Captain ‘Fish’ Leads Ammanford Against Carmarthen

Rhys Fisher leads his Ammanford AFC team on a JD Welsh Cup mission on Saturday (1.30pm).

Captain ‘Fish’, who has scored for Ammanford teams in every season for more than two decades, is ready for their derby clash with Carmarthen Town.

The third round tie is at Ammanford Rec and 27-year-old Fisher, from Betws, says: “The confidence we draw from a good cup run can help us in the League.

“I’ve played for this club since the age of six. This cup tie means a lot, it means a lot to all of us.”

Ammanford’s Rhys Fisher.

Welsh Premier League Carmarthen travel 17 miles to take on Ammanford, who are 10th in Welsh League Division Two.

Former Cardiff City and Wales defender Mark Aizlewood has been Carmarthen manager for eight years, but they are bottom of the Premier League table with only one win to their name.

Former Swansea City and Llanelli Academy player Gruff Harrison is Ammanford manager and he has steered his home-town club into the Welsh Cup third round for the first time since 1998-99.

They have won on penalties in the last two ties and Harrison says: “Luck has been with us and we’ve landed a big home draw out of it.

“We’ve had two different goalkeepers in our cup wins and a 17-year-old saved three penalties on his debut.”

James Kirkwood, 21, and teenager Ioan Treharne are the goalkeepers and both have played for Carmarthen. Kirkwood was understudy to Lee Idzi before returning to Ammanford, while Treharne has been in the Carmarthen youth team this season.

Fisher scored Ammanford’s winner against Llantwit Major in the last round during the penalty shootout.

The teams had been locked at 0-0 after extra time and Treharne saved three Llantwit spot-kicks before Fisher scored to make it 3-2 and earn Ammanford their third round place.

Kirkwood was in goal when they drew 0-0 against Aberdare Town after extra time and won 3-2 on penalties.

Brothers Damian and Dominic Broad are joint managers at Pontypridd Town, who play Welsh League First Division leaders Haverfordwest County on Saturday (1.30pm).

Haverfordwest County squad: Conah McFenton, Matthew Broome, Alaric Jones, Sam Rodon, Tim Hicks, Ricky Watts, Kristian Speake, Declan Carroll, Joe Leahy, Fraser Finlay, Dan Williams, Leon Luby, Steffan Williams, Charlie Davies.

South Wales Senior League Penydarren BGC are the lowest ranked team left in the competition and they travel to play Llandudno Junction in North Wales.

“It’s a massive achievement to reach this stage of the Welsh Cup,” says Penydarren captain Alex Lloyd, whose team have earned 17 successive victories this season.

“We’d love to make it 18, but it’s going to be an extremely competitive game against Llandudno Junction, who are three tiers above us in the Welsh pyramid.

“I’ve been at the club four years and this is the first time we entered the Welsh Cup.”

A fans coach leaves Penydarren at 7am on Saturday morning for a 2.30pm kick-off.

Cup holders Bala travel to play Aberystwyth, while Cwmamman United have a long trip to take on Bangor City.

“Our run to the third round has raised the club’s profile and there is a lot of excitement, particularly in our junior section,” says Cwmamman secretary Alun Rees.

“There is always a cup surprise somewhere and if we take our chances it could be our day.”

Gwent is represented by three clubs, Goytre, Cwmbran Celtic and Panteg. They have all been drawn away.

Goytre travel to Huws Gray Alliance club Airbus Broughton, who have Wrexham-born Uefa pro-licences coach Steve O’Shaughnessy in charge.

The former Leeds United, Bradford City and Rochdale player has taken over from Andy Thomas.

Cwmbran Celtic go to Connah’s Quay Nomads, while Panteg make the trip to Porthmadog.

All three Gwent teams face a round trip of almost 300 miles.

JD Welsh Cup third round: 

Friday, December 1: The New Saints v Penrhyncoch (7.45pm).

Saturday, December 2: Buckley Town v Flint Town United (2.30pm), Penybont FC v Cardiff Metropolitan (2.30pm), Llandudno v Gresford Athletic (2.30pm), Bangor City v Cwmamman United (2.30pm), Aberystwyth Town v Bala Town (2.30pm), Prestatyn Town v Ruthin Town (2.30pm), Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant v Cefn Druids (2.30pm),  Connah’s Quay Nomads v Cwmbran Celtic (2.30pm), Porthmadog v Panteg (2.30pm), Airbus UK Broughton v Goytre FC (2.30pm), Pontypridd Town v Haverfordwest County (1.30pm), Newtown v Guilsfield (1.30pm), Llandudno Junction v Penydarren BGC (1.30pm), Ammanford AFC v Carmarthen Town (1.30pm).

Sunday, December 3: Caernarfon Town v Barry Town United (2.45pm).

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