Port Talbot Town 1 Bangor City 1 ht: 0-0 att: 240
John 83: Roberts 46
Entrance £7 Programme £2 Coffee £1
from the Geoquip Stadium
Pics of the Geoquip Stadium
After a Friday night at Llanelli, it was off to Port Talbot for the Saturday game against title hopefuls Bangor City. Llanelli’s was a cracking ground but Port Talbot’s was even better. Forza PTT indeed, as it said on a mural on the building as you come in, along with Croeso i’r Sand Siro, (welcome to the Sand Siro). Touches like this add real character and individuality to the ground. I was equally impressed with the large mural inside the ground, on the wall - PTT AFC, in giant letters. Reminded me, funnily enough, of the visitor’s old stadium at Farrar Road with the ;etters BCFC CPDB, the club crest sat in the middle, splashed luridly against the wall behind the terrace – a truly iconic football image.
On a tick list of what you’d want from a football ground, Port Talbot scores very highly – the urban location, near the station, two large banks for quality viewing, added extras in the murals, a couple of stands each side (albeit a bit modern), fantastic views and still some terracing and odd little structures scattered throughout. Read more…
Llanelli 3 Afan Lido 2 ht: 0-0 att: 244
Bowen 83, 90, Rose 89 : Hartshorn 67, Hartland 68
Entrance £7, Prog £1, Coffee £1
AFC Llanelli was wound up on 22 April 2013, ending the 117 year history of the famous Welsh football club. I was glad I went to it when I did, earlier in the season – it was almost a prescient move, considering. I’d never visited a Welsh league team in the south of Wales – the furthest I’d got to was Rhayader, during a mid Wales hop.
I can’t justify the difficult and time consuming journey to south wales for a single game, so I waited for a Friday night/Saturday afternoon double to come up, before pre-booking a cheap train and overnight stay. The first viable double appeared on the weekend starting 19th October, with Llanelli v Afan Lido on the Friday night, followed by Port Talbot Town v Bangor City on the Saturday. Both grounds were within walking distance of their stations and, as ever with the rail companies, the cheapest way to go was not the obvious option. I booked a cheap return to Port Talbot, purchasing separately the extra leg to Llanelli (this worked out roughly £20 cheaper than booking a straight return to Llanelli). Read more…
Saturday 13th October 2013
Staffordshire County League Division One (step eight)
Vodafone Stoke 0 Hanley Town (reserves) 2 HT: 0-1 Att: 60 (headcount)
from Leek Road
This game reminded me why it’s a mistake to venture too low in the football pyramid. I normally stick to grounds with floodlights, above county league level, but this venue had interested me for some time, and was just down the road. It used to be home to an old Staffs County team called Milton United and is still referred to as the Old Milton United Ground. It was of interest mainly because it didn’t seem possible to fit a football ground in between the shops on Leek Road and the housing estate behind. When someone told me it still had a stand, my curiosity couldn’t hold out any longer. I’d tried to get a free look at it before now, without the inconvenience of having to watch Staffs County League football, but it is inaccessible except on matchdays. The only way to see it was to attend a game there…unfortunately, as it turned out.
Last season two new teams emerged in the Staffs County League. What’s peculiar is that one of them was AFC Milton, presumably a reincarnation of Milton United; but rather than taking up the old ground, they played at the promiscuous Northwood Stadium, home to many a vagrant Staffs County side over the years. It was Vodafone Stoke who took up residence behind the Mane Street hairdressers, on a little unadopted stub of a road, off the main Leek Road. Vodafone had got promoted in their first season so now were in the middle step eight division. AFC Milton, meanwhile, folded after just one season.
The opponents on this day were Hanley Town Reserves.
The entrance to the ground is behind one goal and accessed by ascending some steps, next to the changing facilites. Milton Primary School forms the boundary up the left side, where their one bit of cover was. A crescent road on an estate frames the top with trees framing the right hand side.
