Prestatyn Town – 2
Pre-season Friendlies – 6th August 2011
There is that old joke that whenever somebody beats a team such as Trinidad & Tobago, Rushden & Diamonds and Dagenham & Redbridge – then they say “Well that’s a great result as they played two sides!”. The joke has been doing the rounds long enough that I thought that it was the norm for smaller teams to join together to form a combined force. So when I hazily was searching for games in and around Prestatyn to get to on a dull Saturday (I couldn’t watchas I’d have to be in Prestatyn for around 5pm), I saw that the seasiders were playing the team of “New Brighton & Dukinfield Town”. As Welsh league games seem to kick off at 2:30pm, that’ll finish at around 4:30pm, leaving me enough time to get where I need to be in Prestatyn, bonus!
Except it didn’t work like that, a quick check of the game on the website to see if it was still going ahead at 11am Saturday morning saw my glaring error. New Brighton Town & Dukinfield Town are two different teams, one from outside Liverpool, one from outside Manchester. Prestatyn Town were playing two football matches that day, and the first one kicked off in an hour.
With all the best will in the world I wasn’t going to make the start of the first game, and the time the last game ended will be too late, so I thought two half games may be better than no games at all, so headed to Bastion Gardens in Prestatyn to watch the seasiders play.
I like Prestatyn. It’s a small seaside resort just outside Rhyl, that seems to be lacking in the squalour that seems to exist in Rhyl. Prestatyn Town FC is right in the centre of the town as well, a short walk from the train station, and it’s games are well advertised. They are a Welsh Premier League club, and seem remarkably well run on meagre resources.
I entered the ground and there was already the first game going on, as they were midway through the second half. The ground of Prestatyn is covered in Red & White paint, so assumed for a bit that they were the team in those colours, not so as the seasiders from the Wirral wore the red & white, and the seasiders fromwore their away kit – a royal blue and yellow number. With no idea of the score I watched the game, with the only goal I saw was a looping header by Prestatyn’s centre forward James Cairns that gave the poorly positioned keeper no chance. I found out that goal was a consolation goal for Prestatyn, as they lost the game 4-3.
With an hour break between the games I explored the ground. Behind one of the stands (why do all Welsh teams have space behind their stands?!?) you could walk freely and see the game of cricket that was taking place, which fell victim to the rain a few times. Also there’s a standard club shop (which was opened during the period between the two games), a bar and a adjoining tea hut. The bar was impressive for Welsh Premier League level, with fruit machines and a dart board, in fact rivalled only byTown in classiness and Bamber Bridge’s bar in terms of being my favourite. After a bog-standard pie and can of coke, I took my seat along the half way line for game two.
Unsurprisingly, Prestayn’s squad was completely different for game 2, and seemed to play very well with the new side. Dukinfield Town resorted to hitting on the break. Prestatyn Town had two great chances, both of which was cleared off the line. The first was a header from a corner that was cleared off the line, and the second was a goalkeeper mixup that saw the ball dribble slowly to the goal, but was cleared off the line by the defender. I was going to leave at half time, but on the 44th minute Dukinfield had the moment of the afternoon just before half-time.
Dunkinfield had a corner on the right hand side, and after the ball was cleared, the Dunkinfield midfielder (who unfortunately I’ve no idea who he was, as no names were provided), struck the ball first time on the volley. The ball rattled the post and bounced in. It was an amazing goal from 45 yards, that left the goalkeeper stranded. I left at half time, but left happy after seeing that amazing goal, yet sad that I wouldn’t see the rest of the game, and a goal like that was ultimately fruitless in a friendly.
In the second half, Dunkinfield were to score 2 more goals, equalled by Prestatyn, and the game ended 3-2 to the visitors.
Despite missing the two best halves of football in the two games I enjoyed my day at Prestatyn Town, everybody I spoke to was friendly, the food was alright, and watched the match sober (a rarity for me). The football wasn’t that bad and the game was played at a nice tempo. Plus it stopped raining for the walk to see my friends, hurrah!
Prestatyn fans though questioned their teams success on the pitch though. New Brighton and Dukinfield occupy levels 11 and 12 in the English league system. I don’t think it’s fair though. The first reason is that it’s a pre-season friendly, so you can’t read too much against it. Prestatyn will obviously up their game against the like of TNS, Bangor and Neath. The second reason is obvious.
It was two teams against one.