On a day following the momentous result that saw Ynysddu youth prevail at Old Road, things did not get any less entertaining as Afan Lido youth hosted Taffs Well in the Welsh Youth Cup.
These are probably the two most well matched and the two biggest threats in the Welsh Youth Division. They are separated by 3 points and a game in hand in their league and are the only two that have a 100% record this season. So the stage was set at the Marstons, but which one of the giants would come out victorious in a game that had to have a winner?
Taffs Well would kick the game off in their pink away strip, while Lido played in their striped red and yellow home kit. Both teams tested the waters in attack early on and showed clear intent. On the 20th minute a Lido free kick mirrored the shape of the game. From 30 yards out, a low driven free kick unpredictably bounced off the surface and so almost caught the keeper out but he managed to parry it away. That unpredictability followed the for the rest of the match.
5 minutes later, Afan Lido got their goal. They were beginning to dominate and it was coming but who would have thought that it’d be in this fashion? A ball bounced up off a Taffs defender into the feet of the home side’s striker. With three men on him, his miss-control assisted him and he managed to get past the pink wall for a split second. A man on the outside of him then came back to make a challenge but the ball ricocheted off him and the number 9 was somehow through on goal. One on one with the keeper, and he slotted him with composure.
It was a tough day at the office in the first half for the Wellmen because it was the first time this season that they couldn’t dominate possession and they got no chances. This was until Jordan Carey was played through with a wonderful midfield pass. The keeper came out to meet him on the edge of the box and fouled him, preventing a clear goalscorer opportunity. With that, Lido’s man between the sticks was sent walking and the leaders went down to 10 men. The new keeper was called into action immediately, being forced to save Carey’s resulting free kick.
So what could the home side do? Would they try to hold out for a narrow victory? Most certainly not. A quick counter attack saw their man through with acres of space in the box. He rounded the keeper and doubled his side’s lead from a tight angle just after the break.
Jordan Carey hit back for the visitors after he was chipped through. He had too much pace for the defense and latched on to a through ball. The keeper came out to him again. But this time he didn’t draw the foul, and with pure cheek, lobbed the keeper on the half volley. It was a perfect finish for a perfect pass.
They were only one down. But not for long. Soon after, the equalizer came through a player that we can not name. Poor defense from a corner saw Lido in trouble as the ball bounced around dangerously. And inexplicably, Taffs were level. It has not be identified as to who got the final touch but after a massive scuffle in the box the ball ended up in the back of the net. It was level… However there had to be a winner.
Having dominated the half, Taffs would get their deserved winner. It was the type of goal that deserved to win a match like this. You knew something special was needed to win this match and Keiron Proctor delivered. On the 70 minute mark the skipper in pink cleverly slotted a low free kick off of the post, wrong footing the substitute keeper and securing Taffs’ continuation in the cup.
Taffs Well Academy Analysis