Sunday 29th August 2018 ko 14.00
South Wales Alliance Division One
PORTHCAWL TOWN 4 (Davis 8 Crofts 17 90 Comley 90)
CORNELLY UNITED 0
We’d got thoroughly soaked at Vale United, and there was little time between there and our middle game at Porthcawl to dry off. The coaches picked their way along Porthcawl seafront, and the rain lashed over the pier, arcades, and the beach. As the rivulets streamed down my coach’s windscreen it seemed barely plausible that this could be during the height of the holiday season.
We headed a few hundred yards uphill and away from the front to a rain-lashed Locks Lane, or in groundhopping terms into a debate. The story goes thus. Have a look at the first photo, the one of the front of the clubhouse. Porthcawl played on a pitch to right of it during their Welsh League days. To the left is another pitch, that was used as one of three temporary grounds by Bridgend Town, after they left Coychurch Road in 2006.
Now these days Porthcawl play on the former Bridgend Town pitch, with their former pitch now given over exclusively to cricket. It does have the distinct advantage of being exclusively for football, but does have the distinct disadvantage of that “Arena” stand facing the sea. The wind and rain blew straight into the cover!
So some might take the view that since the clubhouse hasn’t move that this isn’t a ground move, while others would point to no pitch overlap as a means of treating it as two grounds. Me? It was my first visit to Locks Lane…
The aren’t many advantages of the weather being awful if you’re a host club, but the vast majority of your clientele making straight for the clubhouse is definitely one. In fact so packed was the place that since the club forgot to put a lineups board I ended up having time only to get that sorted out, or to eat. I’ll claim I took one for the team, and let’s face it, I’m unlikely to starve to death any time soon.
There was never likely to be a problem attracting a crowd, rain or not. Cornelly United represented a massive local derby, but even then the rain meant we got 120-or so less patrons than 2 years ago, and another sadness was that I didn’t see Gareth, the hero then.
Fortunately the rain eventually abated, no bad thing as the wind was turning umbrellas inside-out, and those who taken too much of a soaking at Corntown ventured out of the clubhouse to watch.
Now dear reader I’m sure you’ll look at the score and assume this was a straightforward home win, but I assure you it wasn’t. What it was was a hotly contested game where Porthcawl took their chances and Cornelly didn’t. The celebrations at the final whistle revealed just how important a game this was.
Still sodden hoppers headed back to the coaches, we’d seen two good host clubs, now we needed a good finale to the day to warm us up. It was time to head to Llangeinor.