THE long wait is almost over as Newtown take on Penybont in the semi-finals of the European play-off on Saturday.

Three weeks have passed since the Robins secured a home tie against the Bridgend club which ended top of the relegation conference.

It has been a long three weeks in Welsh football with supporters still at odds over the prospect of the JD Cymru Premier switching to Friday night fixtures from 2026.

Saturday's match kicks off at 12.20pm and despite the early kick-off it is hoped fans will come out and support the hosts.


Manager Scott Ruscoe said: "We are coming into this game on an upward curve. We ended the season well and do not fear anyone in this league.

"This squad has a great spirit and character, it has always had it, and the players are buying into what we are trying to do."

Ruscoe insisted he had full faith in the players having set them the target of a fourth placed finish to seal a home tie.

"I wanted a home tie, it is a one off game and we will have done our homework," said Ruscoe. "We have not played them for a few months but we will of course prepare."

The ex-TNS head coach has changed little in terms of personnel since succeeding Chris Hughes in January.

"It was never my intention to change too much straight away," said Ruscoe. "It is important we kept the balance right in training and matches and the players have worked extremely hard."

The winner of the final will take on either Caernarfon Town or Cardiff Met who meet on Friday night.

The winners of both semi-finals will meet in a final later in the month to decide which club claims Wales' final place in European competition this summer.

Should the Robins qualify they would once again be unable to stage the match at Latham Park and would likely rent Park Hall, home of champions TNS, like in past seasons.