Gaerwen double joy after long losing run
WHAT a week it has been for Gaerwen Football Club. After going all of last season without a league win, the Anglesey club recorded their first victory in Welsh Alliance Division Two in 27 attempts and 16 months when they defeated Mochdre Sports 2-0 at Lôn Groes last Tuesday.
And Gaerwen followed that up three days later by beating Llanfairfechan Town 3-2 after extra time in the Welsh Cup first qualifying round.
Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League visitors Llanfairfechan arrived on the island determined to cause an upset and pushed the home side all the way.
Managers Lee Jones and Ari Evans made a couple of changes to the starting 11 to freshen things up as it was the club’s third game in days.
On 20 minutes the home team’s Mark Griffith beat the offside trap, lobbed the keeper and scored, but the referee brought back the play for an alleged handball.
Llanfairfechan took the lead on the half-hour when home keeper Gwyndaf Owen conceded a penalty which Dave Williams converted.
There was no further score before the break and after a half-time roasting from the managers, the Gaerwen players came out fired up.
By the hour the tie had turned on its head.
An excellent free-kick from Gethin Davies found the top corner from 20 yards out and a move down the left saw Llion Vaughan play in Chris Ben- nett for his second in as many matches.
Llanfair hit back and Curtis Murray forced extra time with a low strike on 80 minutes.
Only a great late save from the Town keeper denied Gaerwen a winner.
The tie was won in the 110th minute with a cracking 25-yard finish from Griffith, and despite having to endure some late pressure, the Anglesey men held on for the victory.
Mochdre arrived at Lôn Groes last Tuesday full of confidence after their 4-3 opening-day win at Pentraeth, while Gaerwen needed a tonic following their losing 3-1 start against Y Felinheli.
The first half was goalless with neither side really gelling.
After the break Chris Bennett hit the post for the hosts before a magnificent save from Gwyndaf Owen denied Sports the lead.
With 15 minutes to play, a brilliant solo goal from Gaerwen captain Gethin Davies broke the deadlock. Davies picked the ball up near the halfway line, drove with purpose towards defenders and unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner from 18 yards out.
For the last 10 minutes Mochdre threw everything into attack but were unable to carve out a real opportunity worth noting as the back four and keeper Owen stood strong.
With a minute to play, a fantastic home counter was rounded off by Bennett, who coolly slotted the ball past the onrushing Mochdre keeper to seal the win.
Gaerwen’s Mark Griffith (hoops) shoots for goal against Llanfairfechan Town. Picture: ALED JONES