Support quality, independent, local journalism…that matters
From just £3 a month you can help fund our work – and use our website without adverts. Become a member today
Trethomas Bluebirds have been crowned FAW Amateur Trophy champions after a 2-1 win over Denbigh Town at Latham Park, Newtown.
In an historic day for the Bluebirds, they entered the final on Saturday afternoon as underdogs.
A flawless first half however put them 2-0 up through Charlie Loss and Tom Rutherford with some thinking the tie was over.
It was never going to be that simple, however. Denbigh roared back in the second half scoring a goal of their own just after the break thanks to right back Ben Lockley.
The Bluebirds managed to hang on, marking the biggest win in the club’s history with league promotion still firmly in their sights.
Despite the heat, the game began with a great level of intensity as both teams were working each other out.
It was Trethomas who had the first chance. The ball fell to an in-form Gareth Tedstone – who was touch and go to start this game after picking up a knock in midweek away to Abertillery. Tedstone looked dangerous in the box as he had a shot blocked.
Ethan Edwards is another form player for the Bluebirds, the left winger had the running of Denbigh right back Ben Lockley early on.
The heat seemed to have taken it out of the side from north Wales by the ten minute mark. There were huge spaces between the back line and forwards leaving bags of space in midfield for Trethomas to exploit.
Space that Edwards was looking to run into whenever he had the chance. Another ball out left led to a cross that flashed across goal. Trethomas were starting to get on top.
Denbigh’s first chance came after 12 minutes when Lockley crossed to the feet of captain Paul Fleming who was leaning back and sent his effort over the bar.
After 20 minutes Trethomas were all but camped in the Denbigh half. Charlie Loss this time finding space on the left before getting a cross in that came to nothing.
It was Loss who finally got the deserved breakthrough for the Bluebirds after 22 minutes. Thomas Gameson picked up the ball in midfield before firing one into the feet of Loss who was in acres of space.
The linesman kept his flag down despite appeals and Loss gladly tucked it away to score the biggest goal in Trethomas Bluebirds history.
They may have came into the game as the underdogs, but nobody told Trethomas. They continued to dominate the ball after the goal and they’d have thought it was only a matter of time before they scored their second.
The only blow Trethomas were to suffer in the first half, was the loss of Tedstone after 33 minutes.
Sure enough the second goal came shortly after. Captain Tom Rutherford this time poking the ball into an empty net following yet another cross from the left. This time it was substitute Levi Rees with the assist.
The Bluebirds were in cruise control. It almost felt a bit easy, as was the quality of Trethomas as half-time approached.
It should have been three just before the break. More great work by Edwards, who had three blocked shots in quick succession at close range.
Edwards went down injured for his efforts, as his cup final was tragically cut short following a brilliant first half performance.
Denbigh Town manager Dewi Jones must have got into his players at half-time because they came out like a new side.
They showed more intent within a minute than they had for the previous 45; Nathan Brown driving at the box and testing keeper Gareth Williams for the first time today.
The Denbigh Town fans also put a performance in. Swapping ends to get behind the goal and give Williams some stick whenever Denbigh got forward.
Far from dominating however, both sides were getting chances and for the first time in 55 minutes the game became quite open.
That was until after 59 minutes Denbigh Town got the goal that would spark this fixture back into life.
The goal came from a corner, looped into the back post where Lockley – who had a difficult first half – more than made up for it with a header from close range.
Celebrating in front of their fans, Latham Park erupted as a flare was set off and the chants began.
Shortly after the goal and Brown was at it again for Denbigh. He tried a speculative chip from the edge of the box that Williams managed to tip over. It felt as though a goal was coming.
Trethomas’ defending was resilient however. Andrew Evans cleared anything that came his way as the Denbigh pressure only increased.
Jake Walker had a chance to level things after 66 minutes when a ball over the top put the striker through. His effort pulled wide right.
Rutherford went down injured at the worst possible time. His leadership was crucial and when we reluctantly hobbled off the pitch after 74 minutes, things could have taken a turn for the worse on it.
Denbigh continued to bombard the Trethomas defence, there was nothing clean cut, but the constant pressure made it feel like that a big chance was inevitable.
Trethomas managed to break the press for a brief moment just before the 80 minute mark. Rees scoring before the linesman cut the celebrations short.
The Bluebirds were out on their feet now. Sat deeper than they would have liked, they slowed the game down when they could with Loss and Gameson taking cautions for their efforts.
With five minutes to go, the rain began to fall and Trethomas rallied together for one last push against the Denbigh attack, knowing they were only moments away from glory.
On the 88th minute it was almost heartache for the Bluebirds. Brown finding himself in far too much space on the edge of the box before firing wide. Williams static.
Like true champions however, they didn’t fade away. The final whistle blew to a roar from the Trethomas Bluebirds players and fans who had made the two-hour trip to Newtown.
A spectacular win for the Trethomas Bluebirds, who are officially the FAW Amateur Tropy champions for 2022/23.
After the game, Caerphilly Observer spoke to Trethomas Bluebirds chairman, David Evans. He said: “I’m speechless. Absolutely incredible. It’s a testament to this football club and everyone who is a part of it.
“This win is for everyone. For the coaches, for the players, for the fans, for Trethomas.
“This is the second biggest trophy in Welsh football and we’re taking it home with us. It has been an incredible journey and lets just hope it continues.”
Manager Mark Dunford also added: “It’s a surreal win honestly. We’re competing on two fronts and our aim has always been to get into the Cymru South so to win this is just a real bonus.
“The boys have been great at focusing on each game as it comes and today was no different.
“To win though means everything. All the hard work, all the hours, all the coaching, all the planning…lifting that cup makes it all worth it.”
On the game itself, coach Dunford said: “I thought we were brilliant first half. We trusted the way we’ve been playing coming into the game and matched them further up the field.
“Our forwards were great and we really matched their intensity. Something I don’t think they expected.”
Caerphilly Observer also spoke to 35-year-old Bluebird Adam Raymond, who played an unexpected 45 minutes. Asked what his reaction to this win was, he joked: “Well on a personal level my playing days are long over, so to play a half was great.”
He added: “We all know the focus is still on the the league and it shows that we need the squad depth. It’s a long game and we’re going to need everyone to contribute.
“The game itself was tough. We were a massive threat first half and second half it was obviously difficult but we still had a good shape.
“They’re a serious side with serious talent so to come away with the win is huge.”
Sign up to our daily newsletter
Support quality, independent, local journalism…that matters
From just £3 a month you can help fund our work – and use our website without adverts.
Become a member today