Monmouth Town 2 Cwmamman United 1

Sunday 27th April 2008
Monmouth Town 2 Cwmamman United 1
MacWhirter Welsh League Division Three
At: Chippenham Sports Ground
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 95 (headcount)
Weather: -
Duration: first half: -; second half: -

It was one of those days with an 'end of exams' feeling. Barely twelve hours had passed since I'd seen Stafford Rangers beat Droylsden in their final Blue Square Premier game. It ended what had been for me, a journey taking in 45 out of 46 league games not to mention another eight cup games. We decided to head down the M6, M5, M50 and A40 to Monmouth with the Sunday afternoon MacWhirter Welsh Football League game the ultimate destination.

Anyway that’s the background to this trip.

Many times had I driven past the town up and down the A40 and through the tunnel but could never actually remember detouring to have a look at the town itself. And on this trip I’m pleased I did. There is feel of history. There are castle ruins, it is the birthplace of Henry V and a statue commemorates Sir Charles Rolls, the pioneer motorist and aviator of Rolls Royce fame.

Monmouth Town, nicknamed The Kingfishers, play at the Chippenham Sports Ground which is located next to the River Monnow and close to the A40 – follow the B4293 signed Town Centre, cross the river and the ground is on the right with the entrance opposite Waitrose. Parking is available either inside the ground or at the Pay and Display close by. The nearest railway stations are Chepstow and Lydney as passenger services at Monmouth Troy station on the Wye Valley railway ceased in 1959.

The official entrance to the Chippenham Sports Ground is opposite Waitrose and next to (or through the ornate gates). This is roughly the northern end of the ground which, as well as the main football/rugby pitch, also caters for cricket and a second football pitch. On the nearside touchline is an area of covered terrace with the dugous in front and the clubhouse/changing-room building is behind the far end next to the river.

The welcome given to the band of travellers who attended the game was second to none. A pot of tea was provided in the clubhouse before the game and refreshments were again available at the interval.

The matchday programme is a real gem and described as "one of the best programmes in this division." A 36-pager sold for £2, there is a wealth of reading material. Full of colour, there are match reports, notes from the editor and manager, pen pics of both sides and plenty of statistics. The club’s website ( is also a credit to the club.

As the club’s website states, Monmouth are "…starting to do justice to the rich heritage of the town and its football." As recently as four years ago, the club were relegated to the bottom tier of the Gwent County League. They gained promotion at the end of the 2004/05 season and moved up again after clinching the 2005/06 Division Two title thanks to a 14-match unbeaten run. In 2006/07, Monmouth were beaten by Newport Civil Service to the Division One title but took up an offer to move up to the Welsh League for the first time in their history.

What was described as Monmouth's biggest crowd of the season saw the home side take the points to move into the top half of the table for the first time during what is their first season at Welsh League Division Three level. The Kingfishers (Monmouth’s nickname) took the lead in the 15th minute. Elliot Ford slotted home at close range to finish an excellent move also involving Matthew Bowen which cut through the visitors' defence. A great finish doubled the lead just before the hour mark. Andrew Rogers cut in from the right and fired a low left-foot shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

Cwmamman created a spell of pressure to reduce the deficit in the 68th minute with a spectacular 25-yard drive which flew into the top-right corner. “Everything in the box,” urged the visiting player-manager but, late on, Kingfishers’ sub Matthew Tabb saw a low shot cleared off the line.