JD SPORTS FAW WELSH CUP ROUND ONE @ GLADSTONE FIELDS
20 OCTOBER 2018 --- 2.30PM
|HAWARDEN [YELLOW] HEAD AWAY AS LLANFAIR TRY TO GET A BOOT ON IT|
A return to Wales then, just, with todays destination being just seven miles west of Chester, the first since last seasons Europa play off game at Cefn Druids. All started well with arrival by bus on time at base station only to be greeted with the 0920 departure late and becoming even later. When the beautiful four carriage East Midlands Train departed it was thirty minutes down and a large proportion of us found space standing or even doing a 'Corbyn' and sitting on the floor.
With connections missed the journey today would hopefully pick up an advised connection at 1104 at Stockport, thanks EMT despatch staff for this plan, arriving now 35 minutes down a sharp dash to platform 2 saw the train arrive in as I gathered myself.
Thankfully seat and on time service allowed a comfortable connection in Crewe and when arrival was made at a quarter past mid-day in Chester a short hop outside the station saw the number 4 aquamarine special displaying 'Yr Wyddgrug' and as I'm sure you all know this was the bus to Mold that was required.
Hawarden seems very much to be one of those boutique shop border towns with little in the way of practical shops but of course is famous for its history. With Hawarden castle the home in late life of Gladstone the four times British Prime Minister his wife's family residence. As aside to his grandson leaving the recreation grounds to the community where todays match will take place it is now famous for the Gladstone Library, formerly St Deiniols, which contains 250,000 books and alongside a bistro also offers accommodation in the grade 2 listed building. However the most interesting story takes place with Gladstone himself when 85 years old and four years before his death he gave 32,000 of his own books to the library something that he did with the help of his daughter and his valet wheeling them the 3/4 of a mile from the castle.
|GLADSTONE FIELDS ONE FOR THE TREE HUGGERS|
To all intents and purposes the set up is part of a recreation ground with a pitch at the far end fully railed off with hard standing all the way around, two dug outs provided the only furniture although there was a nice backdrop of varying coloured leaves still attached to the collection of trees.
Teams were secured thanks to the referee Scott Campbell inside the changing rooms area that from the outside you wondered what the facilities would be like but once inside were smart and clean and tidy and seemed to have received a recent make over, a clock tower adorned the roof but was probably in need of a new battery with the time not elapsing at all. Sadly there was no paperwork or admission which of course would be a problem in a public recreation ground but there was a friendly nature to the clubs.
|0-1 PAUL GRIFFITHS GIVE LLANFAIR THE LEAD|
With past player and former village member Michael Owen amongst their list of famous former people you could also include ex players such as Barry Horne and Ian Rush.
Llanfair are rolling the ball about in The Mid Wales League which has now lost the famous moniker The Spar Mid Wales League which always had a nice ring to it.
A gathering of around forty people and a small selection of four legged friends were readily awaiting the kick off on what looked a bobbly pitch which appeared to affect both sides ability to produce much free flowing stuff during the ninety minutes.
It all started badly for the home side when a kicking error by home keeper Connor Wilson fell to Paul Griffiths who took the ball on to slot home for the lead after four minutes. On the quarter of an hour mark Rangers had a great chance when Craig Stewart skipped past visiting keeper Mark Richards only to be pulled down by the keepers hand. The referee proved to be a benefactor with the attacker well away it looked a certain red card but it was only a yellow produced and from the resultant kick Dom Auty was cruelly denied by the keepers save low to his right.
Mid way through the half Llanfair doubled their lead Alun Hughes fed Ryan McVeagh who confidently fired home to give the home side an upward struggle.
|LLANFAIR MANAGER RHYS STEPHENS SEEMED TO BE ENJOYING THE AFTERNOON|
|1-2 TOM BRIDGES STARTS THE COMEBACK FOR HAWARDEN|
|NICK HENDERSON MAKES IT 2-2 FROM THE PENALTY SPOT|
At the final whistle the Airbus Beluga, something I had failed to see on many visits to North Wales, flew over in a celebratory flight for a Llanfair victory and they now enter round two with a fresh confidence of further progression.
|AT LAST THE BELUGA|
East Midlands Trains completed the day as they started it all standing and late the joys of public transport to be continued.....you know. Arrival back at base was just after 8pm from an eventful day.