Friday 22nd August 2014 ko 18.30
Welsh Alliance Division Two
HALKYN UNITED 0
GREENFIELD 2 (Johnson 44 Gunther 67)
So back on GroundhopUK duty, which turned out to be very much a case of “Everything the same, everything different.” Being based at the University of Chester was nothing new, as was distributing well over 130 programme packs and room keys, and running two coaches to all of the games. However much was different too; the rooms were newly built, and quite frankly huge, we were using a new coach company, and this second trip to the Welsh Alliance brought us challenges we’d never encountered before. We’ll always rate ourselves to find an agreeable solution to most things, but this weekend tested our abilities. More over the next 10 articles.
Halkyn, it must be said, gave us no problems at all. It was a straightforward journey, despite Friday evening traffic, along the A55, to Pant Newydd situated above the Mersey estuary.
With the football pitch being cut into the hill above the cricket pitch, with in turn the cricket being situated above the main A55 the views are spectacular. I’m not sure how often groundhoppers get misty-eyed about seeing Widnes Power Station, the Runcorn Silver Jubilee Bridge, or Ellesmere Port chemical works, but judging by how many there stationed themselves with the estuary in the background, many did here!
Sometimes if you want to judge how a host club is doing all you have to do is shut-up and listen. I did and the hubbub spoke volumes, as hoppers caught up with friends, bought a badge, burger and a cup of tea and enjoyed the reverse fixture of the 2013 hop’s opening game, report here.
For a club that once graced the second tier Cymru Alliance friendly Halkyn are at a low ebb. They’re rebuilding the side but are seeing their best players leave, tempted by as little as £10 a week. They’d lost their first 4 games prior to this, and didn’t look like breaking their duck. Their commitment was total, but a goal in each half saw Greenfield take an entirely realistic win.
Hopefully the money the bumper crowd generated will help Halkyn rebuild. One thing I do know is this, every time anyone at this game passes Halkyn on the A55 they’ll glance up. I watched my coach party do just that every time we did, for the rest of the hop.