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Airbus UK Broughton: Andy Preece proud of his side after they secure first ever Welsh Cup semi final spot

ANDY Preece has heaped praise on his history-making Airbus UK Broughton players after they moved to within touching distance of the Welsh Cup final.

The Wingmakers defeated Carmarthen Town 3-1 at the Airfield on Saturday to reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in the club’s history.

And although Airbus crashed out of the League Cup at the quarter-final stage on Tuesday – falling to a 3-1 aggregate defeat to The New Saints – it failed to take the gloss off a memorable week for the Broughton club.

Airbus manager Preece said: “I’m so proud of the players that they made Airbus history.

“We were tight at the back and Niki-Lee Bulmer made some great saves, but up front we were always threatening.

“The Welsh Cup was our priority this week. It offers a route into Europe which would be fantastic for this club.”

Airbus were paired with Huws Gray Alliance side Cefn Druids in Monday evening’s semi-final draw.

The Ancients – who played in the first ever Welsh Cup final in 1877 and have won the competition eight times – have already eliminated Welsh Premier League opposition this season in the form of Prestatyn Town and Aberystwyth Town.

Preece said: “They probably wanted us in the draw and, to be honest, we looked at the teams and would have chosen them.

“It will be like a derby atmosphere and it will be a tough game. They are not in the semi-finals for nothing. They’ve beaten a team above us and a team around us already but we will be prepared.”

The tie will be played over the weekend of March 31/April 1 at a neutral venue which will be selected soon.

The winners will face either Bala Town or TNS in the final and whoever lifts the trophy will bank £25,000, as well as earning entry to the qualifying stages of next season’s Europa League.

Airbus had hoped to reach two semi-finals in the space of a few days, but they lost 1-0 to TNS in the second leg of their League Cup quarter-final tussle on Tuesday, meaning they were eliminated 3-1 on aggregate.

Preece said: “With the cup game at the weekend we had no time to prepare properly as we had no training between games. It was obvious from the outset the gulf between the teams.

“They are a full-time outfit with much more money than us who train every day and it showed.”

The Wingmakers return to Welsh Premier League action on Sunday when they face Aberystwyth Town at the Airfield (2.30pm).

The Seasiders yesterday parted company with boss Alan Morgan after their Welsh Cup quarter-final exit against Druids.

Airbus cup tie reports – p78.