LLANDYRNOG UNITED

Date Visited: 21st April 2018

Competition: Welsh Alliance League Division One

Ground Number: 104

Llandyrnog United

CLUB INFORMATION

LLANDYRNOG UNITED’S 2016-17 SEASON:

  • Welsh Alliance Division One: Eighth
  • Welsh Cup: Qualifying Round 1
  • FAW Trophy: Round 3
  • Cookson Cup: Round 1
  • Mawddach Cup: Semi-Finals
2016-17 Welsh Alliance Division 1
The 2016-17 Welsh Alliance Division One table – Llandyrnog United finished 8th last season. [IMAGE: Non League Matters]

INTRODUCTION

Firstly let me apologise for not producing more blogs recently. The past couple of months have been a difficult time for myself when it comes to groundhopping and producing new blogs for this blogsite. An obvious reason for this has been the continuous miserable wet weather conditions throughout February, March and April which have caused waves and waves of potential groundhops and planned visits to be frustratingly cancelled due to waterlogged pitches. However another issue which has sadly hindered my progression in visiting new grounds has been my mental health.

These past couple of months have been an emotional experience for myself as I have been afflicted with another bout of depression and anxiety which have left me completely shattered and bereft of confidence. However I am on the slow road to recovery to overcome the illness, and groundhopping has become a welcome and effective tool to aid me in my recovery and regain confidence in myself again. This is because it encourages me to venture out of the comforting if hindering cocoon of 94th Minute HQ and head outside into the fresh air (something which was recommended by my GP), and to encourage me speak to other people.

Curiously my love affair with groundhopping was fully embraced during my first bout of stress and depression. Regular 94th Minute accomplice and good friend Greg, encouraged me to head out for some recovery when he drove us to Old Colwyn to see Colwyn Bay take on Barrow when they were playing in the Conference North. Not only was it a welcome relief to get out of the home, but it started a new hobby, ignited my love for local football and consequently encouraged me to start blogging (see my very first groundhop blog here). As a result, groundhopping has become a welcome relief and aid from the pain of mental health illness as it allows me to focus on something else for 90 minutes whilst getting some “fresh air”.

Alas anxiety has restricted my confidence to heading to new locations, and so recently I have watched a number of games as grounds I am very familiar with, and close to the HQ. Obviously I have watched a number of Holywell Town games at the very welcoming surroundings of Halkyn Road, but I have been to a number of local grounds, such as Greenfield, Flint Town United and Connah’s Quay Nomads, which I am very familiar with and knew I wouldn’t have any potential anxiety or stressful situations (such as finding parking spaces for example). All in all, I was still able to get out of the house but I was going to places I had good knowledge of and was comfortable with.

Holywell Town vs Llandudno Junction - 11th April
Enjoying a groundhop at my favorite ground – at Halkyn Road to see Holywell Town take on Llandudno Junction earlier in the month.

It was during one of these matches which gave me inspiration for this upcoming groundhop. I had visited the glorious surroundings of Halkyn Road to watch a cold midweek league game between Holywell Town and Llandudno Junction. It was there where I was talking to fellow Wellmen supporter Dewi about groundhopping. He asked if I had visited all of the local clubs in the area, and I replied by saying I had visited nearly all of them (I have been busy over the past few years haha) but Llandyrnog United was the one remaining local club within the top three tiers I had not visited yet. By sheer absolute coincidence, just as we were talking about Llandyrnog United, their secretary was walking past us at that exact moment and overheard our conversation – what are the odds on that happening???

We had a chat with the secretary of Llandyrnog United who is a top bloke by the name of Matthew Lewis. He is the brother of Holywell’s first team coach Andy Lewis and sometimes comes down to watch the Wellmen if Llandyrnog United aren’t playing also.

