NWCFA JUNIOR CHALLENGE CUP 2021-22 ROUND ONE
Rhyl Dragons 1 (Berks 30)
CPD Cefni 0
Three times I’ve seen Rhyl Dragons this season and they have yet to concede a goal.
Their defence is excellent, with goalkeeper Jonathan Mee solid and outstanding on each occasion I’ve watched him play.
Today I had the opportunity to witness the Dragons take on Anglesey’s CPD Cefni in my favourite competition in the world – the North Wales Coast FA Junior Cup.
The home team, permitted on this day to use Rhyl’s wonderful Bellevue as their base, as opposed to the usual non-barriered Coronation Gardens pitch over the wall, ran out deserved, but narrow winners.
They should really have been out of sight before having to hang on at the end as the North Wales Coast West Division One travellers chased an equaliser.
A good crowd was present to witness this first round tie, which included a mixture of senior and very young supporters from Llangefni.
Dragons controlled the first half-hour. Kelvin Berks turned and fired over before a Colin Sargerson free kick from the right came back off the post.
A home goal seemed inevitable and it finally arrived on the half-hour.
Barry Roche fed Adam Cassidy on the left-side of the box and his instant slide-rule pass was converted into a goal by Berks.
In the 35th minute a high ball was lofted into the Cefni penalty area, defender and striker rose and the referee whistled for what first of all appeared to be a free kick to the visitors.
However, a Dragons penalty was the decision, but there was home disappointment as Richard Hill’s kick was quite comfortably pushed over the bar by keeper Lee Hughes Williams.
This no doubt affected the Dragons’ concentration as Cefni began to threaten in the final 10 minutes of the half, although Mee was not tested.
The second half was more even in terms of chances.
Berks looked set to score when clean through, but Williams gathered bravely at his feet.
Mee then kicked clear as Gwion Williams went for goal.
In the 69th minute a free kick came to Macauley Lewis at the back post, but Mee not only saved his point-blank effort, he held it as well to loud cheers from the home supporters. That was Cefni’s best chance.
While defending solidly in the latter stages, Dragons were also dangerous in attack, substitute Josh Jones blasting against the outside of the post before the Cefni crossbar was clipped moments later.
Dragons players celebrated in lively fashion at the final whistle. They had won their first ever Junior Cup tie.
Rhyl Dragons: Jonathan Mee, Shaun Walsh, Jack Gibbon, Dean Hughes, James Bouch, Colin Sargerson, Kelvin Berks, Barry Roche, Richard Hill, Dale Lewis, Adam Cassidy. Subs: Mason Kenny, John Watkiss, Josh Jones, Michael Webster.
CPD Cefni: Lee Hughes Williams, Arwyn Williams, Henry Caldecott, Graham Jones, Dion Parry, Macauley Lewis, Nathan Lewis, Connor Roberts, Gwion Williams, Andrew Cleator, Dion Jones, Rhodri Jones, Darren Jones, Robert Richards, Warren Fletcher.