Round 3 wrap: Saints stall again; Newtown stay top

On a nearly-historic weekend for Welsh football, there were still plenty of talking points from the third round of the WPL, although I do admit I wasn’t present at any of the six fixtures this weekend!

Rhyl haven’t set the league alight in these (very) early stages but a 0-0 draw point against champions TNS at Belle Vue presents a welcome shot in the arm for the Lilywhites with side still searching for their first win.

It’s not often you see TNS drop points for two successive games and I’m just starting to wonder whether this year’s title race will more closer-fought than many have expected.

That all depends on the chasing pack of course, and Airbus‘ defeat to Bangor and Bala’s tie at Carmarthen meant none of last season’s top three managed to win this week.

Airbus were unexpectedly swept aside by Bangor City who claimed their first win in some style by all accounts in what was one of the more surprising results of the weekend.

Goalless draws are a fairly uncommon result in the league but this weekend we saw two as Bala were also held to a stalemate. They return home, still unbeaten this season, with a point from their tie with Carmarthen – Old Gold keeper Lee Idzi marked his 250th WPL appearance by recording a second shutout in a row in that one.

Connah’s Quay notched a morale boosting win after dispatching Haverfordwest County 2-1. It’s been three defeats on the bounce for County since their return to the top-flight and they may consider themselves unfortunate not to have picked up a point from the Deeside Stadium.

In one of the game’s of the weekend, Port Talbot are starting to look impressive after their 4-2 victory over Aberystwyth Town on Friday night to put the Steelmen up into second in the table. With a number of new signings over the summer, it could get pretty interesting if they click early on.

All that leaves Newtown top of table and as the only side to have their 100% record intact – if that doesn’t tell you about the competitive nature of the league, nothing will! A 2-0 away win over plucky (how many times will I use that to describe them this season) Llandudno gives them top marks with nine points from three games. A splendid start indeed from the Robins.

A busy midweek schedule sees the start of the League Cup on Tuesday night, which includes the small issue of a Bangor – Caernarfon derby up in north Wales. I’ll also be appearing on Newtown FC’s official Robins Radio podcast this week so keep a look out for that!

Results – Fri: Airbus 1-4 Bangor City, Port Talbot 4-2 Aberystwyth, Llandudno 0-2 Newtown. Sat: Carmarthen 0-0 Bala, Connah’s Quay 2-1 Haverfordwest, Rhyl 0-0 TNS.

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