- Gwent Weekend Preview


THE penultimate weekend kick-starts a hectic final nine days of the 2015-2016 campaign and due to a whole series of postponements, two local clubs - Caerleon and Newport YMCA - are playing on consecutive days.

Friday.

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

Cold Bath Road: Caerleon (11) v Newport Civil Service (18) - 6.45pm.

Caerleon are in the highly-unsual position of playing on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, when they will entertain STM Sports at this venue.
Tuesday's 5-1 away defeat at Caerau means they have picked up only three points from a trio of draws in their previous eight games - and the dark cloud of relegation remains hanging over them.
NCS will be playing Gwent County League football in 2016-2017 and Wednesday's 6-1 home defeat by Bridgend Street was their 25th in 29 starts.
Steve Muir was NCS' goalscorer and here they will be bidding to avoid a second defeat of the season at the hands of Caerleon, who won the first meeting  3-1 back in late August

Caerleon: L D L D L L
NCS: L L L L L L

Athletic Ground: Treharris Athletic Western (10) v Abergavenny Town (2) - 6.30pm.

Abergavenny's disappointing 3-2 away defeat at STM Sports in mid-week means they will begin this game ahead of another capital outfit, Bridgend Street, on goal difference only.
Both clubs have three remaining games to see see who will be promoted with divisional champions Pontypridd Town, who won 6-1 at Newport Civil Service on the same night.
Craig Norman, with his 17th league goal, and Jac Evans were on target for Abergavenny, who wrap up their debut campaign by visiting NCS on May 25 and Treowen Stars two days later.
Treharris were in relegation trouble earlier in the season before a form boost took them to the safety of mid-table and they start here having won 3-2 at Newport YMCA on Tuesday.

Treharris: L D L D W W
Abergavenny: W L W L D L

Saturday (all 2.30pm, except Ammanford v Cwmbran Celtic and Bridgend Street v Newport Civil Service).

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

Glenhafod Park Stadium: Goytre United (7) v Aberbargoed Buds (15).

This is Aberbargoed's, and the division's, final game of 2015-2016 and comes three days after the were held 2-2 at home by the only side which has finished below them - Garden Village.
Aberbargoed will now hope to re-group in Division Two, as they successfully did two seasons ago when they earned first-time promotion back to the top flight.
A win here will be their eighth win in 30 top-tier outings, the last being a 2-0 triumph over visiting Caerau (Ely) on March 23.
The hosts will finish in seventh place no matter what the outcome and they will here bid to avoid a campaign double defeat after going down 2-0 to Aberbargoed at Ystrad Mynach in February.

Goytre Utd.: W L L L W L
Aberbargoed:  L L L L L D   

* Goytre completed their fixtures in mid-week with a 4-1 home success over champions Cardiff Metropolitan University thanks to a hat-trick from James Young and one goal from Josh Brown.
Despite taking the lead through Dan Battle, Risca United failed to reach the Welsh League Cup final when losing 2-1 to holders and Division One rivals Taffs Well at the home of Cambrian & Clydach FC.

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

Recreation Ground: Ammanford (5) v Cwmbran Celtic (3) - kick off 1.00pm.

Celtic are gunning for the title, although the trophy will be lost should Caldicot win at Swansea-based West End.
Manager Dean Morris' promoted side here seeks an eighth successive league victory and after this game, it has two remaining games to round off their successful campaign.
They entertain cross-town rivals Croesyceiliog at their Celtic Park home ground on Wednesday before visiting Margam-based Tata Steel on Saturday.
Ammanford are on an excellent run of three consecutive wins without conceding, but it's come far too late for them to finish any higher than fifth spot.

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

Sports Ground, Margam: Tata Steel (10) v Chepstow Town (16).

It's been a long and painful campaign for Chepstow, who were relegated to Division Three on Tuesday as a result of their 3-0 away defeat at the hands of AFC Llwydcoed.
It was their 21st defeat in 28 league outings and manager Dave Livermore's side suffered badly from the loss of several key players to other clubs in mid season.
Here they are after only a fourth league victory of 2015-2016 and they will complete their 30-fixture programme with away games against Croesyceiliog on Monday and West End (Swansea) on Wednesday.
The hosts could end in ninth spot should they emerge victors in two of from their final three fixtures, although they failed to score in any of their last four matches.

