- Gwent Weekend Preview

Kick offs; League 2.30pm; Cup ties 2.00pm.

LEAGUE Cup wins for Abergavenny Town, Panteg, Risca United, Treowen Stars and Undy Athletic will clinch places in the competition’s last eight while Goytre will seek to retain the Division One leadership when hosting county rivals host Cwmbran Celtic.

League Cup, round three:

Pen-Y-Pound Stadium: Abergavenny Town v Port Talbot Town.

Abergavenny’ recent form improvement means they will fancy their chances here of producing an upset in this Division Two v One clash.
They scored four goals in winning both of their last two league games to settle their nerves following an inconsistent start to their campaign.
Port Talbot shipped the same amount of goals in each of their last two league matches and if this tie is decided on a penalty shoot-out, that scenario is highly unlikely to follow a 0-0 after-extra-time draw.

Panteg House, Griffithstown: Panteg v Bridgend Street (Cardiff).

Panteg’s  A-game seems to be reserved for this competition as they have already dumped out Division Two side Garden Village (3-1 at home) and Newport City (6-2 away).
Now comes a clash with Division Three rivals who are five points and seven places better off, although both start on the back of contrasting results last weekend.
Panteg beat then-leaders Llantwit Major 2-1 at this venue while the capital-based visitors went down by the same score at Treowen Stars.

Parc Ynysderw: Pontardawe Town v Risca United.

Had this tie taken place in early September, then Risca may well have been overwhelming favourites following an unbeaten four-game start to 2016-2017.
However they have lost all of their subsequent five top-flight fixtures and from nowhere, they find themselves sitting outside of the danger zone on goal difference only.
Pontardawe became the first side in eight to fail to score against Newport City last weekend, when drawing 0-0, and have an even league record of 3-3-3 from nine. 

Rhiw Dd’ar: Taffs Well v Treowen Stars.

Not only do Treowen have to bridge as two-divisional gap here, but they must also overcome a club which had made this competition its own in recent seasons.
The hosts are the current holders following a fourth cup final triumph in the five seasons when beating Briton Ferry Llansawel last May.
Treowen lifted the trophy after defeating BP Llandarcy in 1997-1998 and upset visiting Division Two side AFC Llwydcoed 5-0 in the last round.

The Causeway: Undy Athletic v Caerau (Ely).
This all-Division One tie is simply too tight to call and both clubs will have done well this week if they practised penalties in training.
The visitors may be the more fancied team to progress given they are five points and nine rungs better off, but Undy have hit some decent form of late.
They struck the woodwork no less than three times in losing 1-0 at his venue against table-topping Goytre last Saturday, but let in only one goal in winning their previous three league fixtures.

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

Plough Road: Goytre (1) v Cwmbran Celtic (5).

Goytre have recently returned to winning ways following some patchy form and have won their last two games 1-0 – with striker Lewis Sommers scoring on both occasions.
They have conceded only four goals in five games and are also the top-flight’s leading scorers with 25 in 10 league outings.
Celtic suffered a massive blow this week with the departure of goal-scoring midfielder Chris Ham to English outfit Westfields FC and will be without another, the suspended Owen Cook.
On the plus side though is they have midfielder Lee Challenger available from a one-match ban and may give a club debut to another, Jamie Thuillier, whose last club English side Quorn FC.

Last-six form:
Goytre: L W D L W W   
Celtic: D L W L W L

Sports Ground: Monmouth Town (15) v Cambrian & Clydach (2).

Monmouth ended a pretty miserable sequence of three successive defeats with a heart-warming display in seeing off visiting Caldicot Town 4-1.
However the win failed to take them out of the three-strong drop zone, so The Cuckoos will be well aware the improvement needs to be maintained.
They have, though, scored goals on a fairly regular basis with their tally of 19 being the highest among the division’s bottom 10.
The unbeaten-in-six visitors briefly went top of the table when winning 3-2 at Ton Pentre last Friday before they were overtaken the next day by Goytre.

Last-six form:
Monmouth Town: L D L L L W     
C & C: W D W W D W   

Division Two:

Woodland Road: Croesyceiliog (10) v AFC Porth (2).

This may well sound like a broken record, but in drawing, winning and losing their last three league fixtures, Croesyceiliog’s inconsistency is adequately summed up.
Too good to be relegated, but not good enough to join the promotion race is the analogy and even at this reasonably early stage of the campaign, a mid-table spot looks likely.
Their latest outing was on Tuesday, when they lost 2-1 at unbeaten-in-eight Pontypridd Town, where William Lygo netted his third league goal.
This match has added spice as it marks another return to the venue for former Croesyceiliog boss Gareth Morgan, who led them to a League Cup triumph in 2010-2011.

Last-six form:
Croesyceiliog: L W L D W L
AFC Porth: L W W W W W

Newport Stadium: Newport City (15) v Briton Ferry Llansawel (4).

In drawing 0-0 against visiting Pontardawe Town last Saturday, City posted their first clean-sheet of a fairly troubled campaign.
They lost their previous game 6-0 at home against Llanelli Town, so while defensively they have improved – the lack of goals certainly needs to be arrested.
It’s all extremely tight down at the bottom with City holding the first of the two relegation places, although they are only six points adrift of 10th position.
BFL are in good form and sit just a point outside of the three-club promotion zone, but only three of their nine fixtures have been played away.

Last-six form:
Croesyceiliog: L W L D W L

Division Three:

Athletic Ground, Maesteg: Caerau (1) v Caerleon (10).

You only have to take one look at Caerau’s 100 per cent record to understand just how tough a task this could prove to be for Caerleon.
But all good runs eventually come to an end while no game has a ‘mission impossible’ tag on it and Caerleon will certainly be bouyed by their recent 1-0 home win over Penrhiwceiber Rangers.
Caerleon have won two on a trot, both at home, have lost each of their last couple of away games, scoring twice but shipping 12 goals.
The hosts’ perfect six-out-of-six start to their campaign is obviously highly credible, but in conceding 11 goals in those games perhaps defensively they are a bit vulnerable.

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