Welsh Football

Switch to desktop

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 08:53

It's a Long Way to.... Rhydymwyn

SATURDAY 10th SEPTEMBER - Vicarage Road. Warm and sunny.
RHYDYMWYN 1 HAWARDEN RANGERS 3 (JD Welsh Cup 2nd Qualifying Round)

We've all got a list like it - grounds we have prioritised for a visit. A bucket list, if you will. Rhydymwyn's Vicarage Road has certainly been on mine for a several years - I waited for delaying when they struggled in 2014-15, only to find that the club folded at the end of that season.

So it was good to see Rhydymwyn revived and accepted into the WNL (Wrexham Area) during the summer, and I wasn't going to make the same mistake again. This week, a JD Welsh Cup tie, an Arriva Trains fare offer, and a decent weather forecast - when the stars align, you have to act.

Published in Football
Sunday, 21 August 2016 08:44

The Road to Europe

SATURDAY 20th AUGUST. Canal Park, blustery showers.
TIGER BAY 2 BLAENAVON BLUES 1 (JD Welsh Cup 1st Qualifying Round)
There seems to be some sort of jinx on the opening round of the Welsh Cup: scheduled for August, it would be reasonable to expect the long list of ties to unfold in pleasant summer conditions, but it rarely turns out that way. Although I'm well used to watching football in all types of weather without (much) complaint, a couple of Welsh Cup qualifying round games played in awful conditions have lodged themselves in my memory - Risca a few years back (cold and wet) and then Penygraig (very, very wet).

And continuing the theme, the weathermen have promised us "an early taste of autumn" today, with high winds and heavy rain. Enough to make me briefly reconsider my chosen tie, at Canal Park, Butetown. Only briefly, though - I decide to don waterproofs and stick with the plan. And, as I walk down towards Butetown from the centre of Cardiff, the weather is every bit as bad as promised.

Published in Football
Monday, 06 June 2016 06:55

Issue 190 - Season Review 2015-16

WF 190 cover

End of season edition - publication date 6th June 2016

Contents include:

Focus on outcomes, honours etc in all Welsh competitions

Full 8-page supplement with all pyramid league tables and cup final scores

Photos of many 2015-16 trophy winners on cover and on several inside pages

2015-16 Welsh Programme Awards

Spotlight on Berriew

Looking back:  50 years to the end of 1965-66, and 25 years to May and June 1991

 

Welsh Football should be available in most independent Welsh interest bookshops.

Also stocked by Albany News, Roath, Cardiff and by Terry's Badges. 

Available to order by post @ £3.60 inc. postage, from 57 Thornhill Road, Cardiff, CF14 6PE

Or order & pay online - details via email, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Discounts apply to orders of multiple copies - please enquire. 

 

 

Published in Publication Dates
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 10:08

The Double Treble

MONDAY 2nd MAY. The Glyndwr Racecourse Stadium - hail, rain & sunny intervals.
AIRBUS UK BROUGHTON 0 THE NEW SAINTS 2 (JD Welsh Cup Final)
Back on the northbound train, for the second time in three days, and heading for Wrexham, the chosen venue for this year's Welsh Cup final. I'm ambivalent about the choice, as neither finalist has a huge supporter base, and the locals in Wrexham are indifferent to Welsh football - this means only one side of the Racecourse will be open (the antiquated main stand). The FAW have done everything possible to promote the game via social media, but once again huge sections of mainstream media ignore the occasion - and the potentially historic achievement if the Saints can secure the domestic treble for the second year running.

Before the game, there's plenty of activity in what's left of the Racecourse car park, with a merchandise stall doing reasonably brisk business in a range including friendship scarves, until increasingly heavy showers start to send everyone dashing for cover. We hope the showers will pass...

