- Gwent Weekend Preview

RISCA United entertain fellow-Division One strugglers  Penybont at Ystrad Mynach on Friday while Monmouth Town host Caldicot Town in another top-flight relegation battle on Saturday.

Friday (kick off 7.30pm).

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

Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach: Risca United (13) v Penybont (12).

Only goal difference in favour of the visitors seperates these two clubs with Risca seeking to avoid a fifth defeat on the trot.
Scoring enough goals has been their problem with just 12 netted in eight outings while the 14 conceded is only one more that second-placed Goytre.
The runs of loses has undermined their excellent start of two successive wins and that form will mean they are the less fancied here.
Penybont will begin on something of a roll having won three of their last four league fixtures, including defeating Caldicot Town 2-1 at home last time out.

Last-six guide:
Risca: W W L L L L
Penybont: L L W W L W

Saturday (all 2.30pm kick offs).

Celtic Park: Cwmbran Celtic (4) v Haverfordwest County (10).

Celtic’s form over the last five games has been patchy in terms of the number of points gained (7 out of 15), although they certainly had their shooting boots on last Saturday.
At this venue, they demolished struggling Monmouth Town 7-1 with leading scorer Chris Ham scoring twice to take his season’s league total to seven.
There was a down side, however, as they will me minus midfielder Owen Cook, who was sent off after coming on as a substitute and scoring.
The west Wales visitors have the exact same points tally over the past five games and slumped to a 4-0 home reverse at the hands of Afan Lido last weekend.

Last-six guide:
Cwmbran Celtic: W D L W L W
Haverfordwest: W D W L W L

Sports Ground: Monmouth Town (15) v Caldicot Town (16).

The outcome of a match-up involving any division’s bottom two is always going to be crucial and this, of course, is no exception.
Between them, they have lost all seven of their most recent league games and because of that fact, even a draw here would be classed a progress.
Monmouth are suffering badly form losing nine regulars since the end of last season and defended very poorly in losing 7-1 at Cwmbran Celtic six days ago.
Caldicot have averaged conceding three goals per game in losing all five of their away outings and defeat could leave them as many as 10 points from safety.

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

The Causeway: Undy Athletic (8) v Goytre (2).

Just a short time ago, Goytre may well have been clear favourites to land the three points here against an Undy side struggling in their debut top-flight campaign.
However three straight victories have propelled them well clear of the dreaded drop zone and from nowhere, they are now just five points behind leaders Caerau (Ely).
Goytre began extremely well and headed the table before a draw and then a defeat pushed them down to fifth position.
But they returned to winning ways in seeing off visiting Barry Town United 1-0 and this fixture could well be one of the best played out this weekend.

Last-six guide:
Undy Athletic: L L D W W W
Goytre: W L W D L W

Division Two:

Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach: Aberbargoed Buds (15) v AFC Llwydcoed (11).

Even though Aberbargoed are the only team in the entire league yet to win, they remain just a point from the first safe position held by Newport City - and with a game in hand.
That’s how a good cop would see their situation, but a bad cop would tell you it could be a long, hard winter of discontent unless they start to improve.
But as we all know, football is a funny game and perhaps a first success could well prove to be the catalyst for better times ahead.
They have a chance here as Llwydcoed have won only two of seven, although one of those was 3-0 against Newport when they last visited the county two weeks ago.

Last-six guide:
Buds: L L D D L L
Llwydcoed: L W L L W L

The Murch: Dinas Powys (13) v Abergavenny Town (12).

Abergavenny ended a worrying run of a trio of consecutive defeats by squeezing past struggling Aberbargoed in a seven-goal thriller at home last Saturday.
That should settle them down and the general feeling is they are well capable of holding their own for the rest of their first second-tier season.
With matches in hand over all other teams, and in several cases as many as three, there should really be no concern they sit just four points above the drop area.
The home side trail Abergavenny on goal difference, having played a game more, and won 2-1 against Aberdare Town in their only home league appearance.

Last-six guide:
Dinas Powys: L L L W W L
Abergavenny: W L L L W

Newport Stadium: Newport City (14) v Pontardawe Town (6).

Because only two teams are to be relegated to the bottom tier, a run of good form could take a side such as City into a mid-table spot.
However it’s not just the frequency of their six-defeats-in-seven fixtures which is concerning, it’s also the amount of goals being shipped.
The total currently stands at 33 and they really must rediscover the form which gained them a 3-2 away success over Abergavenny Town - and quick!
Unbeaten-in-four Pontardawe have the lowest goals-for total (11) in the top nine, but have let in only two more than leaders Llanelli Town (12-10).

