PICTURE by Richard Gregson shows hat-trick hero Marc Evans on the ball for Bodedern Athletic.
THE first qualifying round of the FAW Welsh Cup kicked off yesterday afternoon and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
In what is effectively Wales’ answer to England’s historic FA Cup, clubs begin their journey in this round – facing off against teams in their local region.
As such, there were plenty of North Wales’ derbies to be enjoyed as clubs progressed into the next round.
⚽️ SOME SATURDAY MATCH REPORTS … ⚽️
Amlwch Town enjoyed a fine 4-0 victory over tier four rivals Pentraeth despite being down to 10-men early on at Lôn Bach.
Former Bro Goronwy attacker Jac Thomas (below) opened the scoring 25 minutes in before Liam Billington was dismissed for Town just half an hour in.
The home side’s captain Dan Jones then missed a penalty to end a frustrating first half. But Amlwch were far from down and out.
Just seconds in to the second half, Thomas notched up another goal on what was his official debut for the club.
18-year-old substitute Rhys Roberts was introduced to the field on 67minutes and that would prove to be a smart move from Amlwch manager Chris Byast. Roberts went onto score a brace (68’, 73’) and earn his side a place in the next round of the Welsh Cup.
In another all-island tier four club clash, Glantraeth (below) came away from Gaerwen with a 4-1 victory.
AFE’s Tomos Wyn Jones was at that game and here’s the report he put together for the blog from it …
Glan started well, the system worked very well throughout the first half, with wing backs Huw Griffith and Steve Smith causing the Gaerwen defence problems with their work ethic. It only took until the 9th minute for the opening goal of the game. Glantraeth’s Tudur Williams received the ball from a throw-in, turned his defender and bulleted the ball into the top right corner, leaving Gaerwen goalkeeper Callum Tipton with no chance.
A few moments later, Glantraeth nearly had their second. Smith arrowed an excellent cross from a corner, where Gethin Davies was just leaning back when connecting with the ball. Despite this, his header nearly curled into the top corner, with Tipton scrambling to prevent the ball from going into the back of the net. Gaerwen really struggled to get out of their own half throughout the opening period, and on the 20th minute mark, Scott Hughes nearly made it 2-0, with Griffith putting the ball on a plate for the ex-Arriva star, but his shot just sailed over the bar.
It was only inevitable that Glantraeth were going to score a second goal, and that proved to be the case, with Williams scoring his second of the game. Davies, in what was a shot turned into cross, found the feet of Williams who buried his effort into the bottom corner. Glantraeth then got a third just before half time. Recent signing Aled Steele was causing havoc, with the Gaerwen defence unable to cope with his pace, skill and precision. The playmaker found space on the right-hand side, squared the ball to Hughes (below) and the forward made no mistake this time, slotting the ball calmly into the top left corner. Hughes deserved that goal following his determined first half performance, with Glantraeth still looking to turn Gaerwen’s day even more miserable.
The second half started a lot better for the home side, with the attackers starting to create more opportunities. Joshua Owen drove at Glantraeth’s defence, and nearly cut the deficit as his shot struck the bar.
All of a sudden, Gaerwen didn’t look like a side that had been demolished 10-0 against Penrhyndeudraeth three days earlier as they pushed a lot higher up the pitch and put pressure on Glan. Their efforts at the start of the second half were rewarded with a goal on the 54th minute; an excellent through ball from the Gaerwen defender put Thomas Wilkes one on one against the goalkeeper and he slotted it into the right bottom corner.
Gaerwen looked much more energised and determined, and created the better chances following the goal. Momentum was broken halfway through the second half though, as Glantraeth started to gain more control. Tipton made a great save midway through the second half for Gaerwen, stretching right out to prevent Steele’s 25-yard attempt from going in. Shaun Monument was the next player Tipton saved from, as his powerful free kick attempt was parried away well by the impressive goalkeeper.
Paris Hargrave then nearly scored Glantraeth’s fourth, however, his audacious chip drifted just wide of the post. Tyler Hughes was then making a great impression off the bench for Gaerwen, as he created a new dynamic for the home side with his directness.
In the end though, Gaerwen were caught out on the break in the 94th minute, as Glantraeth worked their way up the field well, an excellent ball was played across the box for Steele, who rounded off an excellent afternoon with a stretching goal, giving the keeper no chance.
AFE’s Man of the Match award from this one goes to Aled Steele (Glantraeth)
The biggest win of the afternoon on Saturday from the North Wales area went to Bodedern Athletic who proved far too strong for Bodorgan and won 11-0.
Ryan Taylor opened the scoring with a brilliant long range lob on 11mins before the prolific Asa Thomas scored his third goal in two matches some ten minutes later.
Thomas then turned provider for strike partner Marc Evans on 33mins before Casey Boylan converted a penalty after Evans was fouled in the box for a score of 4-0 at the break.
