Hawarden Rangers


Wednesday 23rd May 2018
Welsh National League Premier
Hawarden Rangers 2 Penycae 1 HT: 1-1 Att: 45
Thomas 35, Woods 48 : Kavanagh 2

from Gladstone Playing Fields

Hawarden Rangers (2)This was the last game of the season in the Welsh National League, along with Llay Welfare’s game against Brickfield Rangers. Hawarden (pronounced Hor-den) is the last but one ground I have left in this division (the last being the remote Llanuwchyllin), with only Mynydd Isa’s Argoed Sports Ground in the division below. Harwarden’s Gladstone Playing Fields are about as basic as it gets, for third tier Welsh football. A fully railed pitch in a bigger community park. However, the dugouts were seriously high spec, perspex curvy types with eight gleaming blue seats beneath. Continue reading

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Maesgwyn


Saturday 19th May 2018 14.30
Welsh National League Division One
Maesgwyn 2 Mynydd Isa Spartans 4 HT: 0-1 Att: 16 FREE and no prog
Goals: 79, 90+1 : Jones 23, 52, Davies 87, Sylvester 90+2

from The Gwyn

This was part two of my ‘Unexpected Double’, a bit like Frodo’s unexpected journey, excpet without wraiths or Gollum (it was relating to Red Dragons though). What a charming little ground The Gwyn is, lying nestled tightly in the streets opposite Wrexham’s The Racecourse Ground. You drive down a twisty urban lane and it appears suddenly on the right like the Narnia of football grounds. The Gwyn is the smallest pitch I have ever seen, barring smaller pitches designed for kids. It was almost like a pitch in a dream, that wasn’t quite right and made one feel a little at odds, two yards shorter either side and the 18 yard line could’ve doubled as the touchline. I loved it though, along with the orange and white decor, including poles to hold the net up.

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The afternoon at this quirky ground in the hot sun watching football would have been prett much perfect were it not for the referee – the worst (easily) and most bizarre refereeing I’ve ever seen, that had all that witnessed it gnashing their teeth and pulling their hair out.

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The referee – who confused football with rugby and blew for offside every time the ball was played forward

Mynydd (pronounced Munuth) split apart Maesgwyn’s defence about 15 times in the first half, but were unable to capitalise on these, due to the ref blowing for offside for about 13, of which 11/12 were wrong decisions. The first one you can forgive because he has no linesmen, but it was every time Mynydd tried to move forward; perfectly timed runs came to nothing – 2 yards on, pheep, 3 yards on pheep, in his own half, pheep, ref with the back to the action, pheep, 4 yards on, pheep. It was intensely frustrating.

I’m all for defending referees and the time they sacrifice, and would never condone shouting at them, but you had to make an exception here. The away bench were jumping up and down with anger and, almost literally, tearing their hair out. I was shouting myself from the perimeter bar. On a rare occasion a Spartan player managed to get near the keeper without being pulled back for offside he rounded the keeper for 0-1.

Half time 0-1 (plus, assuming a 1-on-1 success rate of 50%, 6 more were it not for the ref)

What annoyed me was the complete lack of common sense from every perspective. The ref at the earlier game at Acton also had no linesmen. He made the common sense decision to only give it if he could see that it was blatant, giving the benefit of the doubt to the attacking team, thus creating a free flowing entertaining game. After all, there’s nothing to play for and it’s the last game of the season. Also, when you have no linesmen, you have to adjust your perspective to account for the twenty yards away you’ll be from where the player makes his run. Again, if in doubt, play on. It really was excruciating.

Thus, in the second half, the Spartans had been classical conditioned by the Pavlovian ref not to run on to through balls, and so the tempo of the game slowed down a bit. Still, when an away player just couldn’t resist, and decided to make a run for it, five yards behind the last defender, still the ref blew for offside and by now the bench were turning green and looking a little Lou Ferrino like. Mynydd did make it 2-0 with a cool slot home and it looked like the game would stay that way, strangled by the ineptitude of the man in black.

