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Round two of the FAW Welsh Cup kicked off on Saturday with three sides from within Caerphilly County Borough looking to beat the odds as they competed against some of the best squads in Wales.
There was ecstasy for third-tier Trethomas Bluebirds, who knocked out top-tier outfit Haverfordwest County.
However, Risca United, who are also in the third tier, were knocked out by top-flight Penybont, while fourth-tier Aber Valley were beaten by the seven-time champions of Wales, Barry Town.
Aber Valley 1-3 Barry Town
The day began at Abertridwr Park where Aber Valley FC hosted seven-time Welsh Premier League winners, Barry town, who now find themselves in the second tier.
A record attendance of 921 showed up to line the banks of Abertridwr Park in support of Aber, hoping to see another dizzying cup run that last year saw them beat the likes of Porthcawl Town Athletic before losing out to Aberystwyth Town.
The game started off scrappy with neither team managing to put their foot on the ball on what was a fairly bobbly pitch.
After a few half chances, and two disallowed goals for the visitors, the breakthrough eventually came for Barry following some poor passing on the left hand side by Aber. Sam Johnson scoring from close range.
For the remainder of the half, Aber appeared to be on top, the home side threatened down the left on several occasions but couldn’t make it count. Barry led 1-0 at half-time, with all still to play for.
The break appeared to kill all momentum for the underdogs as Barry were soon on top as their away fans began to make themselves heard.
Just four minutes into the second half, Johnson turned provider for Kayne McLaggon, who ran through on goal before tucking home a neat finish into the bottom right.
The home fans grew restless, with several fireworks let off before the referee warned the home dugout that the match was at risk of being abandoned.
Barry were in full control at this point without really threatening. However, in the 79th minute, Jordan Cotterill put the game to bed following a mistake from the Aber Valley right-back.
With Barry now in cruise control, Aber managed to get a shot off in the dying embers that was clearly blocked by a Barry hand in the box.
Scott Armitage emphatically dispatched the consolation penalty into the top right corner, giving the home fans something to cheer about.
Barry looked a little uneasy for the remaining five or so minutes but held on comfortably enough to seal a 3-1 win.
The clash was a big occasion for the club and the valley. The players left the field to applause from the fans, able to hold their heads high after competing against a much stronger squad.
Risca United 1-5 Penybont
Risca United also kicked off early in the afternoon against Cymru Premier outfit Penybont FC, in a clash played out at the Centre for Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach.
A massive task ahead for Risca was made all the more difficult when they went down 1-0 within 16 minutes after Billy Borge headed in from a corner.
It would have been easy for Risca heads to drop after conceding that early goal, but only seven minutes later did right-back Morgan Stead show some brilliance out wide before assisting Jake Morris – who slotted the ball into the bottom right from the edge of the box.
That jubilation was short lived however, as by the 34th minute, Risca conceded yet another header, this time it was Keyon Reffell who netted for the Bridgend-based visitors.
With the score 2-1 at the break, Risca’s cup dreams were still very much alive.
But Risca’s hopes of salvaging something from the second half were short lived. Penybont’s quality began to show, scoring three within 15 minutes of the break through Snaith, Georgievsky, and Wood.
With the match effectively over, Penybont eased up and ran out 5-1 winners in what turned out to be a fairly comfortable tie for the club currently sitting fourth in the Cymru Premier.
Trethomas Bluebirds 2-1 Haverfordwest County
Trethomas Bluebirds caused one of the biggest upsets of the weekend when they welcomed Cymru Premier side Haverfordwest County to the Centre of Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach.
Haverfordwest looked like the favourites from the off, moving the ball with ease on the excellent surface.
It didn’t take long for Jack Wilson to open the scoring for the visitors, capitalising on a long through ball, which he slotted underneath the keeper.
At this point, it would have been easy for the underdogs to throw in the towel and accept their fate.
But Trethomas refused to roll over however, equalising through Levi Rees after a back post scramble gave the forward a tap in.
With the visitors on the backfoot, Trethomas looked to take advantage when Gareth Tedstone broke through the lines before being brought down by Lee Jenkins.
The referee had no choice but to send the defender off. Trethomas now had a real chance of pulling off an upset.
Haverfordwest still dominated the ball despite being a man light, but the sides went into the break level at 1-1.
This trend continued into the second half, with Trethomas wanting no part of the ball as the visitors looked as comfortable as they did with 11 men. It looked as if only one side could win this one.
With extra time beckoning, Trethomas were doing all they could to slow up the game – the goalkeeper even being booked for time wasting.
However, in the 93rd minute, Trethomas won a throw-in deep in the opposition’s half. The throw found the chest of a Bluebird before being laid off to the feet of Levi Rees once again.
The striker opened up his body, before curling one into the bottom left and leaving the keeper stranded. 2-1 at the death.
There were jubilant scenes coming from the Trethomas squad, as they rushed onto the pitch to celebrate with the match winner. A remarkable win for Trethomas in one of the all-time Welsh Cup upsets.
Trethomas will now face fellow-third tier side Penydarren BGC in the third round.
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