CARMARTHEN Town were unable to repeat their famous comeback against Aberystwyth Town, of just over a week ago that saw them earn a 3-3 draw, as they were beaten 3-1 by the Black and Greens in the Quarter-final of the JD Welsh Cup on Tuesday (Mar 6).
Aber took a commanding 3-1 lead in their previous game, also at Richmond Park, but Carmarthen hit back to earn a point.
A similar story seemed to be developing in this game as Aber took control with goals from Joe Phillips, John Owen and Malcolm Melvin gave them a 3-0 lead.
Despite Liam Thomas’ goal there was to be no repeat and Aber held on to book a semi-final date with rivals Newtown.
The game had been scheduled for Saturday but due to the heavy snow, the game was called off on health and safety grounds and was hastily rearranged for Tuesday.
Carmarthen made a lively start with Clayton Green lobbing over the bar and Liam Thomas bringing a save out of Mullock.
Aber responded when Declan Walker curled a shot over from Ashley Young’s corner.
Young made a superb defensive block to deny Ceri Morgan a clear chance but then the visitors made the breakthrough when another corner from Young was glanced home by Phillips for a crucial opener which put Aber’s vocal tifosi into raptures.
A rather cautious game ensued after the harem-scarem of last week, with both sides struggling to find a rhythm, and chances were restricted to Ryan Wade finding the top of the net with a cute lob, Tom Owens firing a shot just wide and Chris Mullock doing well to gather Green’s cross, and Aber found themselves ahead at the break by 1-0.
In the second half, Dwayne Coultress’ early shot glanced wide and Kieran Lewis lobbed over as the hosts tried to make a game of it, but once again Walker troubled the Carmarthen goal with a glancing header from Phillips’ deep cross.
With the home defence tiring John Owen started to display his dazzling skills and his backheel set up Matthew Jones for a low shot which Lewis deflected goalbound, and Lewis Thomas in the home goal pulled off a superb save.
Then at the three quarter mark Owen turned his marker at the edge of the area and angled a low drive into the far corner for a stunning strike to double Aber’s lead.
Three minutes later the visiting fans were in dreamland as Owen did brilliantly to feed Phillips and his cross-field ball was perfect for Melvin to fire a beautiful 30 yard drive into the net for 3-0.
The hosts inevitably brought Aber right back down to earth by getting a goal back two minutes later with Thomas firing home from close range, and with the Old Gold hitting incessant long high balls into the box the pressure was on.
Walker did head over for Town, and Melvin brought a diving save from Thomas, and with Craig Hobson’s arrival as sub the Black and Greens had a strong header at both ends of the pitch.
With ten minutes to go Carmarthen had a goal disallowed for offside, much to the relief of their opponents.
From that point on Aber defended well and ensured that the ball spent most of the six minutes of injury time upfield, and David Morgan’s final whistle ensured that Neville Powell’s Aber had booked a Welsh Cup Semi Final place.
Carmarthen must now dust themselves off as they prepare to take on play-off league leaders Barry Town United, again at Richmond Park, on Friday (Mar 9), knowing that nothing other than a win will do in their bid for Welsh Premier League survival.