Welsh Cup classics: Llangefni Town v Caernarfon Town (2016-17)

Cory Williams (yellow) of Caernarfon was man of the match in a Welsh Cup thriller at Lon Talwrn. Pictures: Dai Sinclair

Llangefni Town 4 Caernarfon Town 4
Welsh Cup round two – November 5, 2016
(aet – Caernarfon won 4-2 on pens)

Thanks to Caernarfon Town media officer Paul Evans for match information

Caernarfon went all the way to the Welsh Cup semi-finals in the 2016-17 season – but they could so easily have gone out in a round two thriller at Welsh Alliance underdogs Llangefni.

Cefni trailed four times in the match to their Cymru Alliance visitors, but pulled level on each occasion only to eventually get eliminated via the dreaded penalties.

Caernarfon were quick out of the traps, Jamie Breese finding the back of the net in the second minute, tapping in at the far post after Cefni keeper Kenny Hughes could only get a hand to a pacey Cory Williams cross.

Iwan Jones was first to threaten for Cefni when he managed to unsettle Town stopper Keighan Jones in the box and turned quickly to shoot at the target, only to find Clive Williams well positioned to block.

The Cofis nearly made the most of this narrow escape when Joe Williams broke upfield and found Kevin Lloyd with a pass behind the home defence.

The striker let fly with a decent shot, but Hughes was quick off his line to keep the ball out.

Cory Williams thought he had doubled Town’s lead in the 20th minute when he netted at the far post following a Gareth Edwards knock on in the box, but he was ruled to be offside.

Clive Williams (right) on the ball for Caernarfon. Pic: Dai Sinclair

Llangefni were matching Caernarfon for effort and commitment and began to get a real foothold in the game as the half-hour mark approached, with their midfield starting to enjoy some possession for the first time.

Despite this, Cefni survived a penalty appeal in the 31st minute when Cory Williams seemed to have been bundled over in the area by Dan Thomas.

Williams was having a big influence on the action with his darting runs off the left flank and he went close just a few minutes later with a powerful low attempt that flew inches wide of the Hughes’ far post.

Caernarfon’s Kevin Roberts (yellow) is challenged for the ball. Pic: Dai Sinclair

Llangefni took full advantage of Town’s frustrations in front of goal when a quick break on their left in the 38th minute resulted in a cross into the area which Matthew Jones met with his head to steer into the corner of the Caernarfon goal.

Half-time 1-1.

A minute into the second half, Darren Thomas, facing old club Llangefni, saw his strike saved comfortably by Hughes before Clive Williams chanced his luck from 20 yards but was off radar.

It was not all Caernarfon, though, and Williams came to his side’s rescue with an important block that stopped Iwan Jones testing Keighan Jones.

Having pushed Cefni back for long periods after the break, the Cofis were looking increasingly likely to regain their lead and Breese was unlucky not to do just this in the 70th minute when his firm strike rebounded off the post before being hacked clear by a grateful home defence.

With 85 minutes showing on the clock, Caernarfon finally got back in front when Tom Quinn powered his way past three defenders on his way to the box before placing the ball beyond Hughes, much to the delight of the travelling Cofi Army.

Corey Sinnott (left) celebrates a dramatic equaliser for Llangefni. Pic: Dai Sinclair

The Cofis’ delight was short-lived however as, with the match in its’ final seconds, substitute Corey Sinnott finished smartly with his first touch since entering the fray.

90 mins: 2-2

Into extra time and despite the disappointment of being pegged back so close to victory, the Canaries refused to panic and continued to enjoy the lion’s share of the ball.

Man of the match Cory Williams provided the highlight of the day when he took possession, beat his marker and struck powerfully past Hughes from 25 yards, the ball dipping as it reached inside the far corner of the home net.

Cefni keeper Kenny Hughes does well to stop Darren Thomas finding the net. Picture: Dai Sinclair

Llangefni were still not ready to lie down, however and, when the ball escaped the clutches of Town stopper Jones from a corner, Anthony Hughes gleefully took advantage to put his side back on terms for a third time.

There were just six minutes remaining when Darren Thomas was felled in the penalty area and Nathan Craig put the Cofis ahead at 4-3 but, as had been the case all afternoon, Caernarfon could not find a way to protect their lead.

With less than a minute left, it was 4-4 when Craig Evans scored, forcing a penalty shoot out to decide the victors.

Craig, Cory Williams and Quinn scored from the spot for Town whilst Hughes saved Rob Jones’ effort and for Llangefni, Sinnott saw his penalty kept out by Jones, whilst Craig Evans hit the woodwork.

This gave Danny Sullivan the opportunity to put Caernarfon through and he sent Hughes the wrong way with his side-footer.

Caernarfon celebrate the narrowest of victories. Pic: Dai Sinclair

An exciting, pulsating cup tie that was a credit to both sides.

Llangefni may have lost, but they certainly made many friends with their impressive efforts.

Caernarfon went on to knock out Welsh Premier sides Carmarthen Town and Rhyl before losing 3-1 to Bala Town in the semis.

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