Caernarfon lift the cup after a late winner broke the Wellmen's hearts.
Cookson Cup Final (played at Conwy FC)
Caernarfon Town 1-0 Holywell Town
The two title favourites battled it out in the Cookson Cup Final and as predicted, the match turned out to be a tight battle which Caernarfon won courtesy of a late goal.
The match started and the first chance fell to Caernarfon Town, as Danny Stanton was forced to save Darren Thomas’ effort with only a couple of minutes on the clock. A couple of minutes later, Town could have sneaked a goal as a ball over the top had Paul Williams on the chase, and his attempted chip over the oncoming Paul Pritchard was saved by the keeper. Steve Thomas was getting more and more into the game and beat Lee McArdle to the byline and his cross was met by Graeme Williams but his effort was saved by Pritchard. Town then won a corner and Matty Roberts’ in swinger found the head of Ashley Durham and his effort hit the post and went out for a goal kick.
With 15 minutes on the clock, a moment of controversy by referee Hugh Jones decision which could have changed the game. A great ball through by Tony Roebuck saw Sam Jones on the chase and out came goalkeeper Pritchard and he collided straight into Jones and both players fell to the floor in pain under the challenge. The referee thought it was a fair challenge and only stopped play due to the head injury’s by both players and didn’t even book no one, despite half the ground thinking the keeper should have been sent off, which Pritchard later admitted he should have been off.
A minute later, Neil Thomas broke clear and as he ran past the oncoming Stanton, his touch let him down and the ball trickled out for a goal kick. Caernarfon then had another good chance, as Thomas again had a chance to make amends for the error a minute earlier and this time, after he went past Stanton, his shot was cleared off the line after a brilliant slide tackle from Tom Povey. Cai Jones then had an effort fly wide of the post before Graeme Williams had a shot saved by Pritchard after being set up by Sam Jones. Graeme had another shot saved well by the keeper before a great ball over the top by Steve Thomas saw Sam Jones running at the ball, and his attempted chip over the oncoming Pritchard was a little too hard and went over the bar and at the break, the scores remained 0-0.
Town came out looking to carry on, and Matty Roberts was having a great game on the left and was beginning to get the better of a tiring Lee Mcardle, and a cross into the box was a little short and Clive Williams was able to clear with Ian Griffiths lurking near the keeper. Roberts again was involved in Town’s next attempt as his cross to the far post saw Paul Williams side foot the ball back into the centre of the box, but Griffiths had to watch as his shot went wide of the post.
Caernarfon then had a rare effort on goal as Lee McArdle saw his header went wide from a corner before Town went close again through Graeme Williams, who’s shot brought out a good save from Paul Pritchard, and he was only able to parry the ball and Moses Barnett was able to clear the ball to safety. Caernarfon then won a free kick in a dangerous position after Paul Williams had brought down Caernarfon’s attacker. The Free kick was deflected out for a corner which came to nothing and Town were able to breathe again. Disaster struck a few minutes later as Ywain Gwynedd picked up the ball deep in the Holywell half, and then his ball over the top found Neil Thomas who beat his marker to fire low past Danny Stanton to give Caernarfon the lead.
This was a bitter blow for the Wellmen and Holywell looked to get a goal to force the game into extra time. The dangerous Sam Jones bringing out a save from Pritchard before a couple of half chances fell to Tom Carney and Marc Gunther, but their efforts missed the target.
The referee blew for full time after 8 minutes of injury time following an injury to Danny Stanton, and Caernarfon Town had Neil Thomas to thank for their smash and grab raid to steal the victory and also, crowned Cookson Cup Champions for 2012/13.
Holywell must now concentrate on the League and with Caernarfon Town having to come to Holywell in a few weeks time, it promises to be a cracker and many are already dubbing it the title decider.