Bangor host Holyhead Hotspur in The Welsh Cup 3rd Round on Friday night 7 December, and despite Hotspur occupying a lowly position in the Cymru Alliance table, recent results prove that in cup football anything can, and often does, happen.
despite Hotspur occupying a lowly position in the CA table recent results prove that in cup football anything can, and often does, happen.
Holyhead have cast aside their league worries to reach the third round of the cup with wins over Corwen and league rivals Ruthin Town. The 4-2 home win over Corwen came in mid October thanks to goals from Tomos Clarke, Mel McGinness, Aron Hughes Jones and Marc Evans.
A month or so later a 3-1 win over CA rivals Ruthin with goals from and John Littlemore, Marc Evans and Tomos Clarke.
Holyhead manager Darren Garmey’s team selection was made more difficult a fortnight ago with reds cards for goalkeeper Carl Jones and rightback Dan McGinness which means both miss Friday night’s clash. To add to his woes Marc Evans left the club during the week.
A possible stand in keeper Dan Williams is the son of coach Merfyn Williams.
In defence Alex Jones can slot into any vacancy alongside Caio Hywel and Tomos Clarke.
Bontnewydd based Aron Hughes Jones is a contender in midfield berth next to Dean Garmey. Upfront with Marc Evans gone it may fall on John Littlemore to link up Mel McGinness who needs no introduction to City followers.
New blues boss Gary Taylor Fletcher must have been bitterly disappointed with his sides showing at Rhyl and will be keen bounce back at Nantporth, but he must wait on the fitness of goalkeeper Chris Mullock and rule out striker Marc Williams who is suspended. If Mullock is ruled out Nikki Lee Bulkmer is his likely replacement.
The blues defence could be strengthened by the possible return of Anthony Stephens from injury. His presence could signal a change of shape to 4-4-2 with either Stephens or Mike Williams operating at leftback.
Midfield options largely centre on whether Jake Phillips or Sam Dool get the nod. The net result of all this could be something akin to a 4-4-2 formation with Les Davies and leading goalscorer Alex Darlington up front to counter the loss of frontman Williams.
It is worth remembering that recent meetings between the two clubs favour the visitors. On the last day in August the two sides fought out a one all draw at Nantporth with Alex Darlington equalising after Luke McGivern had put the Islanders ahead.
More worryingly in December 2015 City looked odds on favourites to win at The New Oval but despite Matty Woodward putting Bangor ahead just after the interval goals from Rhys Roberts and Dean Garmey sent the home side through.
So some real cause for caution given the volatile nature of cup football. If City start well, show a positive attitude and take their chances they should win.
Bangor City v Holyhead Hotspur
Welsh Cup 3rd Round
Friday 7 December 2018 KO 7:45pm