Saturday’s match against Bangor City could prove to be one of Newtown’s most significant fixtures when they look back on the first phase of the season.
Now half-way through the opening stage, does a potential sticky patch lie ahead for Chris Hughes’ Robins?
The team seem well-placed in the WPL table occupying fifth-spot but they have their solid away form to thank for that.
On the road Newtown have one of strongest records in the league winning five and drawing one of their six away fixtures, but it is at home where they have struggled to pick up points and have notched just one win at Latham Park this season.
Against a vulnerable looking Bangor City side, Newtown should be eyeing up three points here to improve that record but they will have to reshuffle their side after having key striker Jason Oswell and attacking midfielder Sean Evans sent off in last week’s defeat to Bala.
This week also saw the club announce the departure of left-winger Matty Hearsey.
I’m an advocate of what Newtown have achieved and the ethos that the club have instilled, but there is no denying that they carry a squad limited in size and out-of-favour Hearsey’s departure, along with the expanding list of suspensions and injuries, currently leaves them even thinner on the ground.
Club stalwart Shane Sutton will remain sidelined until well into the New Year while fellow defender Gavin Cadwallader is also still on the injury list. In total, the Robins’ small squad will be minus five senior players for the visit of the Citizens.
If Newtown fail to start picking up more points at home or suffer further selection problems in this erratic WPL season, their top-six hopes could soon begin to unravel.
Where will Parry fit at TNS?
TNS handed a debut to new signing Robbie Parry in their midweek 3-1 win over Haverfordwest County – the former Stoke City player joined the Saints this week following a successful month trial at Park Hall.
Craig Harrison believes the club have a brought in an exciting talent who could thrive in the WPL.
Robbie clearly has very, very good quality and has spent all of his career at top clubs and represented his country up to U19 level. He has come in and trained with us and more than proven he is a very good player and maybe just needs another opportunity.
The issue that TNS may well have however is accommodating the number the number of wide players that they have within their ranks. On my count, the club currently have five wingers on their books – Jamie Mullan, Adrian Cieslewicz, Scott Quigley, Ryan Edwards and now Robbie Parry are all vying for essentially two places in the TNS side.
If Parry is to kick on and develop into the player Harrison hopes, then he will need to fend off some strong competition to hold down his place. It’ll be interesting to see how he does.