Hot on the heels of Chirk AAA’s and Rhos Aelwyd we now have Cefn Albion writing the headlines by reaching the final of the Welsh Trophy and earn the rights to play Pontardawe from the Swansea Valleys in the final next month. The game started in controversial fashion when the South Walians were awarded a hotly disputed penalty after the referee had deemed skipper Paul Griffiths had impeded his marker. Albion drew level and yet again, STM were equally as mystified by the decision and Oliver Davies stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way. With so much at stake, both sides were ultra cautious and anxious not to make a mistake so the game itself was far from being a classic. The clash however did come alive in extra time. Some brilliant play from Dan Cox played in substitute Conner Kendrick unmarked and he skilfully lobbed the keeper to atone for an 80th minute effort he failed to cash in on so he certainly made up for the miss. STM were forced to throw caution to the wind and pushing for an equaliser, Albion caught them in the break or to be more accurate 17 year old Zac Davies did cutting in from the left smashing home to the keepers right. The result saw the 200 travelling fans going wild with delight at the end leaving manager Stephen Davies an emotional wreck. “We did our fans proud, we defended really well and although our counter attacks were quite sublime, we failed to make the most of the chances created. I thought Jordan Jones was a touch unlucky to be dismissed late in the game after receiving a 2nd yellow card and in extra time I honestly thought with the lack of player parity, our best chance of winning might have been through a spot-kick show down but Conner’s goal really was the defining moment and the late strike by Zac was the icing on the cake.”

There was limited league action with only two Premier Division games getting the green light and one was at Afoneithia between Penycae and Saltney who started the day 4th in the table with their hosts sitting in a lowly bottom place. It was not of great surprise when the Bordermen took the lead through Danny Burgess on 19 minutes. Despite their dominance, the visitors failed to capitalise on the many chances created and could not add to their tally going in to the break. Despite being under the cosh for large periods of the first half, Penycae had the belief chances would come their way and sure enough 3 minutes after the restart Saltney failed to deal with a in-swinging corner effectively and Connor Tagoe was on hand to take charge of the resulting scramble and edge the ball home and draw his team level. However, in the melee, Saltney keeper Chris Mis fell awkwardly and had to leave the game with a dislocated shoulder. Goalscorer Danny Burgess donned the gloves but without Mis and Burgess in his natural position organising the defence, Saltney struggled to find their first half form and found themselves behind only moment later through a great strike from Austin Owen. With the torrential rain not offering the players a break and the pitch now brown rather than green, it was no surprise to see the quality of football deteriorate. A scruffy end-to-end affair followed. Penycae went on to take a 4-1 lead with further strikes from Ahmed Alli and Anthony Dunleavey. With it all to do Saltney finally made an effort to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Jake Johnson pegged a goal back and then Shaun Hughes with a trademark run down the right, whipped in a delicious cross which was met by the head of Saltney’s captain Ben Evans who made no mistake in converting the opportunity to make it 4-3. The visitors threw everything at the home defence for the final 10 minutes of the match, but Penycae defence stood strong and refused to give anything else away. Saltney will be very disappointed not to have taken a chance to increase their points tally, but Penycae will be absolutely delighted as the result sees them move to within a point of second to bottom Hawarden Rangers, with 2 games in hand.

LEX XI came to Queens Park’s rescue making their Stansty Park pitch available for the clash with Llay Welfare to go ahead after their normal facilities hired from the council were unavailable. It was ironic then that it was ex LEX player Mike Latham who ran the show and despite his small stature he was head and shoulders above the rest on view converting a sublime hat-trick. Substitute Sean Humphreys went on to complete the 4-0 whitewash. Welfare boss Mike Gadie was first to admit “We weren’t at the races today but fair play to Queens Park they never let us get out of our gears and we also gave away 3 soft goals. But credit to the lads we’ve taken 12 out of the last 15 points available. Rest assured, it is time for a reaction next week against Brymbo.

In Division One, Coedpoeth’s renaissance continued and they secured a 4-2 success at Cefn Mawr with strikes from Olly Lewis who weighed in with a double salvo, Nicky McCormack and Andy Griffiths. Reducing the deficit were Joe Williams and James Collins.

Overton came unstuck and they flopped to a 3-1 defeat against New Brighton Villa who netted through Sam Moppit(2) and James Beck with Harry Massey replying.

In the Reserves League, Castell Alun narrowly went down 2-1 against Buckley Town who netted through a Tom Gunson double after Dan Woosey had levelled at one stage.

At Colts level, Brymbo took a 21st minute lead through Ryan Cullimore against Rhos Aelwyd who hit back through Sam Baldam ad Ieuan Jones to win 2-1.

Llay Welfare defeated Ruthin Town 3-0 and their marksmen were Adam Colley, Callum Richardson and Dan Richardson.

Kian Davies and a Tom Edwards who bagged himself a brace to enable Penycae to clinch a 3-2 success at New Brighton Villa and such success has taken them to within a point of leaders Holywell Town. Reducing the deficit were Adam Funnell and Jake Williams.