By Trevor Haylett
With Total Network Solutions FC edging ever closer to the Welsh Premier League title, much interest centres on the fight for second place where five successive victories have enabled Bangor FC to close on Rhyl FC.
The two sides meet at Belle Vue on Easter Monday with reigning champions Rhyl desperate to make home advantage count as they bid to hold on to their UEFA Cup qualifying place. A 3-0 victory over Porthmadog FC on Tuesday saw them overtake Bangor and return to second spot.
On the same evening TNS won by an identical scoreline at Newtown AFC with Marc Lloyd-Williams netting twice to take his total for the season to 30. It set a new club scoring record, beating Adie Jones’ previous best of 29 league goals in a season.
TNS hold an eight-point lead going into the Easter fixtures but the Llansantffraid club have not been happy with their form and hope to be back to their best before the Welsh Cup semi-final clash on 3 April against Rhyl at Wrexham FC’s Racecourse Ground. In March, Andy Moran returned to Rhyl’s squad after the striker had completed an eight-month ban for testing positive for the banned substance nandrolone. He scored from the penalty spot in the win at Porthmadog.
Bangor's impressive run included a 1-0 home victory over TNS - only the second reverse in 29 league outings for the champions-elect – courtesy of a tremendous volley from Paul Roberts. On the same day Rhyl slumped to a surprise 2-1 reverse at Llanelli FC, one of a number of notable performances that the Stebonheath Park side have strung together since Nick Tucket took charge.
Caersws FC have won successive games in the space of five days to maintain their challenge for an Intertoto Cup place. They lie fourth on 56 points, one behind Bangor. Haverfordwest County AFC are four points further behind in fifth place after extending their unbeaten run to eleven games with this week's 1-0 away win over Cwmbran Town FC.
Llanelli, in 15th place, are on 21 points, five ahead of bottom-side Cefn Druids AFC with Afan Lido FC and Airbus UK FC both on 20 points. In their last fixture Cefn Druids threw away a 3-1 lead to allow ten-man Cwmbran to draw level.
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