Flashback – eight years ago: Prestatyn Town make European history

One of the greatest images in Welsh Premier history. Prestatyn Town players conduct a ‘pile-on’ after beating Liepajas Metalurgs of Lativa on penalties in the 2013-14 Europa League. Many thanks to GARETH HUGHES for the use of his amazing photo

Liepajas Metalurgs 1 (Afanasjevs 17)
Prestatyn Town 2 (Stephens 77, Gibson 90+1)
Europa League first qualifying round, second leg
(Aggregate 3-3 – Prestatyn won on 4-3 pens)

Eight years ago this week, on July 11, 2013, Prestatyn Town celebrated a remarkable achievement in their first-ever European adventure.

Trailing 2-1 from the home leg of their Europa League first qualifying round tussle with Leipajas Metalurgs of Latvia, the Seasiders turned the tables with a stunning penalty shoot-out success at the Daugava Stadium in Riga.

Metalurgs looked to be cruising when Valerijs Afanasjevs put them 3-1 up on aggregate in the 17th minute.

But the Latvians had Dzintars Zirnis sent off and Ross Stephens started Prestatyn’s fight-back with a 77th minute equaliser.

Then, in the 91st minute, player-manager Neil Gibson arrived in the box Bryan Robson style and applied a crisp finish to force extra time.

No further goals were scored and Prestatyn emerged winners 4-3 on penalties.

Jurgis Kalns missed the opening spot-kick for Metalurgs and Gibson took advantage to stroke home and give Prestatyn an advantage they never squandered.

Stephens, Sean Hessey and Michael Parker all found the back of the net for the Welsh Premier League side before Davis Ikaunieks missed a second penalty for the hosts, handing Prestatyn victory.

The quality of Town’s spot-kicks, the after-match scenes with players and supporters celebrating, will never be forgotten.

Among the touring party was Andy Mitten, editor of the Manchester United-based United We Stand fanzine.

Prestatyn: Dave Roberts. Chris Davies (Carl Murray 115), Jack Lewis, David Hayes, Sean Hessey, Michael Parker, Greg Stones, Neil Gibson, Tommy Holmes (Rhys Owen 75), Ross Stephens, Andy Parkinson.
Unused subs: Jon Hill-Dunt, Adam France, Tom Kemp, Danny Markland.

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