There is a reduced Welsh Premier League programme this weekend but Connah’s Quay’s title challenge continues tonight with another crucial clash against Newtown.
The Nomads are smarting from defeat in their top-of-the-table tilt with The New Saints last weekend and could feel the full harshness of the title race should they slip-up again against the Robins.
Currently second, the Nomads will have played two games more than The New Saints by the end of the weekend, at which point their title challenge may or may not be realistically over, with Saints able to potentially open up a seven-point lead should they win those games in-hand.
Now that the dust has settled on last week’s game, Connah’s Quay can only reflect on what was a missed opportunity under the spotlight.
The Nomads came off against The New Saints looking a distant second best in a disappointing performance that was sorely lacking the craft and guile needed to fend off their main title rivals.
Nothing less than a positive reaction will be enough against Newtown, who have emerged as key players in how the title race is panning out in its final stages.
Newtown effectively ended Barry Town’s title hopes after a comprehensive 3-0 win over the Linnets left them seven points off The New Saints and they won’t shy away from this one either.
Chris Hughes’ Newtown have embraced the challenge of competing in Phase 2 since the split and won’t be burdened by any of that title chasing pressure when they visit Deeside.
For the Nomads that pressure is now greater now than any other point this season.
THE SEASON OF RESHUFFLING
Take note that two Welsh Premier League clubs are expected to announce they have appointed new managers before March 31st.
The date is the deadline that all licencing documents have to be submitted to the FAW and at present, two clubs hopeful of obtaining an Uefa licence do not currently have a manager in place with the correct Pro-Licence credentials.
In the past we have seen managers appointed in title only to comply with licencing criteria, and regardless whether or not this type of manipulation is the case in the instances of these two club, it is bewildering that neither have sought to resolve a season-long issue until weeks before the submission deadline.
WPL WEEKEND FIXTURES
Friday: Connah’s Quay v Newtown (7.45); Saturday: Barry Town v Bala Town (4.00).
|1||The New Saints||26||17||5||4||75||14||61||56|
|2||Connah’s Quay Nomads||27||17||4||6||69||29||40||55|
|3||Barry Town United FC||26||15||4||7||43||39||4||49|
|7||Cardiff Metropolitan University||27||12||3||12||45||34||11||39|
|10||Carmarthen Town AFC||27||8||6||13||37||49||-12||27|
|12||Llanelli Town AFC||27||4||4||19||25||85||-60||16|