Caernarfon Town 4 (Bradley 26, Thomas 39 & 84, N Edwards 56)
JD Welsh Cup fourth round – January 24, 2020
Darren Thomas struck twice for a Caernarfon side which eased into the last eight of the Welsh Cup with a comfortable victory over lower-league opponents.
S4C’s Sgorio programme took their live broadcast team to the Recreation Ground in anticipation of seeing the Cymru South hosts potentially repeat their upset 4-0 victory of the last round at Cymru Premier Carmarthen Town.
One notable absentee tonight who was a key man in that shock at Richmond Park was former Swansea City and Leeds United striker Lee Trundle, the 43-year-old declared unavailable for the clash with the Cofis.
That perhaps took a little edge off the occasion for the home fans, but they could only have been impressed with how the underdogs started this last 16 tussle.
Ammanford made the expected lively start and in just the second minute Gavin Jones found himself in space inside the box, but his final shot was comfortably held by Alex Ramsay.
After riding that early storm, the Cymru Premier visitors went on to dominate the rest of the half.
Thomas saw off two challenges just outside the penalty area but his low strike was well held by veteran keeper Craig Morris.
In the 16th minute Sam Jones met a low Sion Bradley centre at the near post, but again Morris was solid between the sticks.
Thomas then lofted a sublime ball into the area but Jones was unable to make a decisive connection.
Gareth Evans’ attempt was scrambled behind by Morris for a corner, but an away goal was on the cards.
And it came on 26 minutes. Evans’ tenacity in the centre won possession and Ben Clarke threaded a nice pass to Bradley, who worked the ball onto his right foot just inside the box and drilled past the diving Morris.
GOAL: Sion Bradley (Caernarfon Town) 26 minutes
Ramsay was not too far away with an audacious effort from his own half before Evans released Leo Smith through on goal, but Morris did really well to rob the midfield livewire.
Town’s second goal on 39 minutes was something special.
Thomas burst forward and from 20 yards hit a real Alan Shearer-type missile that rocketed in off the bar.
GOAL: Darren Thomas (Caernarfon Town) 39 minutes
Half-time: Ammanford 0 Caernarfon Town 2
As the S4C commentary team stated as the second half kicked off, the next goal in this tie would be vital.
Bradley should have got it when he was through in the 52nd minute, but Morris smothered at his feet and from the rebound Jones’ shot on the turn only found a defender.
Four minutes later it was 3-0. Thomas switched play beautifully to Jones on the left-hand side of the box.
The former Bangor City man produced some lovely footwork to reach the byline and his firm cross was turned in on the goal-line by Noah Edwards.
GOAL: Noah Edwards (Caernarfon Town) 56 minutes
Jamie Crowther and Nathan Craig made welcome returns from serious injuries as second-half substitutes as the visitors continued to dominate.
The hosts did create one chance when Euros Griffiths met a corner, but his downward header cleared the crossbar.
But the Canaries were flying and on 84 minutes the impressive Bradley crossed low from the byline and Thomas applied the calmest of side-foot finishes.
GOAL: Darren Thomas (Caernarfon Town) 84 minutes
Crowther nearly marked his return with a goal when he went desperately close to adding a fifth from almost on the goal-line.
Caernarfon Town: Alex Ramsay, Joe Williams, Gareth Edwards, Gareth Evans, Sam Jones (Jamie Crowther 73), Darren Thomas, Noah Edwards. Ben Clark, Ryan Williams, Sion Bradley (Gruff John 85), Leo Smith (Nathan Craig 83).
Player of the Match
Darren Thomas (Caernarfon Town)
Who else but the genius Cofi Messi?