|1st April 2017||5:15 pm||Welsh Cup||2016/17|
Lakesiders are Welsh Cup Finalists!!
The Lakesiders made history on Saturday evening as they came from 1-0 down to progress into the JD Welsh Cup Final for the first time in their history.
It was a tough old afternoon for the Lakesiders who as quite often the case, don’t do things the straight forward way!
Town started brightly enough as they came out with high tempo. Anthony Stephens tested first as his freekick from 25 yards was deflected for a corner.
Successive headers from corner kicks went over for the Lakesiders before Kieran Smith stuck a spectacular 30 yard strike inches wide of the upright.
Jordan Evans brought down the ball brilliantly to find Wade who allowed Smith to fire over the bar prior to another Smith chance being palmed away instinctively by Alex Ramsey in the Caernarfon net.
After Town’s dominance in the opening 15 minutes, Caernarfon came back into the game and forced Morris to tip over a dipping goalbound effort.
Wade turned an Evans cross around the post down the other end for the Lakesiders but Town were about to see themselves go a goal down.
Darren Thomas drove into the box beating Thompson and Stephens to fizz the ball across the face of goal which Stuart J. Jones sliced to put the ball in his own net after 26 minutes of play.
From then on, the Cofis took a hold on the game and Bala’s performance slipped to a similar one against Cardiff Met last week.
A John Irving cross was punched away by Ramsey and a freekick was cleared then followed in by Venables who struck wide before halftime.
Lee Hunt entered they fray after halftime instead of Ryan Wade with the Lakesiders knowing they needed to get back into the game.
Bala were improving, now playing more along the floor and asking more questions of our opponents.
Hunt saw his shot pushed away before a good passage of play led to his overhead kick at the backpost creep wide.
A freekick by Caernarfon was curled over with them still proving to be a danger on the counterattack.
The game was opening up – Hunt saw a chance from close range saved again before down the other end, Nathan Craig blazed comfortably wide.
Thompson’s delivery picked out Hunt who headed wide, a Hayes half chance was caught by Ramsey after a drive into the box and a 30 yard freekick from Stephens was overhit and went out for a goalkick.
On 77 minutes, Town were back level. A long ball from Murtagh allowed Hunt to beat the offside trap (and his marker!) and lob Ramsey from 16 yards – game on!
Caernarfon were tiring after their hardworking performance and Bala took full advantage.
Stephens held the ball up for Smith who instinctively drove the ball home from 8 yards into the bottom right hand corner to give the Lakesiders the lead with two minutes left to play.
Then it was 3. A throughball from Smith saw Hayes run onto it and wait for Stephens on the overlap. After taking a touch, the ball was squared low which Hunt poked home from 4 yards and send the Lakesiders into their first ever Welsh Cup Final.
At times it looked like it wasn’t going to happen but the Lakesiders dug deep and pulled out a superb final 15 minute performance to turn the game on it’s head.
Huge credit to Caernarfon, they showed passion, desire and fantastic team performance and so magnanimous in defeat. Their staff, supporters and players should be incredibly proud.
Attendance – 827. Thank you for all your support – see you in Nantporth for the Final on April 30th!
— sgorio (@sgorio) April 1, 2017
Match photos by Arwel Jones