Welsh League Cup - 2016/17
04 Apr, 2017 - 19:30:00
Match Score : 5-5
The Bluebirds travelled to the neutral ground Kymco Stadium (home of Penybont FC) to play their League Cup semi final against the Cardiff based 3rd Division side Bridgend Street who, in the previous round, had caused an upset by defeating Division 1 side Taffs Well. Nothing was taken for granted and a hard game was fully expected. But what transpired was a cup tie the likes of which most spectators will never have previously witnessed. The game was feisty from the start and referee Ryan Kenny, who did an excellent job under the circumstances, was kept very busy whilst awarding a succession of first half free kicks to both sides. Indeed, by half time, he had issued four yellow cards, with Matthew Broome being the only Bluebird to be booked. For the first 20 minutes the game flowed from end to end but the only real chance fell to the very sharp Steffan Williams though his neat finish was ruled offside. On the half hour, Bridgend Street opened the scoring when a long throw into the six yard area was followed by some untidy defending which enabled the ball to be scrambled over the line. The Blues were getting lots of possession at this stage but the lofted service which their three dangerous frontmen were getting did not suit and the only real chance once again fell to Williams who blasted his volley from five yards only to see the Bridge Street ‘keeper save superbly.
Half Time Bluebirds 0-1 Bridgend Street
After the interval Haverfordwest seemed to take control and were looking more dangerous once the quality of service to their strikers had greatly improved. The yellow cards awarded in the first half were now taking their toll as, in the space of three minutes both sides were reduced to ten men with both right full backs seeing red. After Street’s player manager Paul Fowler was sent off for his second booking on the hour, the Bluebirds really started to take control. Steffan Williams finished well following a surging Ricky Watts run and on 70 minutes he got his second within a two minute period when he neatly side footed home from ten yards. Man of the match, Damien Luck, in the Bridgend Street goal saved an Ashley Bevan header brilliantly and then somehow managed to keep out another Steffan Williams drive. On 80 minutes and following more impressive work from Williams down the right, Ashley Bevan seemed to have secured the game for the Bluebirds with a scoreline of 3 – 1 and less than 10 minutes left. Indeed, with the control that they now had a 4th goal for the Bluebirds looked the more likely event. But the nine men of Bridgend Street who had fought magnificently throughout had still a significant contribution to make. On 90 minutes a 25 yard shot gave Gwilt no chance and, well into injury time, the equaliser was scored.
Score at 90 minutes: Bluebirds 3 Bridgend Street 3
After 4 minutes of the extra period, Bridgend Street, against the run of play, broke quickly and amidst confusion in the Blues defence the Cardiff boys forced themselves ahead once again. Back came the Bluebirds and a brave diving header from substitute Steffan Davies levelled the scores at 4-4. On 112 minutes Steffan Williams got his hat trick and the Blues were ahead once more. The 9 men of Bridgend Street were still soaking up the pressure at the back but also they were making the Blues defence work hard with regular bursts of attack. On 119 minutes a long ball was floated into the Haverfordwest penalty area and from the resulting aerial challenge the referee awarded Bridgend Street a penalty which they cooly slotted home.In the penalty shoot out which then took place, The Bluebirds missed two of their spot kicks and Bridgend Street scored all of theirs to march into the Final.
Final score: Haverfordwest County 5 Bridgend Street 5
(Bridgend Street win 4-2 on penalties)