It’s the JD Welsh Cup fourth round weekend and on Saturday, seven of the top-flight teams, eight second tier clubs and one third tier team will compete for a place in the Quarter Finals. 

 Saturday, 14 January 

 Guilsfield v Holywell Town | Saturday – 14:00 


In the only match between two JD Cymru North sides, 8th placed Guilsfield will welcome 3rd placed Holywell Town to Clos Mytton. 


The tier two teams have already met once this season with Holywell Town taking the spoils in a 1-2 away win back in September. 


Guilsfield will be looking to reach the quarter finals for a second successive season, while Holywell Town will be eager to repeat the feats of 2013/14 when they managed to go all the way to the semi-finals. 


Guilsfield have beaten Penycae and Goytre United to reach the fourth round this year, while Holywell Town are on an impressive run of 11 consecutive wins in all competitions, which includes their Welsh Cup victories over Llanuwchllyn and Hakin United. 


Cwmbrân Celtic v Penydarren | Saturday – 14:00 


Penydarren are the only third tier club remaining in the competition, and the Ardal South West side will be hoping to cause their third ‘cupset’ this season against a higher ranked outfit. 


Penydarren have already knocked out both Ynyshir Albions and Swansea University of the JD Cymru South, along with Clwb Sparta, Pontyclun and Trethomas Bluebirds. 


It was only in 2018 that Penydarren, who were in the fifth tier at the time managed to reach the quarter final before they were brought back down to earth by Bangor City. 


Cwmbrân Celtic have seen off three JD Cymru South clubs to reach the fourth round (Ammanford, Llantwit Major and Carmarthen Town) and their eyes will be firmly set on making the quarter finals for the first time since 2015/16. 


But Penydarren were the last team to beat Cwmbrân Celtic in the JD Welsh Cup as the clubs also met during last season’s campaign (Pen 1-0 Cwm), therefore the third-tier underdogs will have no fear ahead of their visit to Celtic Park on Saturday. 


 Gresford Athletic v Pen-y-bont | Saturday – 14:00 


After falling at the final hurdle in May, Pen-y-bont will be desperate to get to the Welsh Cup final for the second year running for another chance to get their hands on the trophy. 

Rhys Griffiths’ squadron have won seven of their last eight Welsh Cup fixtures with the only defeat coming in last season’s final against The New Saints (Pen 2-3 TNS). 

Gresford Athletic have beaten Llanidloes Town, Llanrug United and Barry Town United to secure their place in the fourth round for the first time since 2014/15. 

After a slow start to the season the Wrexham based side are currently 11th in the JD Cymru North with three wins from their last four games. 

But Pen-y-bont, who are 4th in the JD Cymru Premier will be sturdy opponents as they’ve kept seven clean sheets in their last 10 matches in all competitions. 

This will be Pen-y-bont’s third away trip in the Welsh Cup this season following their previous comfortable victories at Risca United and Conwy Borough. 


 Briton Ferry Llansawel v Buckley | Saturday – 14:00 


It should be a fascinating encounter at Briton Ferry’s Old Road between the 2nd placed side in the JD Cymru South, and the 5th placed team in the JD Cymru North. 


Briton Ferry Llansawel have won nine of their last 11 games in all competitions, keeping the pressure on Barry Town United in the race for the championship. 


Buckley have also been efficient of late, picking up seven wins in nine games and seeing off both Llandudno Albion and Prestatyn Town to reach the Welsh Cup fourth round for a second year running. 


After conquering Croesyceiliog, and Buckley’s neighbours, Mold Alexandra, Briton Ferry Llansawel have booked a fourth round ticket for the first time since their formation in 2009. 


 Pontardawe Town v Airbus UK | Saturday – 14:00 


The Welsh Cup has given Airbus UK a rare reason to celebrate this season as their only wins during this campaign have come in this competition against Queen’s Park and Trefelin. 


But after beating Baglan Dragons, Cambrian & Clydach and Pill, Pontardawe Town might fancy their chances of taking a top-flight scalp this Saturday. 


In 2015/16, Airbus UK managed to get to the final for the first time in their history but lost 2-0 against The New Saints at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground. 


