FC – 1
Cymru Alliance League, 22nd January 2011
If I could sum up the third weekend of 2011 with one word – it’d be “Cancellation”. With my original plans cancelled for the weekend, I was left with a train ticket to Northwithout any reason to go home. Plan B was to jump on the team coach from to watch them play lowly Ossett Town, but with that game cancelled due to a frozen pitch, I was left gameless. Instead I headed to Llandudno to watch Liverpool play Wolverhampton Wanderers in another trial for the reds in what has been a dismal season. I promised the mother lunch, but was checking my phone regularly for the second half of the game.
What was reassuring was checking the Colwyn Bay FC fans forum, and a lot of the Bay fans were heading to watch Llandudno play Penrhyncoch in the Cymru Alliance – which is one of the two second highest leagues in Wales, covering the North of the country. I’ve witnessed this before, larger clubs in the area adopting another smaller club for a game if their beloved team isn’t playing. I witnessed this last season at the Giant Axe, where a large number of Morecambe fans – whose season had ended, showed up to support Lancaster City in their failed attempt for promotion at the playoff final, but never thought we’d do it. Maybe the rumours are true, we’re now a big club.
So after a Cajun Chicken meal & a half of watching Liverpool play, I headed to Maesdu Park via taxi to meet my fellow Seagulls. The taxi driver – in the 3 minute journey – shared his time he had in Beirut with a mate of his, a Bangor City fan. He said that Bosh – his mate – talked about only two things: Bangor City & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Something tells me that they’re not mutually exclusive.
In any rate, I arrived & immediately headed to the clubhouse. Located near the entrance of the ground, it’s quite a facility, with faux black marble that dominates behind the bar & the loos, it looked like a casino. Furthermore the ground was one of the few I’ve visited where you can drink outside. It didn’t help being January, as it must be glorious on a warm Spring or late Summer, because – with Llandudno sandwiched between two headlands called the Ormes, it can be rather picturesque (at least on two sides of the ground, one side of the ground has a bus depot & one has a council estate). Must be stunning on a clear day.
The match kicked off at 2:30pm (half an hour earlier than English matches as many Welsh clubs don’t have floodlights – at least I believe that’s the reason) with two comedic assistant referees. One can only be described as a stout or portly gentleman, the other could be described as a ginger. Luckily they both had a good game, and the crowd of 100 (15-20 Bay fans) wasn’t in the mood to heckle, as they were rather comedic.
The first half was pedestrian, with Penrhyncoch attaching in large swathes, using the right flank. So it was a bit of a surprise when Llandudno took the lead in the 40th Minute with Jordan Kaye with a blinder of a free kick. It was probably the only highlight of the first half which was largely contested in the middle third. Half time: 1-0 to Llandudno.
With the half time break, I took a tour of the ground. A nice little ground, with kids playing a game of football behind one stand, a picket fence keeping the crowd separated & most impressively terraces you can drink on. Fantastic! Llandudno also have probably the poshest restrooms in football, with black faux marble, it looked like a casino!
The second half was a similarly drab affair, so much so that I missed the equaliser for Penrhyncoch. Matthew Lewis in what was described as a tap in from a cross that missed everybody on the hour mark. This seemed to launch a rocket under Llandudno, with much of the attack coming from Ryan Williams on the wing. Only a few great saves kept Penrhyncoch in the game, and – with the fact that they didn’t have any sort of substitution boards amusing me when both managers flung on players towards the end – it finished 1-1.
Overall it wasn’t the best game, but it was in a grand little club. Furthermore, with the game finishing at 4:30, we caught final score. I think the Welsh league are onto something. Bonus!
So yeah, considering this game was the result of cancellations of all cancellations, it was still an enjoyable trip to a Welsh league club.