Are Aberystwyth running away with seventh-spot? Reason for optimism at Park Avenue.

The race for the chance of European qualification in the Welsh Premier League’s Play-Off Conference could be a foregone conclusion based on the form of Aberystwyth Town – the Seasiders notched their third-win in the space of week against Connah’s Quay on Tuesday night.

Any worries that manager Ian Hughes had on the impact of his side’s heavy schedule, which sees them play their fourth game in 10 days against Port Talbot Town this coming Friday, would’ve been eased with his side quick out of the starting blocks, with in-form Geoff Kellaway firing Aberystwyth into a 12th-minute lead. The league’s leading scorer Chris Venables then bagged his 15th goal, of what is becoming a remarkable campaign for the midfielder, from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark.

Connah’s Quay, who’re no doubt benefiting from the reinforcements made to their relegation-threatened squad during the transfer window, pressed hard in the second-half but were unable to add to Lee Healey’s consolation strike, allowing Aberystwyth to eat up yet another three points and sit comfortably at the top of the Play-Off conference with a healthy seven-point lead.

Recent results make for good reading with Aberystwyth recording seven wins a draw from their last eight outings in all competitions. Indeed, these are optimistic times at Park Avenue with the club handed a favourable Welsh Cup semi-final tie against Holywell Town earlier this week, and recent confirmation that the club are awaiting planning permission to redevelop their ground evidently shows the club are moving in the right direction on and off the pitch.

IAN HUGHES ENJOYING FINE FIRST SEASON
Aberystwyth have a great chance of silverware this season and reaching the Europa-League Play-Offs, and is of testament to the job Ian Hughes is doing in his first season as manager of the club. And I believe his achievements will not have gone unnoticed at other Welsh Premier clubs.

The closing date for applications for the vacant managerial position at Wrexham passed on Monday and I would be surprised if the names of TNS’ Craig Harrison and Airbus’ Andy Preece were not amongst the applicants – both worthy applicants, should either Harrison or Preece make the switch to the Racecourse, then surely Hughes would be given serious consideration as a potential replacement at TNS or Airbus.

In Tuesday night’s other game, Chris Jones’ second-half goal was enough for Bangor City to climb into third in the table as Newtown began their top-six campaign with a defeat.

CHAMP’SHIP CONF: TNS P23, Pts 51; Air 24, 48; Ban 25, 38; Rhyl 24, 37; Carm 24, 33; New 23, 32.

PLAY-OFF CONF: Aber P24, Pts 35; Pres 25, 28; Por 24, 27; Bala 22, 26; Con 24, 21; Lido 24, 14.

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