After a week away and the international break, it’s been three weeks since our last batch of Power Rankings. Here’s a whirlwind rundown to bring us up to speed where Carmarthen Town make ground and there’s a change in the top-two!
#1 THE NEW SAINTS
This week: NO CHANGE (last week 1st)
WPL wins over Llandudno and Newtown: Check!
Irn-Bru Cup win against Forfar Athletic: Check!
Nathaniel MG semi-final spot booked: Check!
TNS remain faultless this season.
#2 BANGOR CITY
This week: UP ONE (last week 3rd)
Andy Legg’s side have had a mixed bag of results in their three games since our the last rankings but there is a strong sense of optimism coming from Nantporth as the likes of Henry Jones, Rodrigo Blanco and Christian Langos shine for the Citizens. Legg has evidently got the side playing for him as they look to close in on a top-six spot. They showed plenty of character to comeback and beat rivals Rhyl last week before putting in encouraging performance in their 2-0 defeat in the League Cup to old foes TNS.
#3 CONNAH’S QUAY
This week: DOWN ONE (last week 2nd)
Successive draws at the Deeside Stadium have seen Connah’s Quay share points with Bangor and Cardiff Met, allowing TNS to extend their lead at the top of the table. The Nomads continue to show plenty of grit and steel but if they do intend to challenge then their first meeting of the season with TNS this Sunday is surely a must-win game.
#4 CARDIFF MET
This week: UP ONE(last week 5th)
Christian Edwards’ Met side are maturing nicely into a good outfit who are capable of hanging in the top-six. I was present as they turned in a ruthless display against Cefn Druids two weeks ago which they then followed up with a very respectable point against Connah’s Quay. Going along nicely now.
#5 BALA TOWN
This week: UP ONE (last week 6th)
Colin Caton heads into his 550th game as Bala boss this weekend with his side unbeaten in four in the WPL. Their defeat to Alloa earlier this month was probably their low point of the season and they’ve since been involved with a high-scoring draws with Airbus and Cefn Druids. Caton will know his side need to tighten up defensively, if they can do that and remain a threat going forward Bala really are capable of pushing on.
#6 CARMARTHEN TOWN
This week: UP FOUR (last week 10th)
Carmarthen are grafting out results and their efforts have seen them go three games unbeaten with a League Cup semi-final tie to look forward to. Their small squad is pretty much done to bare bones right now and a gutsy extra-time win over Newtown midweek keeps the Old Gold in with the chance of silverware. Aizlewood certainly has his team playing for him.
#7 AIRBUS UK
This week: UP ONE (last week 8th)
The Wingmakers may well be in the drop zone but one defeat in six indicates there isn’t too much going wrong at the Airfield. Successive draws against Bala Town and Carmarthen leave Airbus well placed to march back up the table, manager Andy Thomas will be hoping rejuvenated French midfielder Kevin Monteiro can finally now maintain the form he showed last season.
#8 CEFN DRUIDS
This week: DOWN ONE (last week 7th)
Druids continue to blow hot and cold but with the league being so closely fought, Huw Griffiths’ side remain genuine top-six candidates. They capitulated two weeks ago losing 5-0 down in Cardiff Met and but showed signs of quality in last week’s 4-4 draw with Bala. A settled starting XI would help bring some consistency to the Druids, something which for one reason or another hasn’t happened of late.
#9 ABERYSTWYTH TOWN
This week: UP TWO (last week 11th)
For a side which has shipped goals too frequently this season, back-to-back clean-sheets will have definitely given Matthew Bishop and Wayne Jones renewed hope of pushing on up the table. Aber are two games into a six-game run of games at Park Avenue, if they can capitalise on that home advantage you can expect some up-turn from the Seasiders.
This week: DOWN SIX (last week 4th)
The Lilywhites have slumped of late and are on a run of four-straight league defeats. They were thumped at Aberystwyth on Matchday 11 and then threw away two-goal lead to eventually lose 3-2 in last weekend’s televised derby. Rhyl are still very much in the mix for a top-six place however but clearly need to rediscover their form if they are to make the cut in what is an ever-competitive league.
This week: DOWN TWO (last week 9th)
Little can be gained by reading into Dudno’s recent 5-0 defeat to TNS or their goalless draw with Aberystwyth last weekend though goals do remain at a premium for the side this season. They do however sit well-placed to repeat last year’s top-six feat and remain one of several teams in the mix, without ripping up any trees.
This week: NO CHANGE (last week 12th)
Newtown are enduring a barren spell of both results and good fortune after their winless stretch in the WPL extended to five games at the weekend with a narrow defeat to TNS. The Robins were unfortunate not to get something against the champions and their luck showed no sign of turning after an extra-time defeat to Carmarthen Town on Wednesday night ended their League Cup hopes. Chris Hughes is definitely the man to turn this around though and you sense one win, no matter how it comes, will get them back up and running.
Featured image courtesy of Allen Fitzpatrick/Carmarthen Town/Welsh Premier League.