The Welsh Football League Cup took centre stage this weekend with the quarter-final round being played.
There was a bit of everything: a classy performance from the favorites, penalty shootout drama, a ‘cupset’ and a quarter-final postponement.
In the MD21 league programme, Llanelli Town and Haverfordwest County had their Division One lead cut, albeit they both remain the most likely to compete for the Welsh League title. There is new leaders in Division Two and the chasing pack ensured the title race remains tight and complex. It’s a clear three-horse race at the top of Division Three, at the bottom the situation for Neuadd Wen and Treowen Stars becomes increasingly stark.
Holders Llanelli Town showed exactly why they are favourites to retain the League Cup with a 5-1 thrashing away to AFC Llwydcoed of Division Two. Jordan Follows scored a hat-trick for The Reds, including a stunning long range effort, with Lee Trundle and James Loveridge also got on the scoresheet.
The tie at Old Road, where Briton Ferry Llansawel hosted Cwmbran Celtic, went all the way to penalties with both sides locked at 2-2 after two hours of football.
The result of the day belonged to Trefelin BGC, current leaders of Division Three, who won 1-0 at STM Sports (Division Two) to book their place in the semi-finals. It’s a fine reward for the work Richie Ryan has done turning around Trefelin this season, while for STM Sports it was the third time this season they have been knocked out of the cups by lower league opposition.
The final tie – between Pontypridd Town and Aberbargoed Buds – was postponed on Saturday morning because The Buds were unable to field a team. Whether this means Pontypridd will progress to the semi-finals automatically or whether the tie will need to be re-arranged remains to be seen.
AFC Llwydcoed 1-5 Llanelli Town
Briton Ferry Llansawel 2-2 Cwmbran Celtic (Cwmbran Celtic progress 5-4 on penalties)
Pontypridd Town P-P Aberbargoed Buds
STM Sports 0-1 Trefelin BGCDivision One
On Friday night there was the return of a familiar face in the home dugout at Rhiw Dda’r as Lee Bridgeman re-assumed his management duties at Taffs Well, alongside ex-Caerau Ely boss Nana Baah, in a new-look management team for The Wellmen.
There was no winning return for Bridgeman as Taffs Well drew 0-0 with Penybont – a result that, if it wasn’t already the case, more than likely ends the Bridgend club’s interest in the Division One title race.
Goytre kept alive their hopes of remaining in the title hunt though with a 2-1 win over Ton Pentre; goals from Oliver Dalton and Luke Prosser helping them to take the three points. Goytre United moved up to 3rd with a 2-1 win at Cwmamman United, who remain in the bottom three.
Cortez Belle’s first match in charge of Port Talbot Town ended in a stalemate as they were held to a goalless draw away to Monmouth Town.
Taffs Well 0-0 Penybont
Cwmamman United 1-2 Goytre United
Goytre 2-1 Ton Pentre
Monmouth Town 0-0 Port Talbot Town
Undy Athletic 0-2 Afan Lido
Caldicot Town returned to the top of the league with a 1-0 win at Risca United, courtesy of a last-gasp Garin Withers goal. Ammanford remains among the title chasers too with a 4-1 home defeat of Pontardawe Town, including a double for Matthew Fisher.
There was also a win for Llantwit Major at Croesyceiliog, thanks to goals from Sam Snaith and Rhys Llewellyn. Ammanford moves up to 4th, Llantwit Major 6th.
At the bottom Dinas Powys gave their survival bid a massive shot in the arm with a 3-1 win away to West End; a double on debut for Isaac Morrison helping the Vale of Glamorgan outfit to take the points home. AFC Porth’s woes continued with a 2-0 defeat at Abergavenny Town; The Black Dragons have lost all 13 league games this season. Matters not helped by a red card for violent conduct in the second half.
Abergavenny Town 2-0 AFC Porth
Ammanford 4-1 Pontardawe Town
Croesyceiliog 1-2 Llantwit Major
Risca United 0-1 Caldicot Town
West End 1-3 Dinas Powys
With Trefelin involved in the League Cup, both Swansea University and Bridgend Street made the most of the opportunity to close the gap on the leaders. Swansea Uni beat Neuadd Wen 2-0 at Sketty Stadium through Elliot Jones and Nick Hyden goals; Bridgend Street won 3-1 away to Treowen Stars (Paul Fowler, Anthony Burnett and David Brooks the Bridgend Street scorers).
Penrhiwceiber Rangers and Caerau both won to ease themselves away from the drop zone. Penrhiwceiber produced an impressive 3-0 home win against 4th placed Tredegar Town, Caerau also pulled off a home victory, 2-0 against Chepstow Town.
On Friday night there was a big win and three points for Ynysygerwn courtesy of a 3-1 home win over Treharris Athletic Western. The win opens a four-point gap between them and the bottom three.
Ynysygerwn 3-1 Treharris Athletic Western
Caerau 2-0 Chepstow Town
Panteg 1-2 Trethomas Bluebirds
Penrhiwceiber Rangers 3-0 Tredegar Town
Pontyclun 1-2 Newport City
Swansea University 2-0 Neuadd Wen
Treowen Stars 1-3 Bridgend Street
(Featured Image: Steve Roberts)