- Gwent Weekend Preview

RISCA United and Abergavenny Thursday both travel west on Saturday seeking places in the semi finals of the Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Cup while Division One leaders Goytre will bid to maintain their status by defeating visiting namesakes Goytre United.

Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Cup, quarter finals.

Conygar Bridge Meadow Haverfordwest County v Risca United.

This a chance for Risca to rid themselves of the memory of their league meeting with Haverfordwest in mid-November at Ystrad Mynach, where they had three players sent off in a 2-0 defeat.
I have always maintained current league form stands for absolutely nothing in a cup tie because a team can play poorly, but will progress if they score more goals than their opponents.
On that basis there is no reason why Risca can not upset the odds and earn a place in the last four for the second successive year following on from their 2015-2016 loss against Taffs Well.

Stebonheath Park: Llanelli Town v Abergavenny Town.

When Abergavenny visited this venue for a Division Two game in September, they looked likely to travel home with a point from a 2-2 draw.
However ex-Swansea legend Lee Trundle scored a sensational three times in as many stoppage-time minutes and his league and cup tally is now 28 in only 14 games, including six trebles.
Therefore it doesn’t need a football expert to know what danger awaits Abergavenny here, although they do start on the back of a fine 3-2 home league win over AFC Porth.


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

Lakeside Sports Academy, Clydach Vale: Cambrian & Clydach (2 ) v Caldicot Town (16).

Time and fixtures are rapidly slipping away for basement side Caldicot, who start here six points from safety.
They have also played more games than the three teams above them, Risca United, Ton Pentre and Undy Athletic.
The one positive note is they conceded only one goal in each of two of their last three outings after winning 4-3 at Cwmbran Celtic in late November.
The hosts have also beaten Celtic, 3-1 last Saturday, but have an odd record of no wins from six home matches - yet have won eight of 12 on the road.

Last-six guide:
C&C: L W L L D W
Caldicot: W L W D L L

Plough Road: Goytre (1) v Goytre United (10).

Leaders Goytre also head the division’s last-six table and remain on course to land their first top-flight championship trophy.
However they must get over being thrown out of the Welsh Cup for fielding an ineligible player in a round-three win over north Walians Llandudno last December.
Are the division's top scorers (44) by some way and netted nine goals in winning their last two league games, 5-3 and 4-1 against county rivals Risca United and Caldicot Town respectively.
The visitors failed to land a third straight win when going down 3-0 at home to Undy Athletic and if Goytre have managed to get their heads straight, a home win is certainly on the cards.

Last-six guide:
Goytre: W W D L W W
United: D L D W W L

Sports Ground: Monmouth Town (12) v Barry Town United(4).

Three wins from four has transformed Monmouth’s season, although there remains much work to do to retain their top-flight status.
The Kingfishers are only a couple of points above the danger zone, although only leaders Goytre (44) and third-placed Caerau (Ely) (33) have scored more than their 31-goal tally.
This is a chance for Monmouth to avoid a campaign double having lost 2-0 to Barry at Jenner Park in late August of last year.
If Barry must finish in the top two to earn promotion to the Welsh Premier League, but do have matches in hand over all of their rivals.

Last-six guide:
Monmouth: D L W L W W
Barry: L W W D W D

Kymco Stadium, Bryntirion: Penybont (7) v Undy Athletic (13).

Undy moved out of the three-strong relegation zone with a fine, 3-0 away success over Goytre United last time out.
It was something of a shock win given it ended a miserable losing sequence, although the word was Undy had played well during that run.
However that will count for nothing if they were to lose this game, which will be played on the hosts’ 3G playing surface.
Penybont were struggling early season, but are currently third in the last-six table and begin here on the back of a well-earned 1-1 draw at Barry Town United.

Last-six guide:
Penybont: W W W L W D
Undy: L L L L L W

Division Two:

Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach: Aberbargoed Buds (13) v Pontypridd Town (4).

Aberbargoed are another local club whose recent fortunes have changed with four victories in six games.
They have played only 12 times and have fixtures in hand over all but two of the clubs sitting above them.
There's been a marked defensive improvement because after shipping 17 goals in their opening six fixtures, just seven have been conceded in the last same amount.
This, however, will be a stern test against a visiting side just six points off a promotion spot - although their recent form is not as good as Aberbargoed’s.

