ABERYSTWYTH Town manager Nev Powell is hoping his side can make it third time lucky when they make a quick return to Richmond Park to take on Carmarthen in the quarter-finals of the JD Welsh Cup this Saturday (ko 2.30pm).
The Cambrian News reported “Looking to avenge their Boxing Day defeat in Carmarthen, the Seasiders were pegged back to a 3-3 draw by two injury time goals by the Old Gold last weekend, but Powell’s side have a chance to put that right in the Cup.
A hat-trick from Aber full-back Declan Walker, taking his tally to 10 goals this season, looked to have secured a crucial 3-1 win for Aberystwyth, but quick-fire goals in added time by Dwayne Coultress and ex-Seasider Lee Surman snatched a home point.
“We’re obviously desperately disappointed, but we switched off, and that shouldn’t happen,” said Powell.
“Even at 3-2, we had a chance to put it in the corner, and we haven’t done that, and they’ve gone and scored, and they could have scored a winner.
“With three minutes to go, the game looked over and done with, we’ve had enough of the second half to have won the game, and haven’t seen it out.”
He added: “Declan (Walker) was the best player on the pitch, as he has been all season, and I was disappointed for him to have scored a hat-trick and still not have been on the winning team.”
The draw meant that Aber remained eight points clear of second-from-bottom Carmarthen, with six league games to go, but the Seasiders are now nine points adrift of Barry Town at the top of the Play-Off Conference.
“The points would have virtually guaranteed that we were safe, but we are back in the mix now,” said Powell.
“The players have got to stand up and be counted, because we have thrown away the points. We should be bigger and better than that, because we played well enough to win.”
Attention now turns to their Welsh Cup quarter-final tie at Carmarthen, and the Seasiders are just two wins away from only their fourth-ever final, and a potential place in Europe.
Powell guided Bangor City to four consecutive Welsh Cup finals, and a hat-trick of cup successes, including the 2009 final against Aberystwyth, and he is keen to revive that fortune.
The Seasiders have already knocked holders Barry Town out with a 4-0 win at Park Avenue, before winning 1-0 at top six side Cardiff Met in found four, but Powell expects another big test.
“The Welsh Cup will be a totally different game,” said Powell. “They will have a few players cup-tied, but it will still be a tough game, as it was today, and we have got to make sure that we defend better than we have done.”
Meanwhile Aberystwyth Town Ladies came home with a 2-1 win over Splott Albion on Sunday, to see them through to the semi-finals of the Alun Evans League Cup, courtesy of goals from Naomi Evans and Amy Jenkins, after going 1-0 down on 70 minutes.
They will travel to Cwmbran Celtic in the semi-finals of the competition.
Aber have also progressed to the Central Wales Women’s Cup Final with a 10-0 win over local rivals Penrhyncoch, with a hat-trick from Naomi Evans, two goals from Caroline Cooper, and singles by Ffiona Evans, Tania Wylde, Hannah Pusey, Dwynwen Davies and Katie Christopher.
That final will take place on Friday, 13 April against Llanfair United at Victoria Avenue, Llanidloes.
Aberystwyth Town’s Under 19s development side eased to an emphatic 8-0 win over Llanelli at Park Avenue, to remain within a point of Swansea City at the top of the Welsh Premier Development League (South), with a game in hand.
This Sunday the young Seasiders entertain Risca United (2.30pm)” here.