- Gwent Weekend Preview

DIVISION Three outfit Panteg open the weekend’s action by visiting Bedwas RFC to take on ground-sharers Trethomas Bluebirds while Saturday’s fixture lists includes three local derbies.

Friday (kick off 7.30pm).

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

Bridge Field, Bedwas RFC: Trethomas Bluebirds (9) v Panteg (12).

There always appears to be lots of goals around when Panteg play and certainly this game is not expected to end in a goal-less stale-mate.
In nine league and cup outings, no less than 51 have been scored (27-24 in favour) and Panteg’s latest match saw them lose 5-2 at home to county rivals Chepstow Town.
Joint managers Mark Taylor and Gareth Pattimore will doubtless tell their squad avoiding defeat is crucial as Panteg stand just three points off the drop zone.
Trethomas have made a reasonable start to their debut league campaign and will be seeking to follow up a fine, 5-1 victory over visiting Tredegar Town.

Form guide:
Trethomas: W L L L D W
Panteg: L L W W L L

Saturday (2.30pm kick offs).

Division One.

Celtic Park: Cwmbran Celtic (6) v Monmouth Town (15).

Having marginally the better league record over the past four fixtures, will mean Celtic starting as the more fancied to gain the three points.
However to do so, they must recover from last Saturday’s shock 1-0 Welsh Cup defeat at the hands of Division Two hosts Pontardawe Town.
Monmouth’s moral may also be a little low as they threw away a 3-1 advantage before losing 4-3 at Afan Lido on the same afternoon.
Celtic trail leaders Caerau (Ely) by four points, but with a game in hand, while Monmouth are a couple adrift of the division’s first safe position.

Form guide:
Cwmbran Celtic: W W D L W L
Monmouth Town: L W L D L L

Plough Road: Goytre (5) v Barry Town (4).

A 2-1 away defeat at the hands of Ton Pentre, and other results last weekend, saw Goytre drop four places from the top.
Now they face a stern test of their title ambitions by hosting a Barry side, which has lost only one of seven league matches.
Goytre, though, have scored 10 more goals (23-10) despite having played only one extra  game with striker Josh Brown heading the charts for players attached to Gwent clubs with 11.
On the other side of the coin, Barry have conceded just four goals in their seven league outings  - the lowest total in the entire division.

Form guide:
Goytre: W W L W D L
Barry: D W D W L W

Kymco Stadium, Bryntirion: Penybont (13) v Caldicot Town (16).

Despite being promoted as Division Two champions, Caldicot have found the going tough at the top level and start having lost seven of their eight league fixtures.
The latest was 3-0 at home against fierce rivals Undy Athletic and manager Mark Williams' side remains four points behind Penybont, who hold the first safe spot.
Caldicot have also shipped more league goals than any other club in the top flight (23 in 8) and have scored just 11 times.
Penybont have not played in the league since losing 3-0 at home to Afan Lido on September 23, but had previously scored 10 goals in defeating Monmouth Town and Haverfordwest County.

Form guide:
Penybont: D L L W W L
Caldicot Town: L L W L L L

The Causeway: Undy Athletic (11) v Risca United (10).

This is a county match-up between clubs whose recent fortunes have dramatically altered from their early-season form.
Undy could do little right in their first quartet of  games before being unbeaten in three while Risca were four without a loss, but have since lost a trio of successive matches.
It all means Risca now head Undy in the top-level table by virtue of having a better goal difference of just one (nil as opposed to -1).
Risca must put last Saturday’s shock 4-1 Welsh Cup defeat by Division Three hosts Treowen Stars firmly behind them while Undy will begin on a high following a 3-0 success at Caldicot Town.

Form guide:
Undy Athletic: W L L D W W
Risca: D W W L L L

Division Two.

Pen-Y-Pound Stadium: Abergavenny Town (13) v Aberbargoed Buds (15).

