The state of play for promotion and relegation in the Welsh Football League
PENYBONT will take a major step towards securing the Welsh League Division One title with a victory on the road this weekend.
Standing in their way of a potential first-time promotion to the top tier, however, are Cambrian & Clydach who are hot on their heels in the title race. The clash at Clydach Vale will undoubtedly be the major talking point of the weekend in a mouthwatering 1st-vs-2nd encounter that could determine the fate of the Division One title.
Cambrian & Clydach’s famous cup exploits this season have spurred the club on to register an impressive run of form in the league but Saturday’s crunch tie will arguably be their biggest test yet.
Rhys Griffiths’ Penybont-team has yet to be defeated during the course of this campaign and could end the season as ‘Invincibles’. Saturday’s fixture will prove a stern test for the Bridgend-based outfit and all eyes will be on the Lakeside as the destiny of this year’s Division One hangs in the balance.
At the other end of the table bottom-placed Ton Pentre, under the management of Nickie Jones, face an uphill task against third-placed Haverfordwest County who, despite a recent dip in results, will be looking to return to their early-season form at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium.
Ton Pentre are desperately in need of a win, however, and, having bolstered their squad with a number of signings this week, will have Taffs Well and Goytre FC firmly in their sights should they pick up a result on the road.
Manager Jamie Sherwood resigned his position from Taffs Well this week and his departure comes before a tough relegation battle against fellow strugglers Port Talbot Town.
In Division Two it’s currently neck-and-neck at the top of the league with Gwent outfits Monmouth Town and Caldicot Town both tied on 50 points after 28 games apiece.
Monmouth are without a fixture this week but Caldicot face a tricky opponent away to Pontardawe Town who themselves will be viewing a potential win as an opportunity to pull away from the bottom half of the table.
Tony Wallis’ side are eyeing up a return to Division One and the firepower of Giancarlo Gabbiadini and Ben Smith has elevated the Jubilee Way club to the brink of promotion.
The title race is far from over, however, with Swansea University and STM Sports following closely behind, the latter adrift by just five points with an incredible eight games in hand on the leaders. They travel to bottom-of-the-table Aberdare Town this weekend looking to narrow the gap even further.
Elsewhere at the bottom, the drop to Division Three remains a real threat for fixture-less West End, while Llwydcoed make the trip to Garden Village seeking to put pressure on their relegation rivals.
The contest is beginning to hot up in Division Three also. Despite gaining a comfortable lead at the head of the league, Trefelin find themselves without a fixture this weekend and will be keeping a close watch on events in Merthyr as Penydarren take on Pontyclun in another vital encounter.
Penydarren currently have six games in hand over the league leaders and trail by twelve points. Following an impressive 9-0 victory over struggling Caerau midweek, they will be looking to capitalise on a recent nosedive in form by the visitors Pontyclun who have conceded eight goals in their last two games.
At the foot of the table Caerau face another mountainous task as they travel to Panteg to resurrect their season. After the midweek drubbing at home to Penydarren, they’ll be hoping for a better defensive showing but some of their fortunes will ride on the fate of bottom club Albion Rovers who trail them by only two points.
Albion Rovers travel to fellow strugglers Ely Rangers on Friday night in perhaps the pick of the weekend’s games.
Ely have a chance to put some distance between them and the bottom two with a win, which could consign both Albion Rovers and Caerau to a miserable end-of-season run-in.
FEATURED IMAGE: Lewis Mitchell