MATTY Davies scored an extra-time winner as Aberaeron lifted the Central Wales Senior Challenge Cup with a superb victory against Spar Mid Wales League champions Rhayader Town on Saturday.
It was underdogs Aberaeron who had opened the scoring in the first half at Park Avenue when frontrunner Davies curled a beauty into the far corner of the net.
The Red Kites hit back when Richie Powell headed home, and that was how it stayed to the end of 90 minutes, before Davies netted the winner in extra-time.
Both sides had defeated Cymru Alliance teams to reach the final, and Aberaeron began well against a strong wind, as Davies with a snap-shot and Mikey Gornall with a long range effort both went close.
Rhayader fought back, but the Aberaeron defence, superbly marshalled by Sion Clarke, were comfortable throughout.
Aberaeron then broke the deadlock when the ball was crossed to the back post and Davies’ volley crossed over the line.
The Ceredigion men looked like going in at half-time with a slender lead, but Rhayader capitalised on a lack of communication to claim the ball for the equaliser.
Good build-up play by Joe Wozencraft and Gareth Hughes saw Rhys Thomas cross into the box, and Powell out-jumped the defence to score into the top corner, with keeper Barry Edwards stranded.
The second half progressed into a midfield stalemate, with neither side able to find their rhythm and gain momentum.
With both sides adopting an increasingly cautious approach, extra-time was inevitable, although Davies, who had been a real threat, went close with his volley, following a great pass by Mikey Gornall.
Aberaeron looked the fresher team at the start of the extra half an hour, and they managed to make the breakthrough.
A long clearance found Gareth Severs, who was out on his feet, but he managed to play in a superb ball for Davies to outstrip the defence and launch an unstoppable strike into the back of the net.
With only seven minutes left, Rhayader pressed forward for an equaliser, but Aberaeron’s defence stood firm to see out the game and lift the Cup for the first time in their history - an excellent achievement.