Saturday 21st May 2016 ko 14.30
Welsh League Division One
GOYTRE UNITED 2 (Harris 6 Ryan 14)
ABERBARGOED BUDS 3 (Maisey 8 Hughes 46 Meacham 54p) Harding sent off (2nd booking) 90
This turned into something of a mad dash! The original plan was to watch Margam-based Tata Steel but a deluge over the Neath/Swansea/Port Talbot area saw my game correctly waterlogged off, so using a little local knowledge I ducked under the M4 and made for Goytre. For the avoidance of doubt this is the Goytre that’s near Port Talbot, not the Goytre who play in Penperlleni, south of Abergavenny. It really doesn’t help that Goytre and Goytre United are in the same division! Mind you I remember when you could watch the local derby that really isn’t! Click here!
Glenafod Park is a fascinating place, you drive through the village and just as you think you’re completely lost, you spot the floodlights beneath you! The club are justifiably proud of the ground, especially the 350 seat stand, with seats from the old Cardiff Arms Park and the floodlights, fit for the Welsh Premier.
United have won the Welsh League three times and each time declined promotion to the Welsh Premier. You can understand why, the costs of travelling to the whole of Wales are much higher than the M4 and its hinterland, but I do wonder whether a ground this grand should host national football? Mind you, with the introduction of the Welsh domestic licence, the club would probably have to carry out still more ground improvements to fulfill their stated ambition to finally make the step up.
This season they’d didn’t have the choice to make. They finished 7th, and this game was an academic exercise against relegated Aberbargoed. Perhaps that convinced referee Teifion Cook and the players to firstly play, and secondly make the most of a sodden pitch. Aberbargoed won, a valedictory gesture, and don’t blame Jordan Harding’s dismissial on the pitch, the two poor challenges would have been committed on any surface.
It was a good afternoon’s entertainment at one of the Welsh League’s best locations, and driving home through dreadful driving conditions I was glad that all concerned took a sensible view of the situation.
I’d like to thank the club official for finding me a spare copy of the programme, much appreciated.