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FAW Amateur Trophy semi-final preview: Llandudno Albion v Holyhead Hotspur

FAW Amateur Trophy semi-final 2019-20

Llandudno Albion v Holyhead Hotspur

Maes Tegid, Bala Town, 12.30 pm – Saturday, March 7, 2020

Holyhead Hotspur have lost just three of 30 matches in all competitions this season, but one of those defeats came at the hands of a team they take on for a place in the FAW Amateur Trophy Final this Saturday.

Last August, Hotspur went down 3-0 at Llandudno Albion in the first ever – and up to now only – meeting between the teams.

Since then, the Holy Islanders have gone on to command top spot in Welsh Alliance Division One, currently enjoying a seven-point lead, while Albion sit in fourth.

This Saturday, the rivals clash at the ridiculously long-distance venue of Maes Tegid, Bala Town, with a Trophy final berth at stake.

Hotspur were beaten finalists in the national competition back in 2012, while Albion have never got this far before.

That 3-0 league win for Albion back in the early weeks of the season was achieved thanks to goals from Luke Smith, Adam Hold and Ricky Jones.

The only other sides to beat Hotspur this season are Llanrwst United in the league and Buckley Town in the Welsh Cup.

However, the Holyhead team are currently on a 15-game unbeaten run stretching back to November, 14 of those matches ending in victories.

Albion’s most recent outing was a disappointing 1-0 home loss to Blaenau Amateurs last Saturday.

This Saturday is a new day, however, and both sides must be seen as having a decent chance to make the final.

Manager’s comments

Darren Garmey – Holyhead Hotspur

“This game has taken a long time to come around and it is one we are all looking forward to at the club.

“We are fully aware of what Llandudno Albion are capable of, and although they have struggled in the league recently this is a cup game and possibly the biggest game in their short history, so they will be putting everything on the line that’s for sure.

“We ourselves are on a good run and will be going into the game full of confidence with an almost full squad to choose from.

“Robert Jones is a doubt after picking up and ankle injury playing for the University team this week, and that is a big blow as he has been fantastic this year and I’m sure he would have caused their full backs plenty of problems with his pace.

“It will be a great occasion and I’m sure the best team on the day will progress and do North Wales proud in the final.”

Llandudno Albion manager Darren Jones

“The lads can’t wait for Saturday now. We’ve had a good week of prep and they understand what it means to the club. We have to be at it 100% from the first kick and compete for every ball.”

Jones reports Albion will have a close to full squad on call at Maes Tegid.

“Luke Fountain is away with work and Joe Carey jnr still suspended, but apart from that we have a full squad.”

Paths to the semi-finals

Hotspur

Sep 14: Aberffraw (h – R2) 2-1 aet (Corey Jones, Robert Jones)
Nov 6: Penrhyndeudraeth (h – R3) 8-1 (Craig Moore 4, Sam Ashworth, Rob Jones, Corey Jones, Deian Parry)
Nov 23: Bodedern Athletic (a – R4) 2-0 (Chris Jones, Robert Jones)
Jan 18: Llanrwst United (a – R5) 5-4 (Chris Jones 3, Dewi Thomas, Deian Parry)
Feb 8: Welshpool Town (a – QF) 3-0 (Corey Jones, Chris Jones 2)

Albion

Sep 14: St Asaph City (a – R2) 4-2 (Allan Davies, Jack Williams, Dan Evans 2)
Nov 13: Mynydd Isa Spartans (h – R3) 3-2 (Dan Evans, Dave Maddock, Joe Morgan)
Nov 23: Carno (a – R4) 5-2 (Dave Maddock 2, Joe Morgan, Adam Hold, Jack Williams)
Jan 11: Berriew (a – R5) 1-1 (won 4-2 pens) (Jack Williams)
Feb 8: Risca (h – QF) 2-0 (Joel Lloyd, James Hobson)

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