COLWYN BAY produced a superb battling performance to win 2-0 at Connah’s Quay Nomads and reach the semi-finals of the JD Welsh Cup for the first time in 30 years.
Keeper Andy Coughlin, restored to the starting line-up, made another crucial penalty save to prevent the home side taking the lead, before two goals in three minutes from Ryan Edwards and James Kirby secured victory and a major cup upset against the Cymru Premier champions.
The Bay had to dig deep in the first half as Nomads dominated much of the possession and forced a number of corners, without really testing the keeper.
They looked set to take the lead early in the first half when they were awarded a harsh penalty when a driven shot hit Lewis Sirrell’s arm, but Coughlin dived low to his left to save Callum Morris’ spot kick – repeating his penalty save heroics in the previous round against Cardiff Met.
Colwyn Bay responded to that by taking the lead on 63 minutes when a Ryan Edwards’ shot over the keeper found the top corner of the Nomads net and three minutes later James Kirby finished off a driving solo run through the centre with a deflected shot that wrong-footed home keeper Oliver Byrne for Bay’s second.
Coughlin made another big save when Declan Poole was through on goal and the Bay held out against late Nomads pressure for a famous win.
Delighted manager Steve Evans commented: “I’ve had some great moments in the Welsh Cup over the years, but this is certainly up there.
“It was nothing we didn’t deserve. They’ve probably had a lot of the ball and we’ve had to defend a few corners, but they never really caused us that many problems.
“The penalty save was obviously a big moment, but credit to Mike Price (goalkeeper coach) and Andy who do their homework on these things and well done to Andy who also saved a penalty in the last round.
“Ryan and James took their goals superbly well, but all the players were immense. They stuck to the game plan, got what they deserved, and this is reward for everybody in the squad for all their hard work.
“To do it in front of them fans was pretty special.
“You play football for moments like this. We’ll enjoy it tonight and then get down to work again on Wednesday ready for next weekend.”
Goalscorer Ryan Edwards added: “It was a great performance from the lads. It is a difficult place to come because they don’t lose at home very often, so to put in the performance we did was credit to the lads.
“The great support we had today also got us over the line and I’m made up to be in the semi-finals.
“I don’t remember too much about the goal accept it going in the top corner and all the lads jumping on me, but the main thing is that it was a really good team effort.”
COLWYN BAY: Andy Coughlin, Joe Williams, Stefan Edwards, Cai Owen, Lewis Sirrell (yellow card), Tom McCready, Kieran Evans (James Ellison 82), Jordan Carrington (Sam Jones 90), Craig Lindfield, Ryan Edwards, James Kirby. Unused subs: Ryan Neild (G), Ashley Woods, Robbie Parry.
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