First Team Star
Sep 28, 2008, 8:02 PM
Team(s): Torquay United/Dawlish United
Post #1 of 2
Just back from our recent holiday in Mid Wales, so here's a summary of games negotiated over the last couple of weeks.
SHREWSBURY TOWN 7
Football League, Division Two (League Two)
The Prostar Stadium, Oteley Road
Att : 5319.
Admission : £11.00 (OAP's, South Stand). Programme : £2.50. Badge : £2.50. Refreshments : Numerous. Car-parking : £7.00
"Come on Shrewsbury, you can win this!" was the nicely judged shout from a home fan as his side went in search of its seventh goal. This was about the time the South Stand percussionist drum-rolled his introduction to a series of Mexican waves which went round the ground. Boos when the away end failed to respond. Cheers when a few more spirited visitors gave it a go.
What a strange game! Nothing much to choose between the teams after the first 25 minutes, but then came an extraordinary burst of scoring with just about everything Shrewsbury tried coming off. Not just the biggest score yet at the new stadium, but apparently the club's highest winning margin in the League since the 1950's.
The car-park fee (bookable in advance) is expensive, but I prefer to be on the spot and am not a keen walker these days as those who know me well can confirm! It didn't take too long to get away either - unlike Chester & Scunthorpe, I seem to recall.
Beautiful sunny day - as it was for every match attended - and a very good start to the holiday.
ELLESMERE RANGERS 1
Cradley Town 3
FA Cup, First Qualifying Round - Replay
Beech Grove, Beech Drive, Oswestry Road
Att : 274
Admission : £3.00 (£2.00 OAP's). Programme : £1.50. Hot drinks : £0.70p. Pies : £1.30. Filled rolls : £1.00
Cradley surprised Ellesmere with a fast and determined attack which gradually wore down the useful home side. All the goals came in the second half with Ellesmere managing a consolation shortly before the end.
The club is based on council owned playing fields tucked away behind a housing estate and approached via a narrow track off Beech Drive, itself just off Oswestry Road. There's a low stand with 109 tip-up seats and the pitch is railed with canvas advertising banners attached. The stand roof extends on either side to provide covered hard standing for about 50 spectators and there's a tarmac perimeter pathway. Dugouts are positioned on the opposite side and the ground is bordered by green metal mesh fencing. There are two linked buildings in the left hand corner. The brick one houses the dressing-rooms while the wooden one contains a refreshments lounge with adjoining hospitality/board room. There's no licence to sell alcohol, so social facilities afterwards are at "The Ellesmere Comrades Sports & Social Club". Trevor Benney from Sutton Coldfield watched this game with me.
Dyffryn Banw 2
Mid Wales League
Min y Ddol Playing Fields, Min y Ddol
Att : 47
Admission : Free (collection made). Programme : No. Refreshments : No
The visitors - new to the league this season - dominated at first and quickly took a two goal lead. Inspired by the surprisingly deft touches of bulky forward Lee Jones, Penparcau rallied and scored two goals of their own in the second half.
One incident worth noting. The Dyffryn Banw skipper was felled by a resounding blow to the jaw. And I mean resounding as everyone present heard it! Unfortunately, it was behind the referee's back and with only club linesmen to advise him, he was pretty powerless really. The culprit was readily identified and apart from being encouraged to shake hands with the temporarily senseless player once he'd staggered to his feet, nothing else happened. I wonder how many managers would have hauled off the player responsible for such an incident in similar circumstances. Not many, I'd guess.
Quite spacious council playing fields with a river flowing past the far side and lined with trees along its bank. Apart from a second football pitch, there are also rugby and hockey pitches here. The main pitch is mostly railed with some additional wooden fencing where a few advertising boards are attached. On the river side, there's a small concrete block based stand with three rows of fixed benched seating - the rear one stepped. Dugouts are incorporated at the front. The road side (Min y Ddol) is banked with a single "park" bench positioned there. The brick dressing-rooms are just inside the entrance and there's a car-park between this building and the pitch.
The club, which has returned from the Aberystwyth & District League after several years' absence, is considering producing programmes again, but don't hold your breath, I'd say. There are no old ones on the ground, but a call in advance might result in the secretary bringing some along.
SHAWBURY UNITED 1
Bewdley Town 0
West Midlands (Regional) League, Premier Division
The Butler Sports Centre, Bowens Field, Pyms Road, Wem
Att : 52
Admission : £3.00 (OAP's £1.50). Programme : £1.00. Hot drinks : £0.50p. Filled rolls : £1.00
A first minute goal settled things here. Not a lot to choose between the sides after that. The referee featured strongly with a glut of second half bookings producing two almost inevitable dismissals for second card offences - one from each side.