Anyway we were talking about the status of Llandyrnog United and he said that if I was to visit their home of Cae Nant, that I should do it this season and invited us to attend one of the remaining home games. This is because they are apparently moving to a new ground located within the village next season, which will be located near to the Arla Creamery factory there. A timely move for the club considering the new ground would help Llandyrnog fulfill the proposed ground criteria which have been defined by the FAW to all Tier 2 and 3 clubs, and will have to be ticked-off when the Welsh football pyramid is restructured in a couple of seasons time.

With that potential move in mind, I was eager to head up to Llandyrnog as soon as possible to tick off Cae Nant before they moved to their new ground. Fast forward a couple weekends from the Holywell versus Llandudno Junction game (which Holywell won 8-0!), and I had the perfect opportunity to head to Llandyrnog for a groundhop. This was because Holywell were playing down in Caersws that weekend, and I didn’t fancy the two hour journey down there (plus I have already been to Caersws before – see blog here), thus I had a free weekend to catch a decent game at a potentially new ground.

I won’t lie to you readers but that old foe called ‘anxiety’ almost got the better of me as I was very unsure whether I was confident enough to venture “into the unknown” on my own. My backup plan of the more comfortable surroundings of Alyn Park for Mold Alexandra’s game against Penycae was certainly a viable and almost chosen option. Thankfully, after some research on Google Maps, I decided to try and overcome my initial anxiety and take the proverbial ‘plunge’ by making the journey to Llandyrnog to see the game. By overcoming my anxiousness, I would be treated to a decent game as the home side would be facing one of the Welsh Alliance’s in-form sides, and newly crowned FAW Trophy winners – Conwy Borough!

 

LLANDYRNOG

  • Population: 1,100
  • County: Denbighshire
  • Historic County: Denbighshire
  • Nearest Settlements: Denbigh (4,7 miles west), Ruthin (5,5 miles south)

 

Llandyrnog is a small village of about 1,100 inhabitants located to the east of the traditional market and castle town of Denbigh, and north of Ruthin, within the modern North Welsh county of Denbighshire. The village is situated within the Vale of Clwyd, with the River Clwyd flowing one kilometre to the west of the settlement, and the picturesque Clwydian Hills range rearing up two kilometres to the east of Llandyrnog.

Llandyrnog can be reached via the B5429 which runs through the settlement from north to south, and it has good road links with Denbigh which ensures regular bus services to and from the large nearby town. However the village does not have a train station and is about 15 miles away from the nearest station of Rhyl, which is situated far to the north, on the North Wales coast.

The village’s name originates from its church which is dedicated to Saint Teyrnog or Tyrnog (“Llandyrnog” meaning “Church or parish of Tyrnog” in Welsh), who is believed to have been a sixth century saint of potentially Irish origin. Records appear of the settlement being in existence as early as the middle of the thirteenth century, with the name of Landernauc. Throughout time, the spelling of the village has varied from Llandurnok at the end of the thirteenth century, to Llandyrnok in the early fifteenth century, to its current spelling first recorded in the middle of the seventeenth century.

The current church of St. Tyrnog, which is a small Grade II* listed Welsh-language chapel, was initially constructed in the late fifteenth century, replacing an earlier building from which the village was named from. This church was later renovated in the late nineteenth century into today’s current appearance.

Today the village is a small commuter village either working in Denbigh or beyond. However the main employer in the area is the large creamery factory, which is situated on the outskirts of the village. The creamery is owned by Danish company Arla Foods and mainly produces hard cheeses and Cheddar cheese. Llandyrnog also has its own primary school for resident children, and a number of decent pubs such as the gastropub The White Horse and the sports pub of The Golden Lion.

 

 

LLANDYRNOG UNITED’S HISTORY

Club Honours:

  • 1 x Welsh Alliance Division Two Champions
  • 1 x Clwyd League Premier Division Champions
  • 2 x Clwyd League Premier Division League Cup Winners
  • 1 x Clwyd League Division One League Cup Winners
  • 1 x Clwyd League Division Four Champions

 

The club was founded in 1975 by a few villagers who wanted a football club to represent the village. The founding members established the club in the village’s ‘Golden Lion’ pub, and as a result, the golden lion was added to the club’s crest in recognition of this.

