Cowbridge Town 2-3 St Athan
St Athan made it into the last four of the Barry Cup despite a spirited fight back from Cowbridge Town after fireworks in this west vale derby.
Saints join Barry Athletic, FC Barry Belgrade and Llantwit Major in the semi finals after Craig Howells goal proved to be the winner.
St Athan came into the game missing their captain and top scorer Jordan Mortimore through suspension so in came Kieran Ashton looking to make a bang.
It was a combative start in this cup tie and both sides saw tame efforts easily saved by the respective keepers.
Saints took the lead on the quarter hour mark, Reece Lewis’ exquisitely delivered corner saw Deon Garrison defy gravity to rise to head the ball in to give the away side the lead.
Cowbridge came back in search of a leveller and put pressure on the Saints defence but a couple of efforts wide were the best the home side could muster.
Garrision then had an excellent chance to double Saints lead, his driving run into the box saw the hard working midfielder fire agonisingly wide when in on goal.
Cowbridge went up the other end from the goal kick and fizzed a stinging effort narrowly wide of James Andrews’ near post.
Saints did double their lead five minutes before the break, good work by Karl Steel down the left saw him cross into the box, the Town defenders failed to deal with it and Howells flick across the box found Ashton, his effort was blocked on the line but cruelly hit another Town defender and rebounded into into the net.
Despite not setting the world alight Saints were 2-0 up at the break and comfortable.
St Athan started the second period quicker and a neat interchange of passes saw Steel put in on the right of the area and his centre was fired in by Howells to make it three.
Cowbridge currently propping up the league table must have feared the worst now but instead came out like a team with nothing to lose, and threw caution to the wind.
Straight away a loose ball in midfield was capitalised on and slipped through to the Town forward to finish low past Andrews and Cowbridge had a life line.
Town lay siege to the Saints goal seeing a header off the line and then from the resulting corner a free header was somehow put wide when it looked easier to score.
Saints made some must needed changes and introduced Paul Lucas and Leigh Lewis off the bench as they looked to hit Town on the break.
Saints won a free kick just outside the Town area and a clever routine saw Tony Pugh see a rasping strike tipped over.
Town, however, broke quickly down the left, their forward cut inside and unleashed an outstanding strike into the top corner and this cup tie was alive and well.
Town threw everything at looking to get an unlikely equaliser and put pressure on Saints defence with Andrews being called on to make a smart stop before Town saw efforts wide including one with nearly the last kick of the game that skimmed the outside of the post.
Saints held out and advanced to the final four. St Athan travel to Rhoose in the league next weekend.
St Athan: Andrews, Pugh, Young, Sutch, Cox, Laing, R.Lewis, Garrision, Ashton, Steel, Howells. Subs – Lucas, L.Lewis.
Many thanks to our sponsors Llantwit Car Valet and Kinsale Stone Co (Wales) Ltd.