A closer look at the pick of this weekend’s JD Welsh Cup third round ties. 


32 teams will be battling it out in the third round, which includes 10 JD Cymru Premier teams, 15 from the Cymru North and South, six from the third-tier, and fourth-tier Cardiff Airport who are the lowest ranked club left in the competition.  


Friday: Connah’s Quay v Prestatyn Town, Llanelli Town v Pen-y-bont 


Saturday: Aberystwyth Town v Bala Town, Airbus UK v Briton Ferry Llansawel, Bangor 1876 v Flint Town United, Barry Town United v Guilsfield, Caerau Ely v Gresford Athletic, Cardiff Met v Mold Alexandra, Carmarthen Town v Abertillery Bluebirds, Flint Mountain v Canton, Haverfordwest County v Ammanford, Llanuwchllyn v Buckley Town, Newtown v Colwyn Bay, Porthmadog v Cardiff Airport, South Gower v Chepstow, The New Saints v Trethomas Bluebirds 




Friday, 10 November 


Connah’s Quay (T1) v Prestatyn Town (T2) | Friday – 19:45 

2nd round: Connah’s Quay 4-1 Caernarfon Town, St Asaph City 0-1 Prestatyn Town 


It should be a special occasion for Neil Gibson on Friday night as he welcomes his hometown club, Prestatyn Town to Cae-y-Castell. 


Neil Gibson spent several seasons in charge of Prestatyn Town and led the club to two promotions up into the top-flight. 


2013 was Prestatyn Town’s most successful season as player-manager Neil Gibson inspired the team to lift the JD Welsh Cup for the only time in their history, beating Bangor City in the final, before going on to represent Wales i Europe where Gibson himself scored against Liepājas Metalurgs of Latvia. 


After a spell with Flint Town United, Neil Gibson has been manager of Connah’s Quay since August 2022 and led the Nomads back to Europe with a 2nd place finish last season. 


Along with the manager, Connah’s Quay’s squad is full of ex-Prestatyn players who grew up in the town, and Friday’s fixture will be a memorable night for them also (Noah Edwards, Kai Edwards, Jordan Davies, Dan Roberts).  


Connah’s Quay lost to Caersws in the 2013/14 third round, but since then the Nomads have managed to reach at least the quarter final every year and have twice gone on to the final (won one, lost one). 


The Nomads won the Welsh Cup in 2018 with a convincing 4-1 victory over Aberystwyth Twon in the final, but last season they were thwarted in the semi-finals by Bala Town. 


Since Prestatyn Town’s cup triumph in 2013 the club have been knocked out in the third round seven times out of nine attempts. 


With Neil Gibson at the helm, Prestatyn Town reached the quarter finals in 2017 but lost on penalties to Connah’s Quay, and went a step further in 2020, reaching the semi-finals before the competition was cancelled due to the pandemic. 


Karl Clair is the current player-manager at Bastion Gardens, and since his appointment last month the club have played eight games, winning four and losing four. 

Despite beating top-tier Colwyn Bay in his first game in charge, Prestatyn have now lost four of their last five matches, and they face a side who’ll be like wounded animals after Connah’s Quay’s 12-match unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday with a defeat at Cardiff Met. 

There are currently 20 positions separating these two teams in the pyramid, and Connah’s Quay have won their last eight meetings with Prestatyn Town. 


August 2014 was the last time Prestatyn beat the Nomads, with Neil Gibson a part of the Seasiders’ squad on the day, but the 44-year-old will be eager to avoid any shocks this Friday. 





Llanelli Town (T2) v Pen-y-bont (T1) | Friday – 19:45 (Live online) 


2nd round: Llanelli Town 4-0 Llantwit Major, Cwmbrân Celtic 0-3 Pen-y-bont 


Pen-y-bont manager, Rhys Griffiths will have fond memories of his time at Llanelli where he spent the most part of his playing career. 


Between 2006-12 Griffiths was a hero at Llanelli Town with a great record in front of goal, scoring 180 goals in 181 games in the Welsh Premier League. 


He won the championship once with Llanelli Town (2007/08), won the ‘Player of the Season’ award on three occasions (2005/06, 2007/08 and 2010/11), and won the ‘Golden Boot’ for seven consecutive seasons! 


In 2011 Llanelli Town won the Welsh Cup for the only time in their history, with Rhys Griffiths scoring twice against Bangor in the final. 


After spells playing professionally with Plymouth Argyle and Newport County, Griffiths has now been managing Pen-y-bont since 2016 and led the club to the Welsh Cup final in 2022 (losing 3-2 vs TNS). 


And last year, Pen-y-bont claimed their place in Europe for the first time in their history after finishing 3rd in the table, but things are not going so smoothly this year. 


Pen-y-bont are 7th in the table having lost four of their last five league games, while Llanelli Town are top of the Cymru South having lost just one in 12 in all competitions (won 10, drawn one). 


Confidence is high at Stebonheath Park as Lee John’s side have scored 19 goals in their last four games and conceded only once. 


And its Llanelli Town who have been victorious in the only two previous games against Pen-y-bont, beating them twice in the 2017/18 season without conceding a goal. 


Llanelli Town managed to reach the fourth round last season before losing 0-2 against Connah’s Quay, and Pen-y-bont reached the semi-finals before losing 2-0 against The New Saints at Richmond Park, Carmarthen. 


Pen-y-bont have won 10 of their 12 games in the Welsh Cup since 2021, with the only two losses coming against The New Saints in the 2022 final and the semi-final in 2023. 