Dyrny started their history in Division Four of the 1975-76 Clwyd League, and in their debut season managed to win the league ahead of Kwik Save (Rhyl) despite winning fewer games and scoring fewer goals than the supermarket side. They would spend the next three years in the second tier of the Clwyd League system before getting promoted to the top tier of the Clwyd League pyramid structure in 1979. Llandyrnog would spend the next three seasons in Division One before returning back to Division Two at the end of the 1981-82 season.

1975-76 Clwyd League Division 4 Table
The 1975-76 Clwyd League Division 4 table – the debut season for Llandyrnog United which saw them win the league and gain promotion.

Llandyrnog United would maintain their position within Division Two (later renamed to Division One) for the rest of the 1980’s. They would only gain promotion out of Division One at the end of the 1990-91 season, when they finished runners-up to league champions Trefnant Village. However Dyrny’s stay in the Premier Division would be a brief tenure as they would produce back-to-back promotions by going up into the Welsh Alliance as the 1991-92 Clwyd League Premier Division champions. They would win the title by achieving seventeen victories from their twenty-four league games, and create a winning margin of two points from their nearest rivals Connah’s Quay Albion. That season would also see the club win the Clwyd League Premier Division League Cup to create a historic double-winning season.

1991-92 Clwyd League Premier Division Table
The 1991-92 Clwyd League Premier Division table – a double winning season for Llandyrnog United.

The club would spend the next eight seasons in the Welsh Alliance League, achieving bottom half finishes for the first three seasons and then achieving a then highest league position of seventh place in the 1995-96 season. It was also during this season when they club reached the Third Round of the Welsh Cup – the furthest they have ever reached in the national cup competition. They beat Prestatyn Town and Buckley Town in the First and Second Rounds respectively before their run was ended by the eventual cup winners, Llansantffraid (later to become The New Saints), by the close scoreline of 1-2 at Treflan.

Llandyrnog United’s 1995-96 Welsh Cup campaign:

  • R1: Prestatyn Town (h) 2 – 0
  • R2: Buckley Town (h) 2 – 1
  • R3: Llansantffraid (a) 1 – 2

 

Despite this decent league finish in the 1995-96 season, the club would severely struggle for the next few seasons as they finished bottom of the Welsh Alliance table for four consecutive seasons before finally getting relegated back to the Clwyd League Premier Division in 2000.

Dyrny would struggle in their return back to the Clwyd League with two eleventh placed finishes in the first two full seasons of the new millennium. However with the appointment of John James as manager, it saw Llandyrnog’s fortunes dramatically improve as they would gain promotion back to the Welsh Alliance League by finishing as runners-up to 2002-03 Clwyd League Premier Division winners, Rhyl Thirds. They would then repeat the feat of the early 1990’s as they achieved another back-to-back promotion. Llandyrnog would finish runners-up to another Rhyl side, this time Rhyl’s reserves, and achieve promotion to the Cymru Alliance and Welsh football’s second tier in the 2003-04 season.

2003-04 Welsh Alliance League Table
The 2003-04 Welsh Alliance League table – despite finishing second, Llandyrnog United gained promotion to the Cymru Alliance.

In their debut season in the 2004-05 Cymru Alliance season, Llandyrnog United achieved their highest league finish of sixth place in the eighteen team league. An amazing rise for a club which had been languishing in fourth tier just four seasons previously. They would play in the Cymru Alliance for five seasons, finishing four of the five seasons in the bottom half of the table. Their tenure in the second tier of Welsh football ended at the end of the 2008-09 season when they finished bottom of the Cymru Alliance table and returned back to the Welsh Alliance League.

