NEWTOWN take on Mid Wales rivals Aberystwyth Town on Saturday with the match now a dress rehearsal for the side’s JD Welsh Cup semi-final next month.

A mouth watering cup semi-final meeting was set-up after Newtown prevailed 2-0 winners at Llandudno while the Seasiders overcame Carmarthen Town 3-1 in Tuesday night’s re-arranged quarter-finals.

Manager Chris Hughes praised his side’s spirit after a hard working performance ensured their progress and kept alive the club’s dreams of a second Welsh Cup final appearance in four years.

However Hughes insisted nobody would be looking ahead to the cup clash yet with the bitter rivals first doing battle in the league at Latham Park on Saturday.

“It was a great performance,” said Hughes. “We controlled the game with the ball in the first-half and without it in the second-half. Defensively we were perfect.

“We could have been three up at half-time and while they had more possession after the break I felt we were always in control.

“Progressing to the semi-finals is massive for Newtown Football Club and a just reward for the great spirit and togetherness we have at the club.”

The Robins welcome striker Ethan Jones back into contention after being cup tied in midweek with Hughes happy with his squad despite an ankle cruciate injury ruling out top scorer Jamie Reed for the season.

“We have a good squad and lads ready to come in,” said Hughes. “Everyone can do a job at Newtown.”

Hughes insisted the weekend clash would have no influence on the cup semi-final.

“We have three games between now and then and points are up for grabs in the race for seventh,” said Hughes. “We need to keep on working hard to battle for everything for 90 minutes on Saturday.

“Aberystwyth are never easy and we can expect another tough afternoon on Saturday.

“However we have a good record against Aberystwyth, I think we have won three of our last four meetings, and that will be something we look to improve on this weekend.”

A bumper gate is expected for the third of five meetings between the Mid Wales rivals this season.

Hughes accepted pride as well as points would be at stake come kick-off.

“Derbies are always special games and Saturday will be all the more so after both clubs had good weeks,” said Hughes. “From our point of view we will prepare as we always do and remain focused on producing a good performance.”