It was then Thomas turn to find the back of the net again – this time from a powerful free kick on 50mins. Tom Wood added Boded’s sixth from close range on 56mins and Evans secured his double 7mins later.
Former Llangoed midfielder Sam Gregson (sponsored by AFE, below) popped up to score his first Boded goal on 63mins before Evans completed his hat-trick 10mins from time thanks to an assist from Gregson.
18-year-old midfielder Gregson still had time to complete his own hat-trick in the last 6 minutes. He scored a header and followed that up with a close range rebound just seconds later to complete and emphatic scoreline for Ricky Williams’ side.
Bangor 1876 were also highly impressive as they swept aside fellow potential tier four title challengers Menai Tigers with an 8-2 win at Treborth.
The pressure told in the fourth minute when Jamie Petrie’s nice penalty area work allowed Cameron Barry to score from close range and out 1876 ahead. It was the young midfielder who would double his side’s advantage soon after – a smart one-two on the edge of the area allowing him in to score.
The Tigers found a way back into the match 21mins in when Sion Hogan scored the rebound from a penalty to make it 2-1. But 1876 restored the two-goal cushion almost immediately when Chris Jones fired home from close range for 3-1.
1876 would really take it up a gear before half time and gave themselves a resounding lead at the break. Les Davies turned on the penalty spot and scored with a great finish on 31 mins, before Chris Jones scored again two minutes later.
Tigers pulled one back before half time through the prolific Dean Redmond who provided a good finish for his side.
If anyone thought 1876 were going to step off the gas in the second half, they couldn’t have been more wrong as they came flying out of the blocks once more.
Jones completed his hat-trick to make the score 6-2 on 50mins before adding his fourth via a penalty on 71mins. The scoreline was done and dusted when the in-form Gethin Thomas bagged for the third consecutive match via a close-range header.
Many, including myself, had tipped this one to be w close encounter between two of tier four’s finest sides. But 1876 showed they were a class above on Saturday afternoon. The next time these two meet in the league this season will be an interesting encounter I’m sure!
Elsewhere in qualifying round one, tier five club Llanerchymedd took their higher-league opponents Aberffraw all the way before beating them on penalties.
Nathan Moore fired the visitors in front just seven minutes in but a goal from James Burgess, his first for Llan, levelled proceedings on 25mins. Defender Dan Thomas then gave Llan the lead just seconds later to make it 2-1 to the home side at Tan Parc at the break.
Moore was the hero once more for Aberffraw in the second half as he brought them level on 66mins but there was very little to separate the two sides and penalties looked inevitable.
Llan youngster Tom Kelly, who bagged two goals in a 6-0 win over Cefni on Thursday was up first and converted his penalty. Adam Hallybone then missed his spot kick for Aberffraw before Llion Vaughan scored for Llan.
Things got from bad to worse for the visitors when Andrew Jones’ penalty was aced by Llan keeper Kenny Hughes and Gwion Thomas converted for Llan. Arwel Williams then missed for Aberffraw as Llan booked their place in the next round of the Welsh Cup.
Cefni and Caergybi played out a Welsh Cup classic as the visitors came away from Isgraig with a hard-fought 4-2 victory.
Veteran forward Craig Evans put Cefni ahead early on before Gary Jo Owen levelled with a fantastic over head kick for Cybi (below).
Goals from Louis Chapman and Owen once more gave the visitors a two-goal lead before Marc Parry reduced the deficit heading into half time.
In what was, unsurprisingly, a feisty affair – centre back Graham Jones was dismissed early on into the second half, leaving a battling Cefni side with 10-men on the field and a huge 35mins to go.
But, despite a brave battle, it was Cybi who advanced to round two after lively young forward Chapman added his second of the game on the hour mark.
⚽️ OTHER RESULTS INVOLVING NORTH WALES-BASED CLUBS … ⚽️
Blaenau Amateurs 0-3 Meliden
Caerwys 3-5 Llanelwy Athletic
Castell Alun Colts 1-2 Brickfield Rangers
Coedpoeth United 1-4 Queen’s Park
Llanberis 4-2 Llanrug United
Halkyn & Flint Mountain 2-4 Connah’s Quay Town
Greenfield 1-4 Rhydymwyn
Hawarden Rangers 4-2 Mynydd Isa Spartans
Mountain Rangers 1-3 Nefyn United
New Brighton Villa 1-3 Chirk AAA
Penmaenmawr Phoenix 3-5 Llandyrnog United
Penrhyndeudraeth 3-1 Talysarn Celts
Penycae 4-2 Lex XI
Prestatyn Sports 3-1 NFA
Pwllheli 2-2 Llanystumdwy (7-6 on pens)
Rhos Aelwyd 2-0 Cefn Mawr Rangers
Ruabon Rovers 2-7 Saltney Town
St Asaph City 2-2 Rhuddlan Town (1-3 on pens)
Y Felinheli 4-0 Mynydd Llandegai