Airbus v Port Talbot

STEVE Abbott's first-half hat-trick booked Airbus UK Broughton a fourth-round tie at Newtown as they comfortably disposed of Port Talbot Town at the Hollingsworth Group Stadium.

Following their run to the semi-finals of the competition last season, the Wingmakers were hoping to embark on another adventure just a fortnight after their last meeting with the Steelmen, a 5-0 victory which saw Talbot sack manager Mark Jones.

The Wingmakers made the perfect start when, inside two minutes, Ryan Wade crossed into the area for Abbott to poke home at the near-post.

The visitors tried to hit back straight away through Adam Wright but his effort was well off-target and the home lead was almost extended on 18 minutes when Lee Owens put in a low cross for Wayne Riley on the edge of the area but his shot struck the post.

Riley was again denied on 22 minutes by goalkeeper Craig Richards making a good low save, before his defence scrambled to clear the rebound. 

But, a minute later, the Wingmakers were 2-0 up when Abbott flicked home a header beyond the grasp of Richards. 

Port Talbot immediately replaced James Bloom with Jake Parry, with their cup dreams fading fast.

Lewis Harling picked up the first yellow card of the game with a rash challenge on half an hour with the Wingmakers still dominant in every area of the pitch. 

A couple of minutes later Abbott was allowed time and space to turn in the area and smash a shot into the top corner. The goal made it 3-0 to Airbus and bagged Abbott his latest hat-trick this season.

Wayne Riley curled a free-kick narrowly over on 35 minutes and it was beginning to seem a question of how many the Wingmakers would score. 

Jeff White dragged a shot over the bar on 44 minutes, the closest the visitors had come to scoring in the first-half.

On 54 minutes Wade had the Wingmakers' next opportunity when he flashed a shot across the face of goal but off-target. Minutes later Wade put another ball across the goalmouth but Jordan Johnson couldn’t quite connect to apply the finish.

On 63 minutes Adam Wright went close for the visitors with a decent solo effort but the Wingmakers were still enjoying most of the possession, pressing well and playing some excellent passing football. On 67 minutes Jordan Johnson cut inside from the left and forced Richards into a save at his near-post.

Airbus made their first change on 68 minutes as Johnson was replaced with Richie Partridge. Daniel Sheehan got forward for the away side but the full-back’s low shot missed the target and failed to trouble Ben Chapman in the Wingmakers goal.

With a quarter of an hour to go, Belle was very late in a challenge on Partridge and picked up his second yellow card of the game followed by the red. With Port Talbot down to 10 men and with one of their key players missing they were looking increasingly ragged.

Both sides made changes with 13 minutes to go. Dylan Blain replaced Adam Wright for Port Talbot and mike Hayes replaced Partridge who had picked up a knock in the challenge from Belle. Jeff White was next to pick up a booking for Port Talbot as they became increasingly frustrated. 

With seven minutes to go Airbus replaced Lee Owens with Tom Field.

Port Talbot made their final change with Craig Jones replacing White with a few minutes remaining. Chapman made one late save but other than that the Wingmakers were not troubled. They saw out the game comfortably and professionally, earning their place in the next round, their 3-0 win slightly flattering the visitors.

By Rory Sheehan

Below: Abbott celebrates his hat-trick with Glenn Rule and Mike Roddy.