SMEUDWY RECRUITMENT DRIVE PAYS DIVIDENDS
Ynysmeudwy have reversed their fortunes this year by topping the table instead of propping it up. Last year they finished absolute rock bottom of the Neath League system and made massive strides in the summer to correct this. A massive recruitment drive not only meant they have been able to strengthen their first team, but have also put together a second side to play in the reserve leagues. Their hard work seems to have paid off in spades as they sit at the top of the league with a 100% record after 3 games. They’ve not been easy games either, having faced last seasons relegated Division 1 side Cimla and fellow promotion chasing Celtic Neath twice. A lot can be put down to the Ynysmeudwy defence, having only conceded 1 goal all season, although the emergence of youngster James West has also helped.
Another team that are looking to improve on last season are Cwmgwrach. They made a decent go of it last time out, finishing just below the promotion chasing pack, and they have started well this year, playing two and winning two, including a 6-0 win over Onllwyn.
AFC GlaisAFC GlaisAFC Glais have also had a decent start and are unbeaten after two games with a win against Clydach Sports and a draw against Coed Darcy. Many peoples favourites to win the league this year may struggle though as it seems that the teams around them may of had better pre seasons in terms of recruitment.
Celtic Neath will also feel that they are capable of doing something this year, after winning 3-1 home to Cimla on the opening day they have been unfortunate to meet an in form Ynysmeudwy twice out of the 3 games they’ve played. They are a good club and experienced at this level and could well be in with an outside chance of becoming champions.
Moving on to the bottom half of the league and although they are level on points with Celtic Neath, it’s been a tough start for relegated Cimla. Losing to Ynysmeudwy and Celtic Neath, they picked up their first points of the season in a frantic 5-4 win over bottom club Clydach Sports. One of the more established Neath League teams, Cimla will be disappointed with their start although their losses have come against two of the better sides in the division.
Coed Darcy are the only other team unbeaten in the league having drawn against Onllwyn and Glais, after what would of been a disappointing season last time out, Coed will be looking to build on their start and hopefully remain unbeaten for a few more games.
Onllwyn would of been another team feeling a little despondent about last season and following up their opening 3-3 draw with Coed before falling to a heavy 6-0 defeat to Cwmgwrach would indicate that they could well be in for another tough season.
Jersey Marine had a tricky tie in their first ever Neath League fixture, the newly formed team losing to a single goal, going 1-0 down to Cwmgwrach. Going by that result alone it would seem to indicate that Marine could upset a few teams in the league this season.
It looks like it’s going to be a long season already for Clydach Sports. Although losing both games by just a single goal momentum is not with Sports currently and the bad start could see them struggle to turn their form around.
Unfortunately the league lost Godre’r Graig 2 weeks prior to the opening matchday.