Mixed Fortunes for Welsh clubs in FA Cup R3


We saw a weekend of mixed fortunes for the four Welsh Clubs in this week’s third round FA Cup ties. It was  joy for Swansea and Wrexham, despair for Cardiff and frustration for Newport County.

The Welsh public had waited some 45 years to see all four sides in the third round, but fans will look back on this historic weekend with contrasting views.

New Swansea City Boss Luke Williams will have been satisfied to see his new boys overcome Morecombe at home in West Wales. Charlie Patino gave the Swans a first half lead before Jerry Yates blasted in a second to put the Championship side into the hat for the fourth round draw. Tougher tests await the former Notts County manager in the Swansea hot seat.

No such joy for the capital city however, as Cardiff City crashed out of the competition 4-0 away to Sheffield Wednesday. A makeshift City side did not make things easy for themselves at Hillsborough, contributing an own goal and two missed penalties. The Bluebirds have found goals hard to come by of late and will have been interested to see transfer target Kieffer Moore grab a headed goal for Bournemouth at QPR.

Newport County will be kicking themselves after failing to defeat 10-man Eastleigh at Rodney Parade. The National League side earned a terrific result and find themselves also in the draw for the next round alongside their Welsh opponents. Both will await the draw with excitement.

The ‘tie of the round’ from a Welsh perspective saw Wrexham make the short trip to Shrewsbury for a sell-out clash with nearby Shrewsbury Town. Prost were in the press box for this one.

Despite the modern if modest surroundings of the Croud Meadow, Shrewsbury, this game took place in an old school, white hot atmosphere between two sides separated by little more than the England/Wales border.

A sea of yellow & blue flags turned the Salop Leisure Stand into a mini San Siro. At the opposite, a sold out away contingent brought 1600 Welsh to Shropshire.

In a frantic opening, Taylor Perry,  Cheyenne Dunkley and Jordan Shipley saw early chances for the home side. Paul Mullin fired over for the men in red.

Notwithstanding the intensity of the battle, the game showed little signs of composure as both sides threw themselves into the fray. Tummise Sobowale wasted a chance near the half hour mark. Salop sighed with a heavy heart.

Perry fired over for Town after good  work by Joe Anderson down the right but, with each side now attacking their noisy home fans after the interval, the scruffy, lusty pattern of the first half continued.

Shrewsbury’s Malvind Benning almost illuminated the darkening skies with a cool strike with the outside of his boot after a twinkling run, but this was a rare moment of class in a tough game. As if to emphasise the point, Elliot Lee sent a poor shot over the opposite crossbar in response.

The deadlock was broken on 72 minutes as Thomas O’Connor’s shot deflected past Marko Marosi to send the travelling Welsh fans into gleeful celebration. A scruffy yet precious goal.

Finally we saw some composure as the visitors protected their lead with calm resolution, threatening on the break.  Perry wasted chances to equalise late in the day but that was that.

So its Swansea, Wrexham and (just) Newport County who take the Red Dragon into the draw for round four.



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