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Welsh Journey in Europe: Second Leg

Penybont manager Rhys Griffiths is hoping it will be a case of V for Victory in Europe on Thursday.

Griffiths will look to veteran marksman Chris Venables to set up what would be a famous win in Andorra against hosts FC Santa Coloma.

In their first foray into European competition, Penybont drew their first leg 1-1 last week – with Venables grabbing the goal – and they know that one more from the 37-year-old hit man could be enough to send them into the second qualifying round.

“I think Chris will score goals for us in tight games. He was frustrated at not scoring in pre-season but delighted to get another European goal in his full debut – and I was delighted for him,” said Griffiths.

“The draw was probably a fair result, although I thought we possibly deserved to win.

“We had a lot of momentum, but they were fitter than I thought they would be and were a big threat on the counter.

“I suppose it is going to be another tight affair when we travel to them. They are a good side and it is certainly going to be difficult for us.”

The winner will face either Montenegro’s FK Sutjeska or SS Cosmos from San Marino.

Haverfordwest County will go into their return game with Macedonian side Shkëndija on Thursday trailing by a single goal.

That should give the Bluebirds every incentive to chase the game and try to pull off a surprise victory in a game that will be played at Cardiff City Stadium.

“I would have taken a 1-0 away defeat before the game. They are a full-time club who have an excellent team that has been in Europe 11 times in the last 12 years,” said Haverfordwest boss, Tony Pennock.

“We began to believe in ourselves as the game wore on. We had spells of pressure and we created some chances.

“We know we will get chances this week, we just have to take them. If we score, then it will be game on.”

In the third of the tough trilogy of missions for Cymru Premier clubs, Connah’s Quay Nomads are at home to Icelandic club KA Akureyri.

The Nomads  trail 2-0 from the opening leg in Reykjavik.

The fixture will be played at the home of Cymru Premier rivals The New Saints as the Deesiders prepare to move to The Essity Stadium in Flint. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Nomads manager Neil Gibson said: “They were the favourites going to the game last week; 2-0 into this game they’re favourites even more so now.

“But we’ve got a lot of inner belief that within the group and there’s absolutely nothing for us to lose, so we won’t in any way shape or form be going gung-ho.

“But we very much feel that if we come with a game plan and that we’ll still create opportunities.

“If we’re more clinical in those chances and key moments in the game then we feel we’ve got a good chance of going through.”

The winner will face either Dundalk FC from the Republic of Ireland or FCB Magpies of Gibraltar.

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