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Saturday, 01 March 2014 20:32

NO SPRING SURPRISE

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SATURDAY 1ST MARCH: Aberaman Park - dry and clear
ABERDARE TOWN 1 BALA TOWN 2 (Welsh Cup, Quarter-final)
St. David's Day: the first day of spring (officially) but not always the first spring day. However, this year, there's no mistake, St. David's Day really is a spring day. The fixture list (or at least the FAW's bag of balls) has decreed that I will head up the Cynon Valley today to see if Aberdare Town, south Wales's last hope in this year's Welsh Cup competition, can overcome Welsh Premier visitors Bala Town, and this means taking my familiar walk across north Cardiff to catch the train at Llandaf; through Caedelyn Park - early daffoldils opening (and maybe even more significant, a junior football match in progress, for Cardiff Council has allowed parks pitches to be used for the first time this year); along Church Road - cherry trees in blossom. And the sun shining all the way. What's not to like about today ?

Saturday, 22 February 2014 21:46

TOP GOGS

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SATURDAY 22ND FEBRUARY - The Marstons Stadium: dry, sunny, cold wind.
AFAN LIDO 0 PRESTATYN TOWN 2 (Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League)
It's a Saturday, but not as we know them. It's not raining, and there a only a few reports of waterlogged grounds, so for the first time in 2014 we can look at the fixture list with reasonable confidence that a chosen game will be on.

For me Port Talbot is the obvious place to be this week, as the borough's two Welsh Premier sides are both at home to northern visitors, with staggered kick-off times. In fact, there's a third game, just up the road, where Trefelin entertain Penrhyndeudraeth in the FAW Trophy, but attending that would mean not being able to attend the other two, so I'm going for the Welsh Premier option.

Saturday, 15 February 2014 20:05

SURPRISES

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SATURDAY 15TH FEBRUARY: Ynys Park - sunshine & showers
TON & GELLI BC 3 CARDIFF MET 2 (FAW Trophy Quarter-final)
After a week of unprecedented storms - including one overnight on Friday - it's clear that for yet another weekend we're going to lose most of the fixture list. In fact, I'm not really expecting anything to be on except a few fixtures on 3G surfaces. With the wind and squally rain continuing through the morning, this seems like a week when the best option might be staying in. The updates online during the morning more or less confirm that only a handful of games are going to survive - but to my great surprise, Ton & Gelli's FAW Trophy match is confirmed as on. I'd sort of written off the trophy quarter finals as either likely to be off, or too difficult to get to, so this unexpected development means an easy decision: I'm off to the Rhondda.

Saturday, 08 February 2014 20:14

SUPER TWELVE

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SATURDAY 8TH FEBRUARY: Penydarren Park - wet, wild and stormy.
MERTHYR TOWN 12 GUILDFORD CITY 0 (Calor Southern League, South & West Division)
Another weekend, another storm. It's rained during the week, and it's forecast to rain some more today, so the football programme will be washed out again, but on this occasion the weather is only a minor nuisance, as I have already decided to head for Merthyr for the first time since they installed their 3G artificial surface at Penydarren Park.

The lure is not just the all-weather surface - I need to catch up on Merthyr, topping their division of the Southern League, as I last saw them in that FA Cup defeat at Bridgwater. And their opponents today interest me too, Guildford City, a famous old name from my early days of watching Southern League football, except that in those days Guildford played at St. Joseph's Road, one of my favourite venues. That club lost its ground 40 years ago and slipped into oblivion, and today's incarnation is a new entity that has adopted the old name and plays in the same red and white stripes that I remember (though not today). They're back in Guildford too, but at a leisure centre ground as different from St Joseph's Road as you could imagine.

Saturday, 01 February 2014 20:20

NEW MONTH, SAME WEATHER

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SATURDAY 1ST FEBRUARY - Aberaman Park, wet and windy
ABERDARE TOWN 4 BODEDERN ATHLETIC 1 (Welsh Cup Fourth Round)


Another week of rain: postponements loom for yet another Saturday. It's Welsh Cup weekend but all the games are on grass pitches so no easy options this week. And with the disruption that Six Nations rugby brings, travel via Cardiff is best avoided too. By Friday night, I've almost convinced myself that a revisit to one of the 3G pitches is about all I can expect. So when Aberdare Town announce early on Saturday that their pitch has passed an inspection, it's a pleasant surprise.

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