GAP Connah's Quay - 5
Monmouth Town - 3
Monmouth Town stunned their Welsh Premier hosts with a superb first half display that saw them take a 3– 0 lead inside 25 minutes but they failed to weather a second half blitz, gifted two goals to the Nomads and crashed out of the Welsh Cup.
Although Town travelled with some level of expectation this was surpassed as first Eliot Evans fired in from close range after McCormick had fumbled a MacDonald free kick, then MacDonald himself embarrassed the 'keeper with a fine strike from 45 yards, before the outstanding Alderdice rammed home a another goal mouth scramble to seal a barely believable 3-0 lead.
Ham and Davies combined well and Ham in particular was taking the game to the North Walians. The Nomads for their part were methodical but simply second best throughout the half and struggled to counter the Kingfishers' passing and movement. A goal on the stroke of half time in a rare attack by skipper George Horan gave them some belief that they could claw their way back into the game.
Predictably former Welsh international Steve Evans, on loan from TNS, moved from centre half to centre forward along with three of his colleagues and the management orders were clear. In football parlance – put it in the mixer! And the ball went in the mixer. From angles and straight balls, from out wide and half way and although Blackburn, Clare, Guy et al coped admirably it was clearly going to be long 45 minutes. For all that, Monmouth had the wherewithal to nick another and maybe just maybe put the game beyond reach.
An horrendous mix up between Clare and Blackburn handed the Nomads second goal on a platter as O'Toole slotted home a half clearance and the momentum had swung decisively in the North Walians favour. Another ball into the box found Evans and his header back across goal allowed Miller to head in past Blackburn off the post. At 3 – 3 the outstanding player on the pitch MacDonald probed, harried, flicked and generally ran his socks off but to no avail as another raid ended when Miller latched onto another half clearance and found the time and space to drill a low shot past Blackburn.
With seven minutes remaining a through ball caught Guy out of position and his back header let in Gary Roberts to claim the fifth. There was still time for a needless red card for Roberts after a poor challenge on the superb Alderdice but not enough for any late rally by Monmouth.
Town manager Andrew Smith had mixed emotions after the game praising his team for a scintillating first half performance but insisting he had no time for plucky loser tags. "There's nothing brave or heroic about losing a three goal lead. We didn't come here to make up the numbers. We came as Welsh League champions and came to win. They couldn't lie with us in the first half but knew how to win ugly. And they did. That's the difference between the Welsh Premier League and the lower tiers. If we want to be in there week in week out we'd better learn how to do that too!"