This weekend’s JD Welsh Cup first round proper will see an all Gwent affair as Treowen Stars of Welsh League Division three play host to their visitors Risca Utd of Division one.
The home team will be hoping for a good turnout at “Bush Park” and will be aiming to create a cup upset by knocking out Risca, a team of considerable size and success in the Welsh League.
Treowen Stars chairman Gary Evans gave us his thoughts on the weekend’s cup clash, respecting Risca’s recent achievements and acknowledging the history they have between them.
“Treowen Stars are looking forward to welcoming Risca United and their supporters to Bush Park this Saturday. In recent years Risca United have had a remarkable upturn in fortunes gaining academy status and two promotions. The Stars were in the unlikely position of helping Risca United gain their promotion from division 3 having held Risca’s promotion rivals to a 0 – 0 in their final game of the season.”
The two teams have had contrasting starts to their campaign with the Cuckoos of Risca United having recorded some fantastic wins including a demolition of Port Talbot Town. This is something Treowen Stars are well aware of going into the game, having stuttered at various intervals in their own start.
” It’s fair to say Risca have had a decent start to their campaign and The Stars have shown flashes of brilliance peppered with some disappointment.”
The magic of the cup has conjured up this local derby, and with the fans close to the pitch urging the Stars onto victory, this fixture will certainly not be one to miss. The atmosphere is expected to be a key prerogative for the home side – yet Evans stresses his side must keep their feet on the ground.
“As always, we expect the game to be full of passion as would any local derby, hard fought but played in the right spirit. As you would imagine we are looking forward at getting a positive result from the game and will be aiming to showcase the organisation, quality and desire to win that we’ve showed glimpses of this season.”
Alike their hosts, Risca United are eagerly looking forward to the tie. Risca’s chairman Ryland Price had a feeling that they may be paired in a derby game ahead of the draw, a prediction that came to be true.
“Like most other like-minded football souls I was waiting with anticipation for the 1st round draw of the JD Welsh Cup, who would it bring for the Cuckoos? Personally I thought we would probably get a local derby clash as happened last season and, sure enough that’s what happened.”
The two clubs have played at different league levels in recent seasons, but this has done nothing to dampen both supporters feelings about the derby ahead, as Risca United’s Price reveals.
“In recent seasons our rivalry has been limited to cup games but we anticipate another tough local derby encounter when we renew our rivalry as we visit Bush Park to face Treowen Stars. Our recent league results going into this game haven’t been great but with the exception of one game our performances have been positive in the main.
Both teams go into the tie on the back of defeats, using two old football clichés, “league form and positions mean nothing” and “both teams will be looking to be in the hat come Saturday evening.”
Continuing with a cliche, “When Saturday Comes” this fixture should be a great game and any football fans in the Gwent area will be warmly welcomed at Treowen Stars this weekend, with both clubs having intentions of progressing through to the next round of the JD Welsh Cup and getting one over their neighbours in the process.