- Gwent Weekend Preview


DIVISION One leaders Cwmbran Celtic will seek to stretch their 100 per cent start to their league campaign to a third game against visiting Taffs Well while rivals Risca United kick off the weekend's action tonight (FRIDAY) against former Welsh Premier outfit Port Talbot Town.

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

Friday (7.30pm).

Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach: Risca United (6) v Port Talbot Town (10).

Risca have made a favourable start to their season and remain unbeaten in three league and cup games under player-manager Paul Michael.
His team returned to their spiritual home at Ty-Isaf Park on Tuesday to keep the run going in defeating top-flight rivals Monmouth Town 2-0.
Seb Haggett opened the scoring before former Aberbargoed Buds colleague Liam Shaw put the tie to bed with an absolutely magnificent aerial-kick effort, an early contender for The Cuckoos' goal-of-the-season award. 
This is Port Talbot's fourth game against Gwent clubs, losing 2-0 away and winning 3-1 at home against Cwmbran Celtic and Caldicot Town in league games respectively while also posting a 4-3 League Cup victory at Aberbargoed in mid-week.

Form guide:
Risca: W D -
Port Talbot: L W -

Saturday (all 2.30pm kick offs).

Jenner Park: Barry Town United (3) v Monmouth Town (13).

Monmouth's stuttering start continued at Risca on Tuesday, when they slipped to a 2-0 League Cup defeat - although they were minus several key players, including leading scorer Nick Harrhy.
Player-boss Andrew Smith will doubtless be aware the loss of half-a-dozen quality and experienced players during pre-season must now be put aside and there were signs against Risca that
the new-look squad has much to offer.
However this is a really tough-looking task for The Kingfishers to earn a positive result from - although it's far from being mission impossible.
Barry are third in the embyronic top-tier table behind Cwmbran Celtic and former champions Caerau (Ely) and have yet to concede a goal in three league and cup outings.

Form guide:
Barry: W D -
Monmouth: L D -

Jubilee Way: Caldicot Town (14) v Cambrian & Clydach (9).

Caldicot counted themselves unlucky in losing both of their opening two league games, 4-3 at home to fierce local rivals Undy Athletic and 2-1 against hosts Port Talbot Town.
However they experienced something of a League Cup disaster on Wednesday night, when they were beaten 4-3 by visiting
Division Three outfit STM Sports (Cardiff).
Tony Wallis, Jacob Guy and Ben Smith netted for Caldicot, but manager Mark Williams' priority must surely now be to plug a leaky defence which has conceded
10 goals in three outings.
C&C opened with a 1-0 win at Afan Lido, but have since lost twice at home, 3-1 against Cwmbran Celtic in a league game and then 2-0 to visiting Monmouth Town
in a League Cup tie.

Form guide:
Caldicot: L L -
C&C: W L -

Celtic Park: Cwmbran Celtic (1) v Taffs Well (7).

Table-topping Celtic lost their proud record of 13 consecutive wins stretching back to late April of this year in mid-week.
Despite Owen Cook heading them into the lead, hosts Undy Athletic took control to post a 3-1 win to reach the League Cup's last 16.
While it was a disappointing outcome for them, Celtic will still feel confident of doing well here - although the visitors are certainly a decent
enough team.
They are unbeaten-in-four league and cup games and their squad includes many players who have appeared for Gwent clubs,
including Aide Harris, Dan Clare, Tyrone Topper, Sam Small, Dale Raven and Richard French. 
 
Form guide:
Celtic: W W -
Taffs Well: W D -

Glenhaford Park Stadium: Goytre United (8) v Goytre (4).

A 4-3 success at Caldicot Town and a 2-2 draw with visiting Risca United means Goytre will bid to extend their unbeaten league start to a third game.
However the side, joint managed by Carl Evans and Lee Relish, did slip out of the League Cup in losing 1-0 at Caerau (Ely).
Goytre have prolific scorers such as Lee Prosser and Dan MacDonald among their ranks and that sort of fire power has made them favourites to land the top-flight
title in the opinion of many. 
In league outings, United have lost and won 1-0 at home to Risca United and at Undy Athletic, while their League Cup campaign lasted just one game - a 5-4
penalty shoot-out defeat at Llanelli Town following a 1-1 after-extra-time draw.

Form guide:
Goytre Utd.: L W -
Goytre: W D -

The Causeway: Undy Athletic (16) v Penybont (11).

Following a couple of league defeats at Barry Town and at home to Goytre United, Undy managed a first win of the season in mid-week.
Two goals from Gareth Cullimore and a 25-yard free kick by Dan Morgan earned them a 3-1 success over visiting Cwmbran Celtic and
a place in the last 16 of the League Cup.
It was a very good result for a side minus more than six key players and should they be available here, then Undy will be better equipped to
land a debut top-tier victory. 
The visitors are experiencing a difficult beginning to 2016-2017 and are winless from three games, including a 4-3 away League Cup defeat
at Aberbargoed Buds.

