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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 20:53 GMT
Newport 1-0 Llanelli
Craig Hughes celebrates the goal that won the FAW Premier Cup
Craig Hughes celebrates the goal that won the FAW Premier Cup
A late Craig Hughes header was enough to down Llanelli and secure Newport County's first FAW Premier Cup triumph.

The Spytty Park final looked set for extra time, Reds striker Rhys Griffiths as profligate with chances as opposing hit men Hughes and Charlie Griffin.

But on 81 minutes Hughes powered onto Lee Jarman's downward header from a corner to nod in from two yards.

The 100,000 winners prize will boost Newport, who are in the Blue Square Conference South play-off spots.

The home side used their wind advantage to good effect to get the better of the opening exchanges, Hughes going close with the best chance of the first quarter.

606: DEBATE

Llanelli's star striker Griffiths sparked their challenge with a strong run down the right followed by a rasping shot that forced a low save from Scott James.

Griffin fired wide across the face of the goal, before a skidding Hughes shot made Reds goalkeeper Ryan Harrison scrabble the ball away for a corner, ensuring a goal-less first half.

Straight from the restart, Griffiths scythed through a sleeping home defence, his toe poke bouncing clear off the legs of the unsuspecting James.

Griffiths' miss was soon outdone by Griffin at the other end, a poorly defended free kick falling straight to his feet in the six-yard box only for the usually prolific striker to spoon the ball over the bar.

A swift excursion out of his area by Harrison was enough to scupper a Hughes chance, and the Reds keeper was again on hand to comfortably gather a header from the striker.

The game seemed to be heading for extra time, but with nine minutes left a swinging Newport corner found the outstanding Jarman.

He powered a header into the ground, a committed Hughes powering onto it past a static Reds defence to finish from close range.

Hughes nearly extended the lead with a header from Jason Bowen's cross, and a last-gasp equalising chance from Antonio Corbisiero flew just wide of the County post.

This was Newport's third Premier Cup final - having lost to The New Saints last year and Wrexham in 2003 - and the Cup provides manager Peter Beadle's first silverware in two-and-a-half years at the club.

Llanelli still have the chance of securing a treble as they top the Welsh Premier, are in the final of the Loosemores League Cup, and the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup.

The future of the FAW Premier Cup competition is uncertain, though, as BBC Wales will not continue its sponsorship next season.


Newport: Scott James, Steve Jenkins (capt), Lee Jarman, Paul Cochlin, Damon Searle, Jason Bowen, Andy Gurney, Nathan Davies, Richard Evans (Lee Fowler 80), Craig Hughes, Charlie Griffin (Jermaine Clarke 75).

Llanelli: Ryan Harrison, Stuart Jones, Lee Phillips (capt), Andrew Mumford, Gary Lloyd, Craig Jones, Chris Holloway, Antonio Corbisiero, Andy Legg, Mark Pritchard, Rhys Griffiths.

Referee: Lee Evans



SEE ALSO
FAW Premier Cup 2007/08
23 Jan 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales


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