There were a few shocks today as the JD Welsh Cup entered the Third Round stage.
Bala Town’s defence of the Welsh Cup was over at the first hurdle as they crashed out of the competition, losing 4-0 away to fellow JD Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth Town. Declan Walker opened the scoring for the Seasiders, his free-kick taking a deflection on its way in. Three goals in 12 second half minutes then sealed the win for Aber, John Owen, Joe Phillips and Luke Borrelli all getting on the scoresheet.
Probably the performance of the round though was lowest-ranked side Penydarren BGC of the South Wales Alliance League, who secured a spot in Round 4 with an impressive 4-0 win over Llandudno Junction of the Huws Gray Alliance. Christopher Owens hit a first half hat trick, with Ben Jones scoring the fourth just after the restart to send the travelling supporters back to Merthyr in very good cheer.
Two JD Welsh Premier League sides fell victim to lower-league opposition. Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant of the Welsh Alliance pulled off one of the upsets of the round by defeating Cefn Druids 3-2. James Davies put the Druids in front, before Iwan Matthews equalised for the hosts. The game was locked at 1-1 with seven minutes to go when Davies scored again to regain the lead for the visitors. Matthews hit back minutes later, before Khyam Wyton scored the winner for Llan.
Prestatyn Town were the other top-flight side to be knocked out, as they lost 3-0 at home to Ruthin Town. Gwion Owen had given Ruthin the lead in the first half, and doubled their lead from a Llyr Morris penalty, after Myles Hart was sent off for Prestatyn for a second yellow card. Garmon Hafal got the third on 70’ to send Ruthin into Monday’s draw.
Flint Town United, Airbus UK Broughton and Porthmadog will be representing the Huws Gray Alliance alongside Ruthin in Round 4. Flint beat Buckley away 1-0, Alun Bull the scorer. Airbus needed extra time to overcome Goytre of the Welsh League, 3-2 the final score in Broughton. Joe Chaplin meanwhile grabbed a four-goal haul for Porthmadog as they beat Panteg 7-2 at Y Traeth, Chaplin’s goals including a 15-minute hat trick in the first half.
Pontypridd Town of Welsh League Division 2 are also through to Round 4, beating Haverfordwest County 3-1 at home. Andy Smith, Adam Johns and Nyram Bird were on the scoresheet for the Dragons, Christian Speake getting the goal for County who also had Sam Rowden sent off in the second half.
The remaining JD Welsh Premier League sides all booked their place in the next round. Llandudno beat Gresford 4-0, Marc Williams netting two, with Aaron Hassall and Toby Jones getting the other goals. Just along the coast, Connah’s Quay Nomads were 3-0 victors over Cwmbran Celtic, second half goals from Michael Bakare, Matty Owen and John Oyenuga enough for victory.
There was no joy for the Amman Valley this afternoon, as Ammanford and Cwmamman United lost 3-2 and 4-3 to Carmarthen Town and Bangor City respectively. Ammanford came from 2-0 down at the break to level things early in the second half before Liam Thomas, already on the scoresheet for the visitors, struck again to give the Old Gold a much needed win. Four different scorers helped Bangor into Round 4, Dan Gossett, Anderson Cayola, James Demitriou and Brayden Shaw getting the goals for the Citizens.
Cardiff Met held off the challenge of Penybont to progress 3-1 winners. Eliot Evans, Rhys Thomas and Dan Spencer scorers for Met, while Joe Hopkins scored for the hosts. Neil Mitchell and Jamie Reed saw Newtown through to Round 4, the Robins 2-0 winners at home to Guilsfield.
The New Saints were the first side to reach Round 4 on Friday evening, beating Penrhyncoch 6-0 at Park Hall. Goals for Saints came from Blaine Hudson, Wes Fletcher, Aeron Edwards, and Alex Darlington, who bagged a hat-trick and missed a penalty.
There's one tie of the round remaning: Caernarfon Town host Barry Town United tomorrow. The draw for the Fourth Round will be made live on Heno, on S4C on Monday evening from 7pm.
Featured image courtesy of Aberystwyth Town FC.