CAERNARFON – who shocked prospective champions The New Saints 3-1 last weekend to delay the title party – are back down to earth today with a home clash against struggling Airbus UK.
This afternoon’s clash at The Oval sees Steve O’Shaughnessy’s hosts playing for pride and relegation-threatened Airbus desperate for the points.
The Canaries’ manager said: “We are safe from relegation now because of what we have achieved over recent months, and we should be a bit more relaxed this time.
“This is an opportunity to show our own supporters just what we are capable of and to offer a glimpse of how we played at TNS.
“What is more, whereas we propped up the table for the greater part of the season, another win now could move us up two or three more places towards mid-table.”
Caernarfon’s only squad doubt is central defender James Glendenning, who is rated 50-50 with a groin problem.
The Canaries are targeting a double over the Wingmakers, having won 3-2 at Broughton in early February.
Hovering third from bottom, the Flintshire side still have work to do but player-boss Gareth Owen hopes his side can finish on a high note as they embark on two “massive” games.
“After Caernarfon we take on Haverfordwest at home and we’ve got to look at winning both those as we don’t want to be relying on results elsewhere,” he said.
“It’s going to be tough, with Caernarfon buoyed and confident after their fine with at TNS, but we can go into the game in confidence ourselves after coming back to get a draw against Newtown in our last game.”
Experienced campaigner Steve Hopkins and Paul Connolly are both set to return after missing their team’s last action.
Airbus will be doubly keen to notch a victory as they await their appeal on Monday after being charged with fielding an ineligible player, Gary Thompson, earlier in the season. If they lose that appeal they face the possibility of losing points.
Meanwhile, Newtown could turn to some of their young guns as they bring the curtain down on a disappointing Welsh Premier campaign at home to Carmarthen Town today.
Lying four points off the foot of the table, the Robins still need a win to make absolutely sure of survival.
But with basement side Cwmbran Town looking resigned to relegation, the Mid Wales men should already have enough points on the board.
“Barring a miracle we should be OK, but it would be nice for the club and the players themselves if we can finish with a win in what has been a disappointing season,” said boss Darren Ryan.
“At the same time, I want to look at a few players from the reserves for next season before I start rebuilding and this is a good chance to do it.”
Seventeen-year-old reserve team keeper Dave Jones, a former youngster with Shrewsbury Town, gets his chance between the posts with Jon Rowley paying the price for a couple of early slips in last week’s 5-2 thrashing to Bangor City at Farrar Road.
“We were always going to be up against it after giving them two goals in the first five minutes,” said Ryan.
With Glenn Tolley still suspended, midfielder Gareth Mansell and right-back Dan Griffiths are also likely to be included.