The FAW Amateur Trophy Final takes place at the Recreation Ground at Caersws on Saturday (23 April) with Baglan Dragons and Mold Alexandra both looking to win the competition for the first time (2.30pm).
Baglan Dragons v Mold Alexandra
FAW AMATEUR TROPHY FINAL
- Saturday, 23 April 2022
- Recreation Ground, Caersws
- KO 2:30pm
“The FAW Amateur Trophy is a great competition,” explained Baglan Dragons manager Carl Clement to FAW.cymru. “We set ourselves two targets for this season. The main aim was to challenge for promotion and we also targetted this competition as having reached the semi-final previously we felt we could do well in it. A number of our players have already played at a higher-level, so I have no doubt that if this team sticks together and we do achieve promotion then there will be no issue adapting to the league above.”
A 3-0 victory over Ynyshir Albions booked the team from Port Talbot their place in the final. Baglan Dragons took the lead inside the opening 15 minutes of the semi-final at Penybont FC as Dylan Thomas converted from the penalty spot. However, he failed with his second penalty of the match on the half-hour mark but the lead was extended on 77 minutes when top scorer Jordan Evans added the second. Josh Evans then made the game safe with the third minutes later and take them to their first-ever final in the competition.
Clement has assembled a talented group of local players at Baglan Dragons this season with a wealth of experience, and the side are favourites for the Highadmit South Wales Alliance Premier Division title. Evans leads the scoring charts while Jack Fleming has complimented his regular assists with goals. At the back, Lewis Holmes has proved to be a valuable addition and he will be an important figure should they achieve promotion to the Ardal Leagues, and there is an ambition within the club to compete at a higher level.
Mold Alexandra were founder members of the League of Wales back in 1992, and are currently leading the way in the Lock Stock Ardal Northwest table following an excellent season. Danny Warren has already scored over 20 goals during the campaign and his form will be crucial as the side look to achieve success in the league and the FAW Amateur Trophy. Having dropped down to the Welsh National League in recent years, better times finally appear to be coming for the Alex, and winning this competition for the first time in their long history would be another significant achievement.
“It's fantastic for the whole club,” said manager Mike Cunningham to FAW.cymru. “We have some supporters who have been supporting the club for over 30 years and its the first time the club has got to final so there has been a real excitement and a sense of pride around the club. Danny [Warren] has been brilliant for the club over the last few seasons and his performance levels have gone up a level this season, but its difficult to single out an individual for praise when we have a group of players all as important as each other.”
Mold Alexandra scored the opening goal at Latham Park against Swansea-based Rockspur in the semi-final through Joe Ormrod, and the game was effectively over before the hour mark as Warren scored twice in quick succession after the re-start. Although Warren is Mold Alexandra's top goalscorer in the league, these were his first goals in the FAW Amateur Trophy this season, and he will be looking to add to his tally in the final.
“If I'm being totally honest, we weren't at the level we can play in the semi-final,” added Cunningham. “We didn't start well but we grew into the game, and then in the second half especially we controlled the game without really being near our best, but the experience of playing in a high-stakes game hopefully will benefit us as we move into the business end of the season. The players have been brilliant from day one of pre-season, but they have been driven on by the hard work of our committee and the dedication of our fans. It's really been a team effort on and off the pitch.”