Last-six guide:
Tata Steel: D W D L L D
Chepstow: L L L D L D L

Pri Deri Park, Myhill, Swansea: West End (12) v Caldicot Town (2).

A 24th win from their 30th and final league game will hand the divisional title to Caldicot ahead of their nearest and
fiercest rivals, Undy Athletic.
Manager Mark Williams has guided Caldicot back to the top flight and here they will be attempting to earn a ninth win on
the trot.
They will also be trying to keep a 14th clean-sheet plus a season's win double having beaten West End 4-0 at home just
15 days ago.
The hosts have managed only one goal in their previous four games and none in the last three and the 70 shipped is the joint-third highest behind only relegated duo Penrhiwceiber Rangers (91) and Chepstow Town (84).

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

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

The Willows High School, Tremorfa, Cardiff: Bridgend Street (3) v Newport Civil Service (18) - kick off 1.30pm.

This is a massive task for already-relegated NCS because the capital hosts' defeated them 6-1 on their own pitch in Pill only on Wednesday evening.
That stretched Bridgend Street's unbeaten run to 12 (eight wins and four draws) and without doubt, second-placed Abergavenny Town will want their Gwent neighbours to do them some sort of favour here.
They are another club to have suffered their fair share of postponements and because of that, play three home fixtures next week, against Treowen Stars, Abergavenny Town and STM Sports on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday respectively ,
That big success for the hosts at NCS put them level on points with second-placed Abergavenny, but which club goes up could well be decided on goal difference with the Gwent club 14 better off with three matches left.

Last-six guide:
B. Street: W W W D W W
NCS: L L L L L L 

Cold Bath Road: Caerleon (11) v STM Sports (4).

This will be Caerleon's sixth game in the last 17 days and the fourth in eight as they were also in action last Saturday, losing 4-0 at Panteg, Monday, going down 5-1 at Caerau (Maesteg), and they also host Newport Civil Service tonight.
The hectic end-of-season schedule is because of the mountain of postponements the Romans suffered over recent months and certainly Division Three clubs will be better off next season, when the section is cut from 18 to 16 clubs.
Caerleon round off their fixture programme by visiting Cwm Welfare next Friday and success from all of their last trio of matches will see them finish in a mid-table position.   
STM appeared to be one of the favourites for promotion to Division One before a slump in form, although they were back to something near their best in beating visiting Abergavenny 4-2 last time out.

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

Bush Park: Treowen Stars (14) v Newport YMCA (16).

Despite Monday's 2-0 away defeat at Panteg, Treowen are still only a point behind Bridgend-based sixth-from-the-bottom Bettws (Bridgend), who sit in the first safe spot above the drop zone.
However if it's half-a-dozen six to drop out of the league, then Treowen will need to catch up Ely Rangers, who they trail by eight points with a couple of games in hand.
Despite recovering from a 2-0 interval deficit in Tuesday's home game against mid-table outfit Treharris Athletic Western, YMCA eventually conceded a late goal to lose 3-2.
Craig Ford and Daniel Cueto were on target for them and although they still five games left, the bottom line is they'd have to win them all and hope at least four teams above them lose everyone of their's. 

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

Sunday - kick off 1.30pm.

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

Mendgalief Road, Pill: Newport YMCA (16) v Ely Rangers (12) - kick off 1.30pm.

On April 4, 2008, YMCA lost 3-1 to Bangor City in a Welsh Cup semi-final tie and the following February, they went down 1-0 at home against Bridgend Town in the last eight of the same competition.
Now just seven years later, YMCA are on the verge of slipping back to the Gwent County League and therefore bringing an end to a 43-season stay in the Welsh League. 
The club, which spawned the career of Premier League manager Tony Pullis, is at Llantwit Major and Panteg on Tuesday and Thursday respectively before it brings the curtain down with a home game against Cardiff Corinthians on Saturday.
Ely were last in action on Monday, going down  4-1 at Cwm Welfare, and again on Wednesday, losing 1-0 at home against Llantwit Major, and depending on the outcome of several Saturday games, may need to win here to remain in the league.

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

* Jono O'Sullivan and Luke Dyke scored as seventh-placed Panteg conceded a last-minute goal when drawing 2-2 at home with Bridgend-based Bettws – Dyke's goal taking his campaign tally to 21, just one behind Cwmbran Celtic's Josh Bull and Llanwern's Dean Clifford (Panteg), who jointly head the scorers' list for those players appearing for Gwent clubs.