- Gwent Weekend Preview


A TOP-FLIGHT county derby between host Goytre and Risca United is the stand-out league fixture on Saturday, when several clubs will be out to make progress to the second qualifying round of the Welsh Cup.

Saturday (all 2.30pm kick offs).

Division One (figures in brackets relate to table positions of 16 in all divisions).

Lakeside Sports Academy: Cambrian & Clydach (13) v Cwmbran Celtic (2).

Cwmbran Celtic got their 2016-2017 fixture campaign off to an excellent start with a hard-earned 2-0 home success over form Welsh Premier League outfit Port Talbot Town.
They followed it up by beating Division Two hosts Ammanford 3-0 on Wednesday to reach round two of the League Cup with Rhys Williams, Josh Bull and Lee Penry on target.
They gave a club debut to recently-signed goalkeeper Tom Chorley, but are expected to recall number-one choice Lewis Watkins - who started against Port Talbot. 
The hosts also emerged winners in their opening match of the new season, winning 1-0 at Afan Lido, but slipped out of the League Cup in mid-week when they lost 2-0 at home to Monmouth Town.

Form guide:
C&C: W - -
Celtic: W - -

Plough Road: Goytre (3) v Risca United (8).

Both these clubs won their first league games of the season last weekend, Goytre 4-3 at Caldicot Town and Risca 1-0 at Goytre United.
However they experienced mixed fortunes in League Cup first-round ties in mid-week, Goytre losing 1-0 away against top-flight rivals Caerau (Ely) while Risca thrashed lower-level outfit Trefelin 6-1 after extra time.
Tom Berry, Liam Shaw and Kyle Williams all scored twice for The Cuckoos, who will now to face county rivals Monmouth Town in round two on a day and at a venue yet to be decided next week.
Goytre have a decent home record over recent campaigns, but this match-up really has parity written all over it and that is an outcome which could suit both sides at this particular stage of the season.

Form guide:
Goytre: W - -
Risca: W - -

GenQuip Stadium: Port Talbot Town (15) v Caldicot Town (9).

Caldicot must forget last weekend's 4-3 home defeat at the hands of nearest and fiercest rivals Undy Athletic, who took the points after recovering from a 3-1 interval deficit.
The may have banished the bad memory on Wednesday had not their scheduled home League Cup tie against crisis club West End not been postponed because the Swansea-based club were unable to raise a team.
That, however, has meant Caldicot have been handed a bye into the last 32 and they will now entertain Division Three side STM Sports (Cardiff) next Wednesday night.
Port Talbot were beaten 2-0 at Cwmbran Celtic first time out, but managed to recover well enough to post a 3-1 home League Cup victory over AFC Porth in mid-week. 

Form guide:
Port Talbot: L - - 
Caldicot: L - -

Ynys Park: Ton Pentre (4) v Monmouth Town (14).

Monmouth overcame a disappointing 1-0 away defeat at the hands of Caerau (Ely) by recording a fine 2-0 League Cup success at divisional rivals Cambrian & Clydach.
Scoring for The Kingfishers were Sam Palmer (penalty) and Elliott Ford, but because their home ground is currently being used for cricket, a venue and a date for the round-two visit of Risca United has yet to be confirmed.
It must be remembered manager Andrew Smith saw the pre-season departure of half-a-dozen players of much quality and experience because of that, every point his side can pick up will prove absolutely crucial.
Ton have never really come close to winning anything for a number of years, but are always a tough nut to crack on their own patch - where they defeated visiting Penybont 3-2 first time out.

Form guide:
Ton Pentre: W
Monmouth: L

Glenhafod Park Stadium: Goytre United (13) v Undy Athletic (16).

Divisional debutants Undy have enjoyed a winning start to their campaign, although they had to come back from being 3-1 down before winning 4-3 on both ocassions against host county rivals.
They followed up their first seven-goal-thriller success at Caldicot Town by repeating the feat at Chepstow Town in a League Cup, first-round clash on Wednesday night.
Despite being minus six regulars, Undy scored via Rhys Aherne (2), Ben Lawrence and James Barnes as they squeezed past their Division Three rivals after extra time. 
United, who last lifted the top-flight title in 2009-2010, will be flat out to return to winning ways having lost their opening game 1-0 at home against Risca United.

Form guide:
Goytre Utd.: L
Undy: L

Division Two.

Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach: Aberbargoed Buds (15) v Ammanford (3).

