TRIPS to the coast face a pair of local sides in a national competition this Saturday, writes SHAUN DAVIES.
The first weekend of December is marked by third round action in the Welsh Cup, with Huws Gray Alliance Ruthin Town heading north to tackle Welsh Premier League strugglers Prestatyn Town.
On the same day, holders Bala Town begin the defence of the cup at Aberystwyth Town.
“Before the draw came out I would have liked a nice away draw somewhere, or a winnable game, or a League of Wales side at home,” said Ruthin boss Chris Williams.
“We have got a League of Wales side, but it’s away.
“We had a quick chat after the game on Saturday.
“They (Prestatyn) put seven or eight past us at the start of last season, beat us 2-0 in the League Cup and then put six or seven past us in the other league game.
“It’s a nice draw in that the lads remember the drubbings they have had.
“It will be interesting.
“Don’t get me wrong, Prestatyn are a good side and last year they were going into games confidently.”
Jordan MacCarter and goalkeeper Ryan Goldston are both out through suspension for Ruthin.
Goldston was sent off during last weekend’s Huws Gray Alliance match at home to Porthmadog and he was replaced by substitute keeper Dylan Jones.
“Dylan was excellent on Saturday and he kept us in the game,” added Williams.
With MacCarter missing, the likes of Craig Wilkinson, Will Owen and Dave Finnie could offer some attacking options versus Prestatyn.
However, Ruthin’s main man going forward is once more likely to be Llyr Morris.
With a tally of 17 goals to his name already this season, Morris is leading the scoring charts in the Huws Gray Alliance.
Williams said: “I challenged Llyr last week that I wanted five more goals before Christmas.
“He got two against Porthmadog and hopefully he will find the net again on Saturday.
“Apart from the goals, he works so hard.”
Williams added: “I went to watch Prestatyn on Friday.
“They have got similar players to last season and they’re a very good side.
“But, we have got nothing to lose and it’s a good opportunity for the young lads to show how good they are.”
Bala Town face an all-Welsh Premier League meeting with Aberystwyth Town and looking forward to the weekend, team boss Colin Caton said: “It’s important we regain the cup again.
“There were great scenes last year when we won it, but it will be a tough versus Aberystwyth.
“We have had two tough games against them this season.
“If they lose, their season’s effectively over, as they’re then only fighting relegation in the Welsh Premier.”
Injuries are a big concern for Caton ahead of the cup tie and he added: “Preparations are going well, but we are just struggling with injuries.
“Three of the back four were out versus Bangor and we got punished for that.
“We were just so depleted.
“The two centre halves and the right back were out, which just killed us, and we had lads playing in positions they have never played in before.”
Bala are hoping to have a new signing in before the weekend and they are hopeful that the three injured defenders will return to fitness for the Welsh Cup tie, including their two Stuart Jones’.
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