NEWFA Cup: Rhydymwyn complete cup comeback against Plas Madoc
The 2018/19 NEWFA Cup got off to a dramatic start at the Mornflake Mighty Oats Ground, where Rhydymwyn went into extra time to defeat Plas Madoc 4-2 in an impressive comeback.
The match marked the start of both sides’ competitive seasons, with Plas Madoc newly promoted from the North East Wales League and Rhydymwyn starting the season with a new-look squad.
Both were looking to start the season off on the right note, and the fixture allowed the clubs to size each other up, as they both compete in the fourth tier Welsh National League Division One.
Plas Madoc enjoyed the better of the first half, forcing two free kicks around 25 yards from the Rhydymwyn area early on.
Captain Josh Williams helped establish Plas as the team on top, showing good skill in the midfield as the hosts struggled to get on the ball for extended periods.
Plas Madoc were in control and playing a good passing game, which paid dividends on 25 minutes when Jordan Powell got onto the end of a through ball and scored from 10 yards with a deft finish.
His goal came when Plas Madoc were quickest to react to the playing of advantage by the referee, as both sides stopped momentarily in the Rhydymwyn half expecting the referee’s whistle to blow.
Rhydymwyn were keen to get back into the game, with a looping header from Dan Sands going just over the Plas Madoc goal before Ben Jones had a 20 yard effort go wide.
But Plas doubled their lead on 35 minutes, when the referee pointed to the spot for a foul on Williams inside the area.
Nathan Edwards stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake, finishing to the right of the goal to give the visitors a commanding lead at half time.
The second half however belonged to Rhydymwyn, who showed great determination to get back into the game.
Matty Gilsenan headed wide and then saw a half volley go wide as the home side began to cause problems for Plas Madoc.
Mitch Williams, who came on at half time for Rhydymwyn, came close to reducing deficit when he went clear on goal, sending a low shot towards the bottom left corner from 15 yards only for his effort to go off the post.
Rhydymwyn found their much sought-after goal in spectacular fashion, when Gilsenan hit a 35 yard effort high into the goal after catching goalkeeper Ryan Roberts off his line.
Momentum was now firmly with Anthony Weaver’s men who, boosted by their goal, were actively looking for an equaliser.
They indeed brought the score level, as they were awarded a penalty just before the hour mark which was converted by Ben Jones.
Plas Madoc struggled to find their rhythm in the second half, but missed a golden chance to win the game inside normal time. Jamie Williams got into the Blue’s area and sent a lob effort towards goal which went just over.
At the end of the second half the score stood at 2-2, with extra time coming and penalties on the horizon.
But the need for a shoot-out was quickly diminished, when around five minutes into AET, an effort from Gilsenan went off a Plas Madoc defender and in, meaning an own goal had put Rhydymwyn in front.
For the majority of extra time Rhydymwyn controlled the encounter, with Jon Grossman making runs down the left wing which Plas struggled to contain.
There was yet more drama in the final minute of the game, as Plas Madoc had a penalty claimed waved away in favour of a corner, which keeper Ryan Roberts came up for and nearly connected with.
Plas were then punished for their all-or-nothing attempt, as Mitch Williams took possession and hit the visitors on the break, running the length of the pitch before slotting the ball into an open goal to seal a memorable cup win for Rhydymwyn.
The win sends them into the second round versus Coedpoeth, but also serves as a big statement from this young side looking to challenge at the top of the Welsh National League Division One in 2018/19.
Elsewhere Offa Athletic were given a 7-0 thrashing by Saltney Town, who enjoyed their comfortable win via Ryan Barrett, and a hat trick each for Scott Beach and Paul Johnson.
Cefn Druids went one better than Saltney, seeing off North East Wales League (NEWL) Flint Mountain 8-0 in a David v Goliath clash.
Welsh National League Premier Division new boys Brymbo defeated (NEWL) Bradley Park 9-0, with Ben Kearney netting five, Jordan Deer two and Jack Ford and Billy New scoring one a piece.
There was an upset at Rhosllanerchrugog, as the Division One side crashed out 3-0 against NEWL outfit Mold Town United.
All of Saturday’s winners will now be in action on Wednesday 8 August when round two gets underway.