Welsh Cup quarter-finals – giant-killers Colwyn Bay and Bala Town advance to semis

Nomads’ Declan Poole (red) rides a Colwyn Bay challenge. Picture: NCM MEDIA


Connah’s Quay Nomads 0
Colwyn Bay 2 (Edwards 63, Kirby 66)

Two second-half goals inside three minutes secured Colwyn Bay a shock win which put them into the Welsh Cup semi-finals for the first time in 30 years.

Back in 1991-92, the Seagulls reached the last four of Wales’ premier knockout only to lose over two legs to Hednesford Town.

From the following season, they became ineligible to play in their national cup as the club opted to remain in the English pyramid when a new League of Wales was formed.

Bay returned to the Welsh system in 2019-20 and exited the Welsh Cup in the fourth round.

Last season, the competition was cancelled due to Covid, but in 2021-22 the Seagulls have rediscovered former glories by making the semis again.

Steve Evans’ side from the tier 2 Cymru North were second favourites travelling to take on current Cymru Premier champions Nomads, but the underdogs prevailed in magnificent fashion at Deeside Stadium.

They will face Bala Town, Penybont or The New Saints in the penultimate stage before the final, which Bay have never reached before.

Nomads bossed much of the first half on Saturday, the quarter-final being watched by a crowd of 604.

Aeron Edwards headed over a Craig Curran cross from point blank range, before Kris Owens’ looping effort looked destined to dip under the bar only for keeper Andy Coughin’s outstretched hand to save the day.

Four minutes into the second half, Nomads won a penalty when Declan Poole left two Bay defenders standing on the right before cutting into the box, where his shot was deflected over the bar by the hand of Lewis Sirrell.

Callum Morris (right) missed a penalty for Nomads. Pic: NCM MEDIA

The normally ultra-reliable Callum Morris stepped up to take the kick, but Coughlin dived to his left and produced a superb save.

Then on 63 minutes, the visitors grabbed a lead.

Ryan Edwards ran to the left-side of the box but was going away from goal before he turned sharply and chipped a lovely effort in off the bar.

Three minutes later the Seagulls fans were truly in dreamland when their heroes won the ball tenaciously in midfield and James Kirby came through a tackle before advancing towards goal. Top-scorer Kirby’s left-foot shot ricocheted off Ryan Harrington, over keeper Oliver Byrne and into the net.

Nomads looked set to pull one back when Poole was picked out in space in the box, but hero Coughlin was quickly off his line to block.

That was the home side’s last big chance, leaving Bay to celebrate a memorable success.

Connah’s Quay Nomads
Oliver Byrne, John Disney, Ryan Harrington, Paulo Mendes (Giácomo Corbellini 81), Jamie Mullan, Callum Morris, Declan Poole, Kris Owens, Craig Curran (Jamie Insall 68), Neal Eardley (Connor Simpson 60), Aeron Edwards.

Colwyn Bay
Andrew Coughlin, Joe Williams, Stefan Edwards, Cai Owen, Lewis Sirrell, Thomas McCready, Kieran Evans (James Ellison 82), Jordan Carrington (Sam Jones 90+1), Craig Lindfield, Ryan Edwards, James Kirby.

Bala Town 2 (Ebbe 43, 63)
Aberystwyth Town 1 (Franklin 86)

Prolific net-finder Dean Ebbe made it five goals in three games for his new club Bala as his crucial double sent the Lakesiders into the Welsh Cup semi-finals.

The 2017 cup winners were given a great battle by an Aber side which pushed them right till the end.

Irishman Ebbe, a former star striker for The New Saints, was always a danger at Maes Tegid. His back post header from a Lassana Mendes free kick was tipped away by keeper Alex Pennock, the rebound was then blocked before Ollie Shannon blasted over.

Colin Caton’s side edged in front just before the break.

Shannon got a lucky run of the ball before his deflected shot was tipped onto the bar by Pennock and Ebbe was in the right place to head home.

In the 63rd minute Ebbe produced a lovely sharp finish from an angle to make it 2-0.

Aber roared back and Alex Ramsay made a magnificent save from a Jonathan Evans header before Antony Kay cleared a John Owen effort off the line with the visitors claiming the ball had gone over it.

The away side finally opened their account with a magnificent 86th minute volley by Harry Franklin.

Aber pushed for an equaliser and when substitute Evans pulled the ball down smartly in the box it was a big chance, but Ramsay got down well to save.

Then at the other end, an exquisite trap and pass from Ebbe put Will Evans in the clear, but Pennock denied him with a tremendous stop.

Bala Town
Alex Ramsay, Sean Smith, Nathan Peate, Lassana Mendes (Paul Rutherford 81), Will Evans, Dean Ebbe, Kieran Smith, Antony Kay, David Edwards, Oliver Southern (Calum Woods 59), Ollie Shannon. Subs not used: Anthony Stephens, Bradley Bauress, Chris Venables.

Aberystwyth Town
Alex Pennock, Jack Rimmer, Rhys Davies (Ben Wynne 72), Louis Bradford, Lee Jenkins, Jack Thorn, Mathew Jones, John Owen, Harry Franklin, Sam Phillips (Jonathan Evans 59), Alex Darlington (Jamie Veale 56).

Other quarter-final results

Penybont 3 Taffs Well 2
The New Saints 2 Guilsfield 0

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