Three Gwynedd clubs remain in this season’s Welsh Cup following a dramatic third round weekend. And arguably, all three face tough tasks when they eye up a place in the quarter finals in the New Year.
Caernarfon Town have the biggest test of the lot when they come up against The New Saints – beaten finalists last season and probably favourites to win their seventh Welsh Cup after holders Bala were knocked out by Aberystwyth.
The Canaries – currently three points clear at the top of the Huws Gray Alliance – reached round four with a 2-0 victory over Barry Town United on Sunday. A crowd of over 1100 and a fleet of S4C cameras saw Caernarfon battle past the WPL newcomers thanks to Jamie Breese and a stunning free-kick from captain Nathan Craig.
Bangor City survived a scare against Cwmamman United, who battled back after the Citizens raced into a 4-1 lead. Despite a stoppage time penalty for Ryan Thomas, City won out 4-3 after goals for Danny Gossett, Anderson Cayola, James Demetriou and Brayden Shaw.
But Bangor could face another banana skin when they meet Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, who delivered the shock of the weekend with a 3-2 win over another WPL club, Cefn Druids. They’re also flying high in the Spar Mid Wales League, sitting only second in the table to Welshpool.
City’s last Welsh Cup triumph was in 2010, but as manager Kevin Nicholson insisted following Monday night’s televised draw in Llanelli: ”The Welsh Cup has been a big part of Bangor City’s history and we will be doing our very best to emulate the success of previous years.”
Porthmadog will be fancying their chances just as much. Despite going behind briefly against Welsh League minnows Panteg, Joe Chaplin’s four goals inspired the Traeth side to a comfortable 7-2 victory on Saturday.
Their reward is the potential of another Premier League upset with a visit to Gap Connah’s Quay, who coasted through to the last sixteen by beating Cwmbran Celtic 3-0. Both sides haven’t met each other competitively since Port were relegated to the HGA five years ago – but the two teams have produced some memorable encounters in the past.
The Nomads won out in a 6-3 league encounter at Y Traeth five years ago, while even further back, Port came back from trailing 5-1 at half time to win 6-5 in Christmas 2008.
The rest of the fourth round draw:
Flint Town United v Newtown
Cardiff Met v Aberystwyth Town
Pontypridd Town v Penydarren BGC
Llandudno v Ruthin Town
Airbus UK Broughton v Carmarthen Town
Ties to be played on the weekend of Saturday 27th / Sunday 28th January.