NEWFA CUP SEMI-FINAL REPORTS – APRIL 24
Bethel 1 (Greenough)
Connah’s Quay Nomads 3 (Hamer, Grimshaw 2)
Report: Adam Angerer
Two second half goals guided Nomads into the NEWFA Cup Final and a clash with Adran North champions Llandudno next month.
Sunday brought a fifth meeting of the season between Bethel and the Quay.
The maroon and blacks beat Nomads twice in the league and on penalties in the Welsh Cup, while the Deesiders had come out on top just the once in the Adran Trophy.
Nomads were forced into two changes from their quarter-final victory over Wrexham with Shannon Hobbs, a four-goal star that day, absent through illness and 26-goal top scorer Kirstie Kural missing out due to injury.
Kural’s unavailability meant midfielder Amber Bailey was given the captain’s armband.
Manager Jordan Parry resorted to a back five, bringing in Sienna Strapp and Cat King for first team starts as well as placing Jennifer Haynes up front.
Bethel’s first-choice goalkeeper Sioned Hughes-Williams returned and 19-year old Yasmin Williams replaced Katie Midwinter, who dropped to the bench.
Nomads got off to a dream start as in the second minute Llinos Hughes’ long ball was not cleared by the Bethel defence and Tamara Hamer eventually capitalised to slot home.
The hosts levelled in the 16th minute when Jordanne Greenough’s rather tame shot was only helped on its way into the net by keeper Charlie Bolland to make it 1-1, although it might have taken an unfortunate bobble.
Home keeper Hughes-Williams, who had earlier made two good saves, appeared somewhat lucky to escape a red card as Hamer was through on goal before being taken out by the number one in the 41st minute.
Hughes-Williams was shown a yellow and amid protests for a stiffer punishment, the referee stuck to his original decision.
After the break Nomads started to dominate in possession and a series of corners, taken by Niamh Grimshaw, forced the Bethel back-line to make last-ditch clearances
Substitute Ella Wall prompted Hughes-Williams into yet another diving save to keep it level.
The Nomads were back in front with 14 minutes to go as a corner eventually came back out to Grimshaw, who delivered towards the back post and the ball flew directly in to make it 2-1.
Hamer rattled the bar with an audacious effort but the visitors added a late tie-clinching third.
Grimshaw dribbled inside the area and curled another stunner into the bottom corner.
Nomads will take on Llandudno in the final in Ruthin on May 15.
Llanfair United 2 (Williams 28, Richards 90+)
Llandudno 5 (James 79, Maddie Williams 81 & 99, Tradewell 92 & 103)
(after extra time – 2-2 at full time)
Adran North champions Llandudno needed extra time to reach the NEWFA Cup final at the expense of underdogs Llanfair.
Tudno had always outclassed the Powys side in previous encounters, having beaten them 4-1 and 4-0 in the league this season and dishing out thrashings of 6-1, 5-2 and 7-1 in Welsh Cup meetings of years gone by.
However, on Sunday, Llanfair struck first through Emma Williams from a 28th minute corner and they stayed in front up to half time.
As time went on in the second half, things looked grim for the league title winners until in the 79th minute Susie James levelled from a goalmouth scramble.
Two minutes later, Maddie Williams took on three players in the box and smashed the ball into the bottom left corner for her 30th goal of the season.
That looked like it, but Llanfair hit back deep into stoppage time through Liann Richards to force an added half-hour.
It was here that Llandudno’s stamina showed, Stacey Tradewell scoring in the first minute of the opening period.
Seven minutes later, good play down the left led to Tradewell back-flipping the ball into the 18-yard box for Maddie Williams to slide in and poke home for 4-2.
Tradewell’s amazing goal-scoring season continued in the 103rd minute when she exchanged passes with Maddie Williams and drilled low and hard into the bottom corner to make it a magnificent 18 goals this term.
While James, Maddie Williams and Tradewell provided the goals, it was keeper Sara Williams who picked up the Woman of the Match award for producing three excellent saves.