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Airbus UK Broughton: Newton win perfect preparation as Andy Preece looks forward to Welsh Cup test

Airbus UK 3 Newtown 1

ANDY Preece hailed Friday’s Welsh Premier League victory over Newton as perfect preparation for this Saturday’s Welsh Cup semi-final showdown.

The Wingmakers boss was buoyed by the performance and the result, which was secured despite the loss of striker Craig Whitfield and defender Adam Worton to red cards.

Airbus played for the majority of the game with 10 men after Whitfield was dismissed in the second minute for a lunging tackle. Worton followed him 10 minutes from time for a professional foul but the hosts still closed out the game, putting them in great shape for Saturday’s Welsh Cup semi against Cefn Druids.

Having never before reached the last four of the Welsh Cup, Airbus are entering unchartered territory.

Preece said: “It’s a major trophy and a major final. It would be a massive achievement if we made the final.

“It would put the club on the map.

“There is also the possibility of Europe too, so it’s a massive game.”

Preece wants a repeat of Friday’s display against Newtown, minus the red cards.

“That was one of the best performances we’ve had,” said the boss, who took over as manager in January. “To end up with nine men and still get a win was unbelievable.”

Preece has done his homework on Druids, who play a division below Airbus in the Huws Gray Alliance.

He has been on scouting missions to watch them play and is fully prepared for Saturday’s match, which will be played at Rhyl’s Belle Vue ground with a 12.30pm kick-off.

While Airbus have never been this far in their 66-year history, Druids are eight-time winners of the Welsh Cup – although the last of those triumphs came back in 1904.

Huw Griffiths’ side have already eliminated WPL sides Prestatyn and Aberystwyth from this season’s competition, while the Wingmen have accounted for Wrexham, Afan Lido (on penalties) and Carmarthen Town.

Airbus chief operations officer Stewart Roberts said: “It’s a very exciting time for the club. Saturday’s game is the biggest in our history. We’ve done well so far but we’re under no illusions – we’re expecting a tough game.”

Admission on Saturday is £7 for adults and £3 for concessions.

Any fans wishing to travel on the Airbus supporters’ coach should contact either Stewart Roberts (07542 883923) or Phil Bailey (01244 677016).

The tie must be decided on the day, with extra time and penalties if necessary. The winners will face whoever comes through Saturday’s other semi between TNS and Bala Town (3pm, at Aberystwyth).

Victory in the final itself would net the winning club £25,000 as well as entry to the Europa League qualifying stages.

Airbus recovered from the early loss of Craig Whitfield to score through Adam Worton, Nev Thompson and Mike Hayes on Friday. Worton’s late foul earned him a red card and allowed Zac Evans to pull a goal back from the penalty spot.

Airbus: Mulliner, Taylor, Worton, Holmes, Connolly, G Rule (Hope 46), Whitfield, M Cadwallader, Thompson, Danks (Desormeaux 85), Hayes. Subs: Grannon, Bathurst, Roberts.

Attendance: 207.