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Sunday, 14 September 2014 06:47

Dynamic win among Welsh Cup 2Q upsets

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SATURDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER: Morgan Jones Park, dry and sunny
DYNAMO ABER 3 NEWPORT YMCA 1 (FAW Welsh Cup, Qualifying Round 2)
Choosing a match in these early rounds of the cup is always both challenging and exciting - where will the most interesting games be ? Will there be an upset ? Who doesn't normally issue programmes but will in accordance with cup rules ? Well, at the time of the draw, I had a plan to go to the Wrexham area for Llay Welfare's tie, but that plan has been abandoned for two reasons: firstly, I cannot be away from home for the whole day and need a more local option; and secondly, Llay switched their tie to Penmaenmawr anyway !

Dynamo Aber's belated First Qualifying Round win over Newport Civil Service has, however, thrown up an interesting opportunity very close to home: they're drawn at home, just over the mountain, against Newport YMCA. So a mere hour before kick off I can set off from outside my house on the bus to Caerphilly. A short stroll through the castle grounds brings me to Morgan Jones Park, the home of Dynamo Aber, the latest team to represent the town of Caerphilly in senior football, after winning a treble in local football last season, only their seventh season since formation. Caerphilly has an oddly limited football history - clubs have come and gone, but for over half a century there hasn't been one in the Welsh League. Indeed, today's game has got me wondering when Caerphilly last hosted a Welsh Cup tie... and a bit of research has turned up nothing more recent than Caerphilly United's campaign in 1938-39 !

Morgan Jones Park, close to the town centre, contains multiple recreation facilities, but just the one railed football pitch at its north-east corner, adjacent to the Nant yr Aber stream, a tributary of the Rhymney river, which formerly powered a huge corn mill here. The park itself is named after a local MP - nothing remarkable about that maybe, but Morgan Jones was famous for being a conscientious objector during World War 1. In these days when all things military are seemingly beyond question, it's hard to imagine a pacifist being honoured in this way.

The teams emerge from the changing rooms over to the west, carrying tributes for a pre-match ceremony. The home club has been hit by tragedy, their secretary killed in a violent town centre incident a couple of weeks ago, and a minute's silence is observed. The visitors have brought flowers, a nice touch.

And so to the match: after Aber's win away to one Welsh League side from Newport, it's likely this home game against one actually lower in the table could be winnable for the lower ranked side. Early action confirms that, as the men in orange and black launch a series of attacks which have the YMCA defence reeling. They seem to have no answer to balls threaded through for the fast front runners, and after only four minutes one such ball finds Gareth Tedstone, who slots the ball past Scott Anderson in the visitors' goal. Further goals look more than likely - Alex Edwards comes close soon afterwards, and the YM defenders are in disarray - the words "being run ragged" figure in their frantic exchanges. A succession of corners bring more chances - two good headers from Sam Watkins - and then on the stroke of half-time a free-kick just outside the area is crashed against the angle of bar and post - but bounces away. Half time comes with, remarkably, the lead still just 1-0.

YMCA's team talk, on the pitch, initially sounds like an inquest on the difficulties defending against the home side's runners; but then a new theme emerges, the realisation that they're still in the game, and that Aber may actually think they've won it already. This seems to be a point well made, for the Newport side start the second period with a new vigour, rewarded three minutes into the half with a well-struck equaliser.

Aber continue to look dangerous, although they can't now be said to be coasting to victory. Another free-kick rocks the woodwork but stays out, but finally, in the 60th minute, Tedstone againgets clear and steers in his side's second. Can Newport YM salvage the tie again ? They certainly have a go, and are creating more chances, and the tie remains in the balance until the closing stages. The killer blow is spectacular - out of nothing, Aber's Carl Williams swings his boot and the ball flies into the net from thirty yards out. No way back for YM now, and Dynamo Aber's cup run goes on into the First Round proper.

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Elsewhere in the Second Qualifying Round, there were further notable performances from lower league clubs and several surprising Welsh League casualties. These included the Gwent pair Croesyceiliog and Tredegar Town, with Croesy going down away to Gwent County League side Marshfield, and Tredegar beaten at home by Cardiff's AFC Butetown. Butetown's neighbours Tiger Bay (Cardiff Combination League) are the lowest ranked side going into the hat for the First Round Proper, after overcoming Cwm Rhondda away from home.

Two other Welsh League sides had the misfortune to be drawn against top South Wales Senior League sides, Penrhiwceiber Rangers losing out to Sully Sports in a five goal thriller, while Sully's rials Cornelly United pulled off a fine away win at Cwm Welfare.

The northern half of the draw produced some notable wins by sides from the north-east, with FC Nomads and Coedpoeth United both coming home victorious from trips west to face Welsh Alliance opponents. AFC Brynford's convincing 4-0 win over Greenfield is the only major surprise in the north, although the all-WNL Wrexham Area League tie produced an away win for village side Llanuwchllyn's at Premier Division Rhos Aelwyd.

Read 4365 times Last modified on Sunday, 14 September 2014 06:53

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