Cefn Druids survived a potential banana skin as they progressed past Cup minnows Ynysddu Welfare to reach Round Four of the JD Welsh Cup.
Dean Rittenberg and Naim Arsan scored in the first half to settle any nerves. Lloyd Stone clawed one back for Ynysddu but after a red card to Lewis Barnett, Jordan Evans late free-kick secured the game for the the Ancients.
Despite the four divisions separating the two sides, the Ddus remained competitive in the fixture as forced the Welsh Premier League side
Ynysddu had to go through four rounds just to reach this stage of the competition and in doing so became the first Gwent County League side to reach Round Three. The Druids were eager to avoid an upset, having suffered defeats to lower league opposition in the last two seasons to Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant and Llanfair United.
In the first minute, Ryan Kershaw stung the palms of Tony Davies with a powerful shot as the Ancients fired an early warning.
The Welsh Premier League side were enjoying an early spell of possession and their goal not long followed.
Alec Mudimu played a superb ball over to Arsan and the Wales Futsal international crossed it to Dean Rittenberg who flicked his header past the goalkeeper.
The Zimbabwe international was certainly having an impact on the game as he pulled the strings in the centre of the park.
Matty Owen went close to doubling the Druids lead as his left footed shot whistled past the goal.
The Druids did double their lead and it was through the provider of the first goal, Naim Arsan. Arsan found space down the flank and rifled the ball into the corner of the goal.
Ynysddus’s first effort came just before the break as Leigh Sharp hit a powerful effort over the bar.
Ryan Kershaw hit the post in the 40th minute with a long-range shot. From a corner, Alec Mudimu’s diving header was blocked off the line, before Neil Ashton flicked a header just over the bar.
ordan Evans’ shot after he turned Stone inside out was fumbled by Davies was retrieved by the Ynysddu keeper in the last action of the half.
Dean Rittenberg’s acrobatic effort following Kershaw’s effort went over the bar in the early stages of the second half.
Ynysddu pulled one back minutes after Rittenberg’s shot. A diving header from Kyle Jones was saved by Mike Jones. From the resulting corner, Lloyd Stone bundled the ball over the line to provide hope for the fifth tier side.
Having conceded, the Druids attempted to restore their two goal advantage. Matty Owen’s free-kick forced Davies into a save, before Jordan Evans tested Davies a minute later as he saved at his near post.
The Ancients were beginning to overdo things as they complicated their attacks, opting to pass rather than shoot.
In the 75th minute the game saw its first yellow card. Lewis Barnett was booked for a foul on Kershaw before substitute Aaron Pewtner was carded.
From a foul from Barnett, Kershaw’s free-kick found the head of Neil Ashton, but the Ynysddu keeper made an unreal save as he tipped his effort over the bar.
In the final ten minutes the game fell in the favour of the visitors. Mudimu held the ball up well to allow Jordan Evans to shoot but his effort cannoned off the crossbar.
Lewis Barnett was shown a second yellow card following a foul, reducing the home side to ten men. With the man advantage, the Ancients doubled their lead.After a foul by Ynysddu goalscorer Stone, Jordan Evans hit a low driven free-kick past Davies, taking a deflection on the way in to restore the two goal lead.
As the game approached stoppage time, Jack Pewtner’s shot went across the goalmouth as Ynysddu attempted a late fightback.
In stoppage time the Ancients nullified the Welfare attack and held on for the victory, ending Ynysddu’s cup run.