The final is just one step away as Wrexham look to set up a memorable end to the season and TNS seek consolation after narrowly missing out on a top 4 spot.
THE WREXHAM ANGLE
A first Welsh Cup semi-final since the team were officially encorporated into Wrexham AFC is a significant occasion, which allows Steve Dale's team not only a chance of silverware, but also an opportunity to illustrate how the women's team performs a vital function in ensuring we maintain our historic close links with the Welsh game.
We suffered a heavy defeat on Sunday to Stourbridge, who are going well in the third tier of the English game, but the intention was to line up a tough test before facing TNS, and the match allowed Keren Allen and new signings Liv Fuller and Brooke Cairns to get some valuable minutes in before the cup tie.
LAST TIME WE MET
THE VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE
The last match day of Phase 1 of the Adran Genero League was tough to take for TNS. They headed into a winner-takes-all game at Aberystwyth level on points with their hosts, who occupied the precious 4th place in the table, the last spot in the Championship Phase of the season. Town's superior goal difference meant only victory would see TNS end up on the right side of the line. Despite taking an early lead, they were behind in the second half when Lia Lewis' fine strike gave them hope. Town went 3-2 up though, and although a goal in the 5th minute of added time earned a 3-3 draw, TNS weren't quite able to get the 3 points in a topsy-turvy match.
Since that disappointment, TNS played the Adran Trophy semi-final, losing 5-1 at home to Swansea City, for whom Stacey John-Davis struck a hat trick. After a strong finish to 2023, 2024 has begun in disappointing fashion with one draw and 5 losses.
Two new signings have arrived in the last fortnight to bolster Greg Drapers' squad, with midfielder Mel Barlow arriving from Connah's Quay Nomads and Grace Dunkerley signing from Denbigh Town. Having them available certainly helped Draper in terms of squad depth, as his side weren't able to field a full-strength team against Swansea. He had to make four changes, and a further positional alteration from the said which drew at Aberystwyth, but Draper's expecting his selection problems to ease with players returning from injury to face Wrexham.
Dunkerley came on to replace key player Caitlin Chapman after 39 minutes of the Swansea game, but Draper is hoping Chapman will be available for the semi-final. Further good news was a first goal of the season for Chloe Shirley, who has missed most of the season after suffering an injury in October.