Glamorgan Gazette - - Football -

PEN­COED Ath­letic chief Mark Powell is hop­ing the J D Welsh Cup can kick­start a stut­ter­ing cam­paign, writes Tony Poole.

How­ever, the Felin­dre Road boys will have to over­come last sea­son’s Highad­mit South Wales Al­liance cham­pi­ons Pon­ty­clun at Ivor Park in or­der to ful­fil that brief.

Sim­i­lar 2-0 vic­to­ries away to New­cas­tle Em­lyn and home to Llantwit Fardre have set up this stiff task against Pon­ty­clun, who have made a de­cent start back in Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Di­vi­sion Three.

Pen­coed haven’t pre­vi­ously en­tered the Welsh Cup, as down the years now de­funct Pen­coed Cricket Club utilised ground fa­cil­i­ties dur­ing open­ing rounds of the com­pe­ti­tion in Au­gust.

So, the clash with Pon­ty­clun on Satur­day is the first oc­ca­sion for Pen­coed to reach the first-round proper of the tour­na­ment.

Hav­ing played well and bowed out of the FAW Tro­phy last month, go­ing down 2-1 to Pem­brokeshire gi­ants Hakin United at the Ob­ser­va­tory Ground in Mil­ford Haven, man­ager Powell is ex­cited and fo­cused on the Pon­ty­clun test.

“Pon­ty­clun pos­sess a strong squad and it was no real sur­prise that they won the Al­liance cham­pi­onship last sea­son and have started well back in the Welsh League,” he ex­plained.

“The Pon­ty­clun man­age­ment team also have their fin­gers on the pulse, and all in all their set-up is fan­tas­tic.’’

In re­cent times the clubs have locked horns in the league and last win­ter Pen­coed gained a goal-less draw at Ivor Park be­fore los­ing the home re­match 4-0.

He con­tin­ued: “It gives both clubs a great chance to progress in the premier Welsh cup com­pe­ti­tion - and hook­ing a big fish in the next round.

“We’ve trained well and hav­ing sat out last week- end’s fix­ture-list, the boys should be full of en­ergy and ready to rum­ble in what will be a derby at­mos­phere at Pon­ty­clun.’’

Team news sug­gests in­spi­ra­tional cap­tain and cen­tre-half Evan Price will re­turn and re­cent sign­ings Dai Lewis and Ash­ley An­drews will be added to the Pen­coed squad.

“A win would cer­tainly reignite our sea­son and get us back on track in the Al­liance Premier Di­vi­sion,” con­cluded Powell.

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