2004-05 Cymru Alliance Table
The 2004-05 Cymru Alliance table, which saw Llandyrnog United achieve their highest ever league position of sixth place.

Their meteoric rise to the second tier from the fourth tier was mirrored with their return back to the fourth tier as they only stayed in the third tier for one season. Because the Welsh Alliance League was expanding to two leagues (Divisions One and Two) the following season, their low league finish of thirteenth (out of sixteen teams) in the 2009-10 season meant the club dropped into the newly created Welsh Alliance Division Two for the 2010-11 season. A back-to-back relegation for Dyrny!

Llandyrnog would spend the next three seasons in Division Two, finishing fourth on two successive occasions in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Finally their hiatus from the third tier came to an end when they managed to win the 2012-13 Welsh Alliance Division Two title, claiming the title by just a single point from nearest title challengers Llanfairpwll, and gaining promotion back to Division One of the Welsh Alliance.

2012-13 Welsh Alliance Div 2 Table
The 2012-13 Welsh Alliance Division 2 table which saw Llandyrnog United be league champions.

Dyrny initially struggled in their return back to the third tier of Welsh football when in their debut season in the Welsh Alliance Division One, they finished bottom of the 2013-14 table but somehow avoided relegation back to Division Two. This was followed up with eleventh placed and fifteenth placed finishes before last season saw some improvement from the Cae Nant side. They would finish in eighth position in the sixteen team league, finishing the season on 44 points and a neutral goal difference. It would be their best league placement in eight seasons!

 

LLANDYRNOG UNITED’S PREVIOUS FORM

Llandyrnog United’s last five competitive games:

  • Sat 31st March: Llandudno Albion (h) 2 – 4
  • Mon 2nd April: Llangefni Town (h) 3 – 2
  • Sat 7th April: Llangefni Town (a) 1 – 2
  • Sat 14th April: Trearddur Bay United (h) 4 – 3 [Mawddach Cup Round Three]
  • Tue 17th April: Llanrwst United (h) 0 – 1
2017-18 WAL Division 1 - 20th April 18
The Welsh Alliance Division One table prior to the game – 20th April 2018. [IMAGE: Non League Matters]

Prior to the upcoming game with Conwy Borough, Llandyrnog were positioned in ninth place in the Welsh Alliance Division One table, having accumulated 27 points from their 25 league games played. However they were in risk of dropping down the table considering they had played two games more than Penrhyndeudraeth who were just a point behind them in tenth place, and had played four games more than Saint Asaph City and Barmouth & Dyffryn United who were four points behind Llandyrnog in eleventh and twelfth positions respectively.

Their recent league form had not been great considering they had only won twice in the league since the start of March, and only won once in their previous four league fixtures. In fairness to Llandyrnog, they were going through a tough period with their league fixtures considering they had to play three of the top four teams in the league, and would be facing the remaining side this upcoming afternoon.

They would end March with a disappointing 2-4 defeat to Llandudno Junction at Cae Nant, with Mark Roberts getting a brace for the home side. This was followed up two days later with a massive 3-2 home victory over the league leaders, Llangefni Town. Despite going behind twice, another Mark Roberts double and a Les Brophy 82nd minute winner ensured a surprise victory for Dyrny. However in the following weekend, Llangefni would have revenge in the return fixture, beating Llandyrnog 2-1 to maintain their position at the top of the table. Mark Roberts scoring Dyrny’s consolation goal in the fixture.

In the previous weekend, they managed to continue their advance through the rounds of the Mawddach Cup when they defeated Trearddur Bay United 4-3 in the third round of the competition. However in their last match, recently played on the previous Tuesday, they sadly lost by a single goal at home to Llanrwst United. Josh Francis’ 76th minute goal for the visitors being the decider between the two sides at Cae Nant.

