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Airbus UK Broughton: Preece baffled by refs as Wingmakers target Europa League play-offs

AIRBUS UK Broughton need just one more win from their final two games to secure seventh place in the Welsh Premier League and a spot in the Europa League play-offs.

Andy Preece’s men hold a four-point lead over chasing Port Talbot Town with two games remaining and three points will make it mathematically impossible for Town to catch them.

But Airbus might have already sewn up the Welsh Premier Play-off Championship had it not been for a handful of what Preece called ‘baffling’ decisions by officials in their previous two games.

In Airbus’ 1-0 defeat by Carmarthen on Saturday, Nev Thompson turned in a Mark Cadwallader cross just after the half-hour mark which was deemed offside when the scores were 0-0.

And on Monday against rivals Port Talbot, the Wingmakers built a two-goal lead in the first half but a second yellow card, apparently for dissent, for skipper Glenn Rule and the dismissal of boss Preece from the bench for his protests saw Airbus left clinging on for a 2-2 draw.

As Airbus prepare to go to Aberystwyth Town tomorrow for a critical match, Preece still feels a strong sense of injustice about the previous games.

“I’ve looked back at Nev’s goal against Carmarthen,” he said.

“At no stage of the play was he in an offside position.

“He didn’t come from offside, he was onside when the ball was played and onside when he scored.

“Meanwhile against Port Talbot, a game we were on course to win, Glenn gets sent off for something he’s said and I was sent off for complaining about a penalty awarded when no foul was committed.

“That was the difference in those games, the baffling refereeing decisions.

“We haven’t had the rub of the green and we will be without Glenn tomorrow, but we are in a strong position with a strong goal difference and I am confident we can secure our play-off place.”

Other than Rule, Preece has a fully fit squad to choose from for tomorrow’s key game.

“It is our main goal to get into that Europa League play-off,” said Preece.

“It gives us an opportunity to secure European football for Airbus and that is a big prize to aim for.

“We have worked extremely hard to get to this point and we need to finish the job.

“I believe we will but I would like to do it this week rather than waiting.”

Airbus’ game at Aberystwyth kicks off at 7.30pm at Park Avenue.

They end the regular season on Saturday, April 21 at Afan Lido (2.30pm).

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