Saturday 21st May 2016 ko 14.30
Welsh League Division 2
TATA STEEL P
CHEPSTOW TOWN P
Thursday 26th May 2016 ko 18.45
TATA STEEL 1 (M Lewis 59)
CHEPSTOW TOWN 1 (Murphy 68)
Unless you live outside the UK and South Wales in particular you can’t help but have noticed the problems that have befallen Port Talbot. The town is dominated by steel production, so the decision by the steelworks owners Tata to sell the loss-making plant has the potential to be devastating for the area. At the moment the owners, unions, politicians and potential buyers are trying to find a way forward. Until a conclusion is reached the area collectively holds its breath.
That goes for one of the area’s football teams- Tata Steel FC. They play at the works sports ground in Margam, and have been variously named British Steel (Port Talbot), Corus Steel and Tata Steel, according to has owned the works. But the uncertainty is killing the football club.
It’s obvious that the sports club is slowly being run down, and the football club can see three scenarios. One is Tata shutting it down and selling it for houses, another is a buyer of the works doing exactly the same thing. The only positive hope is someone buying the grounds and attempting to run it as a going concern. But in some ways not knowing is worse, after all if the grounds were sold off, at least the club would know where they stood. But like the rest of Port Talbot they wait, hope and worry….
It seemed symptomatic of their troubles when a deluge hit the area on Saturday. Both teams were happy to play on an obviously waterlogged pitch, but one goal was beyond leniency, so the correct decision was made to postpone and try again on Thursday. Certainly the weather was a lot better then but for Chepstow, already relegated, the misery of a fixture with no salvation at its end made their appearance laudable.
The talk was which players would be still at Tata Steel next season, assuming of course there will be a next season. One or two were claiming to be heading off to Port Talbot Town, newly relegated into the Welsh League. Maybe that was just talk, maybe it wasn’t; once again it’s the uncertainty that kills…
All things unconsidered it was of little surprise that a draw was the result of it all. Tata played once more, on Saturday losing 6-1 at Cwmbran Celtic. Hopefully that isn’t the last action from the Steelmen. I wish them, and the area all the very best.