Pontardawe Town also reached the fourth round in 2019/20 but were beaten 2-0 by Cefn Druids, and the scorer of the Ancients’ two goals that day was none other than Airbus’ present manager, Jamie Reed. 


Bala Town v Pontypridd United | Saturday – 14:00 


For the third time in 11 days, Bala Town will go head-to-head with Pontypridd United as both teams aim to be one of the eight names in the hat for the next round. 


Pontypridd United triumphed 2-1 against Bala Town in a league clash on the 3rd of January, but four days later the Lakesides got their own back with a 3-0 win at Maes Tegid in the reverse fixtures. 


Bala Town have played yet another game since then as they drew 0-0 with Connah’s Quay on Tuesday night, and Colin Caton’s clan have a remarkable home record with 10 wins and 10 clean sheets in their last 13 matches at Maes Tegid in all competitions. 


On 30 April 2017, Bala Town clinched their most momentous victory as their 2-1 Welsh Cup final coup against The New Saints allowed them to lift the trophy for the first time in the club’s history. 


Kieran Smith scored twice on that memorable day at Bangor City, and after netting another two against Pontypridd United last week, Bala’s blonde box-to-box midfielder will be one to watch this weekend. 


Bala Town have beaten Hawarden and Flint Town United in the cup this season, and after knocking Ponty out of the competition last year, the Lakesiders will be looking for a similar outcome on Saturday. 


Pontypridd United have seen off Chepstow and Ruthin Town to get this far in the competition, and Andrew Stokes will aspire to get Pontypridd into the quarter final for the first time since 1996. 


 The New Saints v Newtown | Saturday – 14:00  


For the fifth time in eight seasons, Newtown will have to face the Oswestry giants in the JD Welsh Cup. 


And it’s The New Saints who have come out on top in each of the last four Welsh Cup clashes between the sides, knocking the Robins out of the cup in 2019/20, 2016/17, 2015/16 and beating them 2-0 in the 2014/15 final. 


The New Saints are the current JD Welsh Cup holders after lifting the trophy for the eighth time in their history last season following their victory over Pen-y-bont in the final at the Cardiff City Stadium. 


The Robins have won the cup on two occasions, but haven’t done so in long over a century (1879 and 1895). 


These teams have already met twice this season with the Saints winning 4-1 at Park Hall in September on the back of a goalless stalemate at Latham Park on the opening weekend. 


Since their 0-3 defeat to Dundee in the Scottish Challenge Cup in September, The New Saints have gone 17 games without a loss in all competitions (won 15, drawn two), which includes their cup conquests over Chirk AAA and Caernarfon Town. 


But Newtown are also in fine form and have lost just once in their last 10 games (won eight, drawn one), beating Cardiff Corinthians and Aberystwyth Town to reach the JD Welsh Cup fourth round. 


 Llanelli Town v Connah’s Quay | Saturday – 17:15 (S4C) 


At Stebonheath Park, the 2011 Welsh Cup winners, Llanelli will be hoping to cause a ‘cupset’ against the 2018 Welsh Cup winners, Connah’s Quay. 

The Nomads have already seen off Denbigh Town and Colwyn Bay in this year’s competition and will be looking to reach the quarter final stage for the eighth consecutive season. 

Connah’s Quay are enjoying a phenomenal run of 20 games without defeat in all competitions (won 15, drawn five), and with the Nathaniel MG Cup final to look forward to later this month, Neil Gibson has a real chance of making his first season at the helm for the Nomads a successful one. 


With six wins from their last seven games, Llanelli Town, who are 3rd in the JD Cymru South will be no push-overs as they’ve already beaten Goytre, Canton Liberal and Cefn Druids in the cup. 


But these teams haven’t met since the 2018/19 season where Connah’s Quay put 13 goals past Llanelli Town in the space of two games (CQ 6-0 Llan, Llan 0-7 CQ) and the Reds finished the campaign at the bottom of the JD Cymru Premier and were therefore relegated. 


 The best of the weekend’s action will be on Sgorio on Monday night at 10:00 on S4C. 

Rhys Llwyd

Author Rhys Llwyd

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