While the climax of the World Cup qualifiers plays out (sans Gareth Bale), attention among the Welsh football pyramid turns to a big week of cup football. Tonight, Holyhead, Caernarfon and Bangor are all vying for a place in the quarter finals of the Welsh Premier League Cup.
HOLYHEAD HOTSPUR v CAERNARFON TOWN (7.45pm, The New Stadium)
Nine games into the Huws Gray Alliance season, Holyhead remain the only club to have beaten league leaders Caernarfon. Hotspur remained unbeaten throughout August, but after a lengthy break from action, Campbell Harrison’s side won just once more from four league games in a fortnight. They had to battle back on Saturday to draw 2-2 with Gresford Athletic.
The Canaries rebounded from that early setback at The Oval and have scored 18 times in their last three outings, including seven goals unanswered versus Queens Park on Saturday – and on form, Town are favourites to reach the last eight.
Holyhead dispatched Porthmadog 5-3 in a first round thriller which saw John Littlemore score a brace for the Harbourmen – while Danny Brookwell’s effort was enough for Caernarfon to beat Llandudno 1-0.
GAP CONNNAH’S QUAY v BANGOR CITY (7.45pm, The Deeside Stadium)
A response to Saturday’s shock WPL defeat to Barry Town United will matter as much as cup progress to Citizens manager Kevin Nicholson.
City certainly have enough of an idea of what to expect from the Nomads after their recent league encounter went to a replay (Bangor eventually won out 1-0) and a glance at the league table shows a goal difference of three is all that separates them just seven games into the season.
Bangor were well tested by Denbigh Town in the first round – going behind twice to the HGA club before Dean Rittenberg’s four goals clinched a 5-2 victory. Connah’s Quay – semi-finalists last season – were given a bye into the second round and are likely to opt for a more youthful squad in their third meeting with City.
Other second round fixtures:
Aberystwyth Town v Airbus UK Broughton (7.45pm, Park Avenue)
Barry Town United v Afan Lido (7.45pm, Jenner Park)
Cardiff Met v Pontypridd Town (7.45pm, Cyncoed Campus)
Flint Town United v The New Saints (7.45pm, Cae-y-Castell)
Haverfordwest County v Carmarthen Town (7.30pm, New Bridge Meadow)
Netwown v Holywell Town (7.45pm, Latham Park)