Tuesday 6th March
Carmarthen Town 1 Aberystwyth Town 3
Goals from Joe Phillips (22), John Owen (68) and Malcolm Melvin (71 mins) eased the Black and Greens through to the Welsh Cup Semi Finals last night, ensuring an away win at Carmarthen who despite pulling one goal back through Liam Thomas (73 minutes) could not muster another great escape. Neville Powell's men now face the thrilling prospect of a Welsh Cup Semi Final against mid Wales rivals Newtown over the weekend of April 7th/8th.
Following Saturday's postponement of the original date Manager Neville Powell's most pressing task which was to ensure that all his Players were available for the hastily rearranged date, and credit must be given to the First Team who made it to South West Wales en masse and ensured that Town could field an unchanged eleven. Carmarthen made a lively start with Clayton Green lobbing over the bar and Liam Thomas bringing a save out of Mullock: Aber responded when Declan Walker curled a shot over from Ashley Young's corner. Young made a superb defensive block to deny Ceri Morgan a clear chance but then the visitors made the breakthrough when another corner from Young was glanced home by Phillips for a crucial opener which put Aber's vocal tifosi into raptures. A rather cautious game ensued after the harem scarem of last week, with both sides struggling to find a rhythm, and chances were restricted to Ryan Wade finding the roof of the net with a cute lob, Tom Owens firing a shot just wide and Chris Mullock doing well to gather Green's cross, and Aber found themselves ahead at the break by 1-0.
Into the second half, Dwayne Coultress' early shot glanced wide and Kieran Lewis lobbed over as the hosts tried to make a game of it, but once again Walker troubled the Carmarthen goal with a glancing header from Phillips' deep cross. With the home defence tiring John Owen started to display his dazzling skills and a backheel from the Criccieth cracker set up Matthew Jones for a low shot which Lewis deflected goalbound, and Lewis Thomas in the home goal pulled off a superb save. Then at the three quarter mark Owen turned his marker at the edge of the area and angled a low drive into the far corner for a stunning strike to double Aber's lead. Three minutes later the visiting fans were disco dancing in dreamland as Owen did brilliantly to feed Phillips and his crossfield ball was perfect for Melvin to fire a beautiful 30 yard drive into the net for 3-0. The hosts inevitably brought Aber right back to earth by getting a goal back two minutes later with Thomas firing home from close range, and with the Old Gold hitting incessant long high balls into box the pressure was on. Walker did head over for Town, and Melvin brought a diving save from Thomas, and with Craig Hobson's arrival as sub the Black and Greens had a strong header at both ends of the pitch. Aber were relieved to see a Carmarthen goal chalked off on 80 minutes for offside but from that point on they defended well and ensured that the ball spent most of the six minutes of injury time upfield, and David Morgan's final whistle ensured that Neville Powell's Aber had booked a Welsh Cup Semi Final place with something to spare.
Aber's fifth Welsh Cup Semi Final of the Welsh Premier era (following previous appearances in 1997,2001, 2009 and 2014) gives the Club a huge end of season boost and the tie against Newtown, at a venue yet to be decided gives Neville Powell the chance to dream of an historic fourth Welsh Cup Final victory. Oh and who do Aber play next? Why, Newtown of course, at Latham Park on Saturday with a 2.30pm kick off. After last night's success the Black and Greens will be happy travellers at the weekend.