This Friday night is a huge game for the Robins as Newtown AFC welcome Bala Town to Latham Park for the UEFA Europa League Play-Off Semi-Final.
The last time the reds qualified for European football via the Welsh Premier League play-offs was in 2015 when the Robins beat Port Talbot Town (semi-finals) and Aberystwyth Town (the final).
Chris Hughes’ men would go onto beat Valletta from Malta before going out against FC Copenhagen, a Danish club.
Four years on and the reds have a golden opportunity of a European tour this summer.
An excellent campaign in the Welsh Premier League resulted in Newtown finishing in the top 6 in 5th place – qualifying for the Europa League play-offs.
As well as Newtown – Bala Town, Cardiff Met and Caernarfon Town have also qualified into the play-offs. And it is the Lakesiders that we face in the semi-finals.
|Full name||Bala Town Football Club|
|Capacity||3,000 (504 seated)|
|League||Welsh Premier League|
|2018–19||Welsh Premier League, 6th|
VIEWS FROM THE GAFFER
Chris Hughes on the Europa League Play-off occasion
“We are really looking forward to it!
“We’ve known like the other teams that we are going to be participating in it from last January when the league was split. Getting into the top 6 has been difficult as we’d expect but we feel that our performances have been good. We go into this with good spirits.
“I think that everyone else has been talking about all the other teams competing and that suits us. We understand on what we need to do.”
Hughes on opponents Bala Town
“We’ve had a good look at Bala, we’ve got a really good idea on how the game is going to go. Ultimately it may come down to a little bit of luck on the day, a refereeing decision, a little bit of quality.
“We are expecting a close game!
“They’ve had a good look at us as well. You look at the stats in terms of possession and the chances created then we should have won the game but we didn’t.
“So we have to make sure that tomorrow that we don’t leave them with a chance. They are a good side.
“We’ve prepared well over the last two weeks since the Barry Town game.”
- The Robins have only picked up two wins in their last six matches (W2 L4).
- Nick Rushton is the club’s top goal scorer this season with 11 goals to his name.
- The current faces of Craig Williams, Neil Mitchell, Luke Boundford, Kieran Mills-Evans, Dave Jones and Jack Perry featured in our last European play-offs in 2015.
- The Lakesiders have won once and lost once at Latham Park this season – both games being in the Welsh Premier League.
- Steve Tames has scored 17 goals for Bala this season making the Englishman the top goal scorer.
- Bala were 5th in the Welsh Premier League away form table this season with 5 wins, 3 draws and 8 defeats.
Head to Head
Newtown AFC wins – 5
Bala Town wins – 14
Draws – 10
LAST TIME WE MET
2018/19 JD Welsh Premier League – Phase Two
April 19th, 2019
Newtown AFC 3-2 Bala Town