FOUR teams will chase the Merit League I title this morning – and victory for Swindon Town Under 18s against bitter rivals Oxford United at Abingdon (11am) is likely to secure the trophy.

David Farrell’s youngsters sit top of the division on 20 points from their opening 10 games, however they only lead second-placed Southend United on goal difference – with Town currently four goals better off than their Essex rivals.

Wimbledon sit third, they are only a point short of both Town and Southend.

Fourth placed Oxford meanwhile trail the division leaders by three points, and must beat Swindon by four goals to stand any chance of lifting the title.

With Southend travelling to Portsmouth and Wimbledon making the journey to Bournemouth, there are multiple outcomes that will undoubtedly impact the final placings.

Knowing a win is likely to secure the title though, Town boss Farrell understands the ball is firmly in his side’s court.

But that doesn’t mean to say his youngsters will take Oxford lightly – especially after they convincingly claimed the Youth Alliance South-West title earlier this season.

Farrell said: “Oxford a good side, they won the regular season and deservedly did so too.

“There are lots of changes that go on during this part of the season with under 16s coming through and second-years moving up into the first team.

“Regardless, Oxford are going to be strong – I just hope the conditions hold up as last Saturday at home against Peterborough was the worst.

“You can ask any footballer – young or old – and they will tell you that strong winds are the worst, it makes it very hard to play.

“Wind like last Saturday can ruin games, so I’m looking forward to moving on and Saturday at Abingdon.”

Farrell took great pride in his youngsters’ ability to translate good habits established on the training ground into their work on matchdays.

It would seem Town’s run of four wins in their concluding five Youth Alliance fixtures also helped to sway confidence levels in the camp.

Winning the league would therefore put the cherry on top for Town youth boss.

“The team’s effort during the week is helping to create good habits,” said Farrell.

“When it comes to matchdays, they know what they’re in for. Now we just need one more push to round the year off.”