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Thursday, 15 September 2016 10:17

Llay of the Land

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SATURDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER. The Ring, persistent rain.
After watching Wales under 21s lose at Wrexham yesterday evening, the next morning I'm heading back up the borders on the train again. The weather has changed, with heavy rain sweeping in across Wales. It seems likely to be less of a problem in the north-east, according to the forecast, and when news of postponements in the south starts coming in during the morning, I feel glad I'm heading this way.

It's still raining heavily in Wrexham, and indeed when I get off the bus outside the impressive Miners Welfare Institute in Llay. After a look around inside, I wander out around the back of the building, through the complex of bowling greens, to the football pitch. I'm greeted by a sight for sore eyes: the pitch is in good condition despite the rain, both teams are warming up, three separate areas of covered spectator accommodation and a tea-bar. Club officials are busy removing the security shutters from the seated stand. Not only am I going to see a match, but in an excellent venue - and I can stay dry!

Although from the same division of the Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) as their hosts, visitors Penycae are probably favourites. However, Llay seem motivated and determined as they warm up in front of the tea bar behind the top goal, talking of a cup run to come. Within a minute of the kick-off, though, that looks less likely, as they watch Penycae's full back float a long-range effort into their net.

Later in the first half, Penycae add a second with a fine run, cross and finish. Llay battle, but fail to put the visitors under much pressure. A few heavy challenges and flare-ups punctuate proceedings - both teams equally responsible. After the interval, the rain finally relents. Llay continue to battle away up the slope, but the only goal of the half is scored by Penycae's teenage substitute, racing clear in the dying minutes to complete the 3-0 win.

Read 2537 times Last modified on Thursday, 15 September 2016 10:23

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