The game was appalling, barely worth the free entry with Hanley reserves scoring in each half to bookend some atrocious football.
Welsh Cup 1st Round
Rhyl 7 Bodedern Athletic 0 HT: 4-0 Att: 184
Forbes 2, MacManus, Halewood, Evans, Lewis 2
from Belle Vue
Rhyl have a very rich history and are one of the most successful of the Welsh clubs who don’t play in England. They go back to 1879, have played in various Welsh and English leagues and have played in the English FA Cup a number of times, getting to the fourth round in 1957, losing 3-0 to Bristol City. In the early years they played in various Welsh leagues including the North Wales Coast and a Anglo-Welsh competition known as the Combination. They applied to the English league in 1929, but were passed over in preference of York City. They then went on the play in other English leagues – the Birmingham and District and the Cheshire County.
In the eighties they played in the North West Counties League and then the Northern Premier, but reluctantly joined the League of Wales in 1992. However, their time spent pondering cost them a place as their application was too late for the Welsh top flight, so they started in the Cymru Alliance, but won promotion at the first attempt. They are the only Welsh non-league side to retain the Welsh Cup and recently have enjoyed some spells in Europe, after winning the Welsh Premier twice and finishing in the top three on a number of occasions. Their best perfomance was an aggregate win over FC Atlantas from Lithuania, on the away goals rule, after winning 2-1 at home and losing 3-2 away. Read more…
FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round Replay
Curzon Ashton 3 Goole 3 AET FT 2-2 CA win 4-3 on pens HT: 1-0 Att: 106
Evans 26, Watson 77, Walker 120: Russell 58, 75, 117
from Tameside Stadium
This was a game too far. A lot of groundhoppers appear to have no limits, doing four five grounds a week without a glimmer of remorse of self consciousness. They don’t seem to suffer the same symptoms of the human condition, like the rest of us, such as tiredness, lack of money, other commitments or laziness. Or self loathing and regret, which is what I had on entering the Manchester area on a Monday night after a tiring day at work. A just under 40 mile journey on a week night in Manchester traffic had me wondering what the hell I was playing at. The Tameside stadium was going nowhere and it could’ve waited. What’s more, it was a cup game and given my state of mind was absolutely fated to go to extra time and penalties, to make sure I was home past midnight. Read more…
Cymru Alliance (Welsh Step two North)
Rhydymwyn 5 Penrhyncock 1 HT: 0-0 Att: 38
Pugh 55, 65 Ralph 66, Drazdauskas 68, 89 : Pen 85, missed pen 87
from Dolfechlas Road (pictures)
Another jaunt into Wales, with both my lads in tow, stopping off halfway for a picnic at Beeston Castle, which is well worth it, by the way. From the summit of the castle you have a panorama of cheshire, all the way up to Ellesmere Port. Rhydymwyn is another tiny dot on the map that boasts a second division football club. Founded in 1911, they were promoted from the Wrexham based National League last season. This is not their first taste of football at this level though, having actually won the league in 1997/98. Various reasons though prevented the club from being promoted to the League of Wales. Since that time they have made various improvements to the ground. Read more…
Ashton United 2 AFC Fylde 2 HT: 1-0 Att: 200 from Hurst Cross
Peers 26 (pen), Burns 87: Dorney 46, Allen 57
Entrance £9, Programme £2 (A4) Coffee £1
Hurst Cross in pictures
Ashton United is the slighter higher positioned team of the binary town of Ashton under Lyne. They play in the Evostik Premier while their twin, Curzon, is in the Evostik One North. Their Hurst Cross ground is one of the oldest in the world, going back to 1880! Amongst the groundhopping fraternity it is considered one of the greats, alongside local neighbours Mossley’s ground, Seel Park. The club go back two years further, starting as Hurst FC – 85 years older than their pipsqueak younger brother, Curzon.
They beat Marple 13-1 in 1919. I bet they Miss Marple. Read more…