Are Lewis’ Major on the title march?
STM Sports have been sitting pretty at the top of Welsh League Three since the league table contained enough results to be make shape of promotion and relegation, but their 2-1 home loss on Saturday has left the title race in the balance, even if the Cardiff side do possess a big points swing in the race for promotion.
The team that left University Fields with the three points? Llantwit Major of course. The Vale side have played well all season, led by a stubborn defence that has seen them concede just a dozen goals in the league season to date, three of those coming in a pre-Christmas game against relegation-threatened Caerleon.
Manager Karl Lewis has spoken to this site a couple of times this season about keeping his team grounded, focusing on hard work and the importance on keeping clean sheets, all of which seems to be paying dividends for the Vale side.
If they are to lift the Third Division crown, however, Major will need to overcome a fixture backlog which meant the win over STM Sports was the first game in the second half of their season. If you haven’t looked at your calendar recently, the clocks change this Sunday.
All 14 remaining fixtures are scheduled, with home and away games against Caerau in the first five days of April providing the first stern test of their credentials. Caerau are realistically in the promotion mix and will know that four points from those two games might tilt things in their favour.
Major then play STM Sports at home on 15 April, before taking on Bridgend Street just three days later, another crucial two fixtures in the promotion battle. The following Saturday sees the toughest physical week of the run in, as Llantwit play four games in eight days, although the two midweek games are at home.
In contrast, STM Sports have just eight games left to play, although six of those are on the road, starting with a visit to Splott this Saturday where they meet a Bridgend Street side who have beaten them in League and Cup this season.
Can Major march on to the title? With only one loss to their name in the league this season you might find it hard to bet against them but with tough fixtures coming thick and fast, and manager Lewis having to deal with the usual challenges of player availability and suspension, you suspect second place and promotion would suit the Vale team just fine – even if they wouldn’t say it publicly.
Llantwit Major travel to Penrhiwceiber Rangers (in Mountain Ash) this Saturday, for a 2.30pm kick off.