Word Cup final 2016: Giant-killers Denbigh Town's big day

By Aled WilliamsBBC Wales Sport
Denbigh Town players celebrate the semi-final win over GAP Connah's Quay
Denigh Town players celebrate after Sam Jones' winning goal against Gap Connah's Quay in the semi-final

Denbigh Town have defied the odds to reach the Welsh League Cup final.

The Cymru Alliance club have beaten three Welsh Premier League sides - Rhyl, Airbus UK Broughton and Gap Connah's Quay - on the way to Saturday's final in Llandudno.

And having become the first team from outside the Welsh Premier League to reach the final in the competition's history, Denbigh now face their biggest challenge yet.

Welsh treble winners The New Saints - the dominant force in Welsh domestic football - stand between the Central Park club and even more glory.

Those involved with the club look forward to the game, and reflect on a memorable cup run.

The manager - Gareth Thomas

Gareth Thomas was appointed Denbigh Town manager in the summer of 2015. He previously managed Halkyn United, Mynydd Isa, Buckley Town and FC Nomads of Connah's Quay.

Gareth Thomas
Gareth Thomas led Denbigh Town to round three of this season's Welsh Cup

"It's a short time since I've been at the club but talking to the elder statesmen that are on the committee, they're ranking this as one of the biggest games the club has ever had," he said.

"The club's profiting from working with the whole community. We've got a good base of local players, the juniors have come on board and the women's team are involved too.

"The cup run's been fantastic and I feel it's pulled the club and the town closer together.

"The semi-final win over Connah's Quay was a great night for everyone involved. It was a great occasion and the crowd were brilliant.

"No one expected us to be where we are now and I don't think anybody gave us any chance of winning against the three Welsh Premier sides.

"New Saints have dominated the Welsh Premier League and are the benchmark. They're run in the right way and play in the right way.

"All we can do is to go out and give it our best. There's no pressure on us but we'll go there and we'll believe, amongst ourselves, that we can get a result."

How they got to the final
Denbigh TownThe New Saints
First Round: Rhyl (a) 4-2First Round: Bye
Second Round: Holyhead Hotspur (a) 4-0Second Round: Holywell Town (h) 7-1
Third Round: Airbus UK Broughton (h) 2-1Third Round: Haverfordwest County (h) 3-1
Semi-final: Gap Conna's Quay (h) 1-0Semi-final: Gap Carmarthen Town (h) 4-1

The semi-final hero - Sam Jones

Local lad Sam Jones rejoined Denbigh from Ruthin Town in the summer. The 21-year-old winger scored Denbigh's winner against Gap Connah's Quay in the semi-final.

"It was a brilliant night and the crowd pushed us over the line," said Jones.

"They missed a penalty and the game then changed. We made some substitutions, I happened to be one of them, and it worked.

"The fresh legs changed the game and I scored the winner. I think it was the biggest night in the club's history.

"Saturday's final against The New Saints is massive and it's going to be a really tough game.

"We have to believe and everyone's going to have to be on it from the first whistle. Winning the cup would be class."

The famous fan - Mark Webster

Professional darts player Mark Webster, BDO World champion in 2008 and 26th in the current PDC Order of Merit, is from Denbigh and a long standing supporter of the club.

"I've followed them for years. When I was younger I used to watch the first team and reserves whenever they were at home," said Webster.

"When I get a chance it's good to see them play as I've got a few friends who play in the first team.

Mark Webster
Mark Webster was a beaten semi-finalist at the 2010 PDC World Darts Championship

"I've only watched one game this season as I play my darts mostly at weekends, but I'm going to Llandudno on Saturday with a few friends from town.

"It's a massive achievement reaching the final. It's created a bit of a buzz in the town and they had a really good turnout in the semi-final against Connah's Quay. Hopefully they can build on it.

"I went to watch Denbigh play New Saints in pre-season and that was a bit of a one-sided affair, with Saints winning 8-0.

"But hopefully it will be a different game this time and they will have a good go."