An afternoon of high drama summed up the highs and lows of what has been a frustrating season for Glantraeth and their supporters.
The visitors almost took the lead in the 4th minute as Craig Roberts headed a Kevin Roberts free kick against the bar. Play immediately swung up the other end and with Glan appealing for a foul signalled by the assistant referee play was allowed to continue and Tim Nunnerley’s shot went under keeper Dave Ball to give Guilsfield the lead.
The Powys side were keeping the ball better and were good value for their lead but the game exploded on 26 minutes as a raking challenge from Mike Cockram led to Gareth Owen lashing out at the Guilsfield player and after consulting with his assistant the referee red-carded Owen.
As so often happens the dismissal seemed to galvanize Glan into action with Richard Owen and Nigel Barry both going close to levelling.
Manager Paul Whelan rung the changes at the break, going to three at the back and moving Darren Jones into midfield. It was Glantraeth making all the chances now. Hesitation by the home keeper almost let in Richard Owen on 46 minutes and five minutes later a surging run by Nigel Barry ended with him firing over.
The pressure paid off in sensational style as a hat-trick from striker Richard Owen in a six minute period put Glantraeth back in the driving seat. On 53 minutes Chris Evans played the ball towards goal with the bounce of the ball on the dry pitch beating keeper Chris Williams. The ball would have ended in the net whatever but Richard Owen ran in to apply the finishing touch. Three minutes later and Paul Rowlands picked out Richard Owen superbly and the Glantraeth striker’s downward header easily beat Williams. The hat-trick was completed on 59 minutes as Darren Jones ball over the home defence found Owen and another good finish, his 24th of the season, put Glan 3-1 up.
With the ten men of Glantraeth possibly tiring in the scorching heat Guilsfield upped their game and pulled a goal back on 69 minutes as substitute David Foster crossed from the left and Steve Towers couldn’t miss with a simple header.
After all the hard work that had got them back into the game things went badly wrong as Tim Nunnerley completed his hat-trick with two goals in the 75th and 76th minutes to give Guilsfield victory. On 75 minutes Glan lost possession too easily and Nunnerley was left with a clear run on goal then keeper Dave Ball found himself in no-man’s land to leave the Guils’ striker with an easy lob into an empty net.
Glantraeth: Dave Ball, Emyr Rowlands (Chris Evans 45), Darren Jones (Paul Whelan 87), Carl Thomas, Gareth Owen, Nigel Barry, Craig Roberts, Richard F Owen, Richard Owen (Osian Pritchard 73), Kevin Roberts, Paul Rowlands.