ABERYSTWYTH Town refused to allow another lead slip at Richmond Park as Nev Powell’s men booked their place in the semi-finals of the JD Welsh Cup with a 3-1 win over Carmarthen on Tuesday.
The Cambrian News reported “Joe Phillips headed the Seasiders in front midway through the first half and goals from John Owen and Malcolm Melvin eased Aber into the final four.
Carmarthen, who had hit back from 3-1 down to snatch a draw in the league 10 days earlier, grabbed a lifeline through Liam Thomas on 73 minutes, but this time there was going to be no great escape.
Powell’s men now have the thrilling prospect of a semi-final showdown against mid Wales rivals Newtown at a neutral venue over the weekend of 7/8 April.
After the postponement of the original date due to adverse weather the previous weekend, the trip to Richmond Park had been hastily rearranged, but to Aber’s credit, they were able field an unchanged side.
Carmarthen made a lively start, with Clayton Green lobbing over the bar and Liam Thomas also testing Chirs Mullock.
Aber responded with Declan Walker curling a shot over from Ashley Young’s corner, but Young then had to make a superb defensive block to deny Ceri Morgan a clear chance at the othe end.
It was the visitors who made the breakthrough when another corner from Young was glanced home by Phillips, to put Aber’s vocal supporters into raptures.
A rather cautious game ensued after the defensive lapses of the previous week, and both sides struggled to find rhythm, but Ryan Wade found the roof of the net for the Seasiders with a cute lob, and Tom Owens fired a shot just wide of the goal.
Mullock did well to gather Green’s cross, and Aber were ahead at the break.
Dwayne Coultress’ early shot glanced wide at the start of the second period, and Kieran Lewis lobbed over as the hosts tried to make a game of it, but again Walker troubled their goal with a glancing header, from Phillips’ deep cross.
With the home defence tiring, John Owen started to display his skills and a back-heel from the Criccieth man set up Matthew Jones for a low shot, which Lewis deflected goalbound, and keeper Lewis Thomas pulled off a superb save.
Then, at the three-quarter mark, Aber doubled their advantage as Owen turned his marker on the edge of the area and unleashed angled a low drive into the far corner of the net for a stunning strike.
Three minutes later, the visiting fans were in dreamland as Owen did brilliantly to feed Phillips, and his cross-field ball was perfect for Melvin to fire a beautiful 30 yard drive into the net for 3-0.
Aber, however, were brought right back to earth two minutes later as Thomas fired home from close range, and with the Old Gold hitting incessant long high balls into box, the pressure was now back on.
Walker did head over for the Seasiders, and Melvin brought a diving save from Thomas – and with Craig Hobson’s arrival as a substitute Aber now had a strong presence 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.
Finally, referee David Morgan’s final whistle ensured that Aber had booked their place in the semi-finals with plenty to spare, and only their old adversaries from Powys now stand in their way.
CARMARTHEN: L Thomas, D Vincent, C Hanford, D Sheehan, J Knott, K Lewis, A O’Kelly, C Morgan (L Surman 70’), C Green, L Thomas, D Coultress. Subs not used: R Foschi, L Izdi (gk), D Thomas, N Smothers.
ABERYSTWYTH: C Mullock, D Walker, R Wollacott, T Owens, M Melvin, J Owen, R Wade (L Borelli 90’+4), M Jones, A Young, D Allen, J Phillips (C Hobson 73’). Subs not used: S Kersh, G Kellaway, A Walters (gk).
Attendance: 221 Referee: David Morgan” here.