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Watch: The weekend JD Cymru Premier round-up

05 Nov 2023 7 minute read
Action from the Cymru Premier League match between Barry Town United and Aberystwyth Town (Credit: S4C)

Ryan March

As November kicked off in the Cymru Premier, it was another week dominated by the drama of the relegation battle, and no match was bigger this week than Barry Town United vs. Aberystwyth Town. Both teams came into the game on the back of rare wins, hoping to make it two consecutive victories to aid their quests for survival.

Despite the game having significant implications at the bottom of the table, it wasn’t a cagey affair as both teams had several chances. However, it was the two defences and goalkeepers that shone for the entire 90 minutes. Neither side could find a breakthrough until Aber’s Mark Cadwallader connected with an Akeem Hinds corner to give the away side the lead in the first minute of added time.

It was too late for Barry to mount a comeback as Aberystwyth left South Wales with all three points for the second time in as many weeks. The win takes Aber off the bottom of the table for the first time since the second week of the season, closing the gap to safety to only one point.

Other than a blip in Caernarfon a few weeks ago, Cardiff Met have been in fine form lately, but second-place Connah’s Quay hoped to test that as they visited the capital on Saturday afternoon.

Joe Evans gave the home side a shock lead after 24 minutes before Connah’s Quay’s goalkeeper, Andy Firth, handed Sam Jones a second goal five minutes later, despite protests that he was fouled in the build-up.

Connah’s Quay would have hoped for a route back into the game as Tom Price was shown a red card on the stroke of half-time after bringing down Jack Kenny on the edge of the box as he went through on goal.

The second half started as expected, with a barrage of Connah’s Quay pressure, including appeals for a penalty. Instead, Harry Franklin was shown a yellow card for diving. The ten men of Cardiff Met stood firm and were rewarded for their efforts in the 77th minute when CJ Craven put the game to bed.

After a dream performance last week, Harry Franklin’s afternoon went from bad to worse as he was shown a second yellow card when his frustrations boiled over after a decision didn’t go his way.

Callum Bratley did get a late consolation goal for the visitors, but the damage was already done. Any hope of a title race has started to slip away as the gap between Connah’s Quay and the league leaders is now nine points.

The New Saints would have been expecting a tough test as they travelled to Newtown. The home side have had an impressive season so far, despite faltering in the last few weeks. Despite the match staying goalless until the hour mark, the visitors finally found a breakthrough as Josh Daniels gave them the lead. However, the floodgates didn’t open as they so often do once The New Saints take the lead.

Newtown kept the pressure on the away side as they pushed for an equaliser, but despite their best efforts, the league leaders secured another three points as Ben Clark’s injury-time effort curled into the top corner.

After a 6-1 victory in midweek against Colwyn Bay, The New Saints look to be on course to cruise to another title.

Penybont were desperate to remedy their uncharacteristically bad form as they travelled to Caernarfon, who themselves were hoping to get back on track after their heavy defeat to Connah’s Quay last weekend.

The home side would live to rue an early sitter from Zack Clarke, who fired over from four yards out, as Chris Venables headed home to give Bont the lead in seven minutes. Dan Jefferies would double the visitors’ lead 15 minutes later with a beautiful first-time finish that found the top corner. Not something you’d expect to see from a centre-back!

Caernarfon started the second half strongly as they got one back from Adam Davies, but any hope of a comeback was extinguished by Chris Venables, who got his second and Penybont’s third just after the hour mark. The veteran goalscorer went on to make it a hat-trick in the 91st minute as he slotted home a penalty to secure his side their first league win since September.

The action wasn’t over there, though, as Sion Bradley added another to his impressive tally this season to make it 4-2, but it was too late in the day to spark a comeback as Bont returned to winning ways.

Colwyn Bay was hoping to pick up some important points in their battle for safety as they travelled to west Wales to take on Haverfordwest on Saturday afternoon. However, it was the home side that wasted no time as they took the lead through Martell Taylor-Crossdale after 14 minutes before Rio Dyer got his first goal for the club four minutes later.

Haverfordwest’s afternoon would only get better as Martell Taylor-Crossdale scored another on the stroke of halftime before completing his hat-trick ten minutes after the restart. The 17-year-old Daniel John then rounded off a perfect day for the home side with his first senior career goal in the 84th minute.

Colwyn Bay will be concerned as they slip to the bottom of the league as their winless run extends to seven games. Meanwhile, any fear Haverfordwest had of being dragged into the relegation battle has been extinguished as they picked up another important three points.

It’s been a tough week for Pontypridd United as the FAW announced they faced 18 disciplinary charges relating to ineligible players, contractual issues, and registration problems. If they’re found guilty of the rule violations, a hefty points deduction could be heading their way. However, the league stops for no one as they travelled up the A470 to take on Bala Town.

Both teams had chances to win the game as Clayton Green forced Bala’s Kelland Absalom into an acrobatic save, while Nathan Peate saw his headed effort cleared off the line by Ponty’s Keston Davies at the other end, as nothing could separate the two sides. However, the game was marred by a serious injury to Ponty’s Jack Karadogan, which saw him stretchered off on the stroke of half-time. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Midweek Results:
The New Saints 6-1 Colwyn Bay

Saturday Results:
Bala Town 0-0 Pontypridd United
Barry Town United 0-1 Aberystwyth Town
Caernarfon Town 2-4 Penybont
Cardiff Met 3-1 Connah’s Quay Nomads
Haverfordwest 5-0 Colwyn Bay
Newtown 0-2 The New Saints

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8 months ago

TNS’s domination of the Cymru Premier has now become as predictable, and as tedious, as that of the Old Firm in Scotland. I sometimes wonder if Merthyr could mount a credible challenge for the title if they ever came home.

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