Well the WPL never fails to throw up a surprise and I don’t think we’ll see a bigger surprise this season than Andy Legg’s departure from Bangor City this week, with the club sitting well-placed fourth in the table. Bangor were subject of another surprise on Matchday 16 as Cardiff Met steamrolled over the Citizens to claim a big 4-0 win down in the capital. Out of the top three, only TNS won last week meaning Bala Town muscling their way into the automatic European places. There’s no surprise at the top of the rankings ladder as TNS again remain top of the pile but Cardiff Met climb to their highest place of the season, moving up three places into second. The other big climbers this week are Rhyl; the Lilywhites also moved up three places this week after snapping their losing run in style against Airbus. Without further ado…
#1 THE NEW SAINTS
This week: NO CHANGE (last week 1st)
TNS were made to work hard for their three points and place in the League Cup final as Carmarthen and Connah’s Quay refused to lie down this week. The Saints have now equalled Bangor City’s record of 15 consecutive WPL wins and are now surefire favourites to break that record at home against Airbus.
#2 CARDIFF MET
This week: UP THREE (last week 5th)
The Met really have impressed in recent weeks and their 4-0 win over Bangor City was the highlight of their season so far. That result felt like a coming of age for the club who’re on terrific form, playing some terrific football. It’d be very surprised now were they not able to make the top-six. I wonder how many of the squad have valid passports?
#3 BALA TOWN
This week: UP ONE (last week 4th)
Bala Town continue to steadily climb up the league table and power rankings, with their win over Llandudno being their fourth win on the bounce. Nobody will fancy facing the Lakesiders on current form right – are Bala gearing up to make a big statement in the Championship Conference this season?
#4 CONNAH’S QUAY
This week: DOWN TWO (last week 2nd)
Connah’s Quay head into Matchday 17 off the back two defeats. They were left frustrated as Newtown snatched all three points at Latham Park before being edged up out of the League Cup by TNS on Tuesday night, despite a resolute performance. The Nomads just don’t seem to be getting the rub of the green at the moment but I would expect their luck to turn and for normal service to resume soon.
#5 BANGOR CITY
This week: DOWN TWO (last week 3rd)
Leggless! City sprung a major shock this week in announcing the departure of Andy Legg after just three months in the job. Bangor are very much eyeing bigger and better things long term but they need to ensure last weekend’s surprisingly one-sided defeat to Cardiff Met was nothing more than a freak result and that Legg’s departure doesn’t have an unsettling effect on the squad he leaves behind. Legg’s exit wasn’t the only big departure this week – the Citizens have also lost one of the brightest talents in the league after Jordan Davies returned to Wrexham.
#6 CARMARTHEN TOWN
This week: NO CHANGE (last week 6th)
Despite losing, there would’ve been positives for Mark Aizlewood to have taken from Carmarthen’s defeat to TNS as the side were once again committed and hardworking. If they can just start taking points off some of the teams around them, their season would offer far more promise.
This week: NO CHANGE (last week 7th)
Their defeat to Bala last week did little to upset their top-six hopes and the match marked the return from injury of top goalscorer Marc Williams. It’s quite incredible that the club remain in sixth-spot with a record of just two victories from their last 11 games. If Williams can rediscover his goalscoring form of last season then a top-half finish is there for the taking.
This week: UP TWO (last week 10th)
Newtown appear to be putting that bad run well and truly behind them now after picking up another three points against Connah’s Quay. Now out of the relegation places I just wonder if Chris Hughes is quietly contemplating his team’s top-six chances?! What a turnaround that would be!
This week: UP THREE (last week 12th)
Rhyl haved looked both tragic and magic this season and amidst a poor run of form, they turned in a big performance over struggling Airbus last week rallying to a 3-0 win. Rob Hughes looked unstoppable, Carl Lamb was converting chances and if they can just maintain this form then they will be looking upwards.
#10 CEFN DRUIDS
This week: DOWN TWO (last week 8th)
Druids slipped into the bottom-two last weekend but they were without a game following the floodlight problems at Aberystwyth Town. Like Aberystwyth, the Druids are dealt a harsh hand this week and slip down the table purely on the basis of teams below climbing.
#11 ABERYSTWYTH TOWN
This week: DOWN TWO (last week 9th) It was all about the floodlights this week after gale force winds brought down not one, but two floodlight posts causing damage to the ground and club’s bank balance. They go again this week as Connah’s Quay visit Park Avenue. Aber slip down in the rankings with teams below them winning.
#12 AIRBUS UK
This week: DOWN ONE (last week 11th)
It’s concerning to see how quickly Airbus, a club who led the chasing pack behind TNS and competed in Europe in recent seasons, have fallen away and now become embroiled into a relegation battle. They were comfortably beaten at home by Rhyl last weekend – a side with plenty of their own worries over form – and now face the unenviable task of stopping TNS in their tracks at Park Hall with a depleted team.
Featured image courtesy of Neil Sheldon/Cardiff Met FC.