 

 

CONWY BOROUGH’S PREVIOUS FORM

Conwy Borough

Conwy Borough’s last five competitive games:

  • Wed 28th March: Llandudno Albion (h) 2 – 1 [Cookson Cup Semi-Final]
  • Sat 31st March: Nantlle Vale (a) 1 – 2
  • Sat 7th April: Rhos Aelwyd (n) 4 – 1 [FAW Trophy Final]
  • Wed 11th April: Barmouth & Dyffryn United (n) 3 – 0 [Cookson Cup Final]
  • Thu 19th April: Pwllheli (h) 8 – 1

 

Since their relegation from the Cymru Alliance last season, Conwy Borough had fulfilled their pre-season tag of “title favourites” by being positioned in second place in the league. Even though they were six points behind their title challengers and rivals Llangefni Town prior to this game, they did have three games in hand over the Anglesey-based side.

In the past month, the Tangerines had not played too many league games with their last away game being played at the end of March. On that occasion, they surprisingly lost to Nantlle Vale 1-2 to shatter their 100% winning streak away from Y Morfa. Corrig McGonigle getting the late consolation goal for Borough in the surprise defeat.

Despite that loss, April had seen a large amount of success for Conwy as they managed to win two trophies in the space of five days. In the first weekend of April, they repeated the feat of the 1981-82 final and rectified the wrongs of the 2010-11 final (we all know what happened there…) by winning the prestigious FAW Trophy at the neutral venue of ‘The Airfield’ in Broughton. The Tangerines had to work hard for their victory against their Welsh National League Division One opponents and 2008 winners, Rhos Aelwyd, finding themselves behind after 33 minutes through James Haynes. However they leveled the scores up just before half-time through midfielder Leigh Craven, before second half goals through Corrig McGonigle, Tommy Creamer and an unfortunate own goal from a Rhos Aelwyd player ensured Conwy would be lifting the illustrious trophy with a 4-1 victory!

After the glory at Broughton, they would make the season a double-winning season by capturing the Cookson Cup against a resilient Barmouth & Dyffryn United side. A first half goal through Sion Hogan, was followed up with second half goals from Dean Seager and Cory Williams to complete a 3-0 victory at the neutral venue of Porthmadog. Certainly one of the most successful weeks in the club’s history!

Because of a combination of cup runs, and a vast amount of postponements due to the ridiculous weather conditions this season, it has left Conwy needing to play a lot of games in a short amount of time. As a result, they had to play their previous fixture just two days prior to this game against Llandyrnog. In their game on the Thursday, they managed to easily brush aside Pwllheli 8-1. Corrig McGonigle scored a hat-trick, whilst Dean Seager and Adam Whitlock got braces, with Cory Williams completing the scoring for Conwy.

Having played a game so close to this fixture, it would be interesting to see how the side would react and perform for this potentially difficult game at Cae Nant. No doubt they would be hoping for an improvement on the reverse fixture played at Y Morfa way back in August. In that fixture, they had drawn 2-2 with today’s opponents with Corrig McGonigle scoring within the first minute, but Billy Holmes and Stuart Vernon giving the visitors a 2-1 lead at half time. It would take a 52nd minute equaliser from Tom Smith to ensure the points were shared between the teams.

 

 

CAE NANT GROUNDHOP

  • Distance Traveled: 14 miles
  • Journey Time: 25 minutes
  • Entrance: £3.00
  • Programme: N/A
  • Pin Badge: £3.00
  • Food & Drink: £1.40

 

The weather conditions for the third Saturday of April were glorious with the sun shining and warm temperatures in effect, and not a cloud in the sky! Certainly the complete opposite of the miserable conditions which have afflicted Welsh football for the majority of the season! No chance of any postponements this afternoon surely?

