Here we go then, the last 3 months of the season, will it end in a title win and promotion to the JD Cymru Premier? Or will there be heartbreak if Britton Ferry beat us to it, leaving us in 2nd place and me probably out of a job! Let’s find out…
There’s no point saying that there are important games in this month anymore, as every game is crucial to keep us top of the league. As well as 3 league games there is also a JD Welsh Cup quarter final against Connah’s Quay to contend with.
As you can see we had a clean sweep of wins in the league, with Charlie Ridge getting a crucial winner against Undy, who only had 1 shot in the whole game. Ridge carried on his goalscoring form with 2 goals in a 3-0 win away at surprise relegation candidates Afan Lido. Another comfortable 2-0 win at home against Goytre United had us top of the league at the end of February, but as Briton Ferry continued to win there were only 5 points separating us. We then had the big game against Connah’s Quay to contend with, and it went all the way to penalties again, as it had done earlier in the season when we came out on top in the Nathanial MG Cup quarter final. This time however it went their way, and honestly I was so disappointed as I felt we deserved the win:
But I was still so proud that we had taken a massive team like Connah’s Quay, who are fighting for the Premier Division title, all the way on 2 occasions this season, it made me confident that if we were to get promoted we could hold our own in the top division.
March promised to be a big month with a potentially title deciding fixture away at Briton Ferry, and 2 tough games against ‘the best of the rest’ in Pontypridd and Cambrian & Clydach, before a nice fixture at home against mid table side Monmouth. We started off with a 2-1 win away at Pontypridd, a scoreline that made it look much closer than it was in reality, and after that win the table looked like this:
Next up was probably the biggest game of our season, away to Briton Ferry. If we won it would be an 8 point gap with 5 games to go, if we lose it’s down to 2 points and anything can happen…
We lost. I was gutted, we didn’t deserve to win but a draw would have been justified. The gap was down to 2 points with only 5 games to go. Next up we responded with a dominating performance which was not reflected in the scoreline, but Nathan Logan got us a crucial goal and win against Cambrian & Clydach.
More crucial than that though was the results from the other games, Llantwit Major had beaten Briton Ferry 2-1 and the gap was back up to 5 points… until I had a shocking result against mid table side Monmouth at home, where we went down to a 91st minute goal. I thought I had won it in the 80th minute but that man Charlie Ridge had scored yet another goal that was ruled out for offside. Britton Ferry had won as well to bring the gap back to 2 points with 3 games to go. This is the table at the end of March 2022:
It was all in my hands, one mistake and everything could go down the pan, the pressure was immense. The 3 games we had left were away to Ton Pentre, then Port Talbot, before finishing the season at home to Swansea Uni. Don’t get me wrong these are all winnable games, but under the pressure it was going to be tough for the players.
We got through 2 hard fought games unscathed, both games were like a training session of attack vs defence. We just had to keep going until we broke them down, but we did it and that meant the gap was still at 2 points with 1 game to go. I was expecting both myself and Briton Ferry to play at the same time, knowing that as long as I bettered their result we would win it. But it popped up on my screen, a Friday night fixture, Briton Ferry vs Trefelin Boys & Girls Club… they have to win to stay in with a chance… and they do:
2 late goals from Briton Ferry mean that they go above us to top the league, they have done all they can now. They have to hope we lose against Swansea to crown them as champions and promote them to the JD Cymru Premier Division. This was the table before my last game against Swansea…
Annoyingly the way I took the screenshot means you can’t see Swansea Uni, but they are in 4th, and we only needed a point. The pressure was immense, I knew it was either draw or win to take home our first piece of silverware and have a crack at the top division, or lose and be back to square one looking for another job.
This was it…
AND WE DID IT! The scoreline completely flatters us as it was a really good game and it was just that we took our chances which meant we came out on top, but anyway… CHAMPIONS!!! JD CYMRU PREMIER HERE WE COME!
Not sure they would have a stage, fireworks and confetti in the JD Cymru South, but I’m not here to complain! This is how the table looked at the end of the season:
Credit to Briton Ferry, they took us all the way, but I felt we would have been hard done by not to win the league and be promoted after the season we had, both in the league and the cup runs as well.
In the next episode we will be going through a vital pre-season and transfer window ahead of our first year in the top flight fo Welsh football. Can we keep hold of our star players and assemble a squad capable of staying up? Find out on Saturday 9th January 2021.
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While you’re here if you want to follow more challenges go over to Scott’s (the co-author of this site) challenge where he is on a journey to rebuild Bolton Wanderers and take them on a Europa League run! Link: https://dpfmblog.com/2020/12/21/bolton-back-to-europa-s1e1/
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