- Gwent Weekend Preview


RISCA United and Aberbargoed Buds, who meet at Ystrad Mynach, plus Caerleon, will all bid to reach the semi finals of the Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Cup on Fridy, when Croesyceiliog travel down the M4 to take Llanelli Town in a Division Two clash.


Friday (cup ties to be played to conclusions).

Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Cup, quarter finals.

Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach: Risca United v Aberbargoed Buds (7.15pm).

This all-Division One, ground-sharing clash will certainly be a welcome relief for both clubs from their battle to stave off relegation to the second tier.
They have already met twice at this venue with Aberbargoed having won both contests - 3-2 in a Welsh Cup tie on October 2 and then 4-3 in a league fixture on November 27.
Both will start on the back of 2-2 draws last Saturday, Aberbargoed at home against Aberdare Town and Risca at Afan Lido, and it won't be a surprise if this clash to reach the last four has to be decided on penalties.

Rhiw Dda'r: Taffs Well v Caerleon (7.30pm).

This is an extremely tough ask for Caerleon to reach the semi finals as not only is there a two division gap between the sides, but the hosts have won this competition three times in the last four seasons.
Caerleon, sixth in the 18-strong Division Three table, got to this stage by beating Treharris Athletic Western, Llanelli Town and Bridgend-based Bettws.
Taffs Well, fourth in the 16-club Division One, received a first-round by before getting past Dinas Powys, and Goytre United.


Nathaniel Cars Welsh League (7.45pm).

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

Stebonheath Park: Llanelli Town (6) v Croesyceiliog (13).

There may well be seven places and 14 points seperating these teams, but it's Croesyceiliog who have the better record over the past half dozen league fixtures.
Indeed if there was a last-six table, Llanelli, with only one point from a possible 18, would actually be bottom with Croesyceiliog in 10th spot with seven points.
Therefore this is a reasonable chance for manager Mark Waddon's men to improve on an away league record of just one win in nine outings.
Croesyceiliog drew 1-1 at home with Swansea-based West End last weekend, when Llanelli slumped to a 4-0 away defeat at the hands of AFC Porth.

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

Saturday (2.30pm kick offs).

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

Sportsground: Monmouth Town (12) v Penybont (5).

Monmouth sit four points above the drop zone with nine games remaining, but a lack of match fitness may hinder them here.
The first of Penybont's last six games was on February 6, but Monmouth' was on December 12 and the only time they have played in the last six weeks was when they beat visiting Risca United 4-3 on February 27.
The Kingfishers are highly inconsistent in so much they are the highest scorers with 44 goals among the bottom 11, but only bottom-placed Garden Village have conceded more in the entire division.
Penybont, who use a 3G pitch, failed to do Monmouth, Risca and Aberbargoed a favour on Wednesday, when they lost 2-1 at lowly hosts Aberdare Town.

Last-six guide:
Monmouth Town: L W L L W W
Penybont: L L W L W L

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

Recreation Ground: Ammanford (4) v Caldicot Town (3).

Caldicot stretched their points advantage over fourth-placed Ammanford to 10 points with 12 games remaining for both clubs, although Cwmamman United and Cwmbran Celtic remain in the mix to go up.
It should have been even better for Caldicot, but the usually reliable Richard Sharratt saw his late penalty saved by Undy goalkeeper James Smallcombe.
Manager Mark Williams' side will be seeking a season's win double following a 3-2 home success over Ammanford six days before last Christmas.
Ammanford need to win this to remain in contention for promotion and were beaten 2-0 at Undy Athletic last time out on February 27.

Last-six guide:
Ammanford: L W L W W L
Caldicot Town: L W W W W D

Larkfield Ground: Chepstow Town (16) v Undy Athletic (1).

Undy's bid for an eighth successive league win failed on Wednesday, when they were held to a 0-0 draw at Caldicot
Town - although the point moved then back to the top above Pontardawe Town.
Minus three regulars, Undy, who posted a sixth consecutive clean-sheet, saw former Caldicot goalkeeper James
Smallcombe save a late penalty from Richard Sharratt to ensure his side stretched its unbeaten run to 15.
Losing six-goal forward Simon Prangley to divisional rivals Cwmbran Celtic could prove to be a massive blow to
Chepstow's hopes of avoiding relegation to the bottom tier.
They were 5-2 home victors over West End (Swansea) in late February, but have since lost 4-2 at Llanwern and 5-0 against visiting AFC Llwydcoed and this could prove to be an extremely difficult afternoon for them.

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

Celtic Park: Cwmbran Celtic (7) v AFC Llwydcoed (9).

Because of cup games and postponements, Celtic have played only six league matches since October 10, 2016,
while new boss Dean Morris will hope it's third time lucky to earn his first win.
Celtic will start having lost successive league cup ties against visiting duo Cwmamman United and Port Talbot Town,
although their home league form is reasonable with five wins from seven games.
They are 16 points behind third-placed Caldicot Town, but have five games in hand with forward Simon Prangley starting his fourth spell with the club after signing in this week from Chepstow Town.
Llwydcoed's inconsistency can be summed up with the fact they scored five goals in their last game (at Chepstow),
but shipped the same amount in the match before (at home against Margam-based Tata Steel).

