AIRBUS UK Broughton are hoping for good news from the FA of Wales this morning as they prepare for the biggest match in the club’s history.
The Wingmakers risk losing Adam Worton to suspension for this Saturday’s Welsh Cup semi-final with Cefn Druids after the full-back was red-carded for making a professional foul in the 3-1 league victory over Newtown last Friday.
An appeal has been made and an FAW panel will review TV footage of the incident this morning before deciding whether to overturn referee Huw Jones’ decision.
Airbus are already resigned to being without striker Craig Whitfield for the Druids game after he also saw red against Newtown.
But while club officials have accepted the punishment Whitfield will receive for his lunging second-minute tackle, they are optimistic Worton will be reprieved and freed up to face Druids on Saturday.
Boss Andy Preece thought Airbus were ‘unfortunate on both counts’ on Friday, but he added: “Although I think Whitty was unlucky to be sent off, it would be difficult to prove that he did not use excessive force so we won’t be appealing against it.
“Adam Worton nicks the ball so we’re hoping his red card will be wiped out.”
Despite losing Whitfield after just two minutes, 10-man Airbus went on to fire home three first-half goals against Newtown.
With 10 minutes to go, Worton upended Nick Rushton as the Robins striker lined up a shot at goal and was promptly given his marching orders.
Zac Evans scored from the resulting penalty but, when viewed again in slow motion replays, Worton appears to make contact with the ball before Rushton falls under his challenge.
“We hope commonsense will prevail,” said the Wingmakers’ chief operating officer Stewart Roberts, who has provided the FAW with a written statement to back up the TV footage.
If the appeal is successful, it would give Preece a major boost as he already has plenty of other injury and suspension problems to worry about.
Skipper Glenn Rule (groin) is doubtful, while keeper Niki Lee Bulmer and midfielder Ryan Edwards are definitely sidelined due to long-term injuries.
Several other players are receiving treatment for knocks and strains in the build-up to the game against Druids, who play a division below Airbus in the Huws Gray Alliance.
It is the first time Airbus have reached the last four of the Welsh Cup. Saturday’s tie will be played on neutral territory – Rhyl’s Belle Vue stadium – and kicks-off at 12.30pm.
For more on the big game, see page 86.