If the form book is anything to go by, The New Saints will be a point clear at the top of the Cymru Premier tonight.
A win over basement side Carmarthen Town would see the Saints, currently second, climb above leaders Connah’s Quay heading into the festive period and put them in the driving seat to lift the league title for a ninth-straight season.
It’s hard to see things unfolding any differently, especially following the manner in which The New Saints slaughtered Airbus UK on the weekend. Saints have already stuck six on Carmarthen, earlier this season in their meeting at Richmond Park, and with the opportunity to go top in front of them, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them turn in another ruthless display tonight.
Carmarthen are still of course finding their way under new manager Kristian O’Leary and this will be their biggest test yet.
After claiming their first win of the season in his first game in charge, Carmarthen were comfortably beaten by a superior Bala Town outfit on the weekend as the learning curve for O’Leary and his Old Gold squad continues.
In the aftermath of that shocking Airbus defeat, devastated manager Steve O’Shaughnessy will have had plenty to ponder and contemplate, including his own future at the club. O’Shaughnessy’s post-match interview will have probably been two of the most uncomfortable minutes that he has had to endure in his football career (see 5:56) but he dealt with it as well as could be expected given the circumstances.
You observe a variety of reasons, emotions and even excuses when managers are pulled in to do their post-match media obligations, but credit to Steve O’Shaughnessy for fronting up and being forthright with his views. The Airbus boss is evidently hurt and has his pride dented from the result, but his belief that his team can still get it right on the pitch this season and get out of relegation zone has to be applauded.
Getting his players to front up in equal measure now and to buy into that same defiant mentality will be the Wingmakers’ first-steps to righting more than a few wrongs from the past weekend.
TUESDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Cefn Druids v Cardiff Met, The New Saints v Carmarthen Town
Goytre United v Swansea Uni
Featured image credit: Brian Jones / TNS FC