Newtown AFC slip up a 1-0 lead as Rhyl FC advance to the third round of the Welsh Cup with a 1-2 win at Latham Park.
Second half goals from Gareth Partridge and Aaron Hassall completed a comeback win for Rhyl to knock Newtown out of the Welsh Cup for another year.
The Robins’ Neil Mitchell put Newtown ahead after 22 minutes but proved to not be enough for the reds to advance to the fourth round of the cup competition.
Chris Hughes made three changes to the starting line-up that lost 4-1 away at Barry Town United in the Welsh Premier League.
Joe Kenton, Jake Cook and Sam Phillips were called in to replace Callum Roberts, Steve Leslie and Craig Williams who was serving his first match ban after receiving a red card at Barry Town.
Rhyl FC on paper, looked to be the underdogs of the third round tie due to their rankings in the Welsh football league system.
But it was the Lilywhites who showed a positive start to the game.
The opening few minutes saw Aaron Hassall take a long run from the halfway line to the edge of Newtown’s box but his finish was poor going very wide.
Seconds later, Rhyl went on the attack again with Kristian Pierce bidding to lob the ball over Dave Jones but it instead landed over the goal.
Rhyl were showing no fear at a very dark, damp and windy Latham Park as their first real goal threat came on the 8th minute when Pierce produced a low shot that drifted just a whisker past Newtown’s goal.
Robins’ attack was non existent until the match was 20 minutes old and it proved to be a punishment for the visitors for not taking their chances.
Neil Mitchell opened the scoring for Newtown after collecting a wonderful cross from Joe Kenton.
Just before the half hour mark, the Robins could have been two goals to the good when a delivery across the face of goal is deflected and travelling past the post by a tic tac.
5 minutes before the interval and Ethan Jones teed up a volley from 20 yards but it was too ambitious as the ball hovered over the target.
No substitutions were made during the half time break as the second half would be a 45 minutes to forget for the hosts.
The first 15 minutes of the 2nd half was a quiet period until Nick Rushton chips the ball just over the bar after Rhyl struggle to make a clearance.
On the hour mark, Newtown were back level as Gareth Partridge equalised for the visitors with a tap in and James Murphy producing the assist.
The pressure was now on Newtown.
Rhyl were starting to find themselves at home in just minutes when Aaron Hassall put the Lilywhites ahead for the first time.
Hughes’ men had over 20 minutes to get themselves back in the game.
The hosts started to throw challenges at Rhyl’s defence straight from the restart.
66 minutes saw Rushton pick up a pass from Ethan Jones with a quick shot attempt that unfortunately hit the side netting.
With 18 minutes to go, Ethan Jones found himself one on one with the Rhyl goalkeeper, Rory Crowther, but the goal stopper made a phenomenal block to Jones’ chip to deny Newtown the equaliser.
Rhyl nearly put the game to bed when a thumping run from Murphy was stopped by Dave Jones who would later on make two important saves in the final couple of minutes.
Newtown displayed no equalisers as the Robins crashed out of the cup.
Post Match Interview – Chris Hughes
Newtown AFC: 1. D. Jones (GK); 11. J. Kenton, 24. J. Cook, 4. B. Bailey, 5. K. Mills-Evans, 6. J. Denny ©, 23. A. Fletcher, 7. N. Mitchell, 8. N. Rushton, 14. E. Jones, 17. S. Phillips.
Substitutes: 10. S. Leslie, 9. L. Boundford, 16. G. Cadwallader, 25. W. Evans, 13. J. Perry (GK).
Yellow cards: 5. Mills-Evans (13′)
Goal scorers: 7. N. Mitchell (22’)
Rhyl FC: 1. R. Crowther (GK); 16. B. Nash, 3. C. Owen, 4. M. Peate ©, 5. R. Fairhurst, 18. M. Cook, 7. K. Pierce, 21. G. Partridge, 17. A. Hassall, 24. J. Sullivan, 11. J. Murphy.
Substitutes: 2. J. Culshaw, 25. J. Hill-Dunt (GK), 22. L. Smith, 19. B. Torrence.
Goal scorers: 21. G. Partridge (60′), A. Hassall (64′)
Referee: Tom Owen