NWCFA Challenge Cup Round 4
11 February 2006
Blaenau Ffestiniog Amateurs 1 v Glantraeth 2

Credit where it is due this was an excellent performance by a very lively and well organised Blaenau team who lifted their game and played out of their skin against their higher league opponents. They frustrated the Bodorgan Boys and at times were clearly the better side. An incredible defensive display with particular praise for the goalkeeping heroics of Dylan Hughes. Up front the combination of Ceri Roberts, Gareth Edwards and Gari Hughes gave the visiting team a torrid time with their quick movement and slick passing. In the end Glantraeth held out and won the game narrowly by two goals to one.

From the off Blaenau came at the Glantraeth side and after the ball was given away on the halfway line a cross found Blaenau's Gari Hughes who forced Neil Hughes to pull off a good save diving to put the ball round the post for a corner. On 15Min's Gari Hughes thought he had scored the first goal but the linesman on the far side of the pitch had his flag up for offside. Craig Roberts then went close for Glantraeth with a snap shot on the turn from inside the box. Kevin Roberts then tried his luck but the shot was cleared off the line by Gareth Evans. Ceri Roberts then forced Neil Hughes into another good save before Mark Owens did likewise with home keeper Dylan Hughes. The goalie who was in inspired form also saved a header from Craig Roberts on the stroke of half-time and pulled off another save from Mark Thomas.

The second half saw Glantraeth pull out all stops in a much better display. Mark Owens squared to Craig Roberts but leaning back his shot flew over the bar. Roberts then took a free kick which went the wrong side of the post before namesake Kevin flashed a shot past the post. Two minutes later Glantraeth took the lead a good move found Emyr Rowlands who's cross was punched clear by the keeper only to fall at the feet of Kevin Roberts who executed his chance well drilling a shot low into the back of the net from 20yds out. Play went to the other end of the field where Ceri Roberts forced Glantraeth shot stopper Hughes into another good save. The game was now livening up and Blaenau's keeper pulled off yet another good save to deny Kevin Roberts. Gareth Owen then had a header go close from Emyr Rowlands corner, before Nigel Barry hit a shot that was deflected just wide of the post by the outstretched foot of Blaenau's Gareth Evans. Mark Thomas then saw the keeper tip his header over the crossbar. Simon Kay out on the left then swung in a cross come shot that deceived the keeper and sailed into the top corner of the net 2-0 to the visitors. A minute later and Ceri Roberts burst the Glantraeth rearguard and with the keeper to beat shot over the crossbar. Then Roberts took a free kick that went narrowly wide of the post. On 82Min's Mark Owens should have put the game beyond doubt but his shot went over the bar from Craig Roberts corner. With five minutes remaining Blaenau got their deserved goal when Gary Hughes headed in to make it an interesting last five minutes of play. In the 86Th minute came the best moment of the match that had the assembled crowd applauding the heroics of the Blaenau custodian Dylan Hughes as Kevin Roberts broke through and shot the keeper parried the ball away and as he was getting up he managed to get fingertips to a fierce shot from substitute Darren Jones in what was an incredible double save. As the game was nearing its closure Kevin Roberts crossed a ball that was almost put in for an own goal by a Blaenau defender.

Final score 2-1 to Glantraeth and a home tie in the quarter final against Holyhead Hotpsur our Anglesey neighbours and Cymru Alliance League rivals.

Jeff Scott