Ton Pentre v Sully Sports
FAW Welsh Cup Round Two
Saturday, 9th November 2013
PITCH INSPECTION: Ynys Park has passed a Saturday morning pitch inspection and the FAW Welsh Cup match between Ton Pentre and Sully Sports will go ahead.
For Ton Pentre AFC, this season’s FAW Welsh Cup competition has produced some magic with the Bulldogs facing lower league opposition in what some would call a ‘David v Goliath’ scenario.
In Round One Fairfield United visited Ynys Park for what they labelled as the ‘biggest game in the club’s history’ against Ton Pentre. This was the first season that the Gwent County League club had entered the Welsh Cup and following their experiences are sure to have another go next season.
Round Two has brought the lowest ranked club left in the competition to Ynys Park as Ton Pentre welcome Sully Sports to the Rhondda.
Sully Sports play their football in the South Wales Senior League, where they currently lie 7th in the Division One table with 16 points from 9 matches.
They are the current holders of the South Wales Senior League Division One title but missed out on promotion following a play-off defeat against South Wales Amateur League champions Rhoose, who gained entry to the Welsh League in their place.
Sully Sports have enjoyed cup success in recent years as the club were victorious by lifting the FAW Trophy in the 2011/2012 season.
Ton Pentre’s visitors have a familiar face at the helm as former Bulldog Jimmy Blackie is the Sully Sports manager.
The defender made 46 appearances for the Bulldogs in the League of Wales (now the Welsh Premier League) and held the record for appearances in the league for some time.
Blackie had joined the Bulldogs from Cwmbran Town for Ton Pentre’s European escapades in the UEFA Inter Toto Cup during the summer of 1995. He is one of a select band of footballers to have ever participated in all four European competitions – the European Cup (Champions League), UEFA Cup (Europa League), Cup Winners’ Cup (now defunct) and the aforementioned Inter Toto Cup (now defunct).
Blackie was a legend at Cwmbran Town, whom he signed for in 1991 from Barry Town. He was the first signing of a former Ton Pentre and Welsh domestic football legend, the late Tony Wilcox.
Wilcox transferred to Ton Pentre in 1978 from Barry Town and played at Ynys Park for several seasons before a cruciate ligament injury forced him into premature retirement.
Under Wilcox’s guidance at Cwmbran, Blackie captained the Crows to the inaugural League of Wales title in the 1992/1993 season and in 1999 played for the club in the UEFA Cup against Celtic, marking former Swedish international striker Henrik Larsson.
The late Tony Wilcox said of Blackie: “Jimmy was probably the best signing I have ever made. His levels of consistency and attitude were exceptional.”
Now 50, Blackie returns to Ynys Park as a manager himself, and his Sully Sports team will fancy themselves to cause an upset in Round Two of the FAW Welsh Cup after beating Welsh League Division Two club AFC Llwydcoed 3-1 in Round One.
Sully Sports also had to navigate two qualifying rounds of the competition defeating Dafen Welfare and Rhondda outfit Penygraig, before reaching the first round proper.
Whether or not Sully Sports can pull off a Cup shock at Ynys Park in this Round Two match remains to be seen, however, whichever club does progress, they could find themselves with a plum tie in Round Three when the Welsh Premier League clubs enter the fray.