Rhyl relishing tough cup trip to Park Hall


Tomos Hughes

RHYL FC’S attentions turn to cup action this weekend, as they prepare for an almighty tussle with old foe The New Saints.

The Lilywhites take their 20 match unbeaten run to Park Hall this weekend in the Welsh Cup fourth round and manager Greg Strong is relishing his side’s underdog status against the reigning Welsh Premier League champions.

He said: “It’s nice to be the underdogs for this week, each week we have the pressure on us and people expect us to win, but people, other than ourselves, won’t expect us to win this weekend.

“You’ve always got to play to your own strengths, but we have to be aware of the opponents’ weaknesses, and we will be looking at that.

“We certaintly won’t be going there not to win, let’s put it that way.”

The Lilies approach the match on the back of a hard-fought 3-2 victory over struggling Ruthin at the Belle Vue, one of only three matches played throughout north Wales, thanks to the quick-thinking of ground staff George Staff and George Atkinson, who put covers on the pitch on Friday evening.

Rhyl were ahead after Marc Evans rounded keeper Louie Mackin and stroked home his 20th of the season after a Tom Rowlands ball.

With the hosts smelling blood, they struck again just six minutes later with sublime Mark Powell chip into the top corner.

The visitors refused to capitulate and unexpectedly hit back on 11 minutes, when debutant keeper David Stevenson tipped an Eilir Edwards corner onto the bar, for Sion Davies to prod home. Ruthin equalised on 17 minutes when a Joushua Davies effort deflected over the helpless Davidson to stun the home faithful.

Rhyl failed to regain their control of the match, with Danny Hughes coming closest to regaining the lead with his off-target cutback.

Early in the second half the hosts were awarded a penalty after Sion Tudur Jones’ tug on Rowlands, but McManus contrived to put it wide.

The hosts did find a third on 54 minutes, with Dave Forbes supplying McManus, who made up for the miss by rounding the keeper to roll the ball home as the hosts opened up a 14 point gap.

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