Llanfair and Guils target cup shocks


Gavin Grosvenor

LLANFAIR United and Guilsfield bid to complete quarter-final shocks in the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday.

The Huws Gray Alliance sides both made national headlines with their fourth round exploits and join holders TNS in flying the Mid Wales flag in the last eight.

Llanfair welcome Caernarfon Town to Mount Field (1.30) with manager Rhys Stephens bidding to mastermind another Welsh Cup shock following the 4-1 win humiliation of Cefn Druids last month.

United go into the game on the back of a poor run of league results which have seen the club slump into the relegation zone following last week’s defeat at Holyhead Hotspur.

Stephens said: “We beat them earlier in the season but I do not think that will count for anything on Saturday, if anything it will mean they are less likely to underestimate us.

“It's a big game for the club and another chance to test ourselves against the best, we have all been looking forward to this game and we expect Caernarfon to bring a few coach loads of supporters down so it will be a great atmosphere.”

Guilsfield face the challenge of Dafabet Welsh Premier side Bala Town who visit Clos Mytton (2.30).

Manager Danny Barton urged his players to seize the moment with the club on the brink of the semi-finals.

“We all have our dreams and ambitions and a Welsh Cup semi-final place is one shared by all the lads,” said Barton. “It’s the biggest game in the club’s history and we intend to make the most of it.

“Bala are a top a club, if you take TNS out of the equation then Bala are the best team in the Welsh Premier and have a great manager in Colin Caton who I have worked with in the past.

“It will be a physical game but it will be totally different to the last round when Cardiff Met probably underperformed and we were able to impose ourselves.

“It’s going to be a great day for the club and we intend to enjoy the occasion and the profile while also ensuring we give everything to keep the run going.”

Meanwhile TNS must lift themselves for the JD Welsh Cup quarter-final visit of Bangor City on Saturday (2.30).

There is little love lost between the rivals who will bid to cause an upset and extend the Saints agony following their Irn Bru Cup semi-final defeat last week.

Defeat in Scotland represented the Saints first back to back defeats in 11 months and the first time the club conceded four goals since their 4-3 defeat to Bangor City in 2011.

Harrison cited the dismissal of Steve Saunders as the turning point in Paisley but insisted he could have no complaints.

“It was a reckless tackle and in modern day football you just can’t make tackles like that,” said Harrison. “After that, it’s 20 25 minutes with our backs against the wall.

“I thought in the first half we were excellent and we deserved to be 1-0 up. We made the better chances, we had the better of the possession and certainly had the better opportunities.

“We knew their manager had a right go at them at half-time and they came out flying but having a man sent off changed the complexity of the game hugely.”

Harrison now faces the new challenge of lifting his side from semi-final defeat but insisted the visit of the Citizens was the perfect game.

“We’re looking forward to it as it’s our cup to defend,” said Harrison. “Bangor have been playing well and it will be another tough game.”

“Of course the players are disappointed as they’ve just been knocked out of the semi-final of a cup but when we look back and reflect on it, we’ve played well throughout the cup. Now we must move on and go and defend our Welsh Cup.”

See full story in the County Times

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