Prestatyn Town 4 (Parker 18, Wilson 44, Gibson 50, Moran 76)
Rhyl 4 (Connolly 11 & 27, M Williams 30, Turner 90)
Welsh Cup quarter-final – February 27, 2010
After extra time – Prestatyn won 5-3 on penalties
An epic Denbighshire derby saw Prestatyn qualify for the Welsh Cup semi-finals for the first time in their history.
Rhyl arrived at Bastion Gardens as reigning Welsh Premier champions, while the Seasiders were in just their second season in the top flight.
The previous campaign, the Lilywhites had walloped Town 7-2 and 4-1 in league meetings, but in this 2009/10 term both WPL clashes between the coastal rivals had ended in draws prior to the Welsh Cup battle a few weeks later.
Numerous Prestatyn players were up against their old club so there was plenty of added edge to an already hotly-anticipated encounter.
Greg Strong’s Rhyl struck first in the 11th minute when the hosts failed to clear a Phil Doran corner and Mark Connolly pounced with a left foot finish.
Seven minutes later, it was all square when a free kick from player-manager Neil Gibson via the left sailed to the back post, where Michael Parker controlled and scored from an acute angle.
In the 27th minute, Rhyl’s Matty Williams broke from midfield only to be dispossessed on the edge of the box, but the ball ran to Connolly whose left-foot screamer gave Lilywhites keeper Paul Pritchard no chance.
On the half-hour, Rob Turner laid off a long ball into the box towards Matty Williams who drilled into the corner for 3-1.
Prestatyn boosted their hopes just before the break when a Jack Lewis throw-in was headed to the edge of the box, where ex-Lilywhite midfielder Gareth Wilson leathered a left foot volley into the net.
Half-time: Prestatyn 2 Rhyl 3
Town were fired up after the restart and in the 50th minute Paul O’Neill nodded a Lewis free kick into the path of Gibson, whose right-foot effort made it three-apiece.
It was anyone’s game now, and the Seasiders took the lead for a first time in the 76th minute when keeper Pritchard slipped in taking a goal-kick and the ball was intercepted by former Rhyl hero Andy Moran, who advanced on goal and lashed in left-footed.
The tie was in the first minute of added time when Matty Williams curled a lovely ball into the box which Turner controlled before firing past Jon Hill-Dunt to make it 4-4.
Extra time brought no further goals so it went down to spot-kicks.
Rhyl’s second penalty from Gareth Owen was saved by Hill-Dunt and it was Parker who stepped up to convert the decisive kick to seal a 5-3 victory.
Prestatyn Town: Jon Hill-Dunt, Steve Harris, Jack Lewis, Dave Hayes, Paul O’Neill, Gareth Wilson (Russ Jones 65), Mike Parker, Neil Gibson, Andy Moran, Ian Griffiths (Jon Fisher-Cooke 105), Ross Hannen. Unused subs: Steve Hoult, Steve Rogers, Simon Williams.
Rhyl: Paul Pritchard, Andy Pearson, Andy Owens, Phil Ojapah, Shaun Dowling, John Leah, Phil Doran (Chris Williams 85), Mark Connolly (Gareth Owen 72), Rob Turner, Matty Williams, Tyrone Kirk. Unused subs: Russ Courtney, Greg Strong, Joe Dixon.