|23/04/2016||2:00 pm||Milsom Harries Cup||2015/16|
A battling display saw the the first team nearly pull off the shock of the season against the Premier Division champions. Deputizing for manager James Naik, Assistant Manager Matt Davies was forced into making 3 changes from the team that triumphed over AFC Butetown 2nds, with Keirnan Pedder, Chris Jeacott and James Everett all cup-tied having faced the firsts for the seconds in the previous round. George Watkins made his first team debut in goal with first team regulars Rhodri Charles-Williams and Rory Wigmore returning.
The Exiles flew out of the box putting the STM defence under severe pressure. It proved too much and the Seasideweres took the lead after 5 minutes. A long throw into the box wasn’t dealt with and Will Eastwood found half a yard to slot the ball home. Buoyed by the early goal the Exiles pushed on and the STM keeper was called into action several times, denying Eastwood and Mark Lewis, however the 2nd goal wasn’t far away.
In the 11 th minute some good pressing in midfield won the ball back and Scott Phillips slid a cultured ball through for Eastwood who calmly bent it around the keeper into the bottom corner to double the advantage. The lead was soon back to one however in fortunate circumstances. A STM freekick was played into the box, keeper Watkins parried the original effort but it fell to their striker who had the simple job of tapping in from 6 yards.
Not to be disheartened the Exiles pushed on again chances falling for Lewis and Eastwood but they couldn’t take advantage of them. The 2 goal lead was restored in the 35 th minute though in spectacular style. A corner was half cleared out to Iolo Tomlinson 35 yards out who took the ball under his control off his chest and smashed a half volley back into the top corner giving the keeper no chance.
The Exiles looked to maintain the 2 goal advantage until half time but STM again hit back. Another freekick was played into the box and some slack marking allowed a free header which was placed into the top corner just out of the reach of Watkins who collided with the post in his efforts to prevent the goal.
STM levelled the tie shortly after the break. A long throw into the box wasn’t dealt with and was turned in at the back post. The game was still very even but 15 minutes later STM struck the fatal blow. They were awarded a freekick 45 yards out. It was played into the box and with the striker jumping in front of him, keeper Watkins miscued his punch and it sliced into the back of the net.
The Exiles rallied, forcing the keeper into some good saves and as the final whistle approached, Lewis’ looping header cannoned back off the bar. They threw everything at STM trying to force extra-time but it wasn’t to be and STM held on to secure the quarter final spot.