WALKER DELIGHTED TO BE IN CUP FINAL

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Cambrian News photographer - Declan Walker heads Aberystwyth in front in the semi-final.

ABERYSTWYTH Town will take on Connah’s Quay Nomads in the 2018 Welsh Cup Final after two goals from Declan Walker sealed a thrilling 2-1 win over Newtown at Maes Tegid.

The Cambrian News reported “It is the third time in 10 years that Aber have reached the showpiece final, after defeats to Neville Powell’s Bangor City in 2009 at Llanelli and The New Saints in 2014 at Wrexham, and the Seasiders are hoping it could be third time lucky.

“It’s unbelievable, especially after the start to the season that we had,” said 26 year-old Walker, who is Aber’s top scorer this season, despite playing at full-back.

“It’s a great win, and it’s for all the fans, who were brilliant today. We’re buzzing and can’t wait for the final.

“We’ve also got three more cup finals, to make sure that we stay in the league for next year, and that’s what we will be concentrating on for new.

“But it’s a great feeling to be in the Welsh Cup Final, there’s nothing better than winning games and scoring, and it’s going to be a massive game.”

Walker headed them in front in their semi-final against the Robins, and that lead was doubled eight minutes after the break when keeper Dave Jones brought down Ryan Wade, and Walker slotted home from the spot.

Newtown got back into the contest on 76 minutes, when Ashley Young handled Joe Kenton’s cross and Nick Rushton dispatched the penalty to reduce the arrears – but Aber held firm to reach the final at Newtown on Sunday, 6 May.

“We have beat Connah’s Quay once, and they have beat us once, both with high scorelines, but we know we can beat anyone on our day, and we’ve just got to put together a run of form.,” added Walker.

“We’ve got to keep the momentum going and make sure we are safe in the league, and then we’ll concentrate on the final, and getting into Europe.

“This is what we are here for, playing in finals and winning trophies.”

The semi-final win continues the remarkable Welsh Cup record of Aberystwyth Town’s Director of Football Neville Powell, who guided Bangor City to four successive finals and a hat-trick of wins from 2008 to 2010.

“As soon as Nev rang me, it was a no-brainer to come and join him at Aberystwyth, we have a great relationship and a lot of respect for each other,” said ex-Bangor player Walker.

“I’ve had success with him previously, and I’ve always really enjoyed working with him. He has great man-management skills and he gets the best out of everyone, so it made perfect sense to go back and play for him.

“Playing under someone who has had such success in the Welsh Cup gives you belief in what you’re doing. He always says the right thing at the right time in the big games, and they don’t come much bigger than this.

“We always knew how good a group of players we have got at the club, and we always felt it was just a matter of time before everything clicked and started going the right way for us.

“The manager made some great signings in January, which helped the squad, and I think we deserve the opportunity to compete in this final, because we’ve worked so hard all year.

“It has been a nice source of positivity for us, we put in a great performance to beat holders Bala at Park Avenue, and we’ve played a Welsh Premier League side in every round.

“I think it is fair to say that we deserve to be where we are, because we’ve not really had an easy tie yet.”

The win capped an excellent week for the club, with Aberystwyth Under 19s winning the Welsh Premier Development League (South) title in midweek by beating Risca United 5-0.

The club has also been awarded it’s UEFA European Licence, as well as it’s Domestic License for the 2018/19 season, which means it could compete in European competition this year” here.

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