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FOOTBALL: Canaries missing five for key clash; Jones signs teenage striker.


CAERNARFON Town will be missing nearly half of their regular team for today's J T Hughes Mitsubishi Welsh Premier relegation battle at home to Haverfordwest County.

``We really have problems selection wise,'' said Town manager Adie Jones, who will be without five regulars, including recent signings Chris Tamm and Luke Campbell. To help fill the gap, Caernarfon have signed teenage forward Les Davies, who has been knocking in goals for Beaumaris Town, the Gwynedd League high-fliers. As well as former Wrexham forward Campbell and utility-player Scott Millington, who are suspended, the Canaries will be without Tamm - newly arrived from Chester City - Danny Barton and Gwyn Peters, who are injured.

There is some encouraging news about striker Barton, however, whose 17 goals to date amount to about half of the team's entire output this season. A scan on his knee problem has shown it to be less serious than initially feared.

Jones said: ``Danny will be out of action for five or six weeks but does not require an operation, so we should see him back with us before the end of the season.'' Town have a score to settle with second-bottom Haverfordwest, who beat them 3-1 at Bridge Meadow in October.

Despite their injuries, Jones' team are on a roll, having taken 10 points out of 15 since the turn of the year to move up to 17th place in the table.

Jones said: ``This is a big game for us obviously, a real six-pointer, and we need to win to ensure there is a decent gap between us and Haverfordwest.''

Welshpool, meanwhile, are gearing up for a crucial meeting with Caersws at Maesydre today.

Having lost their last five matches, Pool desperately need to steady the ship against their Powys rivals in order to stay clear of the relegation zone.

Despite the slump, third-bottom Pool still hold a seven-point cushion over Haverfordwest, although manager Russell Cadwallader warned: ``Haverfordwest have been picking u pa few points so we need to get a win to extend the gap again.

``It's important we get ourselves safe as soon as possible as we don't want to leave it to the last few weeks when things could become a bit edgy.''

And he is banking on an improved showing, adding: `` Caersws work hard and are very fit so we'll have to match them.

``We'll need to work harder than w ehave done in our last few games when we've become a bit lackadaisical.''

Having had a two-week break from action, Pool hope to be close to full strength, apart from midfielder Mark Roberts, who is struggling with a knee problem.

Youngster Gareth Jones is added to the squad after spending the last few weeks with Guilsfield.

Caersws hope to put last week's 3-0 Welsh defeat by Bangor behind them as they attempt to climb into the top half of the table and possible FAW Premier Cup qualification.

``We're obviously disappointed to go out, but not too disappointed with the performance,'' said manager Mickey Evans.

``Bangor are a good side and deserved to win but we had our chances and on another day it could have been different.

``But that'sin the past now. We've got to put it behind u sand roll up our sleeves. ``The rest of the season starts now and we need to string a few results together to get us up the table.''

Defender Hugh Clarke and striker Andy Marfell both return after missing the midweek 3-1 win over TNS in the Central Wales Floodlit Cup but Kevin Scott is doubtful after turning his ankle.

FLEXSYS Cefn Druids will hope to forget last weekend's Welsh Cup despair when they visit bottom club Llanelli today. Having suffered a last-gasp 2-1 cup exit at Ton Pentre last Saturday, the Plas Kynaston men turn their thoughts to climbing the Mitsubishi Welsh Premier and a possible ticket for the FAW Premier Cup.

``We were not at our best last week but we didn't deserve to lose,'' said boss Steve O'Shaughnessy, whose side succumbed to a strike five minutes into injury time.

``They started off well but we came back in the second half.

``The pitch was awful but I thought there was only going to be one winner so to go out the way we did was a real sickener.''

Cefn are boosted by the return of defender Brett Jefferies from suspension, while striker Steve Rogers and Anthony Williams are included after being cup-tied. Dan Watkin also steps back.

And O'Shaughnessy is hoping his side can bounce back as they bid to climb into the upper reaches of the table.

``We've got quite a few games left and we've just got to pick up as many points as we can,'' he added.


KNEE SCAN: Caernarfon's Danny Barton
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 15, 2003
Next Article:FOOTBALL: Belief comes from results; Stubbs: There's a confidence that if you lose the ball someone will be behind you to help.

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