Can Carmarthen Town make European dream a reality?
Just few weeks ago, it was not beyond the realms of possibility to consider Carmarthen Town as one of the clubs who could be dragged into the JD Welsh Premier League relegation battle.
But, now the Old Gold look well positioned to make a push for the final European play-off spot with Cardiff Met in the bottom six ahead of Phase Two.
After successive wins over Connah’s Quay Nomads and Cardiff Met, Neil Smothers’ men have propelled themselves into consideration for the final European spot and away from the trap door.
Before those two victories, the Carmarthenshire based outfit were in and around the drop zone along with Cefn Druids, Llanelli and Llandudno Town.
But much of their early season struggles can be attributed to their change of style under Smothers.
The new manager has drastically altered the way the club play, as they have transitioned from a direct style of play to a much more fluid, possession based system.
His transfers have predominantly focused on young, talented players from the Welsh League including Sean Hanbury, Jordan Vickers as well as former Swans youth product Mael Davies.
But it seems as though things are finally clicking at Richmond Park.
Two victories is not to say they have turned a corner, but the ambitions for the season have most certainly altered as a result of the successive wins, which has included four goals in two games, including a 3-2 comeback victory over title challengers Connah’s Quay Nomads.
With nine match days to go, a lot is yet to happen and Cardiff Met will undoubtedly be boosted by their recent Nathaniel MG Cup final victory over Cambrian and Clydsch BGC at Jenner Park.
That victory will give them the boost that they can get over the final hurdle, after being defeated in the European play-off final two years running.
And with Aberystwyth’s recent struggles that saw them drop out of the Top Six after being well placed initially, there’s hope yet for the club to steal base on that final spot.
Carmarthen are the second highest scorers in the bottom six with 31 goals from 22 games, with the second best goal difference, albeit some 14 goals adrift Cardiff Met.
Considering that Aberystwyth’s goals have dried up of late, Carmarthen with Luke Bowen up top will be hoping they can fire themselves towards a challenge with Met for that 7th spot.
Boosted by the fact all fixtures from now until the end of the season are restricted to those sides in and around them, an in form Carmarthen Town might be hoping for a little more than mid table consolidation just yet.
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