PIC by NCM Media.
WITH the JD Cymru Premier’s 2020/21 season having recently passed the halfway mark, I thought now would be a good time to assess who has stood out in the goal-scoring department for each team.
Here’s who’s leading the way for their respective clubs so far …
Aberystwyth Town – Marc Williams, Steven Hewitt and Steff Davies (3 goals)
Skipper Williams (above) is joined by summer signings Davies and Hewitt as Aber’s top scorers so far this term, but the club itself has struggled for the most part – currently sitting in tenth place in the table with just ten points in their first 13 matches this season.
Former Wrexham, Llandudno and Colwyn Bay attacker Williams’ goals have come in a 4-0 against Cefn Druids (1), a 5-2 loss at Bala Town (1) and a 1-1 draw at Cardiff Met (1). Strong forward Davies, who arrived from Penrhyncoch in the summer, also bagged in that 4-0 win over Druids, a 2-2 draw v league-leaders TNS and 2-1 loss at Barry Town United. Former Bangor midfielder Hewitt scored a penalty in that 5-2 loss at Bala and another one in the 3-1 loss against Connah’s Quay on Friday night, as well as a goal from open play in the 4-1 loss to TNS.
Bala Town – Chris Venables (13 goals)
Last year’s Golden Boot winner is leading the way once more as the joint-top scorer in the JD Cymru Premier so far, along with TNS’ Greg Draper.
Bala skipper Venables, a four time Golden Boot winner, has been in fine form once again this season – hitting goals against Penybont (3 goals in 2 games), Aberystwyth (2), Haverfordwest (1), Barry Town (3), Newtown (1), Flint Town (1), TNS (1) and Caernarfon Town (1). A string of powerful headers, calmly slotted penalties and good finishes have put him at the top of the pile with Draper.
The 35-year-old has scored 13 goals in just 14 matches for the Lakesiders so far – can he go on to reclaim that Golden Boot once more?
Behind him is summer signing Will Evans, formerly of Cardiff Met. The energetic midfielder has been in ridiculous form of late, hitting nine goals already from the middle of the park for Bala.
Barry Town United – Kayne McLaggon (6 goals)
It’s six goals in 11 matches so far this season for Barry’s main man who is undoubtedly one of the best finishers in Wales’ top flight.
Former Southampton academy player McLaggon, who scored 13 goals in just 20 matches during a season which was cut short last season, has picked up where he left off with a string of fine performances.
Goals against Caernarfon Town (2), Flint Town (2 in 2 games), Aberystwyth (1) and Newtown (1) have put him in good stead to finish high up the goalscorers list and lead Barry Town to European football once more (they currently sit fourth in the table).
Cardiff Met Uni – Ollie Hulbert (5 goals)
It’s a talented young English forward who is leading the way on the goal-scoring front for the Archers so far this season.
Hulbert, 19, is on loan from English League One side Bristol Rovers, and is proving to be a real threat in the JD Cymru Premier so far, picking up five goals in just ten matches for Met. He picked up two goals on his debut in a 3-2 win over Aberystwyth before notching up further goals v Flint Town (2 in 2 games) and one in the 1-1 draw with Bala on Saturday.
2019/20 top scorer Eliot Evans, who hit seven goals in 20 matches last season, has three goals so far, having bagged against Newtown (2) and Aberystwyth (1).
Caernarfon Town – Mike Hayes (4 goals)
It’s been a real mixed bag for the Cofis so far this season, with recent results in particular, including the 6-0 defeat to Penybont on Saturday, being of some concern to supporters.
One positive light during the season though has been the signing of Mike Hayes from Bala Town. The experienced striker, 33, netted on his debut v Penybont (1-1 draw) and also scored in games against Barry Town, Haverfordwest and champions Connah’s Quay.
Aside from him, Portuguese midfielder Paulo Mendes has also been a bright spark for Town – hitting three goals.
Cefn Druids – Iwan Cartwright, Josef Faux and Jamie Reed (two goals)
The Ancients have endured a difficult season so far – sitting bottom of the league on just six points. As a result, goals have been difficult to come by. – as they’ve only scored nine times in their opening 12 matches.
