Dolgellau 2 Carno 1

Monday 27th August 2012
Dolgellau 2 Carno 1
At: Y Marian
Kick-off: 2-30 pm
Admission: ticket; Programme: £1 (8 pages)
Weather: rain
Attendance: 206
Duration: first-half: 45:15; second-half: 46:36

For the first time of this Hop, we had to wait over an hour for the first goal. In near constant rain of varying degrees of intensity and a boggy pitch, it was no surprise players of both Dolgellau and Carno struggled to find the net, managing just three between them over the 90 minutes though the visitors hit the woodwork three times. Sion Williams put Dolgellau ahead and then added a second goal from the penalty spot before Andrew Thomas netted a late consolation for Carno.

Though previous clubs have represented the town of Dolgellau, the programme gives ‘1971’ as the foundation date of the present club, Dolegllau Athletic Amateur Football Club. They progressed into the Mid Wales League via the Aberystwyth and District League and last season finished in 12th position with 24 points from 28 games.

Because of the wet weather, it just wasn’t practical to explore the ground which covers part of a larger recreation area that also caters for cricket and the Dolgellau RFC rugby union side. I had to be content with a walk around part of the pitch perimeter from clubhouse to the covered terrace behind the dugouts down one side. Interestingly or should that be unusually, the goalposts were square.

Whereas few games have been played in Division Two, Division One has been in full swing for a couple of weeks though Dolgellau (15th position out of 16 with 0 points from 3 games) may wish it hadn’t with three league defeats out of three to Waterloo Rovers (1-6), Tywyn Bryncrug (1-4) and Four Crosses (1-5 two days ago). The same applied to Carno (14th position out of 16 with 0 points from 3 games) as well with defeats against Four Crosses (0-4), Waterloo Rovers (2-3) and Aberaeron (0-2 two days go).

Dolgellau (in amber) got the game underway defending the clubhouse end in the first half. Carno, in terms of match statistics and possession, dominated the first half with no fewer than ten corners to Dolgellau’s solitary one. The visitors’ Greg Brown hit the bar early on and a shot from Stephen Jones was cleared off the line by Lee Riches in the 13th minute. Jamie Davies then headed against a post four minutes later.

With bar and post hit, Carno looked more likely to score yet nearly conceded just before half-time. Sion Lloyd’s shot lacked power and Chris Brown made a more comfortable save than he was perhaps anticipating.

With the rain arguable at its heaviest during the opening minutes of the second half, Jamie Jones was called into action to push Simon Jones’ mishit right-wing cross.

The programme mentioned that Dolgellau had never picked up a point against Carno. So, imagine the delight when Sion Williams forced the ball home in the 62nd minute after Lloyd’s initial effort was blocked by Chris Brown. One fan took off his shirt and ran on to the pitch – avoiding the yellow card he would have received had he been a player!

As well as the home players, the goal was also good news for me, because it meant a 79th consecutive game without a 0-0 draw.

Dolgellau secured their first league win of the season with a second goal, also scored by Williams in the 70th minute. The referee took a few seconds to deliberate before pointing to the spot following Andrew Thomas’ challenge on Ryan Thomas inside the area. Chris Brown dived the right way but Williams’ penalty went in just avoided the goalkeeper’s hand.

Carno responded by hitting the woodwork for a third time – a diving header from Ioan Humphries hit the far right post from Simon Jones’ deep cross. The visitors netted a consolation goal in the 83rd minute. Simon Jones’ free-kick fell to Thomas who fired home via a deflection.

The attendance of 206 was on the low side for a Welsh Hop game. I think the soggy conditions put off a lot of the locals and there wern't many in the stand. Despite the rain, club officials succeeded in making us feel welcome and the home-make cakes on sale before kick-off in the clubhouse deserve a mention!

Dolgellau (amber with black V / black / amber): 1. Jamie Jones, 2. Tom Evans. 3. Dan Roberts, 4. Dafydd Jones, 5. Michael Parkes, 6. Lee Riches, 7. Ryan Thomas, 8. Keith Morris (capt), 9. Gareth Lloyd, 10. Sion Williams, 11. Sion Lloyd. Subs: 12. Joe Ephraim (not used), 14. Richard Roberts (not used), 15. Iwan Kojs (not used), 16. Dan Griffiths (not used).

Carno (green and black stripes / black / black): 1. Chris Brown, 2. David Rowlands, 3. Lee Powell, 4. Ben Richards (capt), 5. Andrew Thomas, 6. Jamie Davies, 7. Stephen Jones, 8. Daniel Pierce, 9. Ioan Humphries, 10. Gregg Brown. 11. Simon Jones. Subs: 12. Andrew Davies (for Jamie Davies, 78), 14. David Jarman (for Jones, 78), 15. Damon Massey (not used).

Referee: John Davies.
Assistants: Elwyn Owen and Gary Davies.

1-0 Sion Williams (62)
2-0 Sion Williams (70 pen)
2-1 Andrew Thomas (83)

Cards: Dolgellau: none
Carno: Lee Powell (YC, 61)