Preece lifts pressure

AIRBUS UK Broughton may well be in ‘pole position’ but Andy Preece believes there is no pressure on his players to finish runners-up in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League and seal automatic qualification to the Europa League.

The Wingmakers start their second half of the campaign in second place after a storming start to the season.

They go into tomorrow’s trip to Prestatyn Town (7.30pm) having won 12 of their opening 22 matches and as the league’s leading scorers with 59 goals to their name.

Those statistics suggest the ambitious Broughton outfit – whose highest finish in their nine years in the league is seventh – are best placed to get closest to leaders and defending champions The New Saints.

Preece, however, feels there should be more expectancy on established top-six sides like Bangor City and Port Talbot Town.

The Airbus boss said: “The lads have got a buzz about them, we’ve got no fear and I don’t think there should be any expectation on us to get second ahead of the likes of Bangor.

“We’ve put ourselves in pole position. We’d love to finish second and we are pushing ourselves to do that but we’re just enjoying the position we are in.”

Third-placed Bangor and fourth-placed Prestatyn missed the chance to close the gap on the Wingmakers last weekend when they played out a 3-3 draw.

Airbus were not in action as their opening game of the Championship Conference – which is made up of the teams who finished the first half of the campaign in the top six – was postponed.

The Wingmakers were supposed to be taking on sixth-placed neighbours Gap Connah’s Quay.

Nomads were not been allocated fixtures for the first three rounds after they appealed against the FAW’s decision to deduct them one point for fielding an ineligible player.

Nomads yesterday dropped the appeal.

Preece said: “It still disappoints me that we didn’t play last weekend.

“You look at the Bangor versus Prestatyn result and while people will say a draw was the perfect result for us, if we had played and if we had won we would have been five points clear of them both.

“We might have lost the game but we never got the opportunity – and that’s my argument.”

Airbus produced their best performances of the season so far to beat tomorrow night’s opponents Prestatyn 5-0 at the Hollingsworth Group Stadium in October and 6-1 when the sides met at Bastion Gardens last month.

Magic from Matthew

A FINE run and finish and a late free kick by man-of-the-match Matthew Harrop earned Saughall Colts a 2-1 win at home to Princes Villa Colts in Chester & District Junior League Under 10s Shield A on Saturday.

Princes Villa’s goal came courtesy of their MoM, Macauley Churchill.

Christleton Newscene were 8-0 Cup A winners at Westminster Park, whose MoM Adam Povey did not deserve to be on the losing side.

Newtown Athletic (Jake Beesley, Liam Gibson; MoM Ewan Mackay) triumphed 2-1 at Waverton Wasps (Harvey Soloman; MoM Henry Wagner).

Two games also took place in Cup B.

Vicars Cross Dynamos drew 2-2 at home to Princes Villa (Reece Flood, Daniel Lewis; MoM Charlie Potts) while Blacon Youth went down 5-3 at home to Vauxhall Motors (George Hollyoak 2, MoM Jack Fitzsimmons, Nathan Farrington, Ethan Knott).

Player-of-the-match Isaac Musker scored four goals as Newton Athletic won 6-3 at Chester Nomads Colts in Under 9s Cup B.

Harry Anderson was also on target for Newton, with the impressive Lucy Parry, Sam Birchall-Jones and Joe Walters replying for Nomads.

Saughall Colts Blues (Ewan McQuair 2, MoM Oliver Hitchcox 2, Curtis French) were 5-2 winners at Blacon Youth (Mason Cooper 2; MoM Ethan Evans).

There were Shield B defeats for Blacon Youth (Tom Graham; MoM Joseph Sconce), 2-1 at home to Ellesmere Port Rangers (MoM Daniel Buffel 2), and for Chester Nomads Ambers (Harry Newman, MoM Dan Sixsmith), 3-2 away to Princes Villa Colts (George Farrell, Archie Hughes, Ethan Jenkins; MoM Luke Connor).

Cloud nine for Helsby

HELSBY Reserves made it nine wins from their opening nine matches to move three points clear at the top of Chester & District League Qubic Print Division Two on Saturday.

Their 7-0 victory at Orange Athletic 2nds was one of a handful of games to survive the weather.

Hat-trick hero James McGrane did most of the damage for Helsby.

His treble was complemented by single strikes from Lee Guirado, Mark Hobson, Mark Richards and Mark Antrobus.

Lodge Bar lost 1-0 at Shippons Athletic.

Whitby Athletic (Carl Frost 2, Danny Norris 2, Phil Quilliam) won 5-2 at home to Porky’s Pantry to progress to the Roodee Web Design Tom Gerraghty Memorial Trophy fourth round.