Hero Mike Hayes strikes twice as Canaries reach play-off final

Two-goal hero Mike Hayes

Barry Town United 1 (Edwards OG 43)

Caernarfon Town 3 (Hayes 41, 49, Bickerstaff 90+5)

JD Cymru Premier Euro Play-Off semi-final

Two-goal hero Mike Hayes did most to ensure Caernarfon reached the Euro Play-off final with a fully deserved victory at Jenner Park this evening.

Top-scorer Hayes struck in the 41st and 49th minutes to edge the Canaries one game away from a first-ever European qualification.

Caernarfon were unfortunate to only be level at half time after creating the better chances in the opening 45 minutes.

In the fifth minute Jack Kenny drove low across the face of goal and Sion Bradley was just unable to reach the ball.

On 12 minutes Hayes sent over a lovely cross from the right which just evaded Kenny, Bradley played the ball back into the six-yard box but Barry cleared.

Louis-Augustin Kondjo was given plenty of time to line up a shot but missed the target, then Kenny’s header from a Hayes centre was held by home keeper Mike Lewis.

Bradley and Paulo Mendes blasted wide before Barry’s closest call arrived when Kyle Patten headed inches past the post from a superb David Cotterill free kick.

In the 41st minute, Caernarfon deservedly took the lead.

Darren Thomas, the day after signing a new two-year deal with the Canaries, made a dynamic run from midfield into the box, Lewis used a foot to stop his strike, but Hayes was following up to score left-footed.

A team is often at its most vulnerable after conceding a goal and so it proved with the visitors.

Just before half time, a Cotterill corner was headed goalwards by Evan Press and the ball went in off Cofis skipper Gareth Edwards, on his 200th appearance for the club.

Half-time: 1-1

Caernarfon were back in front four minutes into the second half.

Kenny lobbed the ball forward from halfway and Hayes controlled beautifully, leaving Chris Hugh flummoxed, before chipping Lewis for a top quality finish.

It was so nearly 3-1 when Noah Edwards hit a 20-yard screamer for Town which Lewis palmed onto the post.

Barry rallied but were wasteful in good positions, then Thomas threatened for the Canaries with a left-foot piledriver which Lewis held well.

In the 74th minute, Hayes was found in space in the box and looked set for his hat-trick, but he blasted high over the bar with Kenny at the back post waiting for a tap-in.

Barry almost levelled it in the 81st minute when substitute Josh Graham’s low shot missed by a fraction.

In added time, Mendes had a shot blocked and Bradley lashed the rebound over the bar as the Cofis looked to finish it off.

Then in the 95th minute, Caernarfon broke, Mendes slipped the ball to substitute Jake Bickerstaff and he passed the ball into the net via the post.

Well done Cofis!

Caernarfon: 13 Tyler French, 2 Joe Williams, 5 Gareth Edwards (c), 6 Louis-Augustin Kondjo, 7 Sion Bradley, 8 Paulo Mendes, 9 Mike Hayes (Cai Jones 90), 10 Darren Thomas, 14 Noah Edwards, 29 Jack Kenny (Jake Bickerstaff 84), 36 Max Cleworth.

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