Inside, as kick off approaches, the atmosphere on the stand side is good, with the lower tiers full - the green TNS supporters to the town end, the blue Airbus fans towards the scoreboard end, and neutrals scattered around. The pre-match formalities (anthem, presentations etc) take place in drier conditions, and the game starts with TNS kicking towards the empty stand at the scoreboard end, although in fact most of the early action takes place in front of the decaying terrace at the other end. Airbus are taking the game to the holders, and are creating - but not taking - chances. [article continues, if not visible click on Read More below]

Published in Football
Thursday, 10 March 2016 15:50

Two Games, No Shocks - and No Coach

SATURDAY 5th MARCH: Celtic Park - sunny, cold wind.
CWMBRAN CELTIC 1 PORT TALBOT TOWN 2 (JD Welsh Cup, Quarter final)
The Welsh Cup quarter-finals have produced a couple of attractive fixtures a mere 20 miles apart, with staggered kick-off times thanks to the evening live TV slot. Clearly a fair few people will want to see both, and the FAW cotton onto this by advertising a coach from Newport, so I'm not left dithering over which to do.

Wrapped up well against a bitter wind, I head east to Newport and ahead of the advertised pick-up time I'm among a few groundhoppers sheltering inside Newport railway station, looking out for a coach. Half an hour later we're still looking for it, faith in the FAW's promises draining away rapidly. I lead the contingent of hoppers to the bus station and onto the X24 bus to Cwmbran, wondering if we'll see a coach at Celtic Park some time during the afternoon.

Published in Football
Sunday, 14 February 2016 09:14

Celtic spring a cup shock

SATURDAY 13th FEBRUARY. Celtic Park, cold and drizzly.
CWMBRAN CELTIC 5 GOYTRE FC 3 (JD Welsh Cup Round 4)
Although I've missed the last two Saturdays while on holiday, nothing has changed on my return: football people are still avidly following every weather forecast, desperately hoping the end of the week will be dry enough to allow some games to be played. By all accounts, last Saturday was as wet as any this miserable winter, and it was stormy when I returned, but a dry interlude brings a little hope...

Actually, last weekend's bad weather worked to my advantage, as the postponement of the Cwmbran Celtic v Goytre tie in the Welsh Cup means it's been re-scheduled for today - an obvious choice of game - assuming it's on - with teams from levels 2 and 3 of the pyramid doing battle for the chance to host a Welsh Premier side in the quarter-finals. Overnight rain on Friday night/Saturday morning means a couple of pitch inspections, but positive reports mid-morning are enough for me to head east (there's an added bonus here - I can travel this way without touching Cardiff city centre, which is going to be its usual mess on a rugby Six Nations matchday).

By the time I get to Cwmbran, the rain has stopped, though it's still very cold and dull as I walk down from the bus station to Celtic Park, via the busy Cwmbran Shopping Centre and the less busy Old Cwmbran high street - an incongruous street in the midst of the new-town estates, its run-down, old-fashioned shops presumably appealing to those who find the centre just a bit too exciting.
The pitch at Celtic Park is clearly playable: the goalmouths sanded, but the surface not holding water anywhere. A few early arrivals are here, and the small band of home officials is already busy with matchday duties. As kick off approaches, a reasonable crowd gathers, and would be counted at well over a hundred were it not for the thirty-odd who assemble on the bank outside the ground to watch for free - too mean to pay the very modest £3 entrance fee.

Published in Football
Sunday, 06 December 2015 12:25

Another 5 for Dixon and Barry

SATURDAY 5th DECEMBER: Jenner Park, blustery wind, grey.
BARRY TOWN UNITED 6 DENBIGH TOWN 1 (JD Welsh Cup 3rd Round)
The continuing wet and stormy weather was always likely to disrupt this weekend's highly-anticipated Welsh Cup Third Round programme, and two ties I'd been contemplating were called off as early as Friday afternoon, leaving me to ponder what was left which was still plenty of choice. The weather forecast put me off travelling north or west, but luckily one of the more interesting south v north fixtures is on the new 3G pitch at Jenner Park: Barry Town United, lying fourth in the Welsh League First Division, entertain Denbigh Town, who are sixth in the Huws Gray Alliance, so it's as close on league standings as anything in this round.

Recent form gives conflicting indicators: Denbigh have a remarkable cup run to their name - having beaten four Welsh Premier teams en route to the final of TheWord Cup, but their league form is mixed in recent weeks. Meanwhile Barry put seven goals past Aberdare in the last round, but only just salvaged a draw against the same opposition in the league a week ago; when I watched them against Risca a few weeks ago, they struggled on the 3G and were hugely flattered by the 4-1 win. Based on my feeling that the Alliance is generally stronger, but that its teams have a weak record in south Wales, I think you can make a case for either side today; it just depends who's on form.

