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Port v Bari / Barry - 11/04/98

Last Saturday's match at Cwmbran ended once again with a painful defeat, despite the fact that we took the lead with a debut goal from Godfrey Abebe our new Nigerian striker. When you are down near the bottom nothing seems to run for you, and lady luck again turned against us when we lost both our fullbacks after twenty minutes, Mike Foster was harshly sent off for hand-ball and Tony Draper was carried off injured. Until this point we were con trolling the game, though the lads fought bravely on a difficult surface in rain lashed conditions it was not to be our day. To compound matters, after the match Paul Osahan and Godfrey Abebe were involved in an accident on the M4 on their way home, the front wheel fell off their car whilst travelling at 70mph, miraculously despite the car being extensively damaged both players emerged unscathed though badly shaken.

Before the season started I set a points target of one point per game for survival, and I have not changed my mind. Though today we are starting on a difficult run in our target is still achievable especially as I believe the team is playing well even though results are not going for us. We've a bit to do yet, but at least our destiny is in our own hands. We do not have to rely on other teams results, though anything in our favour would be gratefully received. At Porthmadog we know what it's like when a season goes to the wire, and previous experiences could prove useful.

Today's match looks to be one of our most difficult, Barry Town are dominating the League of Wales and as yet have not lost a League match though they have been beaten in one leg of the League Cup and in the quarter final of the Invitation Cup and of course in the Champions League, so there is a little bit of hope on offer. Easter is a period that usually goes a long way to sorting out Championship and relegation issues. In the LoW this Easter should clarify the relegation issue and decide European qualifiers, but you always have the issue of the Welsh Cup final, if Barry qualify for the final then the other finalist would be eligible for the Cup Winners Cup. The best bet this year is a Newtown v Barry final and with the League table as it is at the moment 3rd or 4th spot could qualify a team for the UEFA Cup.

I wish I had that problem rather than worrying about relegation and where next weeks wages are coming from. On that front you will know that I sold Chris Waring to Bangor for a small fee, I had no choice Chris was blatantly tapped by Bangor and wanted to go, I forced the issue with Graham Sharpe and demanded a fee to release him by the transfer deadline line, no doubt the Supporters Club will grill me for details at their next meeting. Finally how many teams will get relegated from the League of Wales? read this page in Monday's match programme for fuller details.


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