Saturday 7th March
Aberystwyth Town 1 v 1 Airbus UK Broughton a.e.t.
(Airbus UK Broughton win 4-2 on penalties)
Aberystwyth Town's Welsh Cup run came to an end in the cruellest of ways as they were defeated 4-2 on penalties by Airbus UK Broughton, after an evenly fought contest which saw both defences come out on top.
The visitors started off strongest, producing the first effort of the game, which dribbled just wide of Mike Lewis' post. Aber gained a foothold in the game quickly with forward, Mark Jones, testing the Airbus keeper as he headed a long diagonal ball towards the goal. Pacy winger, Ryan Wignall surged down the right but his weak effort was well saved by Lewis in the one on one to keep the scores level. Airbus saw a penalty shout waved away by the referee moments before Geoff Kellaway broke free of the defence, but his shot only found the side netting. The biggest talking point of the game came after half an hour, Craig Williams turning and finding a shot which was deemed not to have crossed the line by the officials, much to the disappointment of the Dias Stand faithful.
The second half was a drab affair, neither side really able to force a chance as the two teams continued to cancel each other out. As extra time loomed, Aberystwyth had a flurry of chances in the box blocked away before Airbus' Tom Field saw a header float a whisker wide in the final minute of the game.
Extra time saw the match spring into life as fatigue became a factor. Some shaky defending from The Wingmakers opened up a chance for Luke Sherbon which was well saved by Airbus' James Coates. A breakthrough finally came in the 93rd as Craig Williams rifled into the bottom right corner to fire the Black and Greens into the lead. Airbus reacted well, Ryan Wignall heading in just 3 minutes later. Wignall was the centre of attention again seconds later as he was sent off following a second bookable offence. Aberystwyth saw another chance cleared off the line as an exciting first period of extra time came to an end.
The second half provided just as much drama. Luke Sherbon was unlucky not to top off a fantastic performance with a looping volley that just dipped the wrong side of the crossbar. With 5 minutes to go until penalties, Airbus were awarded a penalty. Tom Field stepped up hoping to net his 10th penalty of the season but Mike Lewis sprang to his right to tip the effort over the bar with a thrilling save. The teams were inseparable after 120 minutes and so a penalty shootout was required.
The penalty shoot-out ended in disappointment for Aber as misses from Rhydian Davies and Luke Sherbon saw them knocked out of the cup at the quarter final stage.
Aberystwyth will now focus on achieving a good finish in the league, and Town's next game comes next Friday 13th against Port Talbot at Park Avenue, with a 7.45pm kick off. Fab Fridays are back this week!
Report by Tomos Ings