The drive to Llandyrnog from 94th Minute HQ took just under half an hour, and thankfully it was a relaxing and enjoyable drive through the Denbighshire countryside which helped ease the initial anxiety as the miles passed by. The fields and hills were looking majestic with its greenery, and the beer gardens of passing pubs were full of people enjoying the sunshine with a cool beverage. It also helped that there was hardly any traffic on the roads on the journey, which made the drive more enjoyable. Probably they were either stuck on the A55 along with the influx of tourists heading westwards or in the beer gardens with a cold beer/cider. For the first time this year, it felt as if Spring had finally arrived, and that the winter conditions were now at a welcome conclusion! My mood had certainly been lifted with the welcome (if delayed) appearance of ‘Mr Sun’ in the blue sky.

My journey took me onto the Mold-Denbigh road (the A451 road) before turning off at the junction with signs pointing towards Llandyrnog, to get me onto the B4529 road, which runs through the village. Passing the Arla creamery on the left hand side, I could see work was being done on one of the fields next to the factory, with mounds of earth being shown. Perhaps this is where Llandyrnog’s new ground will be positioned next season? Anyway I passsed the delightful White Horse and Golden Lion pubs (worth checking out if you get the chance) in Llandyrnog before reaching the entrance of the ground located just after the main crossroads in the middle of the village.

The ground has a considerable amount of space for car parking with a concreted area just inside the entrance, as well as a grass area alongside the pitch where parking is also available. When I arrived at Cae Nant, all the space in the concreted area had been taken up by parked cars, so I drove up the slope and parked beside the side of the pitch alongside other cars which had parked there also. A couple of supporters who had parked on the grass decided to stay in their cars to watch the game as they had a good view of the pitch from their position. Probably not a bad idea to stay seated in the car, with the windows down and the air conditioning on full blast I suppose.

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A superb view of the Clwydian Hills in the background from Cae Nant.

The first I noticed once I had parked up at Cae Nant was the view of the nearby Clwydian Hills from the pitch. It has an absolutely splendid view of the surrounding countryside of the Vale of Clwyd, which was lit up in all its glory by this April sunshine. The next thing you spot about Cae Nant is that the pitch has a fairly noticeable slope, which slopes down towards the village. I was interested to see if the slope would have any impact on the game this afternoon.

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The changing room complex of Cae Nant, with swings and caged court in the background.

Next to the car park at Cae Nant, and at the bottom of the slope is the club’s changing room complex, complete with adjoining snack hatch. The building looked like a fairly recent build and looked modern in comparison with other changing room complexes I have seen locally. Behind the changing room complex is a children’s play area complete with swings, with a caged, enclosed tennis / football court next to the play area and building. The ground itself is fairly enclosed also with houses backing onto the football pitch on two sides, and a large hedge running down the other length of the pitch.

As with many grounds at this level, there is a permanent barrier dividing the football pitch from the supporters area, from which a number of advertising boards where fixed to. There are also permanent dug out shelters either side of the half way line on the hedge side of the pitch. Please note that there was no concrete path surrounding the perimeter of the pitch for supporters to walk or stand upon so be aware if you visit the ground in less favorable weather conditions. Finally there were no floodlights available, but they are a rare sight at the third tier of Welsh football and below, so no surprise for there not to be any.

In between the caged pitch and the football pitch is the main stand, with is positioned to the side of the goal at the bottom of the slope. It is a moderately-sized, covered stand which can allow supporters to sit down and watch the game whilst being shaded from the elements – a nice cool shaded area on this occasion. The stand does not possess fold-able plastic seats that are seen from other stands, but rather large steps which people can sit upon to watch the game. It seemed like a nice place to watch football from anyway and gave supporters a good view of the pitch!

Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (14)
The main stand at Llandyrnog.

Just adjacent to the main stand, near the corner of the pitch on the hedge side of the ground is another covered stand. Although this construction is more of a shelter for standing than an actual raised stand like the main stand. However it seemed a popular destination for people to stand within and watch the game as it was occupied by supporters for the whole of the game. Again another shaded part of the ground from which to shade from the sunshine and comfortably watch the game.

