Llanrhaeadr hit back to sacrifice mighty Druids

Reporter:

Gavin Grosvenor

LLANRHAEADR hit back to snatch a dramatic victory over Cefn Druids who were dumped out of the cup in Mid Wales for a second successive season.

While last season James Davies starred as Llanfair United stunned the Welsh Premier side this season he scored twice as Druids led at Tanllan only to be cancelled out by a Iwan Matthews double before Khyam Wytton came off the bench to spectacularly head his side’s injury time winner.

The Wrexham side arrived as massive favourites but despite their possession struggled to penetrate a well organised home defence until the 25th minute when Lewis Buckley’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Connor Lee with ex-Llanfair ace Davies on hand to poke into an empty net from close range.

However Llanrhaeadr were galvanised and cheered on by large and vociferous home crowd were back on terms 10 minutes later with player-manager Marc Griffiths linking with Matthew Evans whose cross was only cleared as far as Matthews who unleashed an unstoppable strike to level.

The Welsh Premier side dominated the second-half but the stoic hosts ensured them restricted to a few long range chances which failed to test Lee.

With seven minutes remaining the Welsh Premier side’s possession finally culminated in a goal as Davies turned and fired under Lee to complete his brace.

Llanrhaeadr went for broke and threw men forward which led to an immediate response as Wytton released Tom Evans on the right whose cross was met by Matthews to head his side back on terms.

Llanrhaeadr were now in the ascendancy as the Druids defence continued to creak under pressure and with just a minute remaining Evans’ right wing cross was met by Wytton whose diving header beyond goalkeeper Mike Jones sent Tanllan wild.

The drama continued until the final whistle with a goalmouth scramble at the other end resulting in Buckley’s shot being cleared off his line by Iain Edmunds before the tie was brought to a halt and Llanrhaeadr’s players and supporters began the celebrations which proceeded long into the night.

Llanrhaeadr manager Marc Griffiths said: “I’m so proud of these lads, we turned up knowing there was a small chance we could cause an upset and to come from a goal down to equalise twice and then get the win says it all about the group we have.

“We had a game plan which meant every player had to do their job and the substitutes also had a role to play as was shown.

“We always said that if we were still in it with 10 minutes to go then we were going to go for it as there only would of been one winner in extra time as there fitness would of prevailed.”

LLANRHAEADR: Lee, M Evans, Bailey, G Evans, Kelly, D Evans, Vaughan, K Evans, T Evans, Matthews, Griffiths. Subs. Wytton, Graham, Edmunds, Harris, Weaver

Email:

gavin.grosvenor@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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