Griffiths: Penybont waiting to pounce on slip up from title favourites Llanelli

Penybont manager Rhys Griffiths says Llanelli Town are the favourites for the title but is awaiting a slip-up from the Reds in a highly contested battle for the Division One title.

Griffith’s side travel to Steboneath Park in Llanelli on Wednesday evening in a rearranged fixture from December, in a match which will have a significant bearing on the course of the remainder of the season.

Penybont are currently at the top of the division but have played five games more than the Reds.

“Llanelli are clear favourites, but ourselves, Haverfordwest, and Afan Lido are all waiting for them to slip up” said the former Llanelli striker, who returns to West Wales for the first time in his career, after a number of years at the club with whom he won a Welsh Cup and Welsh Premier League title.

Llanelli are currently on a three-game winless run, having suffered a home defeat in their last game to mid-table Undy Athletic, as well as surrendering a two-goal lead to Monmouth Town and a defeat to Afan Lido, who have been on a good run of form.

But despite the Reds’ last win stretching back to January 5th when they beat Ton Pentre 3-1 at Ynys Park, Griffiths still ranks them as favourites, citing experience as a key reason why they can deliver with their games in hand.

“It depends on how many points v how many games. As it stands, Llanelli are in a strong position and with the vast experience they have in their squad, I’d be surprised if they didn’t finish as champions.

That said, along with a few other teams we are trying to go about our business in re right manner and are waiting for them to make mistakes.”

But Penybont’s best bet for promotion will be how they go about their own business in the remaining six games. The Bont were scheduled to play Afan Lido on Saturday but the game was snowed off.

Llanelli are in a strong position…I’d be surprised if they didn’t finish as champions

The aim, for as long as it’s possible, is to finish in the top one. As a club, and despite what many people like to think, we’re making changes to make our club ready for the step up, so depending on who finishes first, second might be enough, but I want to win this league.

The next week will be exciting. At this stage of the season, it’s make or break. If we can win both, the league will have a different complexion. There is a common focus within the squad to give everything for the club until the end. I can’t ask for more than that, and if we can give maximal effort and focus, we might go close.”
One player who is pinpointed as a player to cause Llanelli problems is Penybont’s top goal scorer Marcus Griffiths who is on eleven league goals this season.
Marcus missed pre-season and the start of the season due to having an operation. It took him a while to get back to last seasons standards which were very good.
He’s now playing very well and scoring most games. People talk about his work rate, and rightly so as it’s extremely high, but his all-around game is excellent and he’s a big player for us. Our team is made up of several very important players rather than relying on one individual. Marcus is one of those.”
Going into the all-important game with Llanelli this Wednesday, Penybont are on a good run of form and came out on top in their last match in a thrilling five-goal thriller against Cambrian and Clydach.

“We were excellent for 45 minutes against CC. Our two goals were both team moves and of top quality. It’s was very pleasing. We were forced into three changes in and around half-time which meant we weren’t so fluid second period. We also gifted CC their second which meant they were in with a shout until the end and remained competitive. A good three points.”

Going into the final six games, Penybont will be boosted by the return of Kostya Georgievsky who will play alongside his brother once again.

His all round game is excellent and he’s a big player for us

Georgievsky joined Welsh Premier League side Carmarthen Town in the summer but returned to the KYMCO Stadium in the last fortnight.

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We were frustrated that he left for Carmarthen on the eve of pre season. Kostya is a talented player. Very sharp and aggressive in his running, but also technically sound.

He is one of several very good attacking players we have. If we’d started the season with our current front three to choose from I think we’d have been in the driving seat now.

Tyler Roche was a mid-season addition and Marcus Griffiths missed preseason and the first few games. Owain Warlow has also been injured a lot. Having said that, I suppose all managers have these issues though, and recruitment is part of my job so it’s not an excuse.”

(Featured Image: Jordan Jones)

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