COLWYN BAY have the chance to reach their first ever Welsh Cup final, and be one game away from qualifying for Europe, when they take on The New Saints at Rhyl on Sunday.
Not since Bryn Jones’ team knocked high-flying Wrexham out of the Welsh Cup 30 years ago has there been such an opportunity for the Seagulls to cement a place in the competition’s history.
To do that they must beat a TNS side that have previously reached 11 finals, winning seven of them, and last weekend wrapped-up a record-breaking 14th Cymru Premier League title with seven games to spare.
But in Steve Evans the Bay have a manager who knows TNS inside out and, despite the recent run of poor league results, he remains upbeat about the challenge ahead.
“We are two games away from Europe – that is the prize,” he says.
“TNS are a great side and hot favourites, but we’ve got nothing to fear. We’ll give it everything we’ve got and if we show the confidence and the belief we did against Connah’s Quay then we are capable of getting a result.
“Anything can happen in cup games.”
Steve has enjoyed Welsh Cup success with TNS and adds: “I’ve played in numerous finals and they are the games you play football for.
“We’re one game away from that final. The club has never been in the final and we want to create history as a squad for the club and for the fans.
“I spoke last week about the support at Connah’s Quay. I’ve had a lot of highs in football and walking off that pitch was right up there, with the feeling and the support.
“The fans have been fantastic – they’ve been first class. We haven’t given them much to shout about in the last couple of games, but we know what we’ve got to do.
“We’ll have our game plan, we’ll stick to our game plan and if everybody does their job then we’ll be looking to go there and get a result.”
TNS owner Mike Harris knows what to expect from his former assistant manager.
“Steve is a winner,” he said in an interview this week. “Myself and Steve go back a long, long way. He was obviously disappointed that we parted company and I know his spirit and desire to win will never be so keen as it will be on Sunday.
“Rhyl’s ground is tight and compact. It creates a great atmosphere and I’m sure Steve and his boys will be putting every last breath into it.”
Belle Vue has been a fairly happy hunting ground for Colwyn Bay in the recent past. They had an excellent 3-0 league win there in the first season back in Welsh Football in 2019, and first team coach Matt Sampson helped the Reserves win a League Cup final there against hot favourites Denbigh Town in 2015.
Hopefully the club can celebrate another winning performance on Sunday!
A minute’s applause will be held before kick-off to remember Colwyn Bay Under-16 academy goalkeeper Elgan Jones, who passed away earlier this week.