Among all three of the region’s Huws Gray Alliance clubs, there couldn’t be much tougher tests to come in the first round of the Welsh Cup.
They all face potential banana skins – not least eight-time winners Bangor City, who face the unusual task of playing the first two rounds after being kicked out of the WPL.
City have been drawn at home to Mold Alexandra – a Welsh National League side who have a positive start to their campaign, losing only once so far this season. Bangor’s own mixed form is bound to be put to the test.
The same can be said for struggling Holyhead Hotspur, who face a home clash against a Corwen team with much the same record as Mold Alex in the WNL. The Harbourmen are bottom of the HGA with just one league win under manager Darren Garmey.
But probably one of the most fancied ties of the round sees a Llŷn Peninsula derby at The Rec as Pwllheli entertain Porthmadog.
Pwllheli edged out Prestatyn Sports on Saturday – but needed extra time to win 4-3, thanks to two goals for Mark Jones. Their Welsh Alliance form can’t be properly judged yet having played just three games so far – though they’ve amassed a win, a draw and a defeat.
Porthmadog reached as far as the fourth round of the Cup last season under Craig Papirnyk, before losing to eventual winners Connah’s Quay. League wise, they’re fifth in the table this season – and scored seven goals unanswered in back-to-back wins over Holyhead and Denbigh last week.
Three more Welsh Alliance clubs needed to go via the qualifying route to reach the first round proper.
Holyhead Town now have the chance to claim another upset when they travel to a Denbigh Town side struggling to find consistency. Holyhead ran out 4-3 winners over Llanberis in a ding-dong cup thriller on Saturday.
League leaders Llangefni Town strolled to qualification by beating Saltney Town 4-0 – and they’re rewarded with a home clash against Borth United, a Ceredigion club with just one win in the Spar Mid Wales League so far.
Nantlle Vale survived a scare at the weekend when they were taken to penalties by Mynydd Llandegai. But the highflyers won out 5-4 on spot kicks – and they now move onto face Llandudno Amateurs, who claimed one of the big shocks of the qualifiers by knocking out Greenfield.
And there’s one more Gwynedd club in the first round. Dolgellau Athletic, another Mid Wales League team, will visit Cefn Albion.
JD Welsh Cup first round draw
Bangor City v Mold Alexandra
Cefn Albion v Dolgellau Athletic
Denbigh Town v Holyhead Town
Holyhead Hotspur v Corwen
Llandudno Amateurs v Nantlle Vale
Llangefni Town v Borth United
Pwllheli v Porthmadog
Ties to be played from Friday 19th – Saturday 21st October.