Three Cupsets: Three potential upsets in the JD Welsh Cup third round
The coming weekend is largely seen as one of the great fixture cards in the domestic calendar, as it brings together the best of Wales’ club football scene across several divisions.
This seasons’ third round has conjured some particularly intriguing ties, and we’ve taken a look at three games where the magic of cup might just help a lower league team pull off a stunning upset.
Ton Pentre v Bangor City Sunday 4 December 15:00pm
The game of the round and live on S4C, all eyes will be on Ynys Park this Sunday.It is being billed as one of the biggest games in years for Welsh League Division One’s Ton Pentre, who meet Bangor at a time where both clubs have been tasked with some soul searching.
Ton Pentre, also known as the Rhondda Bulldogs, have endured a difficult start to the season with five losses and as many wins. They come into the game after a 5-0 loss at the hands of Goytre United, a result hard to swallow for manager Lee Phillips and his side.
There will be no bigger time to respond than Sunday for Ton Pentre, with S4C’s cameras set to broadcast a football game in the Rhondda Valley for the first time ever.
Bangor City meanwhile are in a state of transition, following last week’s departure of manager Andy Legg which rocked the club and indeed Welsh football. Under Legg, Bangor were fourth in the table and looking real contenders for Europe. The decision of Bangor’s board to remove Legg cast doubt over their season prospects, with a 2-1 loss at home to Carmarthen setting a sombre mood amongst Citizens fans.
With Bangor rebuilding and the Bulldogs looking to bounce back in a landmark fixture, nothing can be ruled out at Ynys Park this week. Make sure you catch this game on S4C Sgorio from 2:45pm.
Llandudno FC vs Goytre Saturday 3 December 14:30pm
The Seasiders welcome Welsh League One’s top team on Saturday, in a game where Llandudno will have to stay well aware of their visitor’s intentions to cause an upset.
Goytre have lost just two games in tier two so far this season, and look well placed to be in the title race amongst a host of other teams including Afan Lido, Barry Town and Cambrian & Clydach. On a run of five games unbeaten, Lee Relish and Carl Evans’ men will fancy their chances against a Llandudno side that could be in danger of distraction on Saturday.
The season has not seen Llandudno match their outstanding 2015/16 campaign so far, during which they came straight from the Huws Gray Alliance to successfully qualify for Europe. They expect to challenge for European football again, but come into the fixture after a 1-1 draw against fellow top six contenders Cardiff Met.
The result edges Llandudno out of the top six and into the seventh place, with only one point separating them and Carmarthen in sixth. With just five games to go in Phase One, the league will be manager Alan Morgan’s obvious priority.
If Goytre can play with the same confidence they’ve asserted in the Welsh League, the Giant Hospitality Stadium could see a giant-killing on Saturday.
Rhyl vs Penryhncoch Saturday 3 December 14:30pm
Huws Gray Alliance side Penryhncoch, often referred to as the Roosters, will arrive at the Corbett Sports Stadium wanting their name in their fourth round draw, a prospect boost the club who have been enduring an inconsistent season.
Winning three, drawing three and losing eight so far this season, the Roosters will look to make a statement in what would be a spectacular win away at Rhyl against the odds. The Lilywhites may sympathise with their opponents on Saturday, as they have also failed to get a grip on the Welsh Premier League with some erratic runs in form.
From a five game unbeaten run in September, Rhyl have only managed one win in their last eight WPL games, a statistic which has sent their campaign for the top six hanging in the balance. A win on Saturday would be welcome, with their last home victory now over two months ago.
With both sides licking their wounds, the Welsh Cup offers a rest bite from the two club’s respective leagues and a fresh challenge having not met since 2013. An even competition will be expected as both teams fight to the end to stay in the cup.