Can Carmarthen Town survive relegation from the Welsh Premier League?
After a disappointing campaign to date, Carmarthen Town find themselves 11th in the JD Welsh Premier League.
The Old Gold currently occupy the other relegation spot, after Prestatyn Town’s fate was confirmed last weekend. Neil Smothers’ side are five points behind Aberystwyth Town, and have three games left to pull off an unlikely escape.
After a fifth-place finish last season, it was difficult to envisage the West Wales side having as poor a campaign as they’ve had this term.
It took until the fifth game of this season for the Old Gold to win their first game in the league, which was an impressive 4-0 success away at Bala Town.
The Richmond Park side only managed to win one of their opening ten games in the Welsh Premier League, losing eight and drawing the other.
However, they’ve managed to produce something of an upturn in results of late, winning five of their last 10 games as they look to avoid relegation.
The arrival of Mark Jones from Afan Lido and Luke Bowen from Port Talbot in January provided Carmarthen fans with hope. The two forwards had netted 41 goals between them this season before re-joining their former club. However, the pair have only found the net four times between them, both scoring twice.
Carmarthen Town have not been relegated from the Welsh Premier League since joining in the 1996/97 season.
If they are to stay up, their defence will have to be watertight in the final three games, something which it hasn’t been consistent enough this season. Letting in 58 goals (second highest) and only scoring 31 times (second lowest) means that a lowly league position is inevitable.
Carmarthen have managed to score 15 times in their last seven outings in the league, a tally which, if sustained, could give them a chance in their final three matches.
The front three of Liam Thomas, Mark Jones and Luke Bowen will have a big say in whether or not their team survives relegation this season. Having netted only 11 times between them now is the time to step up if they’re going to claw Carmarthen out of their current predicament.
The Old Gold will stay up if: 1) They win two of their final three games (losing the other), and Aberystwyth fail to pick up any points from their last three games 2) They win all three games, and Aberystwyth fail to pick up more than three points 3) They win two and draw one of their three games, and Aberystwyth fail to pick up more than a point.
The game against Aberystwyth in two weeks time is the crucial one, a game which Carmarthen if they fail to beat Llandudno next week, will have to win to give themselves any hope.
(Featured Image: Brian Jones)