Saturday 7th December
JD Welsh Cup Third Round
Aberystwyth Town 2 Ruthin Town 1
Wes Baynes’ 91st minute thirty yard wonder strike from out on the right won this JD Welsh Cup Third Round tie for the Black and Greens, who battled brilliantly with ten men for 69 minutes after the sending off of Adam Hughes. Geoff Kellaway had given Town the lead in the 8th minute, but Ian Hughes equalised for Ruthin Town in 89th minute from the penalty spot, only for Baynes’ moment of magic to win the day.
The visitors started brightly with William Owen hitting the side netting with their first attempt, however before ten minutes had past the hosts had struck. Connor Roberts’ clearance found Geoff Kellaway in space down the left channel, and Aber’s Top Scorer last season found the net again with a cute finish across the goalkeeper. Owen fired wide again after a nice move with Ruthin seeing plenty of the ball, but at the other end Joe Phillips had a shot clocked and Baynes’ free kick almost fell nicely for Stuart Jones – but not quite. Ilan Hughes sent in a nice free kick which Kevin Evans headed wide and then a superb Lee Jenkins clearance denied Llyr Morris a strike on goal. Then came a contentious moment when Adam Hughes was adjudged to have fouled Morris on the edge of the area, and a red card was issued to the TNS loanee with less than a quarter of the game gone. With Ruthin dominating possession Aber needed to defend well from now on and Paulo Mendes was doing an excellent job of blocking off the midfield area. Jones’ header from a free kick was saved by Ryan Goldston in the visitors goal, and he later also denied Baynes from a free kick. Ex Bow Street player Garmon Hafal called Roberts into a save with a grass cutter, but Aber went in a goal to the good at the break.
The ten men started the second half well, looking to kill off the game, and Luke Boundford volleyed wide before Marc Williams also had a shot blocked. At the other end Osian Davies had a shot saved and Morris’ bete noire Lee Jenkins again blocked his path to goal. Aber were defending well and even controlling possession at times, and Gwydion Ifan’s shot did not unduly trouble Roberts in the home goal. Kellaway had two shots on goal blocked down the left, before Boundford crossed from the right for Mendes to flick a header inches wide, and the game remained in the balance. Ilan Hiughes hot the side netting before Morris got into a great position only to fluff his shot, and Kellaway brought Goldston back into action with a cute near post effort deflected for a corner. The chances kept coming: Ifan’s shot was parried to safety by Roberts before Jones forced Goldston into yet another stop at the other end. Morris again shot at Roberts from a good position before heading over, and then subs combined as Ryan Edwards’ killer ball to Matty Jones was just too strong. With Aber defending bravely it looked like they would hold out but an 89th minute foul right at the edge of the area resulted in a penalty being awarded to the visitors, and Hughes scored to bring the entire visiting bench onto the field in joy. Two minutes later however the emotions were reversed as Baynes picked up the ball out right and sent in an amazing volley which fairly flew into the top corner, and deserved to win any cup tie. Hafal fired wide from Ruthin’s last attempt and the job was done.
Mathew Bishop’s men deserve huge credit this afternoon for earning a victory from the jaws of adversity: getting an injury time winner after playing three quarters of the game with ten men shows admirable battling qualities. Credit to the visitors Ruthin who created plenty of chances and will doubtless feel hard done by, but it is the Black and Greens who move forward to Monday evening’s Fourth Round Draw (on S4C’s Heno at 7pm), and the last sixteen round, to be played the last weekend of January. We can’t wait!
Photo courtesy of Colin Ewart