Last-six guide:
Aberbargoed: W W L W L W
Pontypridd: L L W D W L

Aberaman Park, Abercwmboi: Aberdare Town (6) v Newport City (16).

Having scored only eight times in 15 outings, City are in desperate need of a proven scorer - before it’s too late.
There have been some encouraging displays recently, but only one - a single-goal home success against county rivals Croesyceiliog - has produced the goods.
Nonetheless moral appears to be reasonably high and don’t be surprised if City manage to produce another decent performance here.
Aberdare sit on the edge of the promotion race and have an even split of three wins and as many defeats and a goal total of 10 for and 10 against over their last half-dozen outings.

Last-six guide:
Aberdare: L W W L W L
City: L L L W L L

Recreation Ground: Ammanford (7) v Croesyceiliog (11).

Two consecutive 2-1 home victories against Aberbargoed Buds and Dinas Powys confirmed what most suspected for a long time.
And that is when Croesyceiliog get their act together, they are capable putting ticks their win box and defensively they look much stronger with just four goals let in as many games.
The trick now, of course, is to continue that form and while this is a stern test, Croesyceiliog have won three times away matches to date.
There always seem to be plenty of goals in games involving Ammanford with no less than 55 (30-25) having been scored in just 13 of them.

Last-six guide:
Ammanford: L W L W D W
Croesyceiliog: L L L L W W

Division Three:

Cold Bath Road: Caerleon (14) v Tredegar Town (15).

Caerleon celebrated November 5th with a bang in winning 2-1 at home against Cwm Welfare.
Since, however, it's been damp squibs all the way with 26 goals shipped in losing their last six games.
That form has them sitting in the first of the three relegation places and there's little doubt this is a 'must-not-lose' clash for them.
Tredegar, on the other hand, have won their last two fixtures to finally move off the league's basement spot.
That will undoubtedly give them confidence they are capable of securing a third straight success with 11-goal attacking midfielder Ian Pettit their danger man.

Last-six guide:
Caerleon: L L L L L L
Tredegar: L L L L W W

Panteg House, Griffithstown: Panteg (16) v Caerau (Maesteg) (1).

Because their home form is far superior to their away record, Panteg will feel reasonably confident of gaining a positive results here.
All 16 of their points have been earned at this venue (5 wins and a draw from 9) while they have lost all even of their away fixtures.
I have often documented Panteg’s excellent goal-scoring exploits, but they must improve their defensive capabilities if they are to move away from the danger area.
The leaders had put a three-game wobble behind them with two consecutive wins, but slipped to a shock 3-2 defeat at then-bottom-placed Tredegar Town two weeks ago.

Last-six guide:
Panteg: L L W L D L
Caerau: W D L W W L

Treharris Athletic Western (8) v Chepstow Town (5).

Chepstow top the last-six table and their brilliant run has turned them into genuine promotion contenders.
They are only a couple of points adrift of second-placed STM Sport (Cardiff), although they have played more games than the capital team.
Nonetheless Chepstow will be firm favourites here having won six of eight away fixtures, including last Saturday’s fine 3-2 success at promotion rivals Trethomas Bluebirds.
Here is a stat to end all stats: Treharris can not use their own ground, but have won their last three ‘home’ games by the same 2-1 scoreline at three different venues during the last three different months.

Last-six guide:
Treharris: W L L W W W
Chepstow: W W L W W W

Bush Park: Treowen (13) v Cwm Welfare (16).

Treowen will just be glad if they manage to cross the white line because they have played just 10 games, seven less than Trethomas Bluebirds and six fewer than a trio of other clubs.
They have won four and drawn two of those matches and on their day, are quite capable to defeating most teams.
They have appeared only once since November 26, losing 1-0 at home to Penrhiwceiber Rangers on December 17, so it’s almost impossible to gauge their current form.
However the visitors are deep in relegation trouble with only two wins from 14 starts and are facing dropping out of the league at the end of their third campaign.

Last-six guide:
Treowen: L D W W D L
Cwm: L L W L L  L