PHOTO FROM NCMMEDIA
This weekend’s Welsh Premier League card sees many a notable fixture, but none quite as surprising as gap Connah’s Quay vs Rhyl.
Before the season had started, the two teams were at the polar opposites of pundit prediction, with Connah’s Quay tipped to challenge TNS whilst Rhyl were looking at a gruelling relegation dogfight.
And yet, with eight games played, Connah’s Quay sit second and Rhyl are third with just two points separating them. Connah’s Quay are unbeaten, winning and drawing four whilst Rhyl have lost two, drawn two and won four.
The table doesn’t lie, but it also fails to reveal the full story of how this surprising standing came about. The Nomads’ story has been pretty straightforward, with a solid start seeing them in the runners up position due to an unbeaten record.
For Rhyl, it’s hasn’t been as simple. A 10-0 defeat at the hands of TNS made it look as if there was no way back, but it has actually proved the kick-start to their season. Following their visit to Park Hall they’ve gone on to win four and draw one, claiming the scalp of Bangor City in the North Wales Derby on their way.
The buoyancy, motivation and positive atmosphere in the Rhyl camp will be key in their threat to not only Connah’s Quay but the top six, as it’s not too early to give them a real chance of securing top six football in what would be a sensational achievement for the Lilywhites.
Connah’s Quay will be strong at their home of Deeside, but they won’t be taking anything for granted with an extensive injury list that has taken out two of their key defenders in George Horan and Ian Kearney.
Furthermore, Rhyl come into Sunday’s fixture with the elation of the derby win on their backs whilst Nomads have been forced to deal with a controversial decision that awarded Llandudno’s equaliser and a bout of poor finishing on Tuesday evening.
Whatever the result come 5 o’ clock on Sunday, it’s fair to say there’ll be a football feast in Connah’s Quay.
The game kicks off at 3:00pm on Sunday at the Deeside Stadium.