Form guide:
Undy: L L -
Penybont: L D

Division Two:

Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach: Aberbargoed Buds (15) v Garden Village (12).

Aberbargoed will want to tighten up at the back after shipping four goals in each of the only two games they have played
so far.
An opening-weekend 4-0 home reverse at the hands of Croesyceiliog was followed by a brave display in going down 4-3
at this venue against Division One outfit Penybont in the League Cup.
They were 2-0 down before managing to eventually draw 3-3 over 90 minutes, with Penybont emerging 4-3 victors after extra time.
Scoring for manager Lee Costa's side were Elliott Williams, Kieron Thomas (penalty) and Curtis Hawkins and here they stand
a good chance of posting a first win.
Garden Village have also lost their first couple of games - 2-1 against visiting Briton Ferry Llansawel and then 3-1
at Division Three Panteg in a League Cup tie.

Form guide:
Buds: L - -
G. Village: L - -

Division Three:

Larkfield Park: Chepstow Town v Ynysygerwn (Neath).

Chepstow are bidding for consolidation following last season's relegation from Division Two, but have
not started at all well.
They were thumped 4-0 away by newcomers Trefelin on August 13 since when they have slipped out of the
League Cup because of a 4-3 home reverse by top-flight side Undy Athletic four days later.
Therefore while they have an experienced manager in Dave Livermore at the helm, it's important two successive
defeats do not turn into three.
The west Wales debutants were also beaten on the opening day, 4-0 at home by Ely Rangers, and followed that up
by getting knocked out of the League Cup 3-0 by Cardiff-based Bridgend Street.
   
Form guide:
Chepstow: L - -
Ynysgerwn: L - -

Windmill Ground: Llantwit Major (2) v Caerleon (10).

Caerleon will want to gain something from this game because moral may be a little weak following two successive defeats.
They began their Division Three fixtures by losing 2-1 at home to Treharris Athletic, but slipped up badly on Wednesday when they
were beaten 6-1 at home by second-tier side Abergavenny Town in the League Cup.
Lewis Grant was on target for Caerleon while Abergavenny's Sean Feeley hit a fine hat-trick with other goals coming from Aaron Norman, Luke Lewis,
and Curtis Methven.
Llantwit Major are full of goals and after winning 5-0 at Cwm Welfare in their opening game, they promptly won successive League Cup ties
2-0 and 4-1 at home against Croesyceiliog and Aberdare Town respectively.
 
Form guide:
L. Major: W - -
Caerleon: L - -

Glasbrook Field: Penrhiwceiber Rangers (13) v Treowen Stars (8).

It's been a fair to middling beginning to the new season for Treowen, who have won two of
their three opening fixtures.
They failed to go top of the table in losing 3-2 at Treharris Athletic Western just days after beating
visiting STM Sports (Cardiff) 2-1.
However they recorded a handsome 5-0 home League Cup second-round success over Division Two side AFC Llwydcoed
- Grant Jones scoring four goals and Ryan Meek the other.
Rangers got over a 5-1 reverse at Tredegar Town in their season opener by reaching the same stage of the League Cup
with an impressive 4-1 away triumph over fancied Treharris.

Form guide:
Rangers: L - -
Treowen: W L -

Cardiff Uni. Sports Field, Llanrumney: STM Sports (Cardiff) v Panteg.

Panteg slipped up 2-1 at home to Treharris when they opened up their campaign, but went onto
post a fine League Cup first-round success over Division Two outfit Garden Village.
However they must wait until August 31 before their play their next-round tie, facing a trip to take
on another second-tier side in Newport City.
Manager Mark Taylor has a good blend of youth and experience in his squad, although this will be a
difficult test for his team.
STM lost 2-1 at Treowen, but have since won a couple of away League Cup ties - 5-3 and 4-3 at Ely Rangers
and Caldicot.
 
Form guide:
STM: L - -
Panteg: L - -

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

Eugene Cross Park: RTB Ebbw Vale v Newport City.

City got their Division Two campaign off to an extremely poor start by losing 6-1 away against newly-promoted Pontypridd Town - their only outing to date.
This game was postponed last Saturday and competition rules means should it happen again, then the second re-arranged tie will be switched to the Newport Stadium home ground of City.
The Gwent County League hosts are unbeaten in two, having drawn 3-3 at Cwmbran Town and winning 4-1 away against Newport Civil Service and a spot of giant-killing can not be ruled out here.