HOLDERS Underwood A will have the chance to defend the Gill Cup trophy they won last season as they prepare for next season’s Gwent County League, writes Bob Cypher.

Having beaten Caldicot Town in extra time at the end of last season, the two adversaries met again on the 3G surface at Caldicot Leisure Centre but the result was a lot more clear-cut this time.

Two goals by Lee Ryder gave Underwood the advantage in the first half but even when Town striker Courtney Davies reduced the arrears from the penalty spot, the holders stepped up a gear.

Rob Williams restored their two-goal cushion with a towering header at the far post.

The scoreline didn’t flatter a determined Underwood but it was a little harsh on Town keeper Louis Randle who made a number of good saves to keep his team in it until the later stages.

The 6-1 victory was made safe in the last 20 mintes as Justin Bidgood, Kyle Brown and sub Josh Downing all netted.

Sean Johnson, whose determination and strength saw him surge clear of a challenge to set up Ryder’s first goal, paid tribute to the part Town played in the match.

“We came up against a strong, determined young Caldicot side who pushed us up until the last 20 minutes,” he said.

“I thought we controlled the game well but they were always a threat on the break.

“Our captain, Lee Ryder, led by example and now we are looking forward to important league games to come.”

His opposite number, Nathan Thomas, admitted Williams’ goal was a turning point.

“Credit to Underwood who were excellent,” he said.

“We got back into the game through the penalty but conceded again shortly after.

”We missed some big chances at 2-1 that could have changed the game in our favour but after Underwood scored their third, we had a few injuries and dropped our heads.

“Underwood were really clinical so we wish them good luck in the final.”

Underwood will face Undy Athletic in the final after they beat Mathern A 3-2 in the other semi.