The Lilywhites and the Old Gold are neck and neck in the race for 7th spot in the Welsh Premier League to secure a place in the Europa League play-offs – but the teams will go head to head again on Sunday, this time in the Welsh Cup Quarter Final.
Only one point seperate the clubs in the Bottom Six but Rhyl’s recent form has been far better than Carmarthen’s.
Carmarthen started the second half of the season nine points ahaed of the pack in the 7th position and Mark Aizlewood’s side were clear favourites to reach the play-offs.
By now, after only four games since the split, Rhyl have closed the gap to a single point between them and Carmarthen as the Old Gold haven’t won a league game since dropping to the Bottom Six (drawn 2, lost 2).
It’s a sour spell for Carmarthen who have won only 1 of their last 9 league matches.
And it won’t help them that Rhyl have hit a good form since the split and haven’t lost in their four games in the bottom half (won 3, drawn 1).
But a lack of creativity and goals has been an issue for Greg Strong’s side this season who are the league’s lowest goal-scorers with only 29 goals from 26 league matches this season.
Rhyl beat Carmarthen the last time the clubs met (highlights above) Ashley Ruane heading the only goal of the game.
Rob Hughes (Rhyl) and Liam Thomas (Cam) were sent off that day for a scuffle and both will be suspended this weekend.
It’s been eight years since any of these two clubs lifted the Welsh Cup.
Rhyl have lifted the trophy on four occasions – last time in 2006 when they beat Bangor (2-0) at the Racecourse, Wrexham.
A year later and Carmarthen were lifting the cup for the first time after beating Afan Lido (3-2) at Stebonheath, Llanelli – their only Welsh Cup title to date.
It’s hard to believe that this will be the first time ever that the clubs meet in the Welsh Cup, but I’m sure that will be added motivation for both sets of players who are looking to get their names in the hat for the semi final draw and securing £12,500 for their club in the process!
Quarter Final fixtures (Saturday):
Aberystwyth v Airbus UK
Bangor v Newtown
gap Connah’s Quay v The New Saints
Carmarthen v Rhyl LIVE on S4C, Sunday 8 March with kick-off at 12.45pm