Five things we learned this week – Welsh Premier League

Thought I’d give something a bit different a try: Five things to pick up on after the weekend’s action in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League. All opinion, comment, abuse and whatever else can be channelled to me at @1matthewburgess

#1 Bangor City can play at Nantporth – Murmurings that Nev Powell’s side couldn’t play on the pristine turf at Nantporth were well and truly silenced as the Citizens crushed Aberystwyth Town 7-1. Were the criticisms warranted? Probably not. Just two league defeats since moving last January and a record league win for their new home, means City fans won’t care anyway.

#2 Lido have heart – When Andy Dyer walked away at the end of last season, many thought that the never-say-die attitude which had served Afan Lido so well, would be gone with him. Not on Friday night’s evidence it seems. Carmarthen huffed and puffed but failed to blow the Lido defence down to add a second goal following Jack Christopher’s opener; only for Mark Jones to pop up in the 90th minute and deliver manager Paul Reid his first point of the season.

#3 Connah’s Quay are planning on staying – Newcomers Connah’s Quay have left us in no doubt of their intentions after back-to-back wins at the Deeside stadium. Arguably the most competitive league since the inauguration of the WPL, Connah’s Quay were expected to find adapting to life in the top-flight tough – except nobody told them that. Comfortably disposing of Port Talbot over a week ago, Llanelli became the Nomads’ latest victims in a 3-1 defeat. Mark McGregor & Co and can take stock with a healthy return of six points from their first three.

#4 TNS the team to beat – Admittedly not the most studious of observations but facts are facts and TNS are already top of the table and have already, opened up a two-point lead. Ryan Fraughan, unplayable on his day, had just one of those days on Friday night to the misfortune of Prestatyn, scoring two fine individual efforts in a straight-forward 4-1 win. Add the likes of Greg Draper, Aeron Edwards, Alex Darlington, Chris Jones and well…. you get the picture.

#5 Back-to-back fixtures are good but unfair – The WPL have introduced back-to-back fixtures this season with four of last weekend’s fixtures being repeated on Tuesday. Clubs wanted an early mid-week game, so the league delivered, with a quick-turn reverse fixture adding extra spice. The idea is certainly a good one but what of those teams who don’t play? TNS, Llanelli, Connah’s Quay and Prestatyn are all without a mid-week game, with the latter two playing against teams on Saturday who will be coming off the back of a mid-week fixture. Bernard McNally and Mark Aizlewood will be most pleased.

+ Sion Edwards, Bangor City – Took advantage of some less-than-rigerous defending to claim a first-half hat-trick but in doing so, filed a serious contender for goal of the season. A shot many wouldn’t have even attempted, Edwards, outside of the box, hit the ball first-time from a narrow angle, on the left, sending it flying in at the back post – stunning and worthy of any league in the world.

– Aberystywth’s defence – Ripped apart and conceding goals from all angles, Tomi Morgan will be looking for a big turn-around in the return fixture this Tuesday night.

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