Airbus Face Rhyl In WPL Relegation Six-Pointer

Airbus UK and Rhyl will be looking to avoid taking a step closer towards relegation when the league’s bottom two sides meet this weekend.

The pair prop up the Dafabet Welsh Premier League table and time is slowly running out for both clubs.

Basement side Airbus are currently nine-points adrift from safety with 16-points, while Rhyl have 21-points.

Ahead of them both are Newtown with a 25-point tally and with just eight games remaining, there is growing urgency for Airbus and Rhyl to turn their form around.

With possible promotion candidates in both the Huws Gray Alliance and Nathaniel Welsh League, there is a very real chance that two teams will be demoted from the Welsh top-flight this season.

Airbus competed in Europe as recent as 2015, but have this season have languished at the bottom of the table.

Rhyl have not fared much better with an inexperienced squad that has struggled for consistency and undergone a high turnover of players.

Both clubs strengthened in the January transfer window but it remains to be seen whether those changes to personnel will have the desired effect in their respective battles to avoid the drop.

Airbus will be looking to build on last weekend’s encouraging goalless draw against Llandudno.

Manager Andy Thomas desperately needs Tony Gray, who hit 18 WPL goals last season, to add to his eight goals this term. Fellow striker Obi Anoruo is yet to find the target in his first three appearances since joining the club but the return of midfielder Glen Rule and Bangor City captain Leon Clowes should add leadership and character to the side.

Rhyl boss Niall McGuinness – the youngest top-flight manager in Europe – has cut an increasingly frustrated figure in recent weeks.

Last weekend’s late defeat to Newtown will only have added to his frustrations but his Rhyl side have been infuriating to follow throughout the season producing erratic results and performances.

The Lilywhites possess a squad of WPL journeymen, rough lower-league gems and homegrown youngsters which has the potential to survive, but in order to do so they simply must iron out their form and find some momentum to retain their WPL status.

A defeat on Saturday for either side would see them run the risk of slipping out of the top-flight.

Bala Town stalwart Stephen Fisher has been awarded a testimonial game against Caernarfon Town. Fisher, a former player with the club, is now part of the club’s backroom staff and is in his 11th year with the Lakesiders.

Bangor City have announced that Serbian businessman Slobodan Jovanovic is to join the club’s board. Jovanovic has previously served as president of two unnamed football clubs.

Ex-Airbus midfielder Kevin Monteiro has followed former manager Andy Preece to Southport. The Frenchman was released from Airbus earlier this month.

Dafabet Welsh Premier League fixtures:
Championship Conference: Bangor v Cardiff Met (Sat), Carmarthen v Bala Town (Sat).
Play-Off Conference: Cefn Druids v Newtown (Fri), Aberystwyth v Llandudno (Sat), Airbus v Rhyl (Sat).

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