PORTHMADOG, who have already killed off Welsh Cup favourites The New Saints, will make their bid for the semi-finals at Carmarthen Town today.
The Traeth club have never progressed to the national knockout’s last-four stage previously and are hyped up at the prospect.
To help squad preparations, joint managers Viv Williams and Osian Roberts headed the official party to west Wales last night to avoid the strain of the five-hour trek on match day.
Williams said: “The cup is wide open this season, now that the two big clubs, The New Saints and Rhyl, have been eliminated, and it is certain an unfamiliar name will be engraved on the trophy.
“It is good for the game and nice to see for a change, instead of the same big clubs winning the cup all the time.”
Porthmadog have visited Richmond Park before this term, in the league on November 18 when they snatched a 1-1 draw thanks to Kevin Roberts’ last minute equaliser.
Williams said: “This is a different day, a different game and a different situation but we must ensure we have the same approach as against TNS in the last round and perform to our best.
“We have got to battle and we will because we have a team of battlers who have made great strides forward this season.”
But Porthmadog will have to re-shape their midfield, with Clayton Blackmore cup-tied from his time at Bangor City and Danny Hughes and Gareth Parry both out injured.
That means that Richard Hughes is likely to feature in a holding midfield role, Gareth Caughter being used on the right flank and ex-Manchester City pro Aled Rowlands on the left.
Meanwhile, Connah’s Quay Nomads boss Neville Powell will check on three injury doubts as he plots the Welsh Cup downfall of Llanelli in another quarter-final today, writes Mike McEvoy.
Powell is genuinely optimistic that fired-up Nomads can be in the hat despite the long testing trip to west Wales.
“We had a great win 4-1 win against Carmarthen Town last Saturday which was a real tonic to the lads and we will be facing this challenge with confidence,” he said.
Both Gary Lovell, who came off with a hamstring pull against Carmarthen, and his replacement Graham Roach are among the injury concerns.
“Graham took a knock on the ankle but both players have managed some training in midweek and we are hopeful they could be recovered in time,” added the Nomads chief.
Gary Pinch, who has been nursing an injury, is another awaiting a final verdict, but good news for Nomads is the return of Craig Hutchinson.
“We’ll have to see who is available but the beauty is that we have plenty of options available to cover any enforced changes,” said Powell.
“We are quite versatile in being able to shuffle the pack without too much detriment and whatever side we turn out it will be capable of producing the result we want, which is all that matters.”
Chris Williams is certain to come into the reckoning in defence, while new signing Chris Melia and last week’s hat-trick hero Tommy Mutton will form the strike force.