Corwen faced familiar foes in the first round of the League Cup in more ways than one, as not only was this Chirk AAA’s third visit to the War Memorial Park this season the Chirk AAA squad consisted of five players that had previously been registered at Corwen since the start of the 2019/20 season.
The first talking point of the game came as early as the thirty-sixth second, as one of the former Corwen players Matthew Williams was shown a straight red for a challenge on Callum Cross (rumours that the referee didn’t want to confuse Matthew with the Matthew Williams playing for Corwen were made up just now!). As this is the inaugural Ardal Northern League Cup it will be record for the fasted red card in this competition and is likely to be a record for the War Memorial Park.
The visiting players were shouting for a penalty in the twentieth minute, but to no avail. As the game continued goalkeeper David Walsh came off his line to challenge a Chirk player and as the ball was played beyond him James Davies slid in to block the resulting shot.
Despite the numerical disadvantage the away side took the lead in the twenty-fourth minute, as they hit Corwen on the break and ex-Corwen player Liam Sklenar Crossed the ball to Mathew Thomas, who fired home from the edge of the box.
A minute later David Walsh was called into action as he saved a shot with his feet.
With four minutes of the half to play James Davies played a long ball to Owen Cordiner, who saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Josh Newell. The ball went out to Scott Evans, who saw his effort blocked.
Early in the second half former Corwen player Ryan Williams curled a free kick at goal, but it went straight into David Walsh’s grasp.
In the fifty-sixth minute a ball was played to Jack Edwards, who was able to get through on goal, but David Walsh came off his line to challenge him and win the ball.
On the hour mark Liam Sklenar sent a snap shot at goal, but he sent his effort straight at the Corwen number one.
At the other end Scott Evans floated a free kick into the Chirk box, where the Corwen players had were claiming for a penalty for handball, but as the game continued the ball landed at the feet of Callum Cross, who shot wide of the target.
The away side doubled their advantage in the seventy-first minute, as they hit their hosts with a quick counter attack, which saw the ball played across to Jack Edwards, who slotted the ball into the back of the net.
The second goal seemed to spark Corwen into life, as two minutes later they attacked the Chirk goal and the ball fell at the feet of veteran substitute Andrew Roberts, who rolled back the years and fired the ball into the top corner of the net.
A couple of minutes later Andrew saw his shot saved, with the rebound going to Scott Evans, who curled his effort narrowly wide. This was followed by an effort from Kevin Day, who could only send the ball over the bar.
With six minutes to play Corwen were awarded a free kick, which Scott Evans took and he went straight for goal, where, under pressure from Harry Pooler, goalkeeper Josh Newall let the ball go through his hands, meaning that the scores were level.
With no further goals it meant that the game had to be decided by a penalty shootout, which was to be held at the Huw ‘Chick’ Jones/Tudor Jones stand end of the ground.
Corwen went first and Scott Evans sent Josh Newall the wrong way and found the bottom corner of the net.
Next up ex-Corwen player Adam Williams stepped forward and he was able to find the roof of the net.
Harry Pooler took Corwen’s second and he got the better of the goalkeeper when he blasted the ball home.
Ashton Williams levelled the score when he found the roof of the net
Oliver Crimp restored Corwen’s lead when he found the bottom corner, but Jake Ellison levelled things when he sent David Walsh the wrong way.
Player of the month nominee Owen Cordiner stepped up next and sent the ball straight down the middle and into the back of the net and Ryan Davies made the shootout score 4-4 using the same method.
Kevin Day took the last of Corwen’s scheduled five, but despite Josh Newall diving the correct way he couldn’t stop the ball going into the bottom corner. This meant the former Corwen player Dale Davies had to score to keep the tie alive and the pressure didn’t get to him as placed the ball into the roof of the net.
Andrew Roberts took the first sudden death penalty for Corwen and he found the inner side netting from a cheeky finish.
The pressure was now on Harry Jones, who went for the corner, but saw his effort saved by David Walsh, sparking mass celebrations by the Corwen players as they booked a place in the second round.