Last-six guide:
Celtic: W W W L W L
Llwydcoed: W W L L L W

Newport Stadium: Llanwern (12) v West End (Swansea) (8).

Llanwern's recent mini revival of three games unbeaten came to an end with successive defeats - 3-1 at Penrhiwceiber Rangers and 2-1 at home against Cwmamman United on Wednesday, when Dean Clifford scored their goal.
It all means they still have much to do to remain out of the relegation area, which they are two points clear of - but having played a couple of games more.
Nonetheless, this is a fixture they are capable of winning and if they do, it will avenge a 2-1 reverse at West End on September 19.
The visitors have drawn their last two games, including 1-1 at Croesyceiliog, although they have let in the most amount of goals (44) in the division's top 13.

Last-six guide:
Llanwern: L W D W L L
West End: W W W L D D

Division Three (figures in brackets relate to table positions of 18).

Pen-Y-Pound Stadium: Abergavenny Town (2) v Cwm Welfare (14).

Every stat is pointing towards a home win for the promotion-seeking league debutants, who have also reached the semi finals of the FAW Trophy.
Their current league run is 11 wins and two draws from 14 outings while the visitors' form of six defeats in their last nine games, marks the hosts down as red-hot favourites.
This venue has become something of a stronghold for the hosts, who have lost only one of 14 fixtures here, while Cwm have managed just a single win from nine away encounters.
However the outcome of a football game is never decided by stats and Abergavenny will be only too aware they can not underestimate their opponents.

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

Athletic Ground: Caerau (Maesteg) (4) v Lliswerry (7).

Lliswerry ended a run of three consecutive defeats by beating visiting relegation-threatened Cardiff Corinthians 2-0 recently.
However most teams below have many games in hand from which to overtake them and certainly more positive
results are required.
If three are to be relegated, then Lliswerry are eight points off the drop zone - but if, as is possible, six are to go down, then they are only five better off.
Caerau are currently outsiders for promotion, but have a healthy home record of eight wins and only one defeat - although that was only two weeks ago when they lost 2-1 to visiting Newport YMCA.

Last-six guide:
Caerau: L W W W L L
Lliswerry: L W L L L W

Riverside Ground, Radyr: Cardiff Corinthians (17) v Newport Civil Service (18).

When you are bottom of the whole league, a game against the side immediately above you is most certainly a must-win one.
However NCS are in an extremely precarious position and that game description will just about cover every fixture from now until the end of the campaign.
With only one win and a draw from 14 league outings, NCS trail the Corries by 11 points - but have played four matches less.
Goals a plenty can be expected from this clash as between them, these clubs have shipped no less than 52 from their last six games each.

Last-six guide:
Corries: W D L L L L
NCS: L L L L L L

Mendgalief Road, Pill: Newport YMCA (12) v Ely Rangers (10).

YMCA appear to have two teams - the one which recently won 2-1 at promotion-seeking Caerau (Maesteg) on
February 27 and the one which slumped to a 7-1 away defeat at Ely four days previously.
YMCA's away record is better than their home form (4-1-4 as opposed to 1-3-4) so they must immediately improve
on that if they are to avoid the dreaded drop out of the league.
Having explained that, there's not a lot wrong as each of their last two home games only ended in single-goal defeats against Lliswerry and Panteg.
Not so very long ago, Ely were down near the bottom - but 10 points from the last 18 on offer has seen them move near a mid-table spot.

Last-six guide:
YMCA: L W L L W L
Ely: D L L W W W

Panteg House, Griffithstown: Panteg (14) v Treharris Athletic Western (11).

In terms of playing fixture catch-up, Panteg still have 21 to cram in between now and the end of May with county rivals Lliswerry having only 11 because they use a 3G pitch.
This in only Panteg's seventh home league game of the season and the outcomes of the other six are split evenly with three wins and as many defeats.
However three victories from their last four outings more than suggests Panteg are capable to continuing to climb away from the danger area.
But Treharris have exactly the same recent playing record, although it's interesting to note their away form is dire with only three draws earned from nine matches.

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

Leisure Complex: Tredegar Town (9) v Bettws (Bridgend) (16).

Tredegar's hopes of returning to winning ways fell foul of poor weather on Wednesday, when their scheduled home fixture with leaders Pontypridd Town was postponed.
Here they stand a fair chance to post win number seven from their 21st league fixture and a return to the top-six is possible should they achieve it.
Were a tad unlucky to lose 2-1 at Caerleon last weekend and they have tightened up defensively with only five goals conceded in their last three games.
Bettws are also struggling to put a tick in their win column and they are in serious danger of dropping out of the league at the end of the campaign.

Last-six guide:
Tredegar: D L L W L L
Bettws: L D L L L L

Bush Park: Treowen Stars (15) v STM Sports (Cardiff) (3).

On the face of it, this looks like a banker away win with the promotion-seeking visitors being 27 points better off than Treowen.
However STM seem more at home on their 3G playing surface on which they have won all 13 league matches while recording only one success in six games on grass.
Therefore Treowen are not without a chance here and will be looking to follow up last Saturday's fine 3-1 away win over Cwm Welfare.
They have games in hand and still 18 fixtures remaining to further claw themselves up the lower-tier table and even a draw here would not be the end of the world.


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