Nefyn United 3 (Steve Jones 76 & 87, Dylan Sion Jones 90+)
Llysfaen 4 (Sean Sheridan 14, 35, 45, 63)
NWCFA Junior Cup third round – February 22, 2020
The North Wales Junior Cup delivered a shock result 12 months ago today when Llysfaen of Vale of Clwyd and Conwy Division One travelled to Gwynedd League giants Nefyn United as massive underdogs, but produced a stunning upset in recording a 4-3 victory.
Playing a team from a level above and far superior in terms of experience of the big occasions, Emlyn Robert Jones’ side achieved the finest result in their history.
It was only a late rally from Nefyn which made the final score look much closer than the tie actually was. By the 63rd minute the visitors were 4-0 up, all the goals coming from their ace marksman Sean Sheridan.
This result ensured Llysfaen’s season-long 18-match undefeated run continued. The stats comprised 11 without loss in the league and seven straight victories in cups, with three wins over teams from a higher standard.
Beaten just by Bangor 1876 in the Gwynedd League, Nefyn’s only other defeats had come at the hands of much higher-ranked opposition in Bangor City (Welsh Cup) and Denbigh Town (FAW Trophy).
The Penwaig, in turn, has beaten FOUR Welsh Alliance teams in national cups – Llannefydd, Penmaenmawr Phoenix, Llandudno Amateurs and Mynydd Llandegai.
Llysfaen started a little shakily and Nefyn were unfortunate not to be awarded an early penalty.
The deadlock was broken in the 14th minute and it was Llysfaen that drew first blood.
Jake Reynolds delivered a low, whipping cross with his weaker foot into the six-yard box and Sheridan sped in from the opposite wing to prod home past the keeper’s right hand side.
On 35 minutes a defence-splitting delivery from Nathan Russell freed Sheridan, who with his back to goal nonchalantly back-heeled past the keeper.
It was Llysfaen’s turn to have a stonewall penalty turned down when Sheridan was scythed down in the box, and soon after Reynolds went down, but again no spot-kick.
Undeterred, Llysfaen dusted themselves down and right on half time made it 3-0.
Russell was the provider again, releasing Sheridan, who lashed into the roof of the net.
Half-time: Nefyn United 0 Llysfaen 3
Llysfaen had to do some defending at the start of the second half, but come the 63rd minute they were 4-0 up.
Good build-up between brothers Nathan and Jordan Russell saw the latter feed Reynolds, who delivered a lovely high ball to the back post, where Sheridan was on hand to head in his fourth.
It was Sheridan’s 31st goal of the season, having scored in his last eight games in succession, amassing an amazing 20 goals in that spell.
Nefyn finally opened their account on 76 minutes through Steve Jones, although it looked like there had been a foul on keeper Cain Folly.
Steve Jones notched another in the 89th minute before the hosts had a player sent off.
It looked all over, but still no final whistle and Dylan Sion Jones struck to make it 4-3.
A few anxious moments for the visitors, but finally the game ended and the underdogs had pulled off a sensational result.
Llysfaen lost 5-0 in the quarter-finals at home to Bangor 1876. That was the Bananamen’s only defeat of the 2019-20 campaign, which was cancelled that weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic, which was starting to do its worst.