Presteigne St Andrews 5 Rhosgoch Rangers 5

Saturday 25th August 2012
Presteigne St Andrews 5 Rhosgoch Rangers 5
Spar Mid Wales League Division Two
At: Llanandras Park
Kick-off: 4-30 pm
Admission: ticket; Programme: £1 (24 pages)
Weather: sunny
Attendance: 260
Duration: first-half: 47:31; second-half: 53:50

After the two Mid Wales League South games, it was back to the Mid Wales League for a game at a ground I’d previously visited back nearly 20 years ago in May 1993. This return visit allowed me to do something I didn’t do last time – watch the game from pitch side – as I was pressed into action as a replacement linesman!

This afternoon, we were treated to a ten-goal thriller which included a comeback by visitors Rhosgoch from a three-goal deficit and the most dramatic of dramatic equalisers deep into stoppage time. Some at the game had never seen a 5-5 draw before – for me it was my second of the year after the Staffs County Senior League game at Bradeley back in April.

Presteigne St Andrews are a long standing member of the Mid Wales League. In recent times, however, they have had to endure a lean spell and fortunate not to suffer relegation to the Mid Wales League South at the end of last season. Adriano Girolami returned to the club during the summer for a second spell as manager having previously led Presteigne to the league title in 2007. He certainly impressed me with the way he organised and coached his side on the field this afternoon.

Llanandras Park boasts a decent stand with the players tunnel through the middle and a tea bar at the back. Lights were installed during the 2006/07 season.

Presteigne (in red and black stripes) got the game underway attacking the entrance end in the first half with the sun on their backs. Christian Rogers soon hit the left-hand post during a dominant start by the home side in which they scored twice during the opening nine minutes. Ieuan Crow headed home from Daniel Williams long throw and player-manager Adriano Girolami fired home at close range after the Rhosgoch defence failed to clear Danny Evans’ free-kick.

Playing their first league game of the season, Presteigne scored again in the 17th minute. Joel Layton’s corner caused problems for the visitors’ defence so Williams hooked the ball across the face of goal into the far right side of the net.

Dreamland for Girolami and his side, despair for Rhosgoch who lost their opening game last Saturday 2-0 at Llanfair United.

Rhosgoch, featuring on the hop for the third-consecutive season, hit back when Trefor Lloyd smashed home a low shot. The visitors gained confidence and suddenly Presteigne were on the back foot with what was now just a two-goal lead.

That two-goal lead became a one-goal lead when Lee Doman sent an unstoppable 25-yard drive into the top-left corner of the net.

Just five minutes after restart, Rhosgoch completed their comeback with an equaliser and Presteigne’s three-goal lead had evaporated. Tom Ammonds’ long throw ended up at the feet of Lee Davieds who forced the ball home at close range.

Amazingly when it looked as if Rhosgoch would go on and win the game, Girolami lifted his side and the score became 5-3 by the 64th minute. On the hour, Williams crossed from the left and Roberts, a couple of minutes after missing an easy chance, fired home from a few yards out. Minutes later, Sam Lloyd handled inside the area and Evans converted the resulting penalty.

Back came Rhosgoch. Lloyd had a shot cleared off the line and Johnny Bird headed home only to be denied a goal by a raised flag for offside. Then, from a neutral point of view, came a fantastic finale…

Substitute Jordan McQueen rifled home a low shot following a patient build-up to make it 5-4 before, in the seventh minute of stoppage time, Spencer Napolitino fouled Liam Jones 30 yards out in a central position. Jones, himself got to his feet and curled the free-kick expertly to the right of the wall and into the bottom right corner of the net.

Williams, earlier substituted, picked up a booking for something he said from the dugout, and play resumed for barely a second before Mr Bodenham blew the final whistle.

Presteigne St Andrews (red and black stripes / black / black): 1. Simon Washington, 2. Danny Evans, 3. Tom Watkins (capt), 4. Adriano Girolami, 5. Spencer Napolitino, 6. Daniel Williams, 7. Russell Jones, 8. Adrian Bennett, 9. Joel Layton, 10. Ieuan Crow, 11. Christian Roberts. Subs: 12. Alan Stocker (for Crow, 64), 14. Thomas Hooper (for Williams, 74), 15. Robin Baker (not used), 16. Iohan Hughes (for Evans, 67).

Rhosgoch Rangers (amber/black/black): 1. Adam Jones, 2. Chris Price, 3. Rob Bird, 4. Tom Ammonds, 5. Paul Morgan, 6. Sam Lloyd (capt), 7. Lee Doman, 8. Trefor Lloyd, 9. Liam Jones, 10. Johnny Bird, 11. Lee Davies. Subs: 12. Geraint Lloyd (for Davies, 67), 14. Matthew Lloyd (not used), 15. Callum Davies (not used), 16. Jordan McQueen (for Doman, 67), 17. Andrew Lloyd (for Bird, 67).

Referee: Chris Bodenham.
Assistants: Jack Watkins and Steve Bradford.

1-0 Ieuan Crow (7)
2-0 Adriano Girolami (9)
3-0 Christian Roberts (17)
3-1 Trefor Lloyd (24)
3-2 Lee Doman (45+1)
3-3 Lee Davies (50)
4-3 Christian Roberts (60)
5-3 Danny Evans (64 pen)
5-4 Jordan McQueen (89)
5-5 Liam Jones (90+7)

Presteigne: Adriano Girolami (YC, 70), Spencer Napolitino (YC, 90+7), Daniel Williams (90+9)
Rhosgoch: Trefor Lloyd (YC, 56)