Celtic win bad news for Caldicot
THE Division One relegation pendulum swung again in favour of away winners Cwmbran Celtic as county rivals Caldicot Town suffered another damaging defeat.
If Caldicot do go down, they could be replaced by Celtic’s town rivals, Croesyceiliog, who are handily placed to earn promotion from Division Two.
In Division Three, a home defeat for Monmouth Town dropped them out of the promotion zone, while local rivals Llanwern and Cwmbran Town swapped places in the relegation area.
Goals from Shane Williams and Ben Evans gave Celtic a fine, 2-0 away success at fellow strugglers Aberaman Athletic – where youth-team goalkeeper Lewis Watkins made his debut in place of the suspended Nicky Church.
The game’s outcome means Celtic, whose seconds need just three more points to win the Reserve Division East title, pushed Caldicot down into the first relegation spot – and they have a game in hand.
Caldicot were beaten 1-0 at high-flying Cambrian & Clydach, where striker Scott Lanyon was sent off, but they can retrieve something by winning at Aberaman tomorrow night.
The following evening Celtic can continue their momentum if they can win at bottom-placed Penrhiwceiber Rangers Croesyceiliog were without a game, but still sit in third position – although they face a difficult game at county rivals Newport YMCA tomorrow evening.
The Mendalgief Road outfit warmed up for the game by winning 1-0 at AFC Llywydcoed, where Dan Edwards netted the only goal, to move 10 points clear of the drop zone.
Caerleon and Aberbargoed Buds have long secured mid-table spots and their meeting at the Recreation Ground produced a 3-2 win for the former.
Their goals came via Cortez Belle (2, including a penalty) and Ben Davies while Aberbargoed replied via Matthew O’Keefe and Tony Rees, although he later blotted his copybook when his penalty was saved by Caerleon and former Newport County goalkeeper Kieran Blackburn.
The battle to get out of Division One had taken Monmouth Town up to third position, but they dropped one as a result of a 5-3 home defeat at the hands of leaders Briton Ferry Llansawel.
Monmouth scored through Sam Palmer (two including a penalty) and Jack Alderdice, and while they are the division’s top goal-scorers with 78 goals, they have conceded more, 59, than 15 of the other 17 clubs in the section.
Former table-toppers Goytre kept on the shirt-tails of the promotion pack with a 2-2 draw at lowly Cwmamman United, where Luke Prosser and Chris Pritchard bagged the goals.
Prosser is top of the Hot-Shots list and now needs only one more goal to hit the 30 mark, and his first opportunity to do that will be in Saturday’s game at Maesteg-based Caerau.
Newport Civil Service still have 11 games left with which to gate-crash the promotion rush and they currently trail third-placed Pontypridd Town by 12 points with eight matches in hand.
Their latest win was a 5-2 home success over county rivals Treowen Stars, who sit comfortably in mid-table mediocrity.
Scoring for NCS were Dave Mellon (2), Matthew Lawrence, Lee Palmer and Nicky Cadman, while the Stars replied via Neil Mathison and Dan Coles.
Risca United are also doing well in the safety of a mid-table position and they edged out relegation-threatened Tredegar Town in a seven-goal thriller.
Jamie Seymour (2), Jonathan Payne and John Foster were Risca’s marksmen, while on the mark for Tredegar were Ryan Carniff, Chris Woodcock and Nathan Cowdell.
It’s unclear at this stage as to the number of teams to be relegated out of the league, estimates range from two up to five, and if it is the larger figure then Cwmbran Town are in serious danger of slipping into the Gwent County League.
Their unbeaten run now stretches to a 12th game after losing 1-0 at home to Cardiff Grange Harlequins, while Llanwern are finally out of the drop zone thanks to a 3-3 home draw with Margam-based Corus Steel, who are second.
It was a fine point to gain because Llanwern trailed 3-0 at the break with leading scorer Marcus Power also missing from the penalty spot.
However, a brilliant recovery was possible because of goals from Gareth Southarn (2) and Richie Shire and Llanwern can further improve their lot with victory at Tredegar on Wednesday.
Aberbargoed Buds are scheduled to host Division Two rivals Bettws (Bridgend) today, kick-off 2pm.
Other mid-week fixtures (7.30pm, unless stated). Tuesday: Division One – Aberaman Athletic v Caldicot Town. Division Two – Newport YMCA v Croesyceiliog (6.30pm). Wednesday: Division One – Penrhiwceiber Rangers v Cwmbran Celtic (7pm). Division Two – Dinas Powys v Abertillery Bluebirds (6.30pm). Division Three – Cardiff Grange Harlequins v Newport Civil Service (7.45pm); Cwmbran Town v Caerau (Maesteg); Monmouth Town v Risca United (6.15pm); Tredegar Town v Llanwern.