TOP flight sides will be looking to avoid upsets as the Nathaniel MG Cup gets underway tonight (Tuesday).
The first round has brought with it a host of intriguing ties that should be closely run affairs, and sports reporter Dean Jones highlights three games where there could be shocks in the offing.
Llandudno vs Caernarfon Town:
The early pacesetters in the JD Welsh Premier League will be hoping to continue their perfect start to the season at the expense of a Caernarfon Town side that have huge ambitions to join them in top flight next season.
It will be something of an old boys’ reunion at the Giant Hospitality Stadium with influential midfielder Gareth Evans and assistant manager Sean Eardley making their return to the club, while former Cofi favourite Toby Jones will also be looking to get one over on his former team.
It has been a hugely impressive start to the campaign for Alan Morgan’s men, who are the WPL’s last remaining unbeaten side and boast a 100 per cent record following their 1-0 victory over Connah’s Quay.
Iwan Williams’ men have enjoyed a vast amount of cup success in recent seasons and they are sure to be primed for the challenge that awaits them.
Holywell Town vs Prestatyn Town:
This derby clash promises to be a fiery and close-knit affair, with the former Huws Gray Alliance rivals locking horns once again in a cup environment.
Neil Gibson’s side can take plenty of positives from their opening WPL fixtures despite suffering two defeats, and they come up against a Holywell side that have already shown they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the second tier this term.
In Steve Lewis and Jamie McDaid they boast two of the brightest forward partnerships anywhere in the Welsh pyramid, but breaking down the resolute Seasiders’ defence led by skipper Dave Hayes will be an extremely tough proposition.
Airbus Broughton vs Cefn Druids:
Another cup tie that sees nearby rivals clash comes as the Wingmakers’ look to take a WPL scalp in the form of Druids.
It has taken time for the recently relegated side to gel following a complete overhaul of their squad, but their 5-2 win at Holywell last weekend demonstrated the immense attacking prowess they have at their disposal, and at home they are sure to give the Ancients plenty to think about.
Druids have made an above-average start to their second WPL season after avoiding the drop in comfortable style, and early signs point to them being very competitive once again this term.
This is another cup clash that is likely to be decided by the finest of margins, and home advantage might be key to Airbus’ chances of pulling off an upset.