Pen-y-ffordd 0 Coedpoeth United 1

Saturday 22nd October 2011
Pen-y-ffordd 0 Coedpoeth United 1
Guy Walmsley & Co Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Premier Division
At: Castle Ground, Padeswood
Kick-off: 2-30 pm
Admission: none; Programme: £1 (32 pages)
Attendance: 80 (headcount)
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 47:02; second-half: 48:15

After moving to the Castle Ground at the start of the season, Pen-y-fforrd celebrated the official opening of their new ground this afternoon. Clearly evident was the tremendous amount of work put in to mark the occasion in style and I, for one, was made to feel extremely welcome. On the field, visitors Coedpoeth United ended Pen-y-fford’s unbeaten home league record with a 1-0 win, the goal scored midway through the second half.

After a club official sent me an email invitation earlier in the week describing the festivities and with today’s London Midland £10 vouchers sold out, I decided to head to North Wales in the hope that other football travellers would have the same idea as me – several did including Mike Latham, the Lollipop Man and Len with Ben the dog.

I would like to extend a cordial invite to you & your fellow non league enthusiasts to our official ground opening day this Saturday October 22nd. Pen-y-ffordd FC enjoyed great success last year gaining promotion to the Welsh National League Premier Division as champions of division 1. As a consequence of our success and due to the fact that we needed to meet Premier Division ground criteria, we were forced to move home from Abbotts Lane in Pen-y-ffordd to The Castle Ground at the Hanson Cement Works in Padeswood.
During a very busy close season, we managed to prepare a ground “from scratch” and in July had the ground passed as fit by the Welsh National League Inspection Committee.
We have played a number of home games already; however will be hosting an official opening day on Saturday 22nd October, when our first team host Coedpoeth FC. Festivities will commence at 12:00 when Stewart Jones, Plant Manager of Hansen Cement officially “opens” the ground. We shall be staging a couple of exhibition games in the lead up to the 14:30hrs kick off. The exhibitions will involve our junior teams & a short 5-a-side match for PFC vets against Hanson Cement vets. Complimentary teas & coffees will be on offer along with the sale of match day programmes, club badges, food & non alcoholic refreshments.
We would love to see you and any of your fellow non league enthusiasts at our event.

The village of Pen-y-ffordd is located south-west of Chester and north of Wrexham. The ground at the Hanson Cement Works in Padesford proved to be an easy find on the westbound A5118 from A55 junction 35a; a few hundred yards on the left after passing under the railway bridge.

The pitch was some 100 yards from the clubhouse/changing rooms building beyond the line of tall trees. It was fully-railed off with one dugout on each touchline bang on the half-way line. The playing surface was undulating, though not as extreme as Biggin, and didn’t spoil the flow of the game one bit. Programmes and badges were available from a table adjacent to the clubhouse, with a BBQ and refreshments tent close by. The place had the atmosphere of a groundhop game.

Welsh Cup and Welsh Trophy games played in various numbers by the 16 Premier Division teams had left the league table a bit 'higgledy-piggledy' with some clubs having played just six games and other nine or ten games. Pen-y-ffordd (11 points from 9 games) occupied ninth position, 10 points behind leaders Rhydymymn, with Coedpoeth United (6 points from 6 games) four positions below.

There were no fair-play handshakes and Coedpoeth (in green and yellow hoops, green shorts and yellow socks) got the game underway defending the far railway line end in the first half into the sun.

Chances were scarce in a feisty contest during the opening half hour. In the 34th minute, following a tackle on Coedpoeth’s John Griffiths, Pen-y-ffordd broke upfield through Nathan Lavender who was prevented from shooting by keeper Sam Davies who rushed off his line to block.

Lavender broke clear again six minutes later and this time steered a shot past the advancing Davies and agonisingly wide of the far right post.

Pen-y-ffordd (in red shirts, black shorts and black socks) made a bright start to the second half. Defender Adam Pugh fired inches wide of the left-hand post with Davies hurriedly scrambling to his right and also sent a downward header just wide of the target.

However, Coedpoeth scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 66th minute. Nick McCormick chased a ball down the middle and collided with onrushing keeper Jordan Baxter. The ball ran free for Kevin Breeze to lob into an empty net from 20 yards. Baxter got back but failed to prevent the ball crossing the line.

The home side pressed during the final ten minutes with Lavender, Marcus Davies and Phil Simons going close.

0-1 Kevin Breeze (66)