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Acton FC


Saturday 19th May 2018 12.00
North East Wales League Premier Division
Acton 3 Rhosllanerchrugog 3 ht: 0-0 att: 10 Ent: FREE No Prog
Callaghan 55, Hallam 57, Duckett 81 : Dutton 76, Lipka 78, Davies 87

from Rhosnesni High School

DSC02080Double headers are great when they fall in your lap and this one was extra special in that I had no idea of this fixture 2 1/2 hours before kick off. The plan was to watch Maesgwyn v Mynydd Isa Spartans at 2.30, if family plans fell nicely; but when this fixture presented, thanks to a tweet from Cymru Groundhopper, I couldn’t believe it. 2.3 miles from Maesgwyn, this earlier fixture would give me 45 minutes to get to the game, more than enough. Continue reading

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Radcliffe Olympic


radcliffe-olympic-6Saturday 19th November 2016 3.00pm
East Midland League Premier
Radcliffe Olympic 5 Anstey Nomads 1 HT: 3-1 Att: 41 Entrance £5 Prog: £1 Coffee £1

Yeomons 3, Litchfield 36, 70, 90+5, Smith 43 : og 18

from Recreation Ground, Wharf Lane

I fancied travelling East on this Saturday, as the M6 north is all but impassable 24/7 now. Even late at night when all the traffic has dispersed, workmen close one lane to make sure the traffic is still heavy, then they close another lane when it gets even less busy; and if that doesn’t stop the traffic then they’ll just close the whole damn stretch. Continue reading

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Goldenhill Wanderers


Saturday 2nd December 2017 2pm
Staffs County Senior League Division Two Cup Quarter Final
Goldenhill Wanderers 4 Norton Development 1 HT: 1-0 ATT: 18
Kenny 16 (pen), White 64, Leese 70, Rogers 86 : Unknown 74

from Trubshaw Cross

Goldenhill Wanderers (2)I had a few hours spare on this dismal, damp Saturday. All my local favourites were away from home and I didn’t want to travel for miles for a new ground, not when the constant downpour looked like it could put games in doubt. So I went to a very low level local game in Burslem, a step nine divisional cup game. I’m not much for divisional cups at the best of times, let alone step nine, but it was 10 mins drive away and near to Otter’s Tears craft beer off licence, in Burslem town centre. Continue reading

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Sandbach United


Sandbach United (9)

Tuesday 22nd November 2016 19.45
NWCL Division One
Sandbach United 3 Alsager Town 3 HT: 3-1 Att: 88 Ent: £5 Prog: £2 Coffee: £1
Mballo 14, og 31, Bartle 40 : Lennon 42, Grice 49, Attrell 60

from The Sandbach Football Development Centre

Einstein described his Cosmological Constant, a term that he added to his equations of general relativity, as his greatest blunder. In a very similar manner, I consider my first visit to Sandbach United, as my own greatest blunder. It came about through two unfortunate and coinciding facts. The Staffs County League do not state reserves on the reserve team names, so they list reserve teams as (say) Alsager Town, Kidsgrove Athletic, Newcastle Town. In the case of these I obviously knew that they have higher placed first teams in the Evostik and NWCL. Continue reading

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New Brighton Villa


progSaturday 21st April 2018 14.30
Welsh National League Division One
New Brighton Villa 5 Rhydymywn 1 HT: 1-1 Att: 27 (hc) Free Entry plus 10 page programme
Rambaldi 15, 65, 80, Barlow 66, 77 : Unknown 30

from Estadio de Mark Lopez

DSC015062This New Brighton is a village in North Wales, not the seaside resort in Wallassey. It lies not far west of Chester, near Mold, and is in the Argoed district. A lot of Welsh football clubs can be spotted in the map below, including today’s visitors Rhydymwyn, 4.2 miles away up the A541. However, they aren’t New Brighton’s nearest team. Mynydd Isa play at the Argoed Sports Centre, 1.0 mile away. Mold Alexandra are just 1.9 miles away, although they are in the division above. Continue reading

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Prestwich Heys


Prestwich Heys (16)Wednesday 2nd November 2016 19.45
NWCL One
Prestwich Heys 2 Litherland REMYCA 3 HT: 2-3 Att: 90 Ent: £4 Prog: £1 Coffee: £1
Baguley 39, Reece 44 : McDonald 5, 41, Gannon 19

from Adie Moran Park

Prestwich Heys (2) Continue reading

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Bewdley Town


Bewdley Town (5)Saturday 15th October 2016 15.00
West Midlands Regional League Premier
Bewdley Town 6 Gornal Athletic 0 HT: 5-0 Att: 70(hc) Ent: £5 Prog: £1 Coffee: £1
Lavery x2, Pountney x2, Ward, Wellings

from Ribbesford Meadow

Bewdley Town (1) Continue reading

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West Bridgford


Tuesday 11th October 2016 19.45
EML
West Bridgford 4 Dunkirk 4 HT: 2-3 Att: 68 Ent: £5 Prog: £1 Coffee: £1
Large 32, Sylla 33, Spiers 63, Erentz 79 : King 25, Gibson 35, Grouse 38, 75

from Regatta Way Sports Ground

West Bridgford (13) Continue reading

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