STEVE HALLIWELL labelled Gresford Athletic’s performance in their 3-1 Newfa Challenge Cup quarter-final victory over Ruthin Town as “brilliant”.

Alex Buxton created the opener for Joe Chaplin before adding a brace of his own either side of the break to secure Gresford a place in the last four of the competition.

“It was brilliant. It really, really was,” declared director of football Halliwell of the tie at Bala’s Maes Tegid. “I knew the game would suit the lads we’ve signed who have played on 3G with Airbus and Cefn Druids, but everybody was superb.

“I fancied us to win and it’s great to get into the semi-finals, because it’s something else to keep the season going and it was great to continue the momentum we’ve gained from three league wins in a row.”

Gresford have joined Flint Town United and Buckley Town in the last four of the competition, with Mold Alex and Brymbo going head-to-head next Wednesday in the outstanding quarter-final tie.

On the semi-final draw, Halliwell added: “Flint are the strongest side left in the competition, so we’d probably want to avoid them.”

Instead of trying to extend their winning run to five games in all competitions, Gresford are without a fixture this weekend.

Halliwell said: “We could do with a game with the run that we are on, but then it is nice to have a break and it will give lads a chance rest up.”

Josh Jones scored Ruthin’s consolation from the spot late on after Chris Hardy’s men had seen Gwion Owen sent-off for two quickfire yellow cards around the hour mark.