THE first round draw of the JD Welsh Cup has brought with it a number of fascinating ties that have the potential for upsets.
Lower league side that have advanced to this stage of the competition have been rewarded with plum ties against higher quality opposition as a reward for their efforts, and the bigger clubs will be looking to avoid a giant-killing and progress to the next stage.
Sports reporter Dean Jones identifies four potential ties where an upset may occur:
Prestatyn Sports vs Caersws:
The Bluebirds will not be looking forward to visiting Lock Stock Welsh Alliance Division Two leaders Prestatyn Sports, who have begun the season in sensational form.
They have won each of their seven league contests so far and have a six point cushion at the summit in the early stages, having also netted an impressive 36 goals in the process and includes a 10-0 win at Llanfairpwll last weekend.
After coming into the season as one of the more fancied sides, Sws’ have flattered to deceive so far and have lost influential midfielder Ross Stephens, who has returned to Prestatyn Town.
Following their heavy 5-2 home defeat to Porthmadog they currently sit third-from-bottom in the Huws Gray Alliance after four contests, and this promises to be a very tricky fixture for a team that are currently out of form.
Gaerwen vs Llandudno Junction:
The Railwaymen have endured a difficult start to life in the second tier, and have yet to pick up a point as they continue to adjust to life in a higher division.
Iain Bennett’s side do possess a number of quality players within their squad, with striker Dean Seager hoping that his goal in their loss at Denbigh Town will be the catalyst for bigger and better things as the season progresses.
They visit a Gaerwen side that are a very good outfit on their day, but inconsistencies have halted their progress so far as they currently sit in eighth spot in Division Two of the Welsh Alliance.
Junction will need to be at their best to get a result but can take comfort in the fact that despite being low on confidence they do have match-winners within their squad that can help them progress.
Llandudno Albion vs Rhyl:
This is undoubtedly the biggest game in the short history of Albion as former Welsh Cup winners Rhyl come to town, and
The Lilywhites have made an unbeaten start to the HGA campaign and have shown a great deal of character in the early stages of the season under Niall McGuinness, which was evident in their late fight-back to rescue a point against Caernarfon Town at the Corbett Sports Stadium.
An ambitious Albion have enjoyed a prominent rise up the pyramid since their inception and will certainly relish the chance to come up against players with a wealth of JD Welsh Premier League experience, and a big crowd is expected for is something of a landmark game for the club.
Meliden vs Ruthin Town:
Chris Williams’ side will be looking to advance at the expense of promotion chasing Meliden, who have failed to build on their positive start and are currently languishing.
They will have to up their game considerably against the HGA outfit, who produced a sensational run of form to avoid the drop comfortably last season.
Things have not begun in the same manner this time around, but there were definite signs of encouragement during their thrilling 4-4 home draw with Holywell Town.