Shawbury share the playing facilities with Wem Town although it's Shawbury, the senior club, who have been principally responsible for the ground developments that have taken place here over recent seasons.
The Centre, about a 10 minute walk from the middle of town, was opened by Billy Wright in 1975. It includes a swimming-pool and bowling green while the dressing-rooms are within the brick building at the top of the entrance walkway. This is the Wem Sports & Social Club and it also contains a sports hall/function room and a lounge bar selling real ale - Fuller's Chiswick Bitter on this occasion. The ground is immediately to the right and, once inside, the pitch is seen running widthways ahead. It's railed with advertising boards attached. On the left, a low stand has been built onto the side of the Sports Club. It has 117 seats, all but 9 being of the tip-up variety. Refreshments are sold from a kitchen hatch at the rear. There are dugouts opposite and a second pitch behind them. Hard standing is provided by the usual perimeter pathway.
BALA TOWN 2
Llangefni Town 3
Maes Tegid, Heol y Castell (Castle Street)
Att : 200
Admission : £3.00 (OAP's £1.50). Programme : £1.00. Tea : £0.60p. Beefburger : £1.50
First rate game with league leaders Bala, hitherto unbeaten, finding Llangefni quite a handful. Despite twice taking the lead, Bala were contained by the visitors who played some impressive football and scored two goals in the last five minutes to snatch the points.
A little edge crept into the game near the end and a bad tackle by a Bala defender prompted a retaliatory punch. Both players were red carded once the melee it caused had been calmed down and the referee had consulted with the linesman nearer the action.
This is a very attractively set ground with a wooden pavilion positioned in the near corner containing the dressing-rooms and a hospitality room for visiting officials, etc. The building faces the adjoining cricket field and most of its covered verandah looks in that direction. At the near end, there's room for around 25 standing spectators as this corner looks towards the football pitch. On the near side, there's an impressive low stand which is divided into three parts and has a total of 307 tip-up seats. There's standing cover in the intervening spaces. Dugouts are opposite and there's a section of covered standing behind the near goal. The far end is tree-lined and banked. A tarmac pathway runs round the pitch which is railed with wire mesh attached and has several advertising boards displayed. Refreshments were served from a mobile burger bar at the near end and social facilities afterwards were at "The Plas Coch Hotel" in the High Street, a short walk away. Arthur (Southampton) and Andy (Middlewich) were also present.
MONMOUTH TOWN 2
AFC Llwydcoed 3
Welsh League, Division Three
Monmouth Sports Ground aka Chippenham Sports Ground, Chippenham Mead, off Blestium Street
Att : 60
Admission : £2.00. Programme : £0.50p. Tea : £0.50p
Another hot day in the sun and another delightful setting close to the River Monnow where the Monmouth Sports Ground can be seen from the car-parks behind the Waitrose store.
A tarmac pathway extends from the entrance past the large section of covered terracing (12 concrete steps) on this side and continues behind the far goal to the brick pavilion beyond. The terraced stand was apparently relocated here from a nearby racecourse many years ago and does look a little incongruous. There are dugouts in front of it. The pavilion contains the dressing-rooms and a divided lounge bar which serves the football club on one side and the bowls club on the other. The bowling green and tennis courts are further off to the right and there's another football pitch here as well with the cricket area sitting between it and the main railed pitch. Keg beers and cider were sold in the bar as well as half time teas. There's limited cover outside on an elevated verandah with two wooden benches at the back.
Monmouth were on a losing streak having been defeated in their last four games. At first it appeared that the pattern was about to change. After 32 minutes, the visiting keeper was dismissed for bringing down a player who was through on goal. His replacement was beaten by the resulting penalty. The stand-in then made an error four minutes later which gave Monmouth a two goal advantage at half time.
To their credit, Llwydcoed went for broke after the interval and hit the woodwork six or seven times before they managed to bring the scores level. Amazingly, they weren't finished and a winner was stabbed home in the fourth minute of stoppage time!
Difficult for Monmouth to develop these facilities further because of local legislation. However, Chairman Lee Robson, a genial host on the day, is also a councillor and if anyone can get round the problems, I'd say he was the man!
Good to see old pals Colin Kempster (no relation!), Dave Lockley and Paul Sparrow at the game and we all agreed we'd spent a thoroughly enjoyable day here. If you haven't been to Monmouth, try to schedule a visit when you can. It's well worth it.
(This post was edited by Trevor P on Oct 2, 2008, 7:29 AM)