Away | 28 January 2017 | Attendance: 1185
It was a case of déjà vu for Rhyl as for the second time in a couple of months the Lilywhites travelled to the old area of Arfon to play a side and lose 3-2 with the decision making of an Arfon based referee having an impact on the outcome of the match.
With the tie billed as the match of the round and with the Sgorio cameras in attendance for the neutral the match lived up to all expectations. With a crowd of just under 1,200 present and the match being played on a wet sticky pitch it was like a throwback to the days of the past as there was a great atmosphere in The Oval from the start.
The home side started confidently and in the 7th minute were able to take advantage of a clearance from a long range Caernarfon free kick and Danny Sullivan was on hand from 12 yards out to turn and fire an unstoppable shot past Dan Lavercombe into the top corner to put the hosts in the lead and send the majority of the crowd into raptures. The hosts nearly doubled their advantage 8 minutes later when again from a long range free kick, Gareth Edwards was on hand to meet the knock down but from 6 yards out he hit the post with Ashley Young clearing the danger. As the match wore on the visitors came into the match with a number of balls into the box causing danger with the Lilywhites unable to force the ball home.
In the second half the visitors began to take control with the hosts forced deeper back to defend but the Lilywhites were unable to take advantage of this period of play. However in the 75th minute a free kick from the right by Sion Edwards found Steve Lewis on the edge of the 6 yard box who was able to glance his header into the bottom corner of the net passed a stranded Alex Ramsey to send the visiting supporters into wild celebrations.
However within minutes the hosts were back in front. Jamie Breese chased down a ball into the Rhyl area but defender Mike Sharples was able to get back and time his tackle to perfection to clear the ball. However referee Lee Evans pointed to the penalty spot and Nathan Craig stepped up to despatch the spot kick past Lavercombe into the bottom right corner of the net.
The visitors continued to press for an equaliser and skipper Stefan Halewood was on hand in the 85th minute. This time a Toby Jones free kick into the box was met by the skipper who ducked down to glance the ball past Alex Ramsey into the bottom corner to bring the tie to all square again and take the match into extra time.
With both sides tiring the heavens opened and in the first half of extra time, the game generated few clear chances for either side. The notable moment came in the 8th minute of extra time as Caernarfon skipper Nathan Craig, eventually drew a second yellow from Lee Evans. Substitute Kristian Pierce went past him and as Craig threw his body into his path his actions left the referee with little option other than to show second yellow. In the last moments of the first half of extra time Rhyl created pressure from consecutive corners with referee Lee Evans blowing for the break before the end of the 15 minutes had been reached.
In the second half of extra time the tiring Alex Jones, who had given all in the Rhyl cause, had a perfect chance to put the visitors through as his run into the box sent him past the advancing Ramsey but from a tight angle he was unable to find the finish to the opportunity. Minutes later the visitors were punished as the dangerous Darren Thomas was able to steal the ball off Tom Hartley and his pass split the Rhyl centre halves to play in sub Carl Owen who was able to finish past the despairing Lavercombe.
In the final few minutes the visitors threw everything forward put were unable to grab a third equaliser to prevent the hosts progressing into the JD Welsh Cup Quarter Final with wild celebrations for the Caernarfon players in front of their supporters at the final whistle.