Because they of their lowly table positions, a win is vital for both clubs here - although a draw will not quite be a disaster.
Abergavenny are seeking to end their poorest league run of three consecutive defeats while Aberbargoed have yet to win in five outings.
The hosts have three games in hand over some better-placed clubs and it’s generally believed they have enough quality to soon climb away from the two-strong drop zone.
Aberbargoed occupy the first relegation position and scoring goals is clearly a problem for them, having netted just four in those five games.

Form guide:
Abergavenny: W L L L
Buds: L L D D L

Woodland Road: Croesyceiliog (11) v Ammanford (9).

Croesyceiliog have a far better away record and will search for the first home league success at the third attempt.
Indeed their two previous matches at this venue also failed to produce a goal for them, yet they have managed eight in three away encounters.
Nonetheless these kind of sequences eventually come to an end and there is no real reason why Croesyceiliog can not break their duck.
Ammanford are the exact opposite in so much they are unbeaten in two home games, but have lost three of four on the road.

Form guide:
Croesyceiliog: W L L W L
Ammanford: W L W L D L

Newport Stadium: Newport City (14) v Llanelli Town (1).

Given they have been beaten in five of their six league outings, a meeting, be it at home or away, against free-scoring table-toppers is always going to be a tough test.
The visitors have netted no fewer than 41 times in 11 unbeaten league and cup games and have former Swansea City legend Lee Trundle scoring for fun.
If City are to earn their second league win of the campaign, then they are going to have to defend far better than they did when conceding 27 goals in their half-dozen fixtures.
On paper, an away win is favoured. Football, however, is not played on paper and if City can re-produce the form when winning 3-2 at Abergavenny Town recently, then who knows?

Form guide:
Llanelli: W W W W W D
Newport City: L L L L W L

Division Three.

Willows High School, Tremorfa, Cardiff: Bridgend Street (4) v Tredegar Town (16).

Tredegar slumped to the very bottom of the entire league on Tuesday, when they were overtaken by Ynysygerwn’s 5-3 home success against Treharris Athletic Western.
It’s been a gradual slip to the basement for the north Gwent outfit after it had begun the campaign with a fine, 5-1 victory over visiting Penrhiwceiber Rangers.
However absolutely nothing has gone right since, including suffering a combination of injuries and suspensions, and this looks likely to be a very difficult ask for them to get a positive result.
The hosts have the opposite record of losing their opening fixture and since putting together a run of five unbeaten - with a 5-0 home triumph over Ynysygerwn last time out.

Form guide:
Bridgend St.: L W D W D W
Tredegar: W L L L L

Larkfield Ground: Chepstow Town (8) v Ely Rangers (5).

Trying to assess how any game involving Chepstow will pan out these days is virtually an impossible task.
For example, the results of their last five games are: won 4-1 at home; lost 2-0 at home; won 4-1 away; lost 7-1 away; won 5-2 away.
In Leo Ross, they have an in-form striker who has already netted seven times in league games - a hat-trick in last weekend’s 5-2 win at Panteg being the highlight.
Ely are one point better off, but have played a game less and they, too, are inconsistent - losing 3-1 at Cwm Welfare and then thrashing visiting Caerleon 9-1.

Form guide:
Chepstow Town: L W L W L W
Ely Rangers: W W L L W D

Windmill Ground: Llantwit Major (1) v Treowen Stars (11).

Treowen will certainly still be on a high after securing a brilliant 4-1 home Welsh Cup win over Division One side Risca United last Saturday.
Now, of course, the trick is for them to transfer that form into league outings because they have so far managed to pick up only six out of a possible 15 points.
There is plus and a minus in their playing record though, the downside is only five goals have been scored but the positive aspect is only six have been conceded
However an away trip against the division’s leaders who have only shipped a couple of goals in winning all five of their league fixtures, is indeed an extremely daunting test.

Form guide:
Llantwit Mjr.: W W W W W
Treowen: W L L W L