Aber boss Ian Hughes
Aberystwyth Town's manager Ian Hughes celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday and his players gave him the perfect birthday present on Saturday afternoon.
The rookie boss led his side to the Welsh Cup Final in his first season as boss of the Park Avenue club and he spoke with the FAW following Saturday's defeat of Welsh Alliance side Holywell Town in the Welsh Cup Semi Final at Newtown.
"It was always going to be a tough game in the Welsh Cup semi-final, it doesn't matter who you come up against. It was going to be a battle; blood and thunder in many ways.
"We let ourselves down early on, didn't defend a corner right, and we gave them hope by letting them score the first goal. But I thought the players reacted quite well, got a good goal just before half-time, which was a great time to score and it gave us some momentum going into the second half."
Hughes, who originates from Anglesey and has a strong knowledge of the North-Wales football scene, certainly did his homework on his opponents;
"I said before the game they are a Cymru Alliance team in many ways, every player has played in the Cymru Alliance, and they have a couple of ex-scholars at Wrexham.
"We knew they were good players and in many ways they were friends and they would all be playing at a higher level if they weren't all together as friends and enjoying it. But in the end, I think our fitness and quality told."
We want to go and win it. We are not happy to just go there and not win the competition
Looking ahead to the final against The New Saints at Wrexham on 3rd May, Hughes is looking forward to the challenge;
"We want to go and win it. We are not happy to just go there and not win the competition.
"We are in the final and we have given ourselves a chance. TNS are a tough team to beat but we drew with them on grass (2-2) earlier this season and we are looking forward to the challenge. It's great that we are almost in Europe, but we want to win it!"
And if Hughes' side fall behind in the showcase Final on May Day Bank Holiday weekend, he shouldn't be too disappointed as Aber have conceded the first goal in every Welsh Cup tie on the road to reaching the Final.
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