Chirk AAA 2 (Thomas 71, Bennion 99)
Penlan Club 1 (Chappell)
FAW Trophy Final – April 8, 2017 (after extra time, 90 mins 1-1)
Chirk won the FAW Trophy for the fourth time in their history – although the first under the competition’s current name – when they pipped Penlan Club of Swansea in the 2017 final played four years ago today.
Mark Holmes’ side were great value for their success although they had to work considerably harder to beat the South Walians on this occasion than they did the previous time the teams met when the Colliers whipped Penlan 9-0 in the 2013-14 Trophy quarter-final.
Chirk were losing finalists in 2014, but made up for it three years later.
Although the North Walians had the better of the first half possession-wise, it was Penlan who led at the break when Luke Chappell worked the ball onto his right foot just inside the box and curled a lovely shot beyond AAA’s keeper Zac Bebbington.
In glorious conditions at Aberystwyth’s Park Avenue, Chirk deservedly levelled in the 71st minute when Penlan keeper Marcus Collins saved an initial shot at full stretch but Matty Thomas put away the rebound.
Bebbington was in outstanding form between the sticks for the Colliers, doing as much as anyone to ensure extra time was needed.
The winner arrived in the first period when a ball was delivered into the box from the left, Chris Bennion steadied himself and lashed a lovely shot home to secure the Trophy for the Welsh National League Premier Division outfit.
CHIRK AAA: Zac Bebbington, Rob Salisbury, Dan Hughes, Nathan Lavender, Phil Pearce, Chris Bennion, Nicky Williams, Ashton Williams (Adam Williams 82), Matty Thomas, Joe Roberts (Will Evans 112), Louis Middlehurst (Matty Woods 90).
PENLAN SOCIAL: Marcus Collins, Dale Rowe, Liam Otten, Darren Roberts, Jamie Davies (Chris Blundell 45), Jamie James, Jordan Doyle (Matthew Sillitoe 78), Corey Charles (Jason Beer 84), Darren Rowe, Luke Chappell, Carl Mucha.
CHIRK’S PATH TO THE 2016-17 FINAL
Round two: Chirk AAA 5 Rhydymwyn 1
Round three: Chirk AAA 5 AFC Brynford 1
Round four: Radnor Valley 1 Chirk AAA 3
Round five: Llanrwst United 1 Chirk AAA 2
Quarter-final: Corwen 1 Chirk AAA 2
Semi-final: Llangefni Town 0 Chirk AAA 1 (at Rhyl)
CHIRK’S SUCCESSES IN FAW TROPHY FINALS
1958-59 (known as Welsh Amateur Cup): Chirk AAA 2 Whitchurch Alport 0 (replay after 2-2 draw)
1959-60 (Welsh Amateur Cup): Chirk AAA 3 Caerau Athletic 2
1962-63 (Welsh Amateur Cup): Chirk AAA 2 Caersws 0
2016-17 (FAW Trophy): Chirk AAA 2 Penlan Club 1 (AET)