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Monday, 13 November 2017 14:56

O when the Saints...

SUNDAY 12th NOVEMBER Park Hall, cold and sunny.
THE NEW SAINTS 0 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 0 (after extra time, TNS won 4-3 on penalties)

Usually these blogs kick off with an account of the trials/delights of public transport in Wales. Not so today, as my journey to the Irn -Bru Cup quarter final is by road, courtesy of two members of the S4C commentary team. Not just a lot easier than travelling on Sunday trains out of Cardiff the day after a rugby international, but much more sociable too.

Despite a hold-up while the main north-south artery, the A470, is closed for Rhayader's remembrance parade, we arrive at Park Hall a couple of hours before kick off - but we're by no means the first. Large numbers of Scottish fans are already installed in the Park Hall bar. The atmosphere builds, helped immeasurably by TNS's master-stroke in providing a live band. The fans sing along merrily and the bar does a roaring trade. Numbers build as the match approaches, the most common question being "where can we get a programme?" You can't - they've sold out an hour before kick off.

After the conviviality of the warm clubhouse, we turn our attention to the football match out in the cold. The novelty of the SPFL's cup format under its IrnBru sponsorship continues to divide opinion, but you'll hear no criticism from anyone here today. It's an important game, and both sides are taking it seriously - Queens have named a full-strength side, including former Scottish international James McFadden and ex-Swansea City man Stephen Dobbie. This seems to make the visitors favourites, although past games between Welsh Premier and Scottish Championship clubs have been extremely close. Hard to find cause for optimism in my own 2017 record in this competition: two games, two Welsh defeats.

Published in Football
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 10:50


SATURDAY 2nd SEPTEMBER. The Your Radio 103FM Stadium. Sunny and warm.
DUMBARTON 2 CONNAH'S QUAY NOMADS 1 after extra time (IrnBru Cup, Round 2)
The international break weekend means no domestic football in Wales. I could stay and watch the Wales v Austria game in Cardiff, and normally I do watch Wales home games. But this time it clashed with the entry of the Welsh clubs into the IrnBru Cup... and I do love watching Welsh clubs in cross border competition. A northern odyssey for me then; but probably just an odd choice to many, I'm sure.

Using a combination of cheap flight to get to Glasgow, and train back, I'm able to do the round trip in around 30 hours, spending the night near Glasgow Airport and travelling up to Dumbarton in the morning, with time to explore the Rock of the Clyde, the castle and the town before lunch. Then back to the foot of the Rock - to the hideously-named 'Your Radio 103FM Stadium'. It's literally beneath the towering Rock with its fortified ramparts, but oddly you can't see the Rock as a spectator, because the single stand has been built facing away from it. Even stranger is the fact that this is truly a one-sided ground - no spectator access to the other three sides of the pitch.

I present myself to Reception, clutching the email confirming I'll be on the list for press access. Predictably, the steward tells me I'm not. Why are arrangements for visiting media always so shambolic? (I've had this in San Marino, Liechtenstein and now Scotland in the last year or so). Still, on this occasion it turns out it doesn't matter - stewarding is laid-back and I'm more or less free to go where I choose anyway.

The next surprise is the crowd - or rather lack of it. Where is everybody? Some Dumbarton fans (Sons they call themselves) may have gone to see Scotland in Lithuania, but surely not most of them? The attendance here would be disappointing at a top Welsh Premier fixture.

Published in Football
Friday, 17 March 2017 08:55

Issue 196 - April 2017

WF 196 cover

The April 2017 issue of Welsh Football is published on 20th March.

This issue includes all the regular coverage and analysis of domestic Welsh competitions, including the Dafabet Welsh Premier League.

This month's feature articles also include full club spotlights on Usk Town and Bargod Rangers and coverage of the recent Spring Groundhop weekend in Carmarthenshire and south Wales. 

For history lovers, we have several articles of interest: firstly, we focus on the Origins of Football in Cardiff, looking at the city's pioneering 19th century clubs. We also have an article by Richard E. Huws, telling the story of John Alwyn Evans, an Aberystwyth & District League player who went on to star for Millwall and Leyton Orient.

The regular 'Looking Back' series turns the clock back 25 years, and in this issue we are again looking at matches and other news from late Spring 1992, in the months prior to the formation of the League of Wales.

Order for delivery by post - £3.60 per copy - use PayPal account This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . More information, including other payment options, can be obtained by email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or from Welsh Football, 57 Thornhill Road, Cardiff, CF14 6PE

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