Three players are currently leading the race in the club’s top goalscorer list; Australian midfielder Josef Faux who has scored two goals in his first six matches for the club, experienced forward Jamie Reed and 24-year-old attacker Iwan Cartwright.
Connah’s Quay – Michael Wilde (8 goals)
He may be 37 years old now, but the veteran forward is making scoring goals look easy with the current top-flight champions this season – hitting eight goals in just 10 matches.
Wilde previously hit 151 goals in 214 appearances for TNS before switching to Connah’s Quay in 2016. His double against Aberystwyth in the 3-1 win last Friday saw him take his tally with the Nomads to more than 70 goals.
He’s been a big factor in helping Connah’s Quay keep the pressure on league-leaders The New Saints as they look to reclaim the title this season.
Other than Wilde, centre back Priestley Farquharson has scored 3 goals in 14 matches, attacker Craig Curran has 3 in 13 matches and Callum Morris has also been a standout, bagging 4 in 12 appearances.
Flint Town United – Richie Foulkes, Mark Cadwallader and Conor Harwood (3 goals)
Flint manager Niall McGuinness was released from his contract over the weekend in a shock move. The Silkmen, who returned to the top-flight this season, are struggling though – having picked up just nine points so far this season and sitting in eleventh place in the JD Cymru Premier table.
There are players at the club who have stood out greatly in the division though. Club captain Richie Foulkes, 34, has picked up 3 goals in 14 matches whilst their main attacking threat Mark Cadwallader has also hit 3 in 13 and young forward Conor Harwood, also has the same amount in as many matches as Cadwallader.
The club certainly has the players to help turn its fortunes around.
Haverfordwest County – Jack Wilson and Jack Williams (7 goals)
This season’s surprise package in the league, the Bluebirds’ attacking threat has been clear to see.
Academy product Wilson (above), 19, has scored against Caernarfon (2), Aberystwyth (1), Bala Town (2 in 2 goals), TNS (1) and Flint Town United whilst Williams, 21, has picked up goals against Newtown (2), Bala (1), TNS (1), Flint Town (1), Caernarfon (1) and Aberystwyth (1).
They’ve been two of the most exciting attackers in the league this season and I’m sure we’ll see a lot more from them as it goes on.
Newtown – Nick Rushton (5 goals)
Rushton is leading the way for the Robins, and has already scored more goals than he did in the entirety of last season (4), hitting 5 goals in just 12 matches so far.
Former Cefn Druids forward James Davies has been another key player, hitting 3 goals in 10 matches and Neil Mitchell has bagged goals so far.
Penybont – Several players on 3 goals
Another one of the JD Cymru Premier’s surprise packages this season – Bont have been firing on all cylinders, notching up a total of 20 goals, with only the ‘big three’ outscoring them so far.
They have several players on 3 goals including Kostya Georgievsky, Lewis Harling, Mael Davies and Ben Ahmun. And, even manager Rhys Griffiths, who won seven Golden Boots in his playing days, has got in on the action – he scored twice in a 4-0 win at Haverfordwest.
The club currently sits fifth in the JD Cymru Premier table and I for one am very much looking forward to seeing what they can do as the season goes on.
The New Saints – Greg Draper (13 goals)
TNS forward Draper, capped once at international level by New Zealand, is joint-top scorer so far with Bala’s Venables.
The two-time JD Cymru Premier Golden Boot winner became The Saints’ all time league top scorer in October, when he hit five goals in a 10-0 demolition of Flint Town United at Park Hall, taking his career total for TNS to 156 goals. His 154th goal, and his third of the day against Flint, was the one which saw him beat the club record, previously held by Mike Wilde (now at Connah’s Quay).
Since then, he’s hit a further eight goals, making him, statistically speaking the deadliest player in the league this season with 13 goals in as many matches.
Other than Draper, Louis Robles, who joined TNS from Bala in the summer, has scored eight goals for Scott Ruscoe’s side so far and midfielder Ben Clark has also impressed, scoring four goals.