Both Welsh Cup semi finals will be available to watch live on Sgorio this weekend as the four Welsh Premier League sides fight it out for a place in the 2017/18 final.
Connah’s Quay v Bangor | Saturday – 19:35, Corbett Sports Stadium, Rhyl (S4C)
Only goal difference separates these two sides in the WPL so it promises to be a well-balanced affair at the Corbett Sports Stadium on Saturday night.
Although Connah’s Quay are above Bangor in the table (on goal difference), Kevin Nicholson’s side have had the better of their previous meetings this season, winning all three clashes in the WPL without conceding a single goal.
But the Nomads did knock Bangor out of the League Cup in November with two injury time goals (2-0).
This will be their first meeting in the Welsh Cup since Bangor won 0-2 at Deeside in the 2012/13 fourth round on their way to the final.
The Nomads have had to see off Cwmbrân Celtic, Porthmadog and WPL champions The New Saints to reach the semi final stage, and now Andy Morrison is setting his sights on guiding the club to only their second ever Welsh Cup final.
20 years have passed since Connah’s Quay reached the Welsh Cup final, and that was against Bangor City at the Racecourse in 1998 – the Nomads, who were managed by Neville Powell lost on penalties after the game ended 1-1.
The old club of ‘Connah’s Quay & Shotton’ did win the cup in 1929, but went bust six months later – the newly reformed Nomads were founded 17 years on in 1946.
Bangor City have a rich history in the Welsh Cup, winning on eight occasions – but it’s been a long eight years since the last time Citizens had their hands on their beloved cup.
The Citizens have reached this year’s semi final without facing a WPL side (beating Cwmamman Utd, Llanrhaeadr and Penydarren).
But Kevin Nicholson will be full of confident as Bangor have won 5 of their last 6 games in all competitions.
Six red cards have been shown in the last eight meetings between the sides, three of those going to Nomads captain George Horan, who unsurprisingly will be suspended this weekend!
The clubs meet again next week in another important match in the race for European football via the runner-up spot, but winning the cup and adding a trophy to the cabinet would surely be the priority, and the more satisfying way of qualifying for Europe.
Newtown v Aberystwyth | Sunday – 12:00, Maes Tegid, Bala (Facebook Live)
Newtown will be hoping to reach their first final in three years, while Aberystwyth aim for their first final in four seasons.
Both clubs lost to TNS in recent finals, but there’s over a decade since either of these mid-Wales clubs lifted the cup.
1900 was the last time and only time Aberystwyth got their hands on the cup, and Newtown have two wins to their name (1879 & 1895).
Aberystwyth have beaten three WPL sides to come this far in the competition (Bala Town, Cardiff Met and Carmarthen), while Newtown have knocked out Guilsfield, Flint Town and Llandudno.
This will be the first Welsh Cup clash between the two sides in 22 years, when Aberystwyth won 1-0 in a third round replay match back in the 1995/96 season.
It’s been a fairly forgettable season for both these clubs league wise, but reaching a cup final, with the prospect of European qualification would quickly turn a dull season into a memorable one.
Highlights of all the weekend fixtures will be on Sgorio this Monday at 5:35 on S4C.