Relegation scrap and a pinch of unpredictability at the top
As the crucial title races reach the last lap, the feisty relegation battles reach the final scraps and winter draws to its conclusion, we know that come summer, a lot will have changed. This Spring in South Welsh football, there are countless possibilities along with numerous permutations and an overhaul of unpredictability. Big words aside, let’s move to the good stuff: What to be excited for in the next 3 months.
Welsh League Division Three
Relegation from the third division of Welsh football is equivalent to that of the EFL in that it means that what ever way you view it, it’s your one way ticket out of the Welsh league and it is very difficult to get a return. The unlucky bottom three in this case are separated by 6 points and an interesting range of games played. Ely Rangers are temporarily comfortable on 13 points in 14th, sitting 4 points above the Gwent County Champions Albion Rovers who are trailed by just 1 point by last placed Caerau. Where it becomes interesting is that both Caerau and Albion Rovers have at least 3 crucial games in hand that could very easily see one of them rise into safety. And where it reaches the pinnacle of fascination is the scary realisation that 2 of the bottom 3 go down.
So what does the battle look like? In the last 10 to 14 games, those 3 teams all have to play eachother apart from Caerau and Ely Rangers who met at the end of January in a match that saw Ely emerge as victors, taking 3 points from Port Talbot. The first of the relegation rival clashes comes on the 23rd of March when Caerau welcome Albion Rovers. If Albion take 3 points from that one it will surely set up the final safety tie when they visit Ely a week after on the 29th. Caerau and Ely have taken some huge defeats throughout this season, but Albion Rovers have had the most sour and frustrating losses. Each team has had their share of misery, but which one can find the push to safety they desperately need?
No heartbreak this time seemingly, but who else goes up?
We can all can all recall the dramatic end to the division three title race last year. The League cup winners that year were the team that suffered the worst, being left behind by the slimmest of margins. That team was Trefelin BGC. But this year joy finally seems to be the endgame for them as the Port Talbot based side have found themselves in a commanding 8 point lead at the top. However the intriguing position at the top seems to be the runners up spot. Who else follows Trefelin into division 2?
Within reason, the teams that occupy the places of 7th to 2nd are all in contention. The permutations are too vast to describe. It begins in 7th, with new boys Penydarren who have only played 12 games and see themselves on 30 points,10 points behind 2nd place. With a possible 48 points left for them, you could say they are in the strongest position, As well as that, they have only dropped points twice all season. In 6th and 5th, are Tredegar and Panteg who seem like underdogs given their inconsistency. In 4th are the team that have only lost once all season, Pontyclun. They have only played 16 matches and find themselves 3 points short of the desired promotion spot. Trethomas Bluebirds had an incredible undefeated start to the season but they have gradually slipped out of control and now sit in third place with no games in hand on anyone. And finally, a team on a recent surge, Penrhiwceiber Rangers. Ceiber currently hold the 2nd place position with 40 points and a very impressive win rate coupled with a superb recent run of form. If I was a betting man I could only bet on one thing – That Trefelin would be promoted. But then again, that’s not even a safe bet.