For the first time in 14 seasons two teams could well be relegated from the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League this season.
We know the fate of Prestatyn Town, prior to their final Welsh Premier League home fixture, shown live this Sunday (April 19th) on Sgorio. But who will join them?
Bangor City – after losing last Sunday to Gap Connah’s Quay at Nantporth – face Prestatyn this weekend at Bastion Gardens. They are only two points from the drop-zone and face European play-off chasing Rhyl on the final day of the season.
Cefn Druids are languishing on the precipice as they travel to Rhyl on Saturday, with nothing less than a win needed for any chance of survival, before hosting Carmarthen at The Rock in their final game of the season.
The form guide shows the contrast in results following the turn of the year:
• The Druids have only collected 6 points out of a possible 30.
• The Citizens, have collected 16 points in the same period.
Provided Bangor City win their licence appeal, Cefn Druids could be relegated this weekend if Bangor win at already relegated Prestatyn.
Who’s coming up?
Llandudno were crowned Huws Gray Alliance Champions recently and have obtained the FAW Domestic Licence – cementing their place in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League for the first time ever for the 2015/16 season.
Although never having competed in the top flight of Welsh football ‘The Seasiders’ have a few recognisable faces at Maesdu Park.
Manager, Alan Morgan’s playing career consisted of spells at Tranmere and Doncaster Rover, with a recent managerial stint at Aberystwyth Town between 2009/12 – guiding the ‘Black and Green’ to 4th in 2009/10 season.
Midfielder Danny Hughes, also a recognisable figure to followers of the Welsh Premier – playing for Rhyl last season and also winning goal of the month for February 2014, with a stunning strike against Airbus.
Cardiff Met or Havarfordwest?
Although Caerau (Ely) being top and favorites to win the Nathaniel Cars Welsh League with 3 home games left, the race for promotion is between Cardiff Met and Haverfordwest County.
Both Cardiff Met and Haverfordwest have obtained FAW Domestic Licenses, with the team that finishes highest in the top two positions promoted to the Welsh Premier league.
Currently Cardiff Met, in second place, lead the race with 57 points from 28 games with two away games left:
• away tobottom of the league Porth this Saturday,
• away to 9th placed Goytre on the 2nd of May.
Haverfordwest, 3 points behind Cardiff Met with a game in hand have 54 points after 27 games with three games left:
• Away at Taffs Well this Friday (17th),
• Home to Ton Pentre Saturday the 25th,
• Away to Aberdare Town on the 5th of May.
Both teams go into the final games of the season with a similar run of form:
• Cardiff Met taking 19 points from the last 30 (6 wins and a draw from the last 10 games).
• Haverfordwest taking 18 points from the last 30 (5 wins and 3 draws from the last 10 games).
For the first time for many seasons, we can actually ask who will be promoted into the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League from the south? And although the students of Cardiff Met appear to be in pole position to secure promotion, even if not as Champions, there may well be a few further twists and turns on and off the pitch before we can actually confirm who falls, and also who joins Llandudno as new boys on the block.
So who are Cardiff Met and Haverfordwest?
Cardiff Met FC
Cardiff Met, The Metropolitan Cardiff University Football Club, have never played Wales’ top flight League in their current form, although there are historical links with Inter Cardiff in the early 2000s. The University of Wales Institute Cardiff, or UWIC as the University was known at the time, merged with Inter Cardiff forming UWIC Inter Cardiff in the 2000/01 season – although being relegated the same season.
After relegation from the top flight in and subsequent name changes for the football club and university – Cardiff Metropolitan University FC was formed in 2012.
Cardiff Met play at the Cyncoed Campus and are currently managed by former Swansea, Nottingham Forest & Welsh international Christian Edwards.
Haverfordwest County FC
Haverfordwest County were founder members of the League of Wales in 1992/93, although resigning from the league in 1994 – due to redevelopment of Bridge Meadow Stadium – returned for the 1997/98 season, remaining a constant in the Welsh Premier until their relegation in 2010/11.
Recent success for the ‘Bluebirds’ include finishing 3rd in the 2003/04 season, thus qualifying for the UEFA Cup qualifying rounds, and reaching the semi-final of the Welsh Cup in 2004/05.
Haverfordwest are managed by former Carmarthen Town and Haverfordwest defender, Wayne Jones.
And followers of the Welsh Premier might remember former Llanelli and Aberystwyth forward Jordan Follows, and former Neath and Llanelli Goalkeeper Craig Morris – both now at Haverfordwest.
On this day in 1966, Swansea Town played their first European match on home soil as Slavia Sofia visited the Vetch.