Last-six guide:
Newport City: L L L W L L
Pontardawe: W L W W D D

Pri Deri Park, Mayhill, Swansea: West End (16) v Croesyceiliog (10).

If the kind ‘Dr. Jekyll’ turns up here then Croesyceiliog are more than capable of securing a third league win.
However if it’s the evil ‘Mr. Hyde’ who decides to make an appearance, then the visitors could well slip to their fourth defeat in seven.
This could well be a tight affair as there have only been 19 goals scored in the half-dozen league games Croesyceiliog have played.
Basement outfit West End will be bidding to end a run of three successive defeats and the outcome of this will be of huge interest to fellow-strugglers Newport and Aberbargoed.

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

Division Three:

Cold Bath Road: Caerleon (11) v Penrhiwceiber Rangers (15).

For different reasons, Caerleon’s last two fixtures have been postponed since they defeated visiting Treharris Athletic Western 3-0 on October 8.
That result exactly sums up how inconsistent they are because their previous game produced a shocking 9-1 defeat at Ely Rangers.
There are, however, a couple of positive pre-game stats to consider - both of their league wins have been at this venue while the visitors have yet to win away.
Postponements also means Penrhiwceiber are a couple of games adrift of some clubs and all the signs here point towards parity.

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

Larkfield Ground: Chepstow Town (9) v Treharris Athletic Western (8).

One glance at Chepstow’s form guide over the last six league outings suggests the sequence means a victory will be achieved.
But as we are only too painfully aware, football has a regular habit of proving us all wrong.
Nonetheless Chepstow have shown a marked improvement in recent weeks and without doubt seven-goal leading scorer Leo Ross will be keen to add to his tally.
Treharris began the season quite well, but three losses in their last four outings has halted their progress somewhat.

Last-six guide:
Chepstow Town: W L W L W L
Treharris Athletic Western: W D L W L L

Panteg House, Griffithstown:  Panteg (13) v Llantwit Major (1).

Panteg's woes continued in mid-week then they travelled back from Caerau (Maesteg) having been defeated 4-2.
It was their fourth defeat on the trot and fifth in their last six league outings to leave them only a single point above the drop zone.
And ll three teams below, Cwm Welfare, Penrhiwceiber Rangers and Tredegar Town, have matches in hand.
The one positive aspect of that defeat at Caerau was the goals scored by Lewis Iles and Luke Dyke, who now have netted 11 and seven respectively.
The table-topping visitors won their first five league games of the season, but the sequence came to a halt last Saturday with a 1-1 home draw against Treowen Stars.

Last-six guide:
Panteg:  L W L L L L
Llantwit Mjr.: W W W W W D

Leisure Complex: Tredegar Town (16) v Ynysygerwn (Llandarcy) (13).

Tredegar prop up the entire league and their hopes of climbing out of the relegation zone by defeating visiting Caerleon on Wednesday was dashed when floodlight problems caused the game be postponed.
The good news, however, was the scenario meant Tredegar stayed clear of picking up the kind of injuries which have dogged them and I understand they are at full strength for the first time this season.
With 22 goals conceded in only eight league games, it's clear their defensive frailties need to be addressed immediately before the threat of relegation becomes a reality.
League debutants Ynysygerwn were in mid-week action on Tuesday, when they picked up an away point in drawing 1-1 against fellow-newcomers Trethomas Bluebirds to move above Panteg.

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

Bush Park: Treowen Stars (10) v Bridgend Street (Cardiff) (3).

Treowen's stock rose dramatically last weekend, when they became the first club in six to avoid defeat by unbeaten leaders Llantwit Major in holding to a 1-1 away draw.
It's probably true to suggest Treowen have reserved their best form for cup games and they travel to Division One Taffs Well a week on Saturday for a place in the last eight of the League Cup. 
This visit by the capital outfit may well turn out to be an extremely close affair and one of the fancied outcomes is a 0-0 draw because only 13 goals (7-6) have been netted in Treowen's six league encounters.
Bridgend Street have lost only once in seven league fixtures, although the hosts may be encouraged to discover their opponents failed to win two of their three away games.

Last-six guide:
Treowen: W L L W L D
Bridgend St.: W D W D W W