The celebrations on the Aberystwyth Town Women bus were extensive on Sunday night. A 3-1 win away at Wrexham has seen them into the FAW Women's Cup semi-finals for the first time in 12 years!
That's a long time in football. Back on 20th February 2011, the Seasiders lost 4-1 to Caernarfon at Bala Town, missing out on the chance to make it to the final. To put it into some context, on the day of that match, current striker Gwenllian Jones had only just turned five.
But two of today's first-team squad were also in that side – Ffiona Evans and Kelly Thomas.
“I remember the mud on the pitch,” says Thomas. “And I remember being made to have a team photo after losing the game, and not being very happy about it!
“But also I remember that the excitement and the build-up towards the game was amazing. Women's football has come on in leaps and bounds since then. A programme for that match exists: it was something we'd never had before back then. And people were paying to come and watch. It was really quite exciting and something we hadn't experienced.”
The 2011 team were under the management of Ray Hughes, still part of the coaching set-up at Park Avenue.
“It'll be really nice to give something back to Ray,” says Evans. “He's been at the club 20-plus years, from day dot. If we get to a cup final, we can give him a thank you for all the hard work he's done.”
And now Thomas has the captain's armband and is looking forward to leading her side out on such an important occasion.
“We're very aware that fourth place in the league is still a possibility but we are very aware also that it is a massive ask of us now after some disappointing results this season,” she says. “To have a good cup run is a bit of positivity and is keeping the girls motivated. It's something we will really look forward to and be ready for when the time comes.”
Standing in Aberystwyth Town’s way now are Briton Ferry Llansawel, top of the Adran South and enjoying a very fine season. Nobody is under any illusions about how tough the semi-final is likely to be.
“Getting to the Welsh Cup semi-final is a massive achievement - only four teams left in the whole of Wales, it's something we're really proud of and it's been 12 years in the waiting,” says Thomas, adding: “I'm confident we'll give a better account of ourselves in this semi-final than we did last time.”
“I never thought we'd get back to the semi-final,” admits Evans. “Twelve years ago feels like a lifetime. It feels like the last one was at the very start of my career - I was 21, now I'm 33. I'm looking forward to going into this semi-final with a whole different outlook, more experience under my belt, and hopefully a different outcome to last time.
"It's a chance to make history in the club.”