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Welsh Premier League: Mark McGregor feels four points may be enough for Gap Connah’s Quay to seal top-six spot

Gap Connah's Quay player/manager Mark McGregor

MARK McGregor believes his Gap Connah’s Quay side may need to take four points from their tricky final two games of the normal Welsh Premier League season to ensure they claim the one remaining top-six spot.

Teams who finish in the upper half of the table before the 12-team top flight splits in two will be safe from relegation.

That would represent a superb achievement for promoted Nomads.

And thanks to the form they have shown so far, their destiny remains in their own hands.

Back-to-back victories, at home to Prestatyn Town tomorrow (7.30pm) and away to Bala Town on Saturday week, would guarantee the Deeside Stadium outfit a position in the Championship Conference alongside neighbours Airbus UK Broughton, Prestatyn, The New Saints, Bangor City and Port Talbot Town.

Yet because Prestatyn are riding high in third and Bala are recognised as one of the toughest teams in the league despite their lowly placing, McGregor knows six points from six will be a tough ask.

However he feels a win and a draw would be enough for Nomads, who are on 26 points, to see off the five other teams – Carmarthen Town, Newtown, Llanelli, Bala and Aberystwyth – in the race for the final top-six place.

Player-manager McGregor said: “We’ve got a great chance of finishing in the top six but we know we’ve still got a lot of hard work to do as just three points separate ourselves from the team in second from bottom.

“With two games to go I would definitely have taken the position we’re in now at the start of the season.

“Looking back at other seasons, 27 points would have been enough to get in the top six but due to the strength of the league this season, you’re probably looking at 30.”

Seventh-placed Nomads extended their unbeaten league run to three matches on Saturday when they drew 1-1 at home to sixth-placed Carmarthen.

The hosts took a seventh-minute lead through the fit-again Danny Forde and then wasted chances to extend it.

The visitors came roaring back and the impressive John Rushton was eventually beaten in the 52nd minute when Craig Hughes headed in from a free kick.

Nomads boss McGregor said: “A point kept us in there and on another day we would have got the second goal that would have given us more of a cushion.”

Airbus UK Broughton’s home game against Afan Lido was postponed and has been rearranged for this Tuesday (7.30pm).

But first up for fourth-placed Airbus is a trip to Aberystwyth on Saturday (noon).

The match, which will kick-off early to avoid clashing with the Word Cup final between Carmarthen and The New Saints (3pm), will mark the Wingmakers debut of on-loan Liverpool goalkeeper Jamie Stephens.

Airbus boss Andy Preece said: “It’s great to get a keeper of Jamie’s quality and is testament to how far the club has come forward.

“Liverpool must think he will benefit from coming to us and that he will learn and get better.

“Over the years I’ve built up a reputation that players go back to their clubs as better players.

“I had Glenn Whelan on loan from Manchester City when I was manager at Bury and since then he’s gone on to be a regular Premiership player for Stoke City.”

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