground: Llantwit Major (9) v Panteg (15).
 
It's an amazing fact that here we are in mid January and Panteg have played only 10 league games since the season began on August 15 last year.
It means they still have 24 games remaining and this particular fixture is the first of a sequence of three away matches out of the next four.
Therefore it's crucial manager Mark Taylor's men begin to pick up points as they currently stand just seven ahead of bottom-placed Newport Civil Service.
The unbeaten-in-six hosts are a further half-dozen points ahead having played two more games and here will be out to gain some sort of revenge for a 2-1 reverse at Panteg in late September.
 
Last-six guide:
Llantwit Major: W W W W D D
Panteg: W L W L L W
 
Spytty Park: Lliswerry (7) v Treharris Athletic Western (17).
 
Only one win from five has placed Lliswerry just outside to top six - although it has to be pointed out
they have played more game, 18, than any other side in the division.
Indeed the majority have enough games in hand to overtake manager Matty Smith's side and certainly Lliswerry
can still be dragged into the relegation dog fight.
Having explained that, it's generally felt Lliswerry are well capable of accumulating enough points to eventually
ensure their league status for 2016-2017.
Treharris, with just two wins from 12 starts, are deep in trouble at the wrong end of the table and have only
basement side Newport Civil Service below them.
 
Last-six guide:
Lliswerry: W L L L W L
Treharris Athletic Western: L L D L D L
 
Shannon Close, Bettws: Newport Civil Service (18) v STM Sports (4).
 
NCS are making a determined effort to avoid the drop back to the Gwent County League and earlier this week
announced the signing of five new players - with possibly more to follow.
Because the campaign has been fragmented due to many postponements, it's often difficult to gauge a side's
playing form.
So perhaps last weekend's 5-1 defeat at Cwm Welfare can be put down to it being NCS' first competative game
for no less than 56 days.
STM's emphatic 8-2 home win over Treowen Stars in mid-week was their fourth on the trot and stretched their unbeaten run to a seventh game.
 
Last-six guide:
Newport Civil Service: L L L L L L
STM Sports: W D W W W W
 
FAW Trophy, quarter-finals (kick offs 1.30pm and to be played to a conclusion).
 
Ely Field, Penycraig: Sporting Marvels v Abergavenny Town.
 
Division Three promotion contenders Abergavenny have found no problem in scoring goals this season and will begin here having managed 58 in 22 league and cup fixtures.
On only one ocassion, in a 3-0 defeat at Pontypridd Town, have they failed to find the back of the net and will be the more fancied to progress to the last eight.
The Rhondda-based hosts play in the newly-formed Welsh Alliance League and among their four wins to get to this stage was 5-1 at home against Gwent County League side Abertillery Excelsiors in mid October.