Second successive home league game for Aberbargoed will certainly want to do far better than last Saturday's 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Croesyceiliog.
They did, however, regain some confidence by edging past visiting Division One side Penybont 4-3 on penalties, following a 1-1 after-extra-time draw, on Wednesday to reach the second round of the League Cup.
Eliott Williams was on target for manager Lee Costa's side and he also netted in the spot-kick shoot-out - as did Scott Armitage, Kieron Thomas and Jordan Maisey as the Buds set up a round-two home tie with another top-flight club, Port Talbot Town next week.
Ammanford were 3-0 victors over visiting Dinas Powys in their season's opener, but lost by the same score to Cwmbran Celtic in a first-round League Cup clash.

Form guide:
Buds: L
Ammanford: W

Old Road: Briton Ferry Llansawel (6) v Croesyceiliog (2).

Croesyceiliog played well in overwhelming hosts Aberbargoed Buds 4-0 to start their 2016-2017 season with a convincing win
But having made seven changes from that line-up, they slipped out of the League Cup in mid-week when they lost 2-0 away against Division Three side Llantwit Major.
Nonetheless, manager Mark Waddon will feel confident of following up that opening-day success here - although he will be aware the hosts are on a mission to earn first-time promotion to the top tier.
BFL suffered enforced relegation at the end of the 2015-2016 season and began their quest to return by winning 1-0 at Garden Village last Friday night.

Form guide:
BFL:
Croesyceiliog: W

Welsh Cup, first qualifying round (2.30pm kick offs and to be played to a conclusion).

Pen-Y-Pound Stadium: Abergavenny Town v Chepstow Town.

Because Division Two opponents West End (Swansea) were unable to raise a side for last Saturday's fixture at this venue, this will be Abergavenny's first match in 2016-2017.
However they know all about knock-out football having won last season's FAW Trophy and here they will start as firm favourites to secure a place in the next qualifying round.
Chepstow lost their first Division Three game 4-0 away against debutants Trefelin, but played much better in going down 4-3 at home to Division One outfit Undy Athletic in a League Cup tie - Leo Ross, Steve Perszewski and Niall Yeates scoring. 

Abertillery Leisure Centre: Abertillery Bluebirds v Treowen Stars.

Manager Simon Evans witnessed his Treowen team earn three points from Saturday's 2-1 Division Three home success over Cardiff-based STM Sports.
However they failed to go top of the table on Wednesday, when they lost 3-2 at Treharris Athletic Western - their goals being scored by Dean Randall and Ricky Amos (penalty).
Abertillery were relegated from Division Three to the Gwent County League at the end of the 2013-2014 season after which they moved to playing on a 3G surface at the town's leisure centre.

Cold Bath Road: Caerleon v Cwm Welfare

Caerleon, again with a trio of joint managers in Brendan Dowd, Nick Davies and Dave Griffiths, lost their opening match 2-1 against visiting league debutants Treharris Athletic.
They were not in mid-week action because they were handed a home bye to the second round of the League Cup against second-tier side Abergavenny Town, who they entertain next Wednesday.
Cwm will obviously be seeking to improve on their opening-day fixture, a 5-0 home thumping at the hands of visiting Llantwit Major.
 
RTB Ebbw Vale v Newport City.

City got off to the worst possible start last weekend, when they slumped to a 6-1 away defeat by newly-promoted Pontypridd Town.
With a squad made up almost entireally of newcomers, manager Ben Gifford will be aware positive results must be gained sooner rather than later and this is already a must-win game. 
The Gwent County League hosts are a decent home side hosts and will most certainly fancy themselves for a spot of giant-killing here.
 
Bridge Field, Bedwas: Trethomas Bluebirds v Panteg.

Panteg have experienced mixed fortunes to start their season, Luke Dyke on target in a 2-1 opening-day reverse by Treharris Athletic Western.
However Dyke bagged a well-taken hat-trick as Panteg earned a place in the second round of the League Cup by beating visiting Division Two side Garden Village in mid-week.
Trethomas followed up a 2-1 Division Three win at Caerleon by also making League Cup progress, emerging 2-1 after-extra-time victors at Tredegar Town - thanks to goals from Leon Young and Steve Edwards.

Wattsville Arena: Wattsville v Tredegar Town.

It could not have been a better start to the new league campaign for Tredegar, whose attacking midfielder Ian Pettit scored four times in last Saturday's 5-1 home success over Penrhiwceiber Rangers.
However they had only Owen Thomas on target when going down to a 2-1 League Cup first-round loss to Trethomas Bluebirds in mid-week.
Wattsville play in the Gwent County League's Division Town and will begin here as massive underdogs to progress to the next qualifying round.