Published in Football
Sunday, 04 October 2015 08:46

Aberdare avoid a cup shock

SATURDAY 3rd OCTOBER. Cwmbach Rec. - dry, sun & cloud.
CWMBACH ROYAL STARS 0 ABERDARE TOWN 3 (JD Welsh Cup Round 1)
The problem with the First Round of the Welsh Cup is that there are so many games you want to see - several closely matched ones, a few potential giant-killings, some local derbies, the prospect of a few rare programmes. But one tie that has three of those elements gets my vote today: Cwmbach Royal Stars v Aberdare Town. Four divisions separate the South Wales Alliance Division One side from the Welsh League Division One visitors, whereas less than two miles separate their grounds; plus, Cwmbach have confirmed there's a programme.

Cwmbach lies just outside Aberdare at the top end of the Cynon Valley, and has a station conveniently served by the Aberdare line service from Cardiff. From the station, it's a stiff walk up through the village to the Recreation Ground, right at the top of the village with spectacular views across the valley to Aberaman, although today a hazy mist is lingering. A concealed drive leads up from the road to the changing rooms, which themselves sit well below pitch level at the foot of a steep slope. In such uneven terrain, the pitch is relatively level, though the grassy surrounds have plenty of rises and drops reflecting the natural slope.

Published in Football
Sunday, 13 September 2015 12:19

Echoes of Coal and Steel

SATURDAY 12th SEPTEMBER. Vicarage Hill, Sunny and mild.
RHOSTYLLEN FC 1 BRYMBO 0 (JD Welsh Cup, 2nd Qualifying Round)
As ever, an early round in a national cup produces plenty of tempting matches near and far. After visiting one of the south Wales clubs from the bottom of the Welsh pyramid in the previous round, I choose a similar tie in north-east Wales in the 2nd Qualifying Round. The similarities go further: like AFC Perthcelyn, Rhostyllen FC are a reformed club which has prudently adopted a slightly different name from its predecessor. They've joined the North East Wales League, the first step back to the WNL Wrexham Area League.

The village of Rhostyllen is only a couple of miles south of Wrexham, its by-pass well served by buses heading for Oswestry and Llangollen. This was the village that served Bersham Colliery, which once supplied coal to Brymbo steelworks among others. The colliery closed in 1987 but there's little to tell its story a quarter of a century on: a bus stop on the main road is named the Colliery Garage, and some pit head equipment remains - it was intended to form the centrepiece of a mining museum, but lack of interest meant the project never came to fruition. Today, there's nothing in the village centre to tell its back story or point out anything of note, not even an information board.

The revived football club has however put the colliery winding gear and a coal truck on its crest, with a pleasing nod to the village's heritage. This crest adorns the cover of Rhostyllen FC's first match programme, together with that of today's visitors Brymbo (no longer Brymbo Steelworks FC, that also having closed a quarter of a century ago).

Published in Football
Sunday, 23 August 2015 07:56

The Road to Europe Starts Here

SATURDAY 22nd AUGUST: Deep Duffryn - humid.
AFC PERTHCELYN 1 LLANTWIT FARDRE 2 (JD WELSH CUP, 1st Qualifying Round)
Another week, another national cup competition gets underway for 2015-16. This time it's the Welsh Cup, so technically the road to the Europa League starts here, though the 118 clubs in action today will realistically be hoping for a run through a few early rounds, enough to earn a share of the prize money in the 'Proper' rounds, rather than a tilt at European glory.

With 58 ties in almost every part of Wales, there's no shortage of choice: there are numerous games that appeal - many of these at clubs which wouldn't normally issue programmes. But adverse weather, which so often afflicts this first stage of the cup, means postponements are possible, and I'm not travelling too far afield. The Perthcelyn tie is one within easy reach and with 'options' if the weather prevails. The home side are the only entrant from the Aberdare Valley League, hosting a team from three divisions higher in the pyramid, and on a ground I've not visited before.

Published in Football
Page 2 of 2

© Copyright 2013 Welsh Football

Top Desktop version