Welsh Football

Switch to desktop

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 09:35

The Return

Rate this item
(0 votes)

TUESDAY 15th SEPTEMBER. Cyncoed Campus, a chilly evening.


On February 29th, I saw a grassroots match at Margam. In the 199 days since, I have not been present at a domestic Welsh match, but tonight that run ends just shy of the 200-day mark. Having missed out on accreditation for a match on Saturday (a story best left untold) I am accredited and required on campus by 7pm, having to go the extra couple of miles round to the Llanedeyrn gate.

Entrance formalities are as at the Nomads UCL game: temperature check, health questionnaire, briefing on ground rules. It’s quite simple, the ground is just divided into two zones, red and amber. Red is the pitch, and the CIAC side, the other three sides and the refreshment cabin are in the amber zone; the masked gentlemen of the press are free to roam here. I’d half expected to be told I must stay in an allocated seat, so this is fine. No printed programme, no team-sheet – but there is a free digital programme available online.

In terms of atmosphere, it doesn’t feel particularly different. Crowds are generally sparse here anyway. What is strikingly different is the pre-kick-off routine – no line up, handshakes etc. Just a sort of milling around before breaking into formation while the officials and captains carry out a protocol-compliant coin toss. And then we’re underway.

The Archers made a promising start on Saturday, winning away, but for Haverfordwest this is their long-awaited return to the top flight – Saturday’s match v Druids having been called off by the FAW. The visitors are among the bookies’ favourites to struggle, and initially the passing and movement of the home side makes it hard for them to settle into the game. Steve Hall’s goal comes under attack, but he’s not really troubled. His defence stands firm and does its job, while the odd breakaway shows they’re not just here for a point.

The first half brings mostly frustration. The best chance of the half is a fast break by Met’s Warwick, his goal-bound shot well saved by Hall. At the other end, Marcus Griffiths pulls a shot wide from a good position. Half time comes, a chilly ten-minute interlude with the teams and officials remaining on the pitch.

The second half brings more frustration for the home side. Chris Baker is on the end of a good cross but it rebounds from the bar and is scrambled away, then Hulbert sees another effort go over via the same woodwork. But Haverfordwest have warmed to their task now and the game is more even. The teams’ have contrasting styles, Met patient and favouring the wings, County more long-ball. But neither can break the deadlock. A point apiece, neither side did enough to win. It’s way too early to draw conclusions, but both need to be better than this to make the top six.

Maybe a disappointing 0-0 draw was the perfect way to return to watching domestic football, a salutary reminder from the football gods to be careful what you wish for. But I’m still glad my game drought ended on 199 days.



Sunday, 01 March 2020 11:51

Port in a Storm

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

SATURDAY 29th FEBRUARY. Groeswen playing fields, stormy.
MARGAM YC 3 CROESERW ATHLETIC 1 (Port Talbot & District League)

Another Saturday, another storm. First Ciara, then Dennis, now Jorge. And after the wettest 24 hours I have ever seen in Cardiff, the prospects for football don’t look promising. Saturday morning brings the anticipated news of multiple postponements, added to which travel is seriously disrupted.

As we wake up and read about the floods, disruption and weather warnings, my wife suggests maybe it would be best not to bother today. But no, staying at home isn’t an option if there’s a chance of a game. So, like most recent Saturday mornings, it’s a question of trying to keep an eye on what is going ahead, and working out whether I can get there.

Sunday, 18 August 2019 13:22

Didn't We Have A Lovely Time...

Rate this item
(4 votes)

SATURDAY 17th AUGUST. Treborth, sunny and windy.
CPD BANGOR 1876 5 CPD SYCHDYN 1 (FAW Trophy Round 1)

6.a.m Saturday: for the second time in three days, a long day trip to north Wales lies ahead of me. After the comparatively short trip up the border on Thursday, for the Wales Under 15s and TNS matches in Wrexham, today's destination is Bangor, a mere 250-miles away by train.

An early start then, but getting out of Cardiff before the dreaded rugby international crowds arrive is always a bonus. And experience of Saturday trains tells me I need some slack in the schedule. [If you are only interested in the football, I'd advise you to skip the next two paragraphs]

Monday, 29 April 2019 10:06

The Power of Football

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

SUNDAY 28th APRIL. Leckwith 3G, weather sunny and calmer.
BANGLADESH 3 YEMEN 2 (Cardiff Community Cohesion Cup final)

We all have matches that we plan to attend for weeks or more; But sometimes those we chance upon are just as rewarding, and my interest was piqued by a tweet a few days ago encouraging people to attend the final of the Cardiff Community Cohesion Cup.

I had been vaguely aware of this tournament before - it's been running several years, organised by South Wales Police with the aim of involving Cardiff's ethnic minorities. The winners will get to play against a police team, in a showpiece game at Cardiff City Stadium, and this year the two finalists are teams from the Bangladeshi and Yemeni communities. So far, so intriguing, but a bonus is that it's being played on the outdoor 3G at City's Leckwith complex, a pitch I've never previously seen a game on.

Sunday, 13 January 2019 13:43

You Can't Beat a Proper Cup Tie

Rate this item
(2 votes)

SATURDAY 12th JANUARY. The Muga, mild.
PLAS MADOC 3 BERRIEW 2 (FAW Trophy Round 5)

For the second week in a row my Saturday morning and evening will be spent travelling up and down the so familiar English border line on Transport for Wales trains. The weather's been unusually peaceful for January and neither trip was threatened by postponement. All good, although last week's outing was a bit of a drag, to be honest: a dull routine league game between two rusty sides, on a dull day in a rather dull place. I didn't write it up as a blog - there just wasn't much to say and I didn't want to waste time re-living it.

But I have higher hopes of today's excursion. For a start, it's the FAW Trophy, and knock-out football tends to produce more drama. Secondly, it's an inter-region game, North East v Central Wales, between teams that haven't met before. Thirdly, the home team, Plas Madoc, are a bit of a sensation - after winning the North East Wales League in only the first season, they're unbeaten so far in the league (Wrexham Area Division One). I'm looking forward to watching them.

Page 1 of 21

© Copyright 2013 Welsh Football

Top Desktop version