Mid-week football: The New Saints targeting top-spot after Scottish set-back

The New Saints will have an early opportunity to bounce back from their third round elimination in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup at Park Hall in one of two Cymru Premier games on Tuesday night.

Also in action are Connah’s Quay, who’re looking to continue their unbeaten start to the new season when Cefn Druids make the short journey to the Deeside Stadium.

A win over Newtown would elevate The New Saints to the top of table in the Cymru Premier as they look to recover from a disappointing setback on the weekend, after they were dumped out at the first hurdle of their Scottish Challenge Cup campaign.

It’s been an unconvincing start from champions to date with the side suffering two defeats in their first five competitive fixtures.

A 3-1 penalty shootout defeat against Stenhousemuir saw The New Saints exit the first round of the Scottish Challenge Cup for a second successive year.

After spurning a number of first-half chances, The New Saints found themselves trailing minutes after the restart as Kieron Anderson headed the Scottish League 2 side in front.

With four minutes to spare, Ryan Brobbel sparred The New Saints’ blushes producing a low finish into the bottom corner following a mazy run to send the match straight to a deciding penalty shootout.

After Dean Ebbe became the third of four Saints penalty takers to fail to score, Stenhousemuir’s David Hopkirk successfully converted to secure the Scottish side the win.

The New Saints sit fourth in the table after wins over Penybont and Aberystwyth Town and a win over Newtown would put Scott Ruscoe’s side a point clear at top.

Newtown still appear to be finding their feet with just a solitary win under their belts so far, although if they can iron out a few early season creases, the Robins could become a dangerous side.

The same might be said of Cefn Druids, who after a number of summer additions remain something of an unknown quantity, although their resolve can be expected to undergo a thorough test against Connah’s Quay. The Nomads have ground out successive 1-0 wins over Bala Town and Cove Rangers in the Scottish Challenge Cup.

Michael Bakare returned to the Nomads line-up and fired in the only goal of the game.

There’s also a full midweek programme of games in the Cymru North including leaders Prestatyn Town visiting fourth-placed Conwy Borough and Rhyl hosting unbeaten Ruthin.

JD Cymru Premier: Connah’s Quay Nomads v Cefn Druids (19:45), The New Saints v Newtown (19:45)

JD Cymru North: Bangor City v Flint Town United, Buckley Town v Llandudno, Colwyn Bay v Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Gresford Athletic v Llanfair United, Penrhyncoch v Corwen, Porthmadog v Llangefni Town, Rhyl v Ruthin Town

JD Cymru North: Conwy Borough v Prestatyn Town

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