Saturday 14th May 2016
Welsh National League Division One
Johnstown Youth 0 Llanuwchyllin 13 (THIRTEEN) ht: 0-5 att: 25 hc FREE entry No PROG
Approx Mins: 11,16,22,26,30,50,55,59,72,75,80,84,87
from Moreton Playing Fields, Heol Kenyon
It finally happened! After seeing my first match in 1978, and in all the 38 years since of watching football, I’d never seen a team score double figures (or a nine either, for that matter). Well today smashed that record, going beyond 10 to 13, five more than my previous best. And the goals in game was three better than my joint best of 10.
It also (hopefully) signalled the end of my lower Welsh and County football curse; like that of Tantalus, in Greek mythology. Tantalus was cursed to forever crave the tempting fruit and water, but for it to always be out of his reach. Similarly, until today, I was cursed to always crave the amazing scorelines I saw from the Welsh National League, each week; 4-6s, 8-3s, 3-4s, 10-1s etc etc, double figures scores being common, as with 10/11 goal thrillers, but never for me. I turn up to see scrappy 1-2s and 1-0s. The teams too bad to score, unless from penalties, free kicks, or mis-hits. So I’d always struggled to understand its default high scoring games. (Same with county league football).
Today, the Gods of crap football turned a blind eye on my curse, and let me feast my eyes on a rout.
Johnstown Youth were founded in the early eighties. Johnstown is an area 3 miles south-west of Wrexham. Their ground, Moreton Playing Fields, is in an unusual location. Heol Kenyon is a suburban square of housing, with two pitches sitting in the middle of the equilateral streets. One of the pitches is railed off, and is their home ground.
It is nicely framed by cherry trees.
Llanuwchyllin, the visitors today, were in second place and had beaten Garden Village 14-0 away, in midweek. Garden Village were ever so slightly worse then Johnstown Youth, lying in bottom place, with one win in 23, and conceding 123. Johnstown, before today, had won twice and conceded 116. (I actually saw Garden Village v Johnstown a couple of weeks back, in what was probably the worst standard of football I’d ever witnessed, with Johnstown winning 2-1). So the clues were there for a big victory; but as I’ve said before, I’ve tried this logic before, only to be disappointed, and shaking my head at the inability of the better team to finish, in a 0-2, 0-3 affair.
Llanuwchyllin were a class outfit, though. They were professional, well drilled and passed the ball about well. They were also unusual in that they could put chances away. They did miss seven or eight nailed-on sitters, but they did score 13 of their chances. The home keeper was obviously an outfield player – he was awful and kept passing to his left back who would then often lose the ball to an attacker. However, the first goal didn’t come until about the eleventh minute, with a firm header off a corner.
A well directed header, from the same position, made it two shortly after. The third was the first of a keeping error. He came out to the edge of the area, punched it weakly, and it was half volleyed back into the net. Four was headed back into the net after a good save from a free-kick.
Five was smashed in after an almighty scramble.In the last 15 before half time, they struggled to put chances away, which made me wonder if it wasn’t going to finish 0-5, as a lot of early high scoring games do.
However, number six came shortly after the break, the keeper parrying an easy shot into an oncoming volley. Seven, the keeper was nutmegged, with a simple tap in dispatched, after a cross was bundled by a defender. Eight was a rather harshly given penalty.
Nine was one of a series of really good moves. It was exhibition stuff now. Although between eight and nine there was about 15 minutes when I did wonder if my record of eight was not going to be surpassed. In this period they missed a string of easy chances, 1-on-1s and 2-on-1s. They did finally get nine with a lovely one-two in the area and smash off the inside post at the bottom.
The magic 10 came shortly after. A lay back to the edge of the area, saw the player calmly control the ball before firing into the corner. 11 was another one-two, smacked in off the bar, 12 was some more clever passing before slotting home from an angle and number 13 was fired in at an angle.
Since watching non-league and Welsh football I’d wanted to witness a big scoreline. I’ve very rarely gone goal-whoring deliberately, and generally watch quite high level non league, but I’m absolutely delighted at having seen a 0-13. Now to fill in 9,10,11 and 12. Good luck to Llanuwchyllin next season, who I guess will be in the Welsh National Premier. They’ll do well with that squad as they were better than all the upper league teams I’ve seen this season.