Caernarfon Town 4 (Nathan Peate OG 2, Jamie Crowther 64, Sion Bradley 66, Gruff John 86)
Cefn Druids 0
JD Welsh Cup quarter-finals
This Welsh Cup quarter-final was in the balance until a sending off for Druids just before the hour turned the tie in Caernarfon’s favour.
Wing-back Naim Arsan, who had been outstanding in the first half, first got himself stupidly cautioned for kicking out and soon after committed a blatant dive right in front of referee Bryn Markham-Jones in trying to win a free kick, which led to a deserved second yellow.
While Cefn tried to reshuffle, the Canaries hit them with two quick goals and the game was over. In the end it should have been seven or eight for the Cofis.
Caernarfon were rewarded for a positive start when they took the lead after 90 seconds, although the goal was tinged in controversy.
Leo Smith hit a fairly tame shot from 30 yards which was going wide, but referee Markham-Jones decided the ball had taken a touch off a Druids player before going behind and awarded a corner.
Goalkeeper Michael Jones dived for the shot, perhaps unnecessarily, so if he touched the ball he was left to regret it.
Smith swung over the flag-kick, which Jamie Crowther bust a gut to connect with, but the ball went in off Druids defender Nathan Peate. Crowther’s pressure undoubtedly played a big part in the goal, though.
The Ancients responded well and created a number of chances in the rest of the half.
Arsan’s low centre from the left flew tantalisingly across the face of goal before the same man picked out Ramirez Howarth in the box, but Alex Ramsay produced a superb block from point blank range.
In the 12th minute Neil Ashton flicked on Arsan’s free kick in the area and Jamie Reed was presented with a gaping goal, but he miscued badly.
Reed connected a lot better with a 34th minute free kick, but Ramsay produced a magnificent tip over.
Joseph Faux then lashed a dipping effort which again man of the half Ramsay did so well to save.
HALF-TIME: Caernarfon 1 Druids 0
The second half started fairly evenly, but the two cards for Arsan proved a real hammer blow to Cefn’s hopes.
Darren Thomas’ fierce left-footer was pushed behind by Michael Jones, then lively substitute Danny Brookwell let fly from the edge of the box but the ball whistled inches wide.
A second home goal was coming and it arrived in the 64th minute. Sion Bradley rose in the box and was first to the loose ball before smartly picking out Crowther who drilled home for 2-0.
Two minutes later Thomas crossed from the right and Bradley’s diving header proved too powerful for keeper Jones.
Reed headed home in majestic style a minute later, but the goal was ruled out for an infringement, much to the disappointment of the visitors.
Thomas missed a sitter, Smith drove a low shot against the post and Nathan Craig’s vicious free kick was well kept out by Jones.
It was all Caernarfon now. Smith set up Brookwell, but Jones was equal to the shot.
Then in the 86th minute a bizarre goal rounded things off.
Craig’s deep corner from the left was lobbed back towards goal from the tightest of angles by Gruff John, and despite Reed being on the line, he misjudged the ball and it dropped into the net.
Caernarfon march on into the semis!
Caernarfon: Alex Ramsay, Gareth Evans, Jamie Crowther, Jamie Breese (Daniel Brookwell 46), Darren Thomas (Nathan Craig 75), Noah Edwards, Gruffydd John, Ben Clark, Ryan Williams, Sion Bradley (Sam Jones 81), Leo Smith.
Subs not used: Osian Goulding (gk), Joe Williams.
Cefn Druids: Michael Jones, Naim Arsan, Nathan Peate, Aaron Simpson (Thomas Reilly 85), Iwan Cartwright, Ramirez Howarth, Joe Faux (Morgan Daykin 82), Neil Ashton, Stefan Edwards, Charley Edge (Cody Ruberto 71), Jamie Reed.
Subs not used: Dawid Piotr Szczepaniak (gk), Phil Mooney.