And they’re off!! The start of the 2014/15 Welsh Premier League season is officially underway, after the Bank Holiday double-header leaves Aberystwyth Town the very early pace-setters after two games played.
Just how long Aberystwyth can maintain their grip at the top-of-the-table remains to be seen of course, but Ian Hughes will have few complaints having taken four points from his side’s opening two fixtures.
It took a late strike from TNS substitute Sam Finley to deny the Park Avenue club a second win on the bounce. Aber hot-shot Chris Venables had wasted no time at all picking up where he left off from last season’s golden boot winning campaign, bagging four in Aber’s opening night 5-0 whitewash of Cefn Druids.
The Druids’ return party to the top-flight was well and truly pooped at The Rock but Derek Taylor’s late equaliser at Rhyl will have gone a long way to ease initial fears about adapting to life in the WPL.
And what about Rhyl, where it seems indiscipline is hindering what has the makings of good side?
The Lilywhites had two dismissed early on against 1-0 winners Carmarthen at the weekend before turning in an admirable gutsy defensive display and they then had two more sent-off in their draw with Cefn Druids. Plenty for boss Greg Strong to ponder at this early stage.
Two more managers with plenty to consider are Mark Aizlewood and Nev Powell.
Carmarthen looked decidedly toothless during their unimpressive win over Rhyl and a draw at Connah’s Quay doesn’t disguise the fact that the Old Gold have been left to rue the departures of a host of attacking players, notably striker Christian Doidge. I think we could see a little movement at Richmond Park in the forward department before the transfer window closes and a few interesting names spring to mind.
Up at Bangor City, Nev Powell will know there is plenty of work to do after his side were forced to swallow successive defeats at the start of their campaign. The 2-0 reverse against rivals The New Saints didn’t paint a true picture of a game in which the Saints dominated from start to finish. City were then handed a Bank Holiday setback as Newtown rallied to a 3-1 win on a miserable afternoon at Nantporth.
Bala Town – a side who I think can cause a stir this year in the upper reaches of the table – will be satisfied with their start. A victory at Newtown was followed up by a resilient goalless draw with Airbus, who were late kicking off their title-chasing campaign. Having been forced to postpone their fixture against the Wingmakers on Saturday, Port Talbot Town made light work of a youthful Prestatyn side which on the account of today’s game, are in for a difficult season despite starting their season with a dramatic 3-2 over Connah’s Quay.
Fri: CEFN 0-5 ABER; PRES 3-2 CONN; TNS 2-0 BAN. Sat: AIR P-P PTT; CARM 1-0 RHYL; NEW 1-2 BALA. Mon: ABER 1-1
TNS; BALA 0-0 AIR; BAN 1-3 NEW; CONN 1-1 CARM; PTT 3-0 PRES; RHYL 1-1 CEFN.
Next Fri: ABER v BAN; AIR v NEW; CARM v PTT; CEFN v CONN; TNS v RHYL. Next Sat: PRES v BALA.