Wellmen hope to honour Liam with Welsh Cup win

Reporter:

Daniel Heald

John Haseldin hopes his Holywell Town side can honour the memory of Liam Simpson with a Welsh Cup victory against Corwen today (Saturday).

A minute’s silence will be observed at Halkyn Road in tribute to the 18-year-old Wellmen youth player who tragically died last weekend.

Simpson’s team mates have been training with Town’s first team this week, with Haseldin keen to unite the club after the tragedy.

He said: “It’s been a really emotional week and everyone involved with the club are devastated at what’s happened.

“Incidents like this put things into perspective and make you realise how insignificant the game of football is in this situation.

“Everyone at the club sends their deepest condolences to Liam’s family at time and as a club I hope we can pull together and offer our support to anyone who needs it.

“The players and the supporters will remember Liam before the Corwen match on Saturday and hopefully we can deliver a solid perfromance on the pitch and put a little bit of a smile on people’s faces with a win.”

Corwen have the knack of pulling off cup shocks but a heel injury could rule Sion Roberts out.  Elystan Hughes and Tom Williams both return.

Steve Halliwell has targeted another ‘positive cup run’ as Gresford Athletic’s head to Mid-Wales side Carno tomorrow.

Having led Athletic to North East Wales FA Cup glory last season, Halliwell insists his side are relishing the chance to compete for more silverware this term.

Despite a recent upturn in Athletic’s league form, Halliwell has been left frustrated by his side’s tendency to concede late in games.

And the Gresford manager has urged his defenders to tighten up ahead of tomorrow’s game against unfamilar opposition.

He said: “The Welsh Cup is the biggest cup competition in the country and it’s one that all clubs look forward to playing in.

“Like most clubs we’ll be taking the cup seriously and looking to progress. We know from last season that a positive cup run breeds confidence in the league too.

“We are four unbeaten right now but we should probably have taken more points from those games than we’ve managed.

“Carno is another long away trip for us to contend with, but we’ve had no midweek game and we should be pretty fresh for the game.

“I want to see us tighten up defensively and manage games better from winning positions and hopefully we can get ourselves into the next round with a solid away performance.”

Currently seventh in the Mid Wales league, Carno have made an indifferent start to the campaign with three wins, three draws and three losses to date.

Dave McIntyre impressed in Athletic’s 2-2 draw with Holyhead Hotspur last weekend and will feature in the heart of Athletic’s midfield tomorrow.

Martin Ford says that Queen’s Park’s tie at Llanrhaedr will provide a distraction from their tough league schedule.

Newly-promoted Park have endured a tough start to life in the Cymru Alliance, losing 7-0 last weekend at Caernarfon Town.

And manager Ford believes a victory in mid-Wales tomorrow could provide a much needed morale boost.

He said: “We’re looking forward to it. We’ve got to know Llanrhaeadr really well as a club after we’ve played them a couple of time in pre-season games.

“They’re a decent side but we’re going there looking to win and progress to the second round for the first time as a club.

“Obviously our recent results in the league have been tough, but this competition gives us a break and a chance to re-group in a way.

“Winning and progressing in the biggest Welsh Cup competition would be huge for us and I think it could really restore a bt of confidence to our league performances too.

“We’ve been quite short on numbers in recent weeks, which hasn’t helped us at all. 

“But the young lads who’ve come in have done well and have put themselves in contention for Saturday.”

Recent signing James Etherington could make his debut at right back for Park.

Andy Thomas wants Airbus to challenge on all fronts this season, including a tilt at the Welsh Cup.

As well as pursuing the Cymru Alliance title, the Wingmakers have looked equally assured in the Welsh Premier League Cup after eliminating top-flight sides Cefn Druids and Aberystwyth Town.

Despite their strong recent form, Thomas insists his side will not be taking Mid-Wales Division One side Bow Street lightly in Saturday’s first round home game.

“I’m sure they will have watched us at Aberystwyth in midweek” he said.

“It was probably our best performance of the season so far. We were excellent and were the better team over the 90 minutes against a very decent Aberystwyth team.

“Bow Street will come to us and treat the game like a cup final I’m sure. They’ll try to sit deep, frustrate us and hit us on the break.

“We’ll have to prepare ourselves for that and be sure that we take the chances that come our way.”

After missing the Aberystwyth game through suspension, defender Kristian Platt returns to the squad along with forward Luke Busumbru.

Andy Holden is ‘desperate’ to see his Flint Town United do well in this season’s Welsh Cup and is relishing his first game as manager in the competition.

The Silkmen were predictably outgunned by Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints  in the League Cup in midweek, losing 5-1 to the reigning champions, but Holden is keen to atone with a strong performance at home to Llanfair United tomorrow.

He said: “It was a tough ask for us to come out of the TNS game with anything.

“They’re a full-time side of professional footballers with a massive budget and so much quality on the pitch. But I was proud of how our lads stuck at it and never let their heads drop.

“It was a good workout for us and I think we’ll a learn a lot from that game to take into this weekend.

“As a Welshman, the competition means a lot to me and I’m really looking forward to seeing how far we can go in the competition.

“I’m desperate for us to do well so we’ll be doing our homework on Llanfair and of course we’ll be putting out our our strongest available team.”

Striker Chris Budrys could start for Flint, subject to his paperwork being finalised by the Welsh FA in time.

 

 

Email:

daniel.heald@nwn.co.uk

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