SEMI-FINAL heartbreak over the past two seasons has left Ludlow FC determined to book a cup final date this season, says boss Chris Waldron ahead of his side’s next knockout hurdle.

West Midlands League side Ludlow host Shropshire Premier outfit Prees in the Shropshire Challenge Cup quarter-final on Saturday, bidding to reach the last four for the third successive season.

Ludlow – who thrashed Worcester Raiders Reserves 5-0 in West Midlands Two last weekend – have lost in semi-finals on both of those occasions, to Shrewsbury Juniors and Oakengates Athletic.

And Waldron admitted: “The County Cup is important to us, it’s something we have targeted – we’ve made the semi-final the last two years and just fallen short.

“It was a real blow when we lost on penalties in the semis last year – we want to go one step further this year and make the final, that’s something we would really love to do.

“But we’re not looking past Prees. We can’t take anything for granted because we played Madeley, who are in the same league as Prees, in the last round and they took us to extra time.”

Last weekend’s emphatic win over Worcester was Ludlow’s first league game in almost two months due to fixture scheduling and a run of postponements due to the weather.

Goals from Zac Williams, James Byatt, Dan Griffiths and a brace from the returning Jack Marston kept Ludlow fourth in the table and they have games in hand on all the sides above them.

Ludlow visit leaders AFC Bentley a week on Saturday in what Waldron termed a ‘massive game’, adding: “We haven’t played either of the top two, Bentley or Coven, yet.

“We will see where we are after December 7. We definitely want to be finishing in the top three but until we have played those teams, we don’t know how good they are.

“Going by their results, they are obviously both fairly decent but I think there are five or six teams in this division that can beat anyone on their day.

“A lot of teams can take points off each other and we’ve got to make we keep ourselves in the mix.”

Church Stretton – whose West Midlands Two game against Telford Juniors was rained off last weekend – are also in Shropshire Challenge Cup quarter-final action on Saturday.

They host Trefonen, while Bishops Castle Town entertain Shrewsbury Juniors in another of the last-eight ties the following Saturday (December 7).