Rhyl start the second phase of the Dafabet Welsh Premier League by hosting Cefn Druids at the Corbett Sports Stadium which kicks off at the traditional Saturday afternoon time of 3pm.
Rhyl start this phase in 9th place, two points clear of the relegation spaces and five points away from the 7th spot and qualification for the Europa League play off match. Cefn Druids are a point behind the Lilywhites in 10th and both sides will know that three points tomorrow will set a marker for the remaining matches.
Over the last few weeks Rhyl Manager Niall McGuinness has been busy in the transfer window adding strength to the squad and this week his attacking options have been boosted by the signing of the pacy Christian Langos from Bangor City and Josh Davies from Porthmadog. We caught up with Niall to get his views on the match.
When Cefn Druids returned to the Dafabet Welsh Premier League in the 2014/15 season an early August trip to the Corbett Sports Stadium was on the fixture list and on that occasion the man in black attracted the headlines as for the second successive match Rhyl had two players sent off to follow on from the same fate down at Carmarthen Town. John McKenna was shown a straight red card in the first half with the resultant penalty missed. Liam Dawson put the Lilywhites 1-0 up early in the second half and despite many good chances the second wouldn’t come. Then with 16 minutes to go Aaron Bowen drew a second yellow card for a late challenge and the Lilywhites were faced with defending the lead with 9 men for the last 15 minutes. Inevitably an equaliser came with Derek Taylor scoring with 8 minutes to go.
With both sides in the bottom six for the second half the two teams clashed again at the Corbett Sports Stadium in April 2015. With Rhyl pushing to secure a European Play Off spot and Cefn Druids fighting relegation it was Rhyl who were able to secure the three points. A 13th minute goal from an unmarked Jack Kenny put the Lilywhites in the lead and a Paul McManus penalty doubled the advantage with Chris Rimmer, then of Cefn Druids, seeing red for a second yellow card. Derek Taylor pulled one back for the Ancients with a free kick in a busy first half. Further controversy happened in the second half with referee Huw Jones sending Ryan Astles off in a case of complete confusion with former manager Greg Strong also being sent to the stands for defending the innocent party. Astles red card was later rescinded.
This season we played Cefn Druids in the second match of the season and the visitors captured all three points. An early Aaron Bowen goal and a sending off for Aaron Simpson set the scene for a disappointing afternoon. Two late goals for Jordan Barrow and Adam Eden sealed the three points.
The Ancients have picked up 4 points from their last six matches, with these coming in their last 2 matches. A surprise 1-0 win at Aberystwyth spoilt the seasiders hopes of a top 6 finish whilst the Druids claimed a point at home to Carmarthen last time out. Prior to that they had lost their previous 4 including the festive matches against TNS, at Gap Connahs Quay and at home against Aberystwyth Town. Over the transfer window the Druids have added to the ranks including the return of previous loanee Ashley Ruane and ex Rhyl midfielder Rakim Newton. However Newton will be missing on Saturday having picked up a red card in the Druids 4-1 defeat at Llanfair United and he will be starting a three match ban.