THE NEW Saints' league championship rivals, Bangor City, look to be feeling the pressure as the title chase begins to heat up following entry into the second phase of the season.

The top six now split from the rest of the league and will play each other twice more to determine the final standings.

But anger appears to be mounting in the Citizens' camp as they hit out after their scheduled March 27 visit to Park Hall was brought forward.

Bangor boss, Neville Powell, also criticised the way the remaining fixtures have been drawn up as well as targeting The New Saint's pitch, which suggests the North Wales coast table-toppers could now be running scared in the race for the championship, after setting a blistering pace earlier in the season.

"We are disappointed because to be honest we might never be in this position again," said Powell.

"Psychologically this gives TNS an advantage. They have full time players and play on an artificial pitch which is an advantage too, so the decision makes it more difficult for us as it is.

"We are trying to get the fixture changed back to the original date but that probably won't happen," he added.

Powell was also disgruntled at news that Saints will play three of their first four fixtures at home, while Bangor face three away days in their first four matches and said the decision could cost his side their chance of the league title.

"We will probably find ourselves playing catch-up after these games which means it will make it much more difficult for us to win the title.
"But if we do win it, it will have to be the hard way," he added.

The Welsh FA have opted to move the March 27 Park Hall date forward to March 19 to accommodate S4C's live TV schedules after the television network said it would not consider screening two matches on the weekend of the Wales v England European Championship qualifier on March 26.

However, Mike Davies' New Saints side will be concentrating on matters on the pitch this Saturday in their quest to retain the title they won last year, when they take on visiting Port Talbot Town, kick off 3.15pm.