Cardiff Met and Barry Town are only two wins away from securing European football and a cash prize of €220,000.
Cardiff Met v Barry Town | Saturday – 17:15 (S4C)
The winners of this match will face Cefn Druids next Sunday, 20 May for a place in the Europa League preliminary round.
The New Saints, Connah’s Quay and Bala Town have already qualified for Europe.
Barry Town have vast experience of playing in Europe having represented Wales in 24 games on the European stage, but the Dragons have had to wait a long 15 years since their last adventure.
Cardiff Met have never played in Europe, but Dr. Christian Edwards will be determined to change that this summer, after coming so close last season.
The students reached the play-off final last season after beating Carmarthen (1-2) in the semi final, but lost 1-0 to Bangor through a Dean Rittenberg strike in the final.
Gavin Chesterfield’s men are unbeaten in 10 games since the split (won 8, drawn 2), so how vital will the word ‘momentum’ be in the play-offs…?
Since the league structure change only once has a Bottom Six side won the play-offs – Bala Town in 2012/13.
Bala had won all 10 games in the second phase and had ‘momentum’ on their side going into the play-offs, winning three play-off matches (vs Connah’s Quay (8th), Bangor (3rd) and Port Talbot (4th)) to reach Europe for the first time in their history.
The Archers have struggled in their 10 games since the split (lost 7, drawn 2, won 1), but its fair to say they have faced tough opposition in the Top Six.
Cardiff Met haven’t kept a clean sheet in 11 games, but have managed to score seven goals in their last two games (4-3 vs Bala, 3-3 vs TNS)!
The benefits of reaching Europe would be huge for either of the three clubs who have reached the play-offs, therefore Cardiff Met and Barry Town will most definitely be throwing everything they can into Saturday’s match to book a place in next week’s final at the Rock.