Having taken a few pictures of the ground, I decided to get some nourishment prior to the game starting and so headed towards the snack hatch. According to a sign outside of the changing rooms block, the snack hatch was selling hot food and drink but I was much too warm for any hotdogs or cups of tea that were available. In the end, I purchased a chocolate bar and a can of cola for a combined price of £1.40, which seemed a very reasonable price in my opinion.

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The Llandyrnog United side head out onto the sunny pitch.

With kick-off approaching soon, I decided to find a spot to watch the football. The club’s secretary Matthew Lewis started to walk around the ground gathering the entrance money from the supporters dotted around the pitch, and we had a chat when came to me for the money. Entrance for today’s game was just £3, and it came with a free ticket for the half-time raffle (I am still yet to win a half time raffle after all these years!). After having a chat about the ground, groundhopping and inquiring about available pin badges (of which three were still available) Matthew continued his walk around the ground collecting the entrance money from various people.

I did forget to ask him if any match programmes had been produced for the game. However considering I didn’t see anyone else in the ground with a match programme or actually see anyone selling any, I am presuming there were none produced for this game.

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The coin toss.

As I cracked open the can of cola in the aim of quenching my ever increasing thirst brought on by the blazing sun, the two teams came out of the changing rooms in preparation for the upcoming Welsh Alliance league game. By this point, a considerable number of supporters were now surrounding the pitch, with a number of white and tangerine scarves on display from some of the visiting fans. A number of supporters had occupied the shaded stand and shelter to cover from the blazing sunlight, whilst the majority of supporters had congregated either side of the dugouts.

Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (12)
In preparation for today’s match with conditions absolutely optimal for football.

For this game, Llandyrnog were playing in their home strip of a light blue shirt with white and grey trim (the exact same Macron shirt design and colours as Holywell Town’s away shirt) with navy blue shorts and socks. Whereas Conwy were in their change strip of white shirt with a black side trim, black shorts and white socks. As mentioned previously, the conditions were sunny and warm, with a slight breeze in the air. Also the pitch looked in immaculate condition – just goes to show how much of an effect that some continuous dry weather can have for football pitches!

 

MATCH ACTION

Both teams started brightly in this game with chances being created for both sides. The best early chance coming from a free-kick from Llandyrnog who forced the Conwy keeper into making a superb diving save as the ball looked as if it was curling into the top corner of the net. Whilst at the other end, Conwy forced a save from Llandyrnog’s keeper when a curling cross into the box was firmly headed towards goal.

 

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Some early match action.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (17)
A Llandyrnog throw-in.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (19)
A safe catch for the Llandyrnog keeper.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (22)
Match action.

 

With such attacking display on show early in the game, it would not be long before the deadlock was broken. The game’s first goal of the afternoon appeared after twenty minutes of the match played and it was scored by the visiting side. A corner from Conwy’s #6 was curled into the penalty box and found Conwy’s #3 Matthew Hughes who deftly diverted the cross beyond the keeper’s reach and into the top right-hand corner of the net.

 

Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (24)
A corner for Conwy.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (28)
Llandyrnog United on the attack.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (31)
Conwy take the lead through a decent header!
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (35)
Another corner for Conwy, as they hope to extend their lead.

 

Ten minutes later and Conwy had increased their lead via the penalty spot. A through ball down the left flank was chased upon by Conwy’s #9 Corrig McGonigle. However just as the striker was advancing upon goal, he was brought down just inside the penalty area with a fierce late tackle from the covering defender, who was perhaps lucky just to get a yellow card. Having won the penalty, it was McGonigle who stepped up to tuck away the spot kick by firing it low into the bottom left corner of the net to double the Tangerines’ advantage in the match.

 

Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (36)
An injury for one of the home players.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (39)
Conwy double their lead through a Corrig McGonigle penalty.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (45)
The view of Cae Nant from the opposite corner.

 

Conwy looked the more dominant team for the majority of the second half, with the Tangerines creating more clear-cut chances than their opponents although none of them could be successfully converted by either side for the remainder of the first half. Therefore at half time, Conwy were leading the game by the two goals.

