Tonight sees two fixtures kick-off the second round of Welsh Premier League fixtures with games at Aberystwyth and TNS.
Ian Hughes will be looking for a response from his Aberystwyth side, following their opening weekend defeat to Llandudno, when Rhyl visit Park Avenue. And Hughes is boosted by the surprise news on Thursday evening announcing that striker Jamie Reed had rejoining to the Seasiders on loan from TNS.
Reed hasn’t had the best of times since returning to the WPL with TNS last January, making just 5(4) appearances and has found himself behind Michael Wilde and Greg Draper in the Saints’ pecking order.
I had expected Reed to make far more of an impact this season but what I didn’t expect was that it would be back at Aberystwyth. The 28-year-old moves to Aberystwyth on an initial one-month loan but it is believed that that will be extended should all parties be happy.
With a couple of games under his belt Reed could be a real success for Hughes and help fill the void left by Mark Jones, who departed to Carmarthen over the summer.
Two teams who will both be keen to get back to winning ways are Carmarthen Town and gap Connah’s Quay, who face each other at Richmond Park on Saturday after disappointing opening weekend defeats.
Carmarthen were swept aside at Airbus and after a busy off-season, Connah’s Quay didn’t get the start they’d have wanted against Newtown.
I’ll be at Carmarthen tomorrow and keen to see how both sides react. The Nomads will be making the journey without suspended midfielder Danny Harrison and it’ll be interesting to see if they go with all there of their main attacking options and play Ashley Ruane, Les Davies and Nick Rushton from the off. The trio could ask a lot of questions of Carmarthen’s defence were will be looking to shore things up in their first home outing of the season.
Encouragingly, BBC Radio Wales will again be providing live coverage as TNS host Llandudno. It was normal service resumed for the Saints last week down at Haverfordwest but Llandudno pulled off an excellent win against Aberystwyth – tonight’s match could be a very different outcome for the newcomers.
The game of the week is the televised match at Bala Town – they will need to improve on their stalemate with Port Talbot against Airbus. Tony Gray got his WPL career off to a flyer scoring twice on his debut. Bala will have plenty to contend with with him in the side and they’ll be hoping to that key-forward Mark Connolly is fit to start after coming off the bench last weekend.
Fixtures – Fri: Aberystwyth v Rhyl, TNS v Llandudno. Sat: Bangor City v Port Talbot, Carmarthen v Connah’s Quay, Newtown v Haverfordwest Mon: Bala v Airbus (TV).