Hoping to lead Bangor City beyond Andy Morrison’s Nomads – a clash between two sides fighting for second and separated only by goal difference in the standings in third and second respectively – is Kevin Nicholson, and he’s been speaking to WPL.Cymru ahead of this crunch clash at Rhyl's Corbett Sports Stadium.
"We have an excellent history in the competition. This is going to be a big game for both clubs: Bangor City vs Connah’s Quay Nomads in a one-off game, competing to reach the final of this great competition, it's a game everyone is really looking forward to.
"It is the first JD Welsh Cup semi-final for Bangor in five years, so we’re delighted to have got to this stage and what we’ll be doing on Saturday is embracing the occasion and an opportunity to reach the Final.
"It is as simple as that really, we know it will be a highly competitive game – we’ve played each other four times already this season so we know all about each other – but we’ll just focus on what is required in this game and not looking too far ahead. Concentration will be on performance, that hasn’t changed all season, and we’ll be treating this game as we have done any other all year."
’Look at the league table, there is practically nothing between the two sides.’
There have been four encounters between the thee two already this season, with very little to choose between either side, as two games were decided by one goal in Bangor’s favour, whilst both sides won one each of the remaining duo of games 2-0, Connah’s Quay’s win coming in the Nathaniel MG Cup.
The only thing separating the two sides in the standings is goal difference, with Andy Morrison’s side ahead due to their league-leading defensive record, and the parity between the two sides is something Nicholson noted in his analysis of the clashes between the two sides this term.
"We know how we’ve played well against them, but we know also how they’ve caused us problems in the past too. Look at the league table, it shows how highly competitive and closely contested a game this will be, as there is practically nothing between us, but we’re really, really looking forward to taking to the pitch on Saturday and trying to get the victory.
"Both teams have different styles, but the more important way to look at it is that we’re both teams who are trying to find the best way to get our group of players to win football matches, because that’s what we’re here for at the end of the day.
"We’re in the business at first-team level of finding a way to win, winning more games than you lose, and finishing as high up in the standings as possible. It is all about being pragmatic, practical and making the best use of what you’ve got.
"We will head into the game with full respect for Connah’s Quay, as I’m sure they will for us, and we’ve had plenty of experience against each other this year so there won’t be any surprises in that respect, but both clubs are winners, both teams find a way to win games, we’re both in good form, so we’ll head into it full of confidence. Both sides will be desperate to win, that’s obvious, but what I think it’ll come down to is knowing how to win when the standard of opposition for both sides is so high."
’Nothing would please me more than for our supporters to be part of a JD Welsh Cup final again.’
From day one at the helm of Bangor City, Nicholson has remained adamant that any achievements the side might secure aren’t for him nor are they to be considered his accomplishments, rather that he is just one segment of the operation in Gwynedd who worked hard to achieve any given successes.
Ahead of this semi-final, the manager paid tribute to those hard-working individuals behind the scenes and the club’s supporters for their efforts throughout the season ahead of this showpiece semi-final.
"Our supporters will travel to Rhyl in their numbers, I know they will give the team great backing on the night. They’ve given the team superb support all season, I’m sure they’ll get behind the players once again and it will be fantastic to have them behind us.
"It would mean more to me to see the club reach the JD Welsh Cup Final than it would in terms of regarding it as a personal highlight, to be honest, because I am just one part of what is a massive club here at Bangor City.
"There is a huge effort going on at the club to make it successful, there are many, many people who have and are working extremely hard to make sure this club performs to the best of its abilities on and off the pitch, and for me it would be fantastic to help lead the team through a tough semi-final into the final, for the benefit of the club.
"Nothing would please me more than for the supporters and everyone at the club to be a part of a JD Welsh Cup final again, because it has been a long time since that last happened, so certainly for me it is all about the club and not any personal achievements."
Updated 11:05 - 12 Apr 2018 by Kevin Owen