Llandrindod Wells' run in the Dragon Signs FAW Amateur Trophy was ultimately to end in disappointment at The Bont on Friday night as Trethomas Blubirds responded from trailing 3-0 in the first-half to eventually prevail as 4-3 victors.

The Spa Men had not reached this stage of the competition for over half a century and produced a magnificent performance in the opening 45 minutes. However, their 10-man opponents produced a powerful second-half display to reach the final for the first time in their history.

The South Walians had the first real opportunity to open the scoring but Bluebirds skipper Tomas Rutherford was unable to keep his volley on target from an eighth minute corner. 

The first major talking point of the semi-final played at the home of Ardal South West club Penydarren saw Alex Newman-Jones shown a red card by referee Alex McInch after 13 minutes as he stretched to challenge for the ball.

The Radnorshire men took advantage of this when Rob Kear forced the ball home from a corner three minutes later after Tom Durant had raced through on goal but was denied by a perfectly-timed challenge just a matter of feet from the goal.

Llandrindod v Trethomas Bluebirds
Rob Kear scored first for the Radnorshire men following a Llandrindod corner (Barcud-Coch Photography)

Trethomas Bluebirds looked to respond to the setback of going behind as Charlie Loss went close courtesy of a 20-yard free-kick that was awarded for handball after 19 minutes.

Llandrindod Wells looked particularly dangerous as they attacked down the right flank in the opening stages and came close to increasing their advantage four minutes later when Daniel Hall drove into the penalty area but the onrushing Kieran McCarley was unable to keep his effort down when the ball was played into his path. 

Trethomas Bluebirds also looked dangerous on the counter-attack as the rain lashed down on the artificial surface during the opening 45 minutes. Ethan Edwards drove towards the Spa Men's penalty area in the 24th minute but was denied by the excellent reflexes of James Barker. 

But it was Llandrindod Wells who increased their lead five minutes later when Rhys Davies was afforded time and space to fire a dipping 25-yard drive over the head of Bluebirds custodian Gareth Williams and under the crossbar.

Llandrindod v Trethomas Bluebirds
A Rhys Davies strike put Llandrindod two goals to the good (Barcud-Coch Photography)
Llandrindod v Trethomas Bluebirds
Davies wheels away in celebration (Barcud-Coch Photography)

The Radnorshire men were in dreamland five minutes later when Kear headed home his second goal of the evening from another corner that the Bluebirds defence were unable to clear.

Despite being second best during the majority of the first-half, Gareth Tedstone reduced the deficit six minutes before the interval, when he cut in from the right to smash the ball past Barker from 20 yards.

Supporters travelling from Radnorshire were still on a crest of a wave as the teams headed to the changing rooms but Spa manager Gareth Jones was all too aware that his team would face a stern test of their abilities in the second-half.

The Ardal South East club required only three minutes to reduce the deficit further when Jordan Harding converted an Ethan Edwards pull back to give their band of vocal supporters some hope.

Llandrindod Wells were seemingly unable to recapture their form of the opening 45 minutes as the Trethomas management switched to playing a back three.

Loss fired his 58th minute free-kick straight into the defensive wall from 20 yards before Barker made a remarkable save three minutes later to keep out an Andrew Evans header from a Bluebirds corner.

Tedstone fired an effort over from the edge of the penalty area in the 66th minute when their Radnorshire opponents lost the ball in midfield as they attempted to mount a swift counter-attack.

The Spa Men were now feeding on scraps and rarely enjoyed the opportunity to test their opponent's defence. Although Jack Evans' 68th minute free-kick was nearly turned into his own net by Trethomas goalkeeper Gareth Williams but instead went behind for a corner.

The South Walians were on level terms two minutes later when substitute Levi Rees headed home a cross from the left and sensationally turned the match around after 73 minutes when Harding netted his second goal of the semi-final after the Spa Men failed to clear a free-kick into their penalty area.

Llandrindod v Trethomas Blubirds
Trethomas Blubirds rallied in the second half to come away with a 4-3 victory (Barcud-Coch Photography)

It was Bluebirds' supporters who were now on cloud nine as they sensed their team were heading to next month's final.

Llandrindod Wells looked to respond and push for an equalising goal, which would have taken the match to penalties, but McCarley was unable to keep his 25-yard shot on target when a 78th minute cross from the left flank found its way to the far post.

Spa captain Shaun Nicholls tried his luck from a similar distance 10 minutes later before the final play of the match saw Huw Lewis head over from a stoppage time corner. However, the veteran defender was unable to deliver good news, as Llandrindod Wells saw their historic run ultimately fall at the penultimate hurdle on Cheltenham Gold Cup day, but their players, management and supporters could be extremely proud of themselves after the final whistle sounded.