COLWYN BAY put in a fantastic defensive performance to reach the last eight of the Welsh Cup for the first time in 29 years.
Manager Craig Hogg admitted his side had ridden their luck and had had to dig very, very deep, but he was proud of every one of the players for the way they battled through a tough tie against Cymru Premier opposition.
Cardiff Met could have had the game wrapped up early one with Adam Roscrow missing a sitter in front of goal and then having a penalty brilliantly saved by Andy Coughlin.
The University also had a goal ruled out for offside, before Colwyn Bay took the lead on nine minutes with Tom McCready’s free kick into the area turned into the net by Jack Higgins.
James Kirby had a shot blocked from Sam Jones’ run and cross before half-time and in the second half was unlucky to see another effort from McCready’s run and cross blocked by the keeper’s outstretch leg.
But much for much of the second half it was backs-to-the-wall defending for the Bay – and they did it brilliantly.
Andy Coughlin made another couple of crucial saves and Sam Downey cleared the ball off the line in the dying seconds to see the team through.
Bay manager Craig Hogg’s comments on S4C
“It is just unbelievable. To be honest we rode our luck quite a bit today, but I am so proud of the 11 Colwyn Bay heroes out there on the pitch.”
“It is a big day for our football club and one we won’t forget for a while.”
“We were under pressure from minute one really. “
“Andy’s made a big save from the penalty and they’ve missed a big chance, but we’ve had chances too after the goal and might have added another one. But we have also had to dig very, very, deep to knock a very good Cymru Premier side out of the competition – and we’ve got to be so proud of that!”
“It was a crazy opening four or five minutes,” Hoggy later said.
“It is a foul – Lewis has given the foul away in the box but you just know Andy is going to save a penalty at some point.
“It was a big moment in the game and when we go on and capitalise moments later.
“It was a fantastic delivery from Tom McCready and Jack Higgins has gone and scored what has ultimately proved to be the winning goal.
“I’m absolutely delighted for Jack because other forwards are here and Jack’s had to bide his time.
“The fear when you go into big games – are you going up freeze and are we going to perform?
“But we know we’ve got men at this football club. I’ve criticised them for certain big moments in games but today we came out on top in big moments.
“We had to be brave and we had to be resolute and we had to grind something out and defend our box really well.”
Hoggy added: “They (Cardiff Met) are a level above us in terms of the league.
“I was impressed with a lot of what I saw of them – they’re a very good side who move the ball really well and have a fantastic manager who unfortunately is stepping down at the end of this season.
“But that’s the level we can get – that’s got to be our dream and that’s got to be our aim.”