Welsh Cup woe for Afan Lido

Mark Pitman reports from Afan Lido as Airbus UK Broughton progress into the quarter-finals of the Welsh Cup in a dramatic cup tie.

New Airbus UK Broughton manager Andy Preece maintained his perfect record since taking charge of the Wingmakers with this Welsh Cup victory at Afan Lido in the only all-Welsh Premier League tie of the fourth round. Airbus UK defeated an experimental Wrexham side under the guidance of former boss Craig Harrison to reach this stage of the competition and arrived at the Marston’s Stadium high in confidence following a convincing win over Bala Town in the League Cup. Afan Lido were equally as confident however, having defeated local rivals Port Talbot Town in the previous round, but with £5,000 prize money at stake for the winners there was some concern amongst the home fans when the teams were announced 45 minutes before kick-off.

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The greatest derby in the world

Mark Pitman reports from The GenQuip Stadium as Afan Lido claim another Welsh Cup win over their rivals. Gareth Elms was on hand for the photo’s.

The first competitive match between local rivals Port Talbot Town and Afan Lido for over four years was a very different affair to famed previous encounters, but the only consistent of derby days passed was on hand to head home the headlines as the scoreline once again went in favour of the visitors. The two sides, separated by a couple of streets in the South Wales town, last met when they were drawn together in the Welsh Cup back in 2007 and a 1-0 win for the Lido was as good then as it was again in this latest contest. The fixture had a string of similarities in terms of the competition, the venue, the score, the goal and the importance, but the personal and the passion of previous derby days were very sadly missing.

The scene was set for another intense encounter between two sides battling for local supremacy, but the match echoed little of what has made this fixture so famous over the last decade. Over the years the fixture has been memorable for midfield battles, red cards, penalties and controversy in front of a crowd quadrupled for a one-off occasion. Sadly, this latest instalment lacked it all. Since the last time the two sides met, both teams now have different managers and while Leigh De-Vulgt, Lee John, Martin Rose and substitute Dylan Blain remain for the home side, the only name still on the Lido team-sheet from that 1-0 win in 2007 was Carl Evans. Although Evans played briefly for Port Talbot Town after that win, he like so many others before eventually him found his way back to Lido, and it would be his winning goal that would decide the tie. Afan Lido left-back Craig Hanford should also receive a mention at this time, he was part of the Port Talbot Town side that lost the 2007 fixture. Continue reading

Legg rolls back the Welsh Cup glory years

Llanelli 1-0 Prestatyn TownWelsh Cup Quarter-Final – 5th March 2011 – by Mark Pitman

Llanelli player-manager Andy Legg was 22 years-old when he first lifted the Welsh Cup as a Swansea City player, and he repeated the achievement with the club again when he was 24. That last triumph took place in 1991, but last weekend the now 44 year-old rolled back the years to score the only goal as his side booked their place in the semi-final of one of the oldest cup competitions in the world. It has been twenty years since Legg last won the Welsh Cup, but his side are now just two wins away from winning the competition for the first time in their long and proud history. Continue reading

Lucky twist as Bangor City reach magic 21

Port Talbot Town 0-3 Bangor CityWelsh Cup Quarter-Final – 26th February 2011 – by Mark Pitman

Bangor City maintained their incredible Welsh Cup winning-streak with this twenty-first consecutive victory in the competition. This amazing series of results began back in 2007 and the club have lifted the famous old trophy three times along the way. Under the guidance of manager Nev Powell, the man who has masterminded the remarkable run of results, the side now head into the semi-finals as the current Principality Welsh Premier League leaders, and are once again favourites to win one of football’s oldest cup competitions for a fourth consecutive time.

The Citizens lifted the Welsh Cup last May with a dramatic 3-2 win over Port Talbot Town at the Parc-y-Scarlets Stadium in Llanelli and when Wales manager Gary Speed made the quarter-final draw he pulled out what would be the tie of the round. Port Talbot Town manager Mark Jones would have both the opportunity to avenge the defeat in last seasons final but also to gain revenge over his good friend Powell for the two league defeats that Bangor had inflicted on his side during the current campaign.

In December Bangor City claimed one of the wins of the season as they defeated Port Talbot Town 8-1 at Farrar Road, but both sides named notably different starting line-ups for this match, and a notably different match ensued. Continue reading