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Bluebirds' woe as chances go begging; WELSH CUP Caersws 0 Carmarthen Town.

CAERSWS' Welsh Cup hopes were shattered despite turning in a battling quarter-final display at a windswept Recreation Ground.

Looking to secure their first ever semi-final spot, the Bluebirds again fell short as Mark Dodds' ninth-minute header proved decisive.

The goal proved somewhat bizarre with Richard Kennedy slicing his shot high into the air, the ball held up in the wind and Dodds nipped in to nod over advancing keeper Andy Mulliner.

But Caersws boss Mickey Evans felt his side had done enough to retrieve the tie after coming back strongly despite playing against the wind in the second period.

'It's bitterly disappointing to fall just 90 minutes away from the semi-finals again,' he said. 'We gave a poor goal away, but should have at least taken the game into extra time.

'We needed a goal to lift our confidence, but the longer it stayed at 1-0 the harder it became. Carmarthen were hanging on in the last 20 minutes but we didn't work hard enough.'

After Dodds' opener, Caersws should have levelled immediately when Andy Davies broke clear, only to see his low shot blocked by the legs of keeper Tony Pennock.

Graham Evans volleyed over in another raid while Sean Jehu saw a 35-yard free-kick superbly tipped over by Pennock.

Gary Lloyd's corners were proving the principal threat at the other end, with Kevin Evans seeing a close-range volley turned over the bar by Mulliner after Craig Lima had nodded down.

Despite playing against the wind after the break, Caersws enjoyed the bulk of the play and went close to salvaging the tie following a spell of late pressure. Substitute Neville Thompson put one header wide while Andy Marfell saw a late effort blocked by Pennock.

CAERSWS: Mulliner, Thomas, Jehu, Reynolds, Clarke, Lewis (Thompson 75), Bermingham (McPhee 75), Marfell, G Evans, Jones (Probert 80), Davies.

CARMARTHEN: Pennock, Carter, Lloyd, Giloes, Chiverton, Smothers, K Evans, Kennedy, Lima, Dodds (Summers 75), Burke. Subs: Hardy, Devonald
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2005
Words:324
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