Alliance Clubs Hunting Piece of Cup History
HOLYWELL Town and Bodedern Athletic have a chance to make history when they compete in the last 16 of the Welsh Cup this weekend.
Both will aim to become the first clubs from the Welsh Alliance ever to reach the quarter-finals since the league was formed in 1984/85.
Holywell face a tough trip to Newtown, while Bodedern journey south where the challenge of Aberdare Town, the Welsh League side who knocked out holders Prestatyn Town, awaits.
Wellmen manager John Haseldin will be without injured left-back Matty Roberts, the cup-tied John Leonard and Matty Harvey, and unavailable striker Graham Boylan.
"We've been trying not to get too carried away as our priority is to do well in the league and gain promotion," said Haseldin, whose team currently lie second in Division One.
"But of course everyone at the club has caught a little bit of Welsh Cup fever.
"We had a taste of it last season when we had a good run, but lost 2-0 at home in the third round to Caerau (Ely).
"It still guts me to think about it as we didn't perform well on the day. If we'd have won we'd have got Flint away in the next round, so it still haunts me, but the best way to get it out of our systems is to beat Newtown - which of course will be easier said than done.
"We've been told this is the first time in 20 years that we've reached this stage of the Welsh Cup, which is great for the club.
"I'm trying not to build it up too much. Of course we'll want the lads to treat it like a cup final, but the aim is to try to keep them relaxed at the same time."
While tomorrow's fourth-round tie at Latham Park will offer Holywell a rare chance to meet Welsh Premier opposition, the Halkyn Road club are no strangers to the top flight.
Town were founder members of the League of Wales in 1992/93, finishing sixth under Glyn Griffiths and recording a 6-0 triumph at Bangor City. The Wellmen came fifth the following season, but from there their fortunes dipped and they were relegated at the end of 1996/97.
A number of difficult seasons in the Cymru Alliance followed, and Holywell have been in the third-tier Welsh Alliance since 2006/07.
They are now established as one of the WAL's strongest and are far from no-hopers ahead of their trip to Mid Wales. "There's no shortage of commitment at our club," added Haseldin. …