Carmarthen Town face a crucial two games but Mark Aizlewood in bullish mood
CARMARTHEN Town are facing two crucial matches which could define their season.
The Old Gold are sixth in the Welsh Premier League after the holiday fixtures and have just two more games before the league splits into top and bottom-half competitions.
The first of those comes this Saturday when Carmarthen make the long trip north to Gap Connah's Quay.
The final match in the league's first phase is on January 19, when they host Newtown.
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At present Carmarthen have 26 points, though boss Mark Aizlewood wants to finish in style.
"When the players got together at the start of the season, coach Neil Smothers and I set the players a target of 32 points before the league split in mid-January," he said.
"We can still make the points mark if we win both games.
"If we achieve this objective, then that would be deemed a very successful transitional period.
"We signed a lot of players in the summer and most have blended in well. We are in the League Cup final and still retain an interest in the Welsh Cup.
"I think everyone connected to the club can feel reasonably satisfied with all that up to this point but, as I said, there are still two games to go and we have to win them."
Town endured mixed fortunes over the Christmas period. They defeated Llanelli 1-0 on Boxing Day, but then lost the return fixture 4-2 at Stebonheath on Saturday.
It was a match that saw Liam McCreesh sent off for two bookable offences.
"We defended well in our first match on Boxing Day but last Saturday was a different matter," added Aizlewood.
"We started poorly, conceding two goals in the first ten minutes, and once you give the Reds such a break they have players with sufficiently good experience to utilise that advantage.
"Having said that, our players regrouped and pulled the score level before conceding a penalty right on the stroke of half-time.
"After that it was going to be difficult and we got caught on the break, which pretty well sealed our fate."
He added: "I genuinely believe that Liam won the ball fairly in both tackles.
"You can't appeal against yellow cards, which is a disappointment, so now he is going to be suspended for a number of games.
"We will have to utilise the squad by moving people around, as we have done all season, but at least next week Craig Hughes and Craig Hanford will be available for selection."
Aizlewood has not ruled out bringing players to Richmond Park in the January transfer window.
"We cannot meet the spending power of Welsh Premier League clubs such as Aberystwyth Town and Port Talbot Town," he said.
"We have done reasonably well so far and it's difficult to improve the team from the available players in the Welsh League.
"Having said that, we're constantly trying to improve and we'll see what comes our way."