FAW Trophy quarter-final previews – three major tests await North Wales teams

Can Bodedern pull off another superb result at Baglan Dragons? Picture: WYNNE EVANS

FAW AMATEUR TROPHY QUARTER-FINAL PREVIEWS – SAT 2 pm

Baglan Dragons v Bodedern Athletic

Pontyclun v Mold Alexandra

Rockspur v Cefn Albion

Ynyshir Albion v Monmouth Town

Baglan Dragons v Bodedern Athletic

Like will almost meet like when two of the best tier 4 clubs in Wales clash at the Evans Bevans Playing Field on Saturday.

Bodedern Athletic, the UK’s No 1 form side in non-league and leaders of the North Wales Coast West Premier Division, face a tough test at South Wales Alliance Premier table toppers Baglan Dragons.

The only obvious difference between the teams is that Boded have not lost a single league game this season, while Dragons have been beaten once.

Athletic possess a phenomenal record of: played 18 won 18 and are 10 points clear at the summit of their division, while Baglan have lost on just one occasion in 20 outings – at home to Merthyr Saints back in November.

Anglesey-based Athletic have amassed 82 goals and conceded just 11 in their 18 wins – outstanding form which has placed them first out of 250 teams in the Global Stats Table on the Non-League Matters website.

Baglan have scored 52 and let in 14 in a log of 16 wins, three draws and that one reverse.

Bodedern have an outstanding squad this season. 

While strikers Marc Evans (50 goals) and Asa Thomas (37) make the most headlines with an insane 87 goals between them, there is so much more to the team. Unfortunately, Thomas will be unavailable on Saturday due to work.

Goalkeeper Carl Jones, a former Welsh Premier stopper, has conceded just 23 goals in 27 appearances, including 15 clean sheets.

In defence, there are quality performers like Declan Jones, Casey Boylan and Eric Leach, while the midfield can produce goals from the likes of Jordie Murphy, Casey Gregg and Sam Gregson.

Pontyclun v Mold Alexandra

Graphic: Pontyclun FC – with thanks

In another tussle between same-level sides having similar seasons, Ardal South West leaders Pontyclun welcome Ardal North West summit holders Mold Alexandra.

Village side Pontyclun, based in Rhondda Cynon Taf, was formed in 1896 and their main claim to fame is producing an international footballer – former Cardiff City and Wales player Keith Pontin.

They play at Ivor Park and were South Wales Alliance League Premier Division champions back in 2017.

Pont’s league record in 2021-22 is: played 20 won 13 drawn 4 lost 3 and they are a point clear of Pontardawe Town in top spot.

Mold have a fairly similar record of: played 19 won 15 drawn 2 lost 2 and are three points ahead of nearest challengers Porthmadog at present.

To reach the last eight, Mold have overcome Penyffordd Lions (7-0), Greenfield (6-0), FC Queen’s Park (4-0), Llangollen (2-1) and Llandudno Albion on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Alex possess numerous class players to trouble Pontyclun, but the main danger man could be Danny Warren, scorer of 33 goals in all competitions this term.

Rockspur Fords v Cefn Albion 

Cefn Albion won the FAW Trophy in 2018-19

The 2018-19 Trophy winners Cefn Albion are still the holders as the last two seasons have seen the competition not completed due to Covid.

So the Wrexham-area side are aiming to retain the prize they lifted in April 2019.

The tier 3 Ardal North East high-flyers appear to have the easiest task on paper of the North Wales teams left in the competition as they visit tier 5 Rockspur Fords from Swansea this Saturday.

However, anything can happen in the cups and the Swansea Senior League Division One champions have not made the quarter-finals of this season’s Trophy by luck.

Take the last round for example. Rockspur went to Ardal South East leaders Goytre and despite going down to 10 men after 10 minutes pulled off a magnificent 3-2 win.

That should tell Cefn all they need to know about Saturday’s opponents.

Albion are renowned cup fighters though, and sit menacingly in third in Ardal North East with just one defeat in 19 outings.

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