NWCFA Cup Semi Final Amlwch vs Prestatyn Town Youth Sunday 19th March.
Prestatyn Town Youth travelled to Amlwch on Sunday to play the Anglesey team in the NWCFA cup semifinals. Placed in 3rd position in the league just behind Prestatyn in second place, Amlwch would prove to be a determined opponent.
The location of the venue was changed at late notice and the weather was sideways rain and gusts of cold wind.
Prestatyn won the toss, and opted to play into the wind, uphill and against the rain. A brave decision by captain Elliott Lloyd, although one agreed with by his whole team. Amlwch started looking very fresh and certainly came into the tie looking the more likely to score an early goal, twice beating the offside trap and giving goal keeper Josh Ablett work to do. It was however Amlwch who took the lead on the 15th minute when a swirling corner was met with a clean header for the opening goal.
Prestatyn seemed to somehow benefit from this by finding more of the ball from the restart and reaching the lose balls faster. Some of the tackling became ferocious in the middle of the pitch, the referee punishing both sides with Nathaniel Hulme picking up a yellow card for a committed but mistimed tackle.
The midfield pairing of Casey Faulkner and Nathaniel Hulme often linking up with free moving Josh Parry to create decent opportunities around the Amlwch penalty area. After a good phase of play in the Amlwch half Connor Beattie unleashed a colossal strike to leave the Amlwch goalkeeper beaten and the score at 1-1.
Prestatyn almost took the lead when moments later Nathaniel Hulme brought a fine full length save from the Amlwch keeper from the edge of the box. The tie was promising to be a close encounter with Amlwch forcing the Prestatyn side to defend bravely at times, full backs Callum Jones and Lewis Pierce tucking in tidily when required and working energetically to get forward when possible.
The central pairing of Elliot Lloyd and the ever flexible Calum Williams in his 6th different starting position forming an instant partnership and playing with great discipline and both making vital tackles. The defence was often bolstered by the pressure Sam Lunt was applying to the Amlwch players as they tried to push forwards and many moves were stopped well clear of the Prestatyn penalty area.
The half drew to a close with the score 1-1.
Prestatyn now playing with the slope advantage, the wind and the rain also dropping, started the half confidently and players all over the pitch showed real quality in possession. Neither team could clearly craft an opening on goal until the 60th minute with another stunning Connor Beattie strike from 25 yards left the Amlwch goal keeper totally routed as the ball curled into the top left hand corner.
Prestatyn taking the lead and an injury saw Amlwch change shape and throw cation to the wind. This opened the game out but It suited the rapid pace of play the Prestatyn side enjoy. A number of breathtaking passing moves began across the pitch and Prestatyn were quick on the attack moving the ball in tidy "2 touch" fashion.
James Thompson came on as a substitute for the Injured Nathaniel Hulme and had instant impact by smashing a confident effort into the net to finish off a flowing passing manoeuvre though the pitch.
Amlwch pushed everything forward and after a series of well defended corners, Prestatyn once more burst away with the ball. Casey Faulkner left 3 Amlwch players in the mud after desperate last ditch tackles were swerved and the ball in the net to kill off any Amlwch hopes of a comeback. Moments later the final whistle blew and Prestatyn were final bound as winners 4-1.
Updated 12:55 - 20 Mar 2017 by Richie Ingram