Two of the Welsh National League Premier Division’s most ambitious clubs will meet in the JD Welsh Cup 2nd Qualifying round tomorrow, as FC Nomads of Connah’s Quay take on Brickfield Rangers.
The game sees both teams enter the competition in its early stages, but the lucrative rewards of progressing in the JD Welsh Cup will be sure to make the fixture a competitive one. Here, we take a look at both teams and what we can expect at ‘The Cage’ on Saturday.
The Connah’s Quay outfit have enjoyed stunning progression since their birth in 2009. Rising from the lower leagues at an unbelievable rate, they once went 53 games unbeaten in 2011.
Last season they became champions but were refused entry into the Cymru Alliance, and whilst wounds are still healing from that setback, they’ll be raring to go for tomorrow’s cup tie after a great start to their season.
Playing five games so far, they have won four and lost one, recording a dramatic 6-4 victory over Penycae and most recently beating Cefn Albion 5-1. These wins have placed them at the top of the table so far, reflective of the high spirits currently surrounding the club.
The recently completed signing Lee Butterworth will be expected to make his mark on the game tomorrow, as well as Jim Gambino, Ryan McGreary and Adie Callaghan who will use their experience to try and overcome what is a relatively new Brickfield Rangers outfit.
Last year’s Welsh Cup
With Cymru Alliance clubs brought into the competition early last season, FC Nomads met Denbigh Town whom ex-manager FC Nomads manager Gareth Thomas had joined, and lost out 2-1 at home in the first round proper.
If you’ve already heard the term ‘2020 vision’, you’re likely familiar with Brickfield Rangers as they embark on an ambitious campaign of growth that will see them reach the Welsh Premier League by the year 2020. An FAW Gold accredited standard club, their football ranges far from just a first team level, operating a total of 27 sides including disability and girls.
With so many positive things going on at the club, a Welsh Cup win tomorrow would be the icing on the cake for the Wrexham side.
Many clubs are driven by their history, but Brickfield can perhaps claim to driven by one in particular aspect in the footballing careers that they have started. Robbie Savage hails from the club as well as the Whitley brothers, Jim and Jeff, who both for played for Northern Ireland as well as Manchester City and Wrexham.
Today, the club still has the community at its roots, with their recently new stadium hosting a crowd of 317, which saw a club in the third tier of Welsh football beat nearly every Welsh Premier League club’s average attendances that week.
They face a tough test against FC Nomads, and have had a mixed start to the season. They have won two, drawn two and lost one, which places them a respectable 6th in the table. Coming off the back of a winless streak of three games will not concern them, as with any cup competition only their performance on the day will count.
Newly appointed manager Simon Segdwick has brought in a number of new players, giving the squad a greath depth of young and experienced players. Welsh Premier League legend and goalkeeper Terry McCormick joined the club in the summer, along with defender Ben Collins who impressed at Bala Town.
Via a partnership with Connah’s Quay’s other club, gap Connah’s Quay Nomads, they have also brought in a number of the Nomads’ hottest young prospects on loan including Chris Boyes, Ben Waddilove and Callum Cross.
Last year’s Welsh Cup
The green and white’s will certainly want to improve on last year’s campaign which saw them exit in the first qualifying round in a 7 goal thriller against Penley, losing 4-3.
Previous meetings have seen FC Nomads beat Brickfield 1-0 and 6-0 last season, but these wins won’t mean much to Nomads nor will they as losses to Brickfield, as they both prepare for what should be a classic cup tie.
The game kicks off at 2:30pm at Wepre Park, Connah’s Quay.