Five things we learned this week – Welsh Premier League, September 8th

A weekend of surprises in the Welsh Premier – time to name, shame and blame. Fire away your thoughts @1matthewburgess

#1 Coupon busters! – A peculiar weekend in the WPL with unlikely results up and down the league, but should we be surprised? Carmarthen’s collapse at Prestatyn aside – a scoreline not even the fortune teller over at Pontins had predicted – the clubs are more evenly balanced than ever before. Regardless of what the form-book tells us, sides are going to constantly taking points off each other this season, so get used to it. The race for the top six is already heating up.

#2 Aber in trouble – Sorry, but Aberystwyth look a team on the slide. Yes, they took an good point and perhaps more importantly a clean-sheet against Bangor City last Tuesday, but a 5 – 0 roasting from Port Talbot – a side themselves shy in front of goal so far – in front of the Park Avenue faithful on Saturday reopened old wounds. This is probably not what Tomi Morgan or the Aberystwyth board mapped out in pre-season, but when a team with accomplished players like Stuart Jones and Wyn Thomas in defence, start to fall apart at the seams on what is now becoming an all-too-often basis, something is seriously wrong. Tomi needs to patch up his side, and quick.

#3 Bangor new boy finding his feet – An unfamiliar name at the top of the scoring charts early on suggests that Nev Powell can expect big things from summer signing Chris Simm. Six goals in five is a healthy return for the 28-year-old who appears to be adapting well to life in the WPL, even though poor defending allowed him to claim three in last Saturday’s haul at Airbus UK – can he stake a claim for the Rhys Griffiths Memorial Golden Boot?

#4 Someone tell Bala the season’s started – A season of surprises and teams taking points of each other, yes, but it’s not an excuse for Bala Town’s poor start. The most improved team in the WPL last term have simply failed to get going and – along with Aberystwyth – remain without a win, coming off three-straight defeats. Colin Caton had a full squad available to him for the first time this season on the weekend but the Lakesiders were again left empty-handed, this time against Afan Lido.

#5 Win-win for Paul Reid – Expected by many to be walking into a baptism of fire in his first managerial appointment. The Afan Lido boss finds himself in a win-win situation with his side recording two big wins this week. The Lido went one better on Tuesday than last weekend’s, last-minute equaliser (Mark Jones) against Carmarthen, by scoring a last-minute winner (Mark Jones), against the same opposition. Saturday then brought with it another three points (see #4) to leave Reid enjoying life at the Marston stadium in knowledge that survival will be deemed a noteworthy success. And relegation? Well, that was expected anyway.

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK
+ Neil Gibson – An all action performance from Prestatyn’s player/manager/bus driver, saw Gibbo score twice in the result of the weekend, as Prestatyn thrashed Carmarthen 7 – 1.

– Tomi Morgan – See #3, working with what is very much his own squad, fingers will start to point the Aberystwyth manager’s way should he not be able to whip the Seasiders into shape. A poor show against Connah’s Quay next week could make Morgan the first managerial casualty of the season.

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