The top five in the Welsh League First Division are separated by just five points but who will pose the greatest threat to current leaders Barry Town United in the bid for the title?
There is a possibility that anyone from Caerau Ely, who are currently placed fifth upwards could go on to win the Welsh League First Division title. It’s so close to call, but there is one standout team who could stop Barry from returning to the Welsh Premier League for the first time since they were relegated in the 2003/2004 season, and that team is Haverfordwest County.
Earlier on in the season Barry thumped The Bluebirds 7-1 in the Nathaniel MG Cup, but since that defeat Haverfordwest have gone on an inspired run in the League. They’re unbeaten in 12, and have won their last six against Caldicot Town, Cwmbran Celtic, Afan Lido, Goytre United, Monmouth Town, and Penybont respectively. The Bluebirds were also involved in a 10-goal thriller at Caerau Ely in early January, which finished 5-5, and it’s a run which has put them third in the table, and they’re in a perfect position going into the game away at Barry on the 14th of March, which is already being labelled as a ‘title decider’, even at this early stage in the season.
March is an important month for Barry in particular as they face off against teams in and around them in the likes of Cambrian & Clydach, Haverfordwest County themselves, Taffs Well away, before hosting Caerau Ely at the end of the month.
If Barry can escape March at the top of the table it would be one massive step towards promotion to the Welsh Premier League, but if Haverfordwest can knock them off their stride when they visit Jenner Park next Tuesday The Bluebirds will be in the ascendency to take the Welsh League Division One title out of Barry’s grasp.
And they certainly have players who can hurt teams. 26 year-old striker Ashley Bevan is The Bluebirds top-scorer with 14 goals in 28 appearances so far this season, and they’ll be hoping to keep him fit between now and the end of the season.
There is a huge impetus put on the youth system at Haverfordwest County, and 22 year-old Greg Walters is one of many who have come through the academy set-up and made an impact on the first-team. The midfielder, who earned a Wales under-18 cap in February 2013 has seven goals in 16 starts for the Pembrokeshire based club so far this season, and will be another key asset between now and the end of the season as The Bluebirds target the Welsh League Division One title.
Written by Joshua Slack