Bute Energy Welsh Cup: Semi-final preview

It is semi-final time in the Bute Energy Welsh Cup this weekend, with two enticing ties to look forward to on Sunday afternoon. 

Tickets for both matches are available to buy on the gate, priced at £5 for adults and £2 for concessions. 

Old foes Swansea City and Cardiff City meet at the SDM Glass Stadium in Bridgend (KO 14:00), with both sides having each lifted the trophy on three previous occasions. 

The two clubs were both victorious in the Genero Adran Trophy semi-finals last weekend, but only one can reach a second final of the season. 

The Bluebirds have won the Bute Energy Welsh Cup in the last two seasons and have reached this stage courtesy of some big wins this term – scoring a total of 22 goals in just three games and conceding none. 

“Every South Wales derby, we all get really excited for it,” Iain Darbyshire said. “It’s a cup that we’ve been successful in the last few years. The full focus is winning the game and making sure that we’re in that final.”

Darbyshire’s side are currently five points clear at the top of the Genero Adran Premier, but are being chased down by the second-place Swans – who became the first domestic club to beat them this season when they triumphed 2-0 in the capital in the final game of phase one three weeks ago. 

The Swans have not reached the final of the Bute Energy Welsh Cup since they last lifted the trophy in 2018, but have knocked out Cardiff Met, Cwmbran Celtic and Cascade so far this season. 

Swans forward Chloe Chivers is the joint-top scorer in the competition this season with eight goals to her name, including six in the round two win over Cwmbran Celtic. 

“I think obviously we will draw on what we did last time against Cardiff,” midfielder Sammy Wynne said. “But this is a different game, and we need to start on a clean slate and make sure we start on the front foot. Hopefully we can keep building on this momentum that we’ve got in the next couple of weeks.”

History will be made in the other semi-final, as either The New Saints or Wrexham will reach the final of the competition for the first time. 

The two clubs go head-to-head at the Essity Stadium in Flint (KO 17:10), with the game available to watch live on Sgorio’s online platforms and your smart TV. 

It has been a tricky start to 2024 for TNS, who slipped out of the Genero Adran Premier top half before suffering semi-final heartbreak against Swansea City in the Genero Adran Trophy last weekend. 

Greg Draper’s side reached this stage courtesy of a penalty shootout victory over Aberystwyth Town in the quarter-finals, which followed wins over Connah’s Quay Nomads and Felinheli. 

“No doubt it will be an entertaining game,” Draper said. “I’m sure there will be a big crowd there, hopefully we’ll take a few and no doubt Wrexham will take a few. I’m sure it will be a brilliant atmosphere, live on the telly, under the lights. It’s an exciting game to be a part of and everyone is really looking forward to it.”

Wrexham have enjoyed an impressive first season in the Genero Adran Premier, finishing third in phase one and losing just three of their 14 matches. 

Steve Dale’s side sit eight points behind leaders Cardiff City, so may view the But Energy Welsh Cup as their best chance of silverware this season. Wins over Pwllheli, Llandudno and Briton Ferry Llansawel have seen them reach the last four.  

“The further you get into the competition, the more you believe you can actually get yourself into that final and hopefully win a piece of silverware” Dale said. “It’s been a really good season so far, qualifying for the top four, but if we’ve got the opportunity to win a trophy we would be daft not to aim to try to win it.”

Wrexham have had the upper hand on the Saints twice already this season, winning 3-1 and 3-2 in both phase one meetings in the Genero Adran Premier. 

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