Five things we learned this week – Welsh Premier League, September 15th

Another Monday, another ‘Five Things…’, you know the drill now, right.

1# Prestatyn joint top! – Level with Bangor City on points, it’s perhaps fitting that Prestatyn have been the surprise package in a season of surprises so far. My prediction that Gibbo’s side would fall away from their top six birth of last season looks increasingly unlikely, as game-by-game Prestatyn continue to both, rack up points and prove their doubters wrong. The arrival of Jason Price looks to have added some real potency up-front and goals are coming from across the field. A magnificent midweek win over TNS was followed up with a victory at Bala Town in the Sgorio televised game. And at what stage do we stop claiming Prestatyn are overachieving?

#2 Saints needs scorers! – Stating the obvious perhaps, but when TNS find themselves in the unfamiliar scenario of a (club record) three-game goal drought, it becomes a talking point. And it becomes an even bigger talking point when their next match happens to be against Bangor City! TNS have failed to hit the back of the net in successive games at Prestatyn, Llanelli and now Carmarthen. A side usually flowing with goals, TNS’ title defence could face an early-season set-back if Bangor keeper Lee Idzi records a shut-out on Saturday.

#3 Aberystwyth show signs of improvement – My criticism of Aber last week was warranted following their start to the season. But the Seasiders finally gave their supporters something to shout about on the weekend, recording their first win of the season at the expense of Connah’s Quay. A 2-1 win for Tomi Morgan’s side saw a marked improvement from the leaky Aber defence which has shipped 16 already this season. Three points is a huge confidence booster but Morgan must now get more of the same – they could do just that against Llanelli at Park Avenue (see #5).

#4 Jonah’s gem – Looking to fill a void up-front after the departure Martin Rose and then summer-signing Rhys Griffiths – without a ball even being kicked – Port Talbot manager Mark Jones took a bold punt on Welsh League Division Three striker Jeff White in the summer from Bridgend Street. White looks to have settled game-by-game and has found his goalscoring touch in the WPL with four in his last two games. Strong with a high-work ethic, if White continues to kick-on Jonah will have unearthed another gem.

#5 Worrying signs for Llanelli – Andy Legg’s side do have the habit of, once-in-a-while, pressing the self-destruct button and they did so with some zest for Newtown’s visit to Stebo, losing 3-0 and having three-men sent off. Newtown’s victory wasn’t too much of a shock but the scoreline and manner of it certainly was, raising big questions about the Llanelli side right now. Off-field financial problems are well-documented with a very worrying cloud of uncertainty hanging over the club. Legg is an accomplished manager but has a real test to keep his players going forward against a tide of negativity.

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK
+ Prestatyn Town – Both TNS and Bala Town would’ve desperately wanted a win this week but Prestatyn picked up six points on their way to the league summit. Bravo!

– Bala Town – Bottom of the table with two points from six games. The only team without a win. Bala have stalled at the starting line.

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