A quick look at the four Word Cup matches in the quarter final.
Carmarthen 3-1 Port Talbot
Carmarthen will be full of confidence after winning 4-1 in their last two games (vs Rhyl and Haverfordwest). Mark Aizlewood’s men have beaten Briton Ferry Llansawel (5-5 – won on pens) and Pontypridd (4-2 aet) to reach this stage of the competition so are yet to win a fixture in 90 minutes in the Word Cup this season. Luke Prosser netted all of the Old Gold’s five goals against Briton Ferry in the first round! Carmarthen have won the competition on three occasions – twice on the trot in 2013 and 2014.
Port Talbot are on a disappointing run and have lost their last three matches without a goal in their last two games. They reached the semi final last season (lost 2-1 to TNS aet) and will look to get there again this season. The Steelmen have beaten Ton Pentre (1-3) so far after getting a bye to the second round for reaching last season’s semis.
Denbigh 2-1 Airbus UK (a.e.t)
Denbigh are one of only two clubs from outside the WPL that have reached the Quarter Finals. Gareth Thomas’ side sit 4th in the Huws Gray Alliance, only two points behind leaders Cefn Druids. The reds of Denbigh have beaten Rhyl (2-4) and Holyhead Hotspur (0-4) to reach this stage so will be no push-overs. Andy Preece will have to keep an eye on the HGA top scorer Kristian Pierce who’s already notched four goals in two Word Cup games for Denbigh this season.
Airbus haven’t been on form recently with injuries taking its toll on the squad as they’ve lost three of their last four games. The Wingmakers have beaten Cefn Druids (0-2) and Penrhyncoch (2-0) to reach the QF with a goal a piece from WPL top scorer Tony Gray and James Murphy in both games. Airbus are the only team that haven’t conceded in the Word Cup this season.
gap Connah’s Quay 5-3 Caernarfon (a.e.t)
It will be interesting to see how gap Connah’s Quay will react after losing their manager, Allan Bickerstaff, yesterday. Bickerstaff lost his job as the Nomads manager after a disappointing start to the season left the Deeside club in the relegation zone after losing 7 of their opening 11 league fixtures. Despite that, gap could find themselves in the Word Cup semi-final without having to play a WPL side after beating Guilsfield (0-3 aet) and Prestatyn (1-3) so far.
The Cofis are tight at the heels of the Druids, only a point behind the Huws Gray leaders. Caernarfon have been this season’s dark horses in the Word Cup as they’ve caused two shocks beating local rivals Bangor (0-1) and beating Bala (2-1) the team that has reached the final for the last two years. But could Bangor’s cult hero, Les Davies be the man that knocks Caernarfon out the cup for the Nomads?
The New Saints 3-1 Haverfordwest
After winning the treble last season, The New Saints will expect nothing less again this season. The champions are already five points clear at the top of the WPL and are through to the Word Cup QF after thrashing Holywell (7-1) with five goals from striker Greg Draper. TNS have only conceded once in their last six league matches so will be very hard to break down.
Haverfordwest were on a decent run of four matches without defeat before losing 4-1 to Carmarthen over the weekend. The Bluebirds have sailed past Penybont (0-4) and Aberystwyth (4-1) in the cup and the pressure will be off against TNS who could play a second string side which could benefit Wayne Jones and his team.