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Fifty four year dream of FA Cup glory remains for Swans

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By Jonathan Twigg

SWANSEA City continued their Emirates FA Cup run on Tuesday (Feb 27) when they defeated Sheffield Wednesday 2-0, progressing to the Quarter Final stage for the first time since 1964 thanks to goals from substitute striker Jordan Ayew and winger Nathan Dyer.

The Owls were also defeated in that nostalgic cup run at Hillsborough, as were footballing giants Liverpool at Anfield and Stoke City, before the Swans succumbed to Preston North End in the Semi Final at Villa Park.

This game at the Liberty Stadium saw the home fans in the crowd of 8198 warmed not only by the result but also the gesture of the club offering free hot drinks to warm the cockles of their heart on a Baltic night.

Manager Carlos Carvalhal was at his unequivocal best post-match against a side to whom his endearment is visible, despite their parting of ways in December, as he looked with positivity towards the remaining three months of the season.

It took 20 minutes to create an opportunity as players were content to play the ball across the pitch as opposed to taking the game to the opposition, Ki and Carroll combing from a free kick, which kick-started a purple patch for the Swans in terms of possession, to no avail as Nordfelt in goal made a double save with fifteen minutes of the half remaining.

Clucas made an acrobatic attempt to open the scoring when perhaps a simple header back across goal may have put Abraham in, as the on loan Chelsea striker nearly manufactured an opening for Dyer, making his three hundred and second appearance for the whites.

Ki had the penultimate offering for a breakthrough in an uninspiring half, departing at half time as Carvalhal boldly changed personnel with Martin Olsson and Jordan Ayew appearing, their impact immediate in upping the tempo of play in the twenty ninth meeting between the two sides.

Ten minutes into the half the stalemate was broken, Carroll driving forward hit a rasping drive from edge of the box, hitting both posts for the ball to skew into Ayew’s path for a tap in from ten yards, the Wednesday defence looking at sixes and sevens since the Ghanaian’s arrival.

Ayew’s ninth goal of the season had also ignited Abraham, his a sixty first minute shot saved by Pope before six foot six inch Kosovan Atdhe Nuhiu made an appearance.

Wednesday may have reached the final on five occasions, the last in 1997 and lifted the prestigious trophy three times lacked any fruitful response, where cup football is all about putting the ball in the net, which Swansea did and kept a pleasing clean sheet, as Van De Hoorn was dominant at the back alongside youngster Cameron Roberts.

The second and decisive goal came from Dyer after Abraham set him up with a slick through ball and the winger nutmegged Pope from ten yards out, his final action of the night as fans favourite Leon Britton returned to action for the first time in 2018.

Ayew had an opportunity to add to the Swans tally of thirteen goals in the cup campaign with two minutes of referees Stuart Attwell’s watch remaining, Carvalhal immediately turning his focus to a crucial Premier League encounter on Saturday (Mar 3) when West Ham United visit the Liberty Stadium with just three points separating the sides in the battle for survival in the Premier League.

Unlike Greenfield FC player coach Keith Ainsworth, who was goaded into brandishing a pitchfork in the dugout of their game at Barmouth last weekend, Carvalhal can wallow safe in the knowledge he has the support of the Jack Army as he fulfils both his and their dreams of being happy, one win from Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur the visitors on Saturday (Mar 17) for the Quarter Final tie.

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Bluebirds return to winning ways as Veale’s free kick sinks Archers

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HAVERFORDWEST County got back to winning ways on Tuesday night (Sept 27) as they beat Cardiff Met 1-0 at the Ogi Bridge Meadow.

Jamie Veale’s second half free kick proved enough for Tony Pennock’s side who now sit seventh in the JD Cymru Premier table.

In the third minute, Dylan Rees sent a ball forward to Jack Wilson but his cross was pushed away by Met keeper Alex Lang.

A miss-timed header then sent Jordan Davies in but his effort was blocked.

The Bluebirds continued to search for the opener and on 27 minutes, a pass from Elliot Scotcher sent Wilson in but he saw his shot saved. The rebound fell to Jordan Davies but his shot was blocked.

Towards the end of the half, Met pushed forward and Matt Chubb went on a good run down the right but he saw his shot go wide.

Harry Owen also tried his luck but saw his shot saved by County keeper Zac Jones and the sides went in at the break with the score locked at 0-0.

There was an even start to the second half as both sides looked to dominate. A cross into the Met box was headed clear by Emlyn Lewis while Craig Davies sent a cross in at the other end but no one could get on the end of it.

On 72 minutes Jordan Davies reacted quickly to head the ball goalwards but he saw his effort go over the bar.

Four minutes later though the Bluebirds were awarded a free kick wide on the left. Veale took it and the ball floated all the way in to give the home side the lead.

Wilson then saw a shot go wide as the Bluebirds looked to make the points safe.

The Met pushed late on as Eliot Evans saw a shot deflected wide while Sam Jones shot over the bar in time added on.

The Bluebirds held on for a welcome win, with Rhys Abbruzzese being named player of the match.

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Whitland earn win at Pembroke

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WHITLAND earned their first win of the season on Saturday (Sept 24) as they beat Pembroke 20-33.

Pembroke landed an early penalty through Harry Fletcher but the visitors hit back with two converted tries.

There was another penalty for Fletcher to make it 14-6.

Whitland thought they had another try when Callum Evans touched down but it was harshly ruled out as the referee had spotted some crossing moments before.

The visitors then scored another try which was also converted as they took a 6-21 lead in at the break.

Pembroke hit back in the second half with tries from Lloyd Davies and Sam Smith who finished off after a barnstorming run. Fletcher added both conversions.

Whitland pulled away though with further tries to seal the win.

Liam Price scored a hat trick of tries for Whitland and others came from Ianto Davies and Geraint Jones. Jones added the rest of the points from the boot.

On Saturday, October 1, Pembroke travel to Llanelli Wanderers while Whitland host Llangennech.

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Kilgetty edge Clarby in seven-goal thriller

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KILGETTY made it two wins from two on Saturday (Sept 24) as they beat Clarbeston Road 4-3.

Ben John put Clarby ahead after eight minutes but their lead only lasted for two minutes.

Adam Johns levelled for Kilgetty and ten minutes later Josh Bevan put his side ahead.

Richard Cope then made it 3-1 to the visitors shortly after the half-hour mark.

Clarby were not out of the game though and on the stroke of half time John scored his and Clarby’s second to make it 2-3.

It remained that way until the 89th minute when Rheinallt George put the goal in his own net to all but seal the points for Kilgetty.

There was still time for more goals as Richard Bevan scored in the 92nd minute to make it 4-3.

They were unable to find a late equaliser though as Kilgetty held on for the win.

On Saturday, October 1, Kilgetty face Angle in the first round of the Senior Cup. Clarbeston Road are also in action in the Senior Cup as they host Carew, both matches kicking off at 1:45pm.

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