Caernarfon Town 3 Rhyl 2
Welsh Cup round four – Jan 28, 2017
This thrilling tie will always be remembered for super sub Carl Owen’s 115th minute winner for Caernarfon at The Oval.
Former Porthmadog and Bangor City striker Owen came off the bench for his first competitive action in over a year to secure the Canaries’ place in the quarter-finals.
Owen had only been re-signed by Cofis manager Iwan Williams in midweek to assist with a player crisis as the hosts had six regulars missing for the visit of Welsh Premier Rhyl.
However, the then 36-year-old front man, with in excess of 200 WPL appearances under his belt, provided the deadly finish which put the Cymru Alliance underdogs into the last eight and a visit to fellow giant-killers Llanfair United.
Caernarfon took a seventh-minute lead when a Nathan Craig free kick into the box came to Danny Sullivan, who scored with a lethal left-foot strike on the turn.
The rest of the half was end-to-end, Cofis defender Gareth Edwards slicing a volley against the post, while Darren Thomas was denied by a great stop from Dan Lavercombe.
For Rhyl, Steve Lewis was thwarted by a magnificent Edwards tackle, Mike Sharples had a back-post header saved by Alex Ramsay and Stefan Halewood’s volley dipped inches over.
Caernarfon began the second half strongly, Lavercombe pulling off fabulous saves from Rob Jones and Thomas.
Rhyl looked to be running out of ideas before in the 76th minute Lewis headed in a Sion Edwards free kick for 1-1.
In the 80th minute Sharples put in a perfect tackle on Jamie Breese just inside the box, but to the away side’s disbelief, referee Lee Evans pointed to the penalty spot.
Craig sent Lavercombe the wrong way and Town looked to be heading through, but justice was done when Halewood stooped to head in a Toby Jones free kick on 85 minutes.
Both sides could have won it before the end of the 90, Thomas racing through but thwarted by Lavercombe before Alex Jones fired across the face of goal.
Into extra time, and another amazing challenge from Edwards foiled Rhyl’s Lewis in the 96th minute before Craig received his marching orders for a foul on substitute Kristian Pierce.
Aaron Simpson had a close range attempt deflected wide for the visitors before the end of the first period.
Chances kept flowing, Breese bringing the best out of Lavercombe again, then Ramsay got down tremendously to keep out sub Zyaac Edwards’ hard and low strike.
Alex Jones missed a big chance before five minutes from the end, Thomas brilliantly won the ball and released Owen, whose first-time drive was too good for even Lavercombe.
And Thomas so nearly rounded it off in the 120th minute when he ran from his own half, beat off two challenges and was set for a Geoff Hurst World Cup Final moment as he bore down on the keeper, but despite chipping Lavercombe the ball went wide.
Caernarfon beat Llanfair 7-0 in the quarter-finals, but were defeated 3-1 by Welsh Premier Bala Town in the semis.