After a week in which the young guns could hold their heads high, Saturday sees the final match of the season.
And what a final day fixture we have in store. League officials must have been rubbing their hands together as both Bangor City and Rhyl made it through to the play-off final where a place in the Europa League - and €110,000 in prize money awaits. City manager Nev Powell has worked wonders this season after failure to qualify for Europe last season led to a large budgt cut. With a streamlined squad, a blend of experienced players such as Les Davies, Sion Edwards, Michael Johnston and Chris Jones have been complemented by players from the U19's. On Tuesday night those youngsters showed what they are capable of by fending off Caernarfon town for 90 minutes after Gerwyn Jones was dismissed. A full strenghth Caernarfon Town were taken all the way to a penalty shoot-out before losing when Jay Colbeck's penalty was adjudged not to have crossed the line.
For the final game, Bangor City will likely recall the same team who knocked out Newtown at the semi-final stage last weekend, with many of the U19 players likely to be on the bench. Chris Jones, playing alongside Les Davies in the semi-final is likely to start again with Nev Powell hoping to utilise his pace against the visitors defence. In the Bangor defence the partnership of Michael Johnston and Anthony Miley will be key to stopping any Rhyl attacks.
Rhyl will be looking to qualify for Europe in their first season back in the Welsh Premier League after a 3 year abscence. Before the split Rhyl's record was Won 9, drawn 4 and lost 9, which saw them finishing in 7th place at the split. Aberystwyth Town however were deducted 3 points by an FAW disciplinary panel after ex-blue Peter Hoy played for them in a game where he was suspended. So, Aberystwyth moved down a place and were replaced by Rhyl. In the final 10 matches their record was Won 2, Drawn 1 and lost 7. In the play-offs however, Rhyl demolished Carmarthen 6-1 after the South Walians were reduced to 10 men.
Most sigificantly for Bangor City, all 5 of Rhyl's post split fixtures saw defeats for the Lilywhites, including on the last day of the season when they lost 2-0 at the Book People Stadium. If reports are true then Rhyl may well be without the services of striker Steve Lewis and midfielder Peter Dogan. Bangor City will have players missing with long-term injuries to Jamie Brewerton and Jamie Petrie ruling both players out.
*** Fans are reminded that the bar will be open from 1pm for HOME FANS ONLY and will stay open until 7pm afterwards.
Supporters will be segregated for the match and searches will be made on supporters entering the ground. Fans are advised to arrive early to avoid congestion at the turnstiles.