Carmarthen Town gave the perfect response to last weekend’s disappointing 5-1 collapse at Airbus as they gritted out a tough win at Richmond Park over gap Connah’s Quay.
A clean-sheet and three points will pretty much have been the perfect result for Old Gold manager Mark Aizlewood, who watched his side turn in a committed and efficient performance to claim the points.
It took a sweetly struck effort from Lewis Harling to separate the two side’s but in truth, the two goalkeepers Lee Idzi and John Danby were bystanders for much of the warm afternoon.
Having tasted a home defeat on their opener against Newtown, Connah’s Quay rung the changes for their first away fixture of the campaign, with three of the back four changing while the Nomads showed their attacking intentions by name all three of their new forwards, Ashley Ruane, Nick Rushton and Les Davies in their starting eleven, no doubt looking to capitalise on the defensive frailties shown by Carmarthen the week before.
Carmarthen coped well with the challenge however as Rushton and Davies were man-marked throughout by Craig Hanford and rookie Dwaine Bailey, who turned in a credible performance to keep Les Davies quiet for much of the afternoon on his full WPL debut.
The defeat leaves Connah’s Quay looking for their first points of the season but perhaps more concerning to the Nomads is the fact they’re still yet find the back of the net.
There is no denying the quality that the squad have within their ranks and that the club are very much on the right tracks towards becoming a real force in the WPL but in these early stages, the side are yet to find a way to utilises the talent that they have.
Defensively, Connah’s Quay look steady but their build up play needs to improve as they look to find the right balance and identify a system which gets the best out of their side. You sense that it will come in time and could this transition jeopardise their top-six aspirations?
In north Wales, Bangor City were unable to build on their point gained at Rhyl as they squandered a one-goal lead, losing 2-1 to visiting Port Talbot. Bangor has never been a prosperous venue for the Steelmen and Andy Dyer will be delighted to return home with all three points, thanks to goals from debutants Joe Clarke and Jonathan Hood.
Newtown meanwhile are the early pacesetters as they saw off Haverfordwest County 3-0 at Latham Park, with Neil Mitchell scoring twice to take his tally to three goals in two. The Robins are going very nicely in these early stages, does their positive start hint of an even better season this time around? I’m not ruling them out of the top-three.
Friday night also saw two big games, BBC Radio Wales covered Llandudno’s excellent draw at TNS. Few would’ve expected ‘Dudno to have taken four points from their first two games against Aberystwyth and the league champions but Alan Morgan’s team have got off to a tremendous start.
Aberystwyth bounced back from that defeat to Llandudno boosted by the signing of marksman Jamie Reed. Reed returns on an initial one-month loan from TNS and took eight minutes to make his mark, scoring twice as the Seasiders rallied to a 3-1 win.
Results/fixtures – Fri: Aberystwyth 3-1 Rhyl, TNS 1-1 Llandudno. Sat: Bangor City 1-2 Port Talbot, Carmarthen1-0 Connah’s Quay, Newtown 3-0 Haverfordwest. Mon: Bala v Airbus (TV 3.45).