Saturday, 11 November 


Airbus UK (T2) v Briton Ferry Llansawel (T2) | Saturday – 14:00 

2nd round: Airbus UK 4-0 Rhos Aelwyd, Aberfan 0-3 Briton Ferry Llansawel  


It will be an entertaining battle at Broughton airport on Saturday afternoon between the teams that are 2nd in the Cymru North and Cymru South. 


This will be the first ever match between the two teams who managed to reach the quarter-finals last season before losing against Connah’s Quay and Bala Town respectively. 


Airbus reached the final in 2015/16 during Andy Preece’s reign, but they lost 2-0 against The New Saints at the Racecourse. 


Andy Dyer has been appointed manager of Briton Ferry Llansawel, and he will be keen to get his own back on Airbus who won 7-0 against Port Talbot in the 2015/16 semi-final when Dyer was in charge of the Steelmen. 


Airbus finished 6th in the JD Cymru Premier in 2015/16, but since then they have become a ‘yo-yo’ club, relegated three times after finishing bottom of the top-flight table in 2017, 2020 and 2023. 


Last year, Briton Ferry Llansawel finished 3rd in the Cymru South for the third time in a row, and Dyer will hope to take the club a step further this year. 


Both teams had a draw last weekend (Airbus UK 1-1 Holywell Town, Carmarthen Town 2-2 Briton Ferry Llansawel), and both remain level on points with the clubs at the top of their tables, which are Holywell Town and Llanelli Town. 




Haverfordwest County (T1) v Ammanford (T2) | Saturday – 14:00 

2nd round: Haverfordwest County (p)0-0 Baglan Dragons, Trefelin 2-2(p) Ammanford
1st round: Ammanford (p)0-0 Taffs Well  


Ammanford will travel to Pembrokeshire with the intention of causing a shock against top tier Haverfordwest County. 


Although Haverfordwest County have competed consistently in the JD Cymru Premier, the club has not gone further than the fourth round of the Welsh Cup since the 2012/13 season when the Bluebirds lost 1-0 at home against The New Saints. 


Their best run in the competition came in 2004/05 when they reached the semi-finals before losing 1-0 against Carmarthen Town. 


Ammanford’s best run came in 1999 as they reached the quarter-finals before losing in a replay against Conwy. 


Ammanford have beaten Taffs Well and Trefelin on penalties to reach the third round this year, and the club have also beaten Trefelin on penalties in the Nathaniel MG Cup. 


But they are facing the penalty kick master this time around, Haverfordwest County’s goalkeeper Zac Jones who has helped the Bluebirds win on penalties recently in the play-off games (vs Cardiff Met and Newtown), in Europe (vs Shkendija), and in the last round of the Welsh Cup against Baglan Dragons. 




Cardiff Met (T1) v Mold Alexandra (T2) | Saturday – 14:00 


2nd round: Cardiff Met 4-0 Cwmbrân Town, Nantlle Vale 2-2(p) Mold Alexandra
1st round: Mold Alexandra 13-1 Montgomery Town 


Cardiff Met are enjoying a solid period and have risen to 3rd place in the JD Cymru Premier after winning five of their last six games including a special win against Connah’s Quay last Saturday. 


But Ryan Jenkins’ team will be determined not to lose in the Welsh Cup against a club from the lower tiers for the third consecutive season. 


In 2021/22, the students lost against Colwyn Bay who were in the second tier at the time, and then last year Met were on the wrong side of the biggest shock of the season when they lost 2-1 against Pill AFC from the fourth tier. 


Cardiff Met had previously reached the semi-finals twice in a row in 2019 and 2020, but since the formation of the current club in 2000, the students have never won the cup. 


Mold Alexandra have reached the third round for the third time in four attempts, but after losing to Briton Ferry Llansawel last year and the New Saints in 2019/20, the Clwyd club will aim to reach the fourth round for the first time ever this year. 


Steve Monk’s side are going from strength to strength in the Cymru North and sit 4th in the table having won seven of their last eight games in all competitions. 


The New Saints (T1) v Trethomas Bluebirds (T3) | Saturday – 14:00 


2nd round: Ruthin Town 0-5 The New Saints, Trethomas Bluebirds 6-1 Penrhiwceiber
1st round: Trethomas Bluebirds 4-1 Ely Rangers 


Since losing against Connah’s Quay in the semi-final of the 2017/18 Welsh Cup, The New Saints have won 21 consecutive games in the competition and have lifted the cup three times in a row. 

As well as winning 21 consecutive cup games, the Saints are also unbeaten in their last 21 games in all competitions (won 19, drawn two), a run that stretches back to the summer when they lost to Swift Hesperange on August 1st. 

Last season the Saints won 6-0 in the Welsh Cup final against Bala Town, which was the biggest victory in a final since 1931. 

That was the 9th time the Oswestry outfit had their name on the cup, and now only Wrexham (23), Cardiff City (22) and Swansea City (10) have a better record in the competition. 

It will therefore be quite a challenge for Trethomas Bluebirds, who are one of the lowest remaining clubs in the competition who play their football in the Ardal South East League (third tier). 

But like The Saints, Trethomas are enjoying an excellent season with the club at the top of their table having won all nine of their league games to date. 

The Bluebirds will be dreaming of causing another shock after they beat Haverfordwest County in the third round last season, but it’s fair to say that this is going to be a tougher challenge for the village club near Caerphilly. 



The highlights of these six games will be available on Sgorio’s social websites, and the best of the weekend’s games will be shown on S4C on Monday evening at 9:35. 

Rhys Llwyd

Author Rhys Llwyd

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