 

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Llandyrnog attempt to reduce the arrears through a long-range attempt.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (48)
A corner for the home side.
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Match action.
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Half time at Cae Nant and Conwy are 2-0 up against Llandyrnog.

 

At half-time I ventured back towards the main building and managed to speak to Matthew again from whom I bought one of the remaining Llandyrnog United pin badges that were still available to buy (there’s now only two remaining so get them quick if you haven’t already got one!). For the cost of just £3, the Llandyrnog United pin badge is a very welcome new addition to the ever increasing pin badge collection!

Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (81)
The latest addition to the pin badge collection!

 

A couple of minutes after the game had restarted and Conwy had scored their third goal of the afternoon through a header from Cory Williams. I will be honest, I completely missed seeing the third goal being scored as I was walking back up the slope, and only looked up when I heard cheers coming from the visiting players and fans to see that Conwy had scored again ha! Certainly the ideal start to the second half for the visiting team, and a big goal for Llandyrnog to concede so early in the half!

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A long free-kick from Conwy into the Llandyrnog penalty area.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (58)
Conwy celebrates scoring another goal.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (60)
Another free kick for Conwy.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (62)
Llandyrnog players jumping up to reach a cross from a corner.

 

Five minutes after scoring their third, and Conwy had gotten themselves a fourth goal from the afternoon. A long high cross from the left side of the pitch was arched towards goal. I presume the goalkeeper misjudged the flight of the ball or was blinded by the sun as he somehow left the ball to drifted over him. Unfortunately the cross found Tom Creamer who had gambled on running towards the far post and had sneaked behind the home keeper to latch onto the long ball. Creamer had the easiest of headers and he nodded the ball into the empty net to give Conwy an unassailable lead in this game. A poor mistake from the home keeper!

Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (63)
Despite being four goals down, Llandyrnog continued to attack.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (64)
Match action.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (66)
Match action.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (67)
Llandyrnog attempt a counter-attack.

 

Llandyrnog would get a consolation goal from this game around the seventieth minute mark, when the official awarded the second penalty of the game. The referee awarding a penalty to the home side after the Conwy centre-back had jumped and leaned onto the back of the home forward thus hindering the Llandyrnog player’s chance of receiving the ball inside the penalty area. Although Conwy’s keeper dived in the correct direction, Llandyrnog’s #3 Billy Holmes’ effort was fired low into the bottom corner and beyond the reach of the diving keeper to ensure Dyrny reduced the arrears.

 

Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (73)
Llandyrnog successfully convert a consolation goal from the penalty spot.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (74)
Match action.
Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (76)
The sun continues to shine as the match comes to a conclusion.

 

For the remaining twenty minutes of the second half, Llandyrnog had more of the ball possession than they previous had achieved and were creating more chances. However Conwy still looked to be in control of the game and it never felt as if they were going to let their winning margin be reduced further, or any panic defending settling in. Having played just two days earlier, I think Conwy were just reserving their energy and settling for the 4-1 scoreline, which they ultimately got when the final whistle was blown by the official.

FULL TIME: LLANDYRNOG UNITED 1 – 4 CONWY BOROUGH

Llandyrnog United vs Conwy Borough - 21st April 18 (78)
Full time at Cae Nant, and Conwy Borough get their second league victory in three days!

 

POST MATCH & CONCLUSION

2017-18 WAL Division 1 - 22nd April 18
The Welsh Alliance Division One table after the weekend’s fixtures. [IMAGE: Non League Matters]

Despite their positive result, Conwy Borough stayed in second place and still six points behind the league leaders Llangefni Town, who had managed a 2-0 victory over Llanrwst United. Whereas the defeat for Llandyrnog United meant they dropped a position in the league to tenth position, with Penrhyndeudraeth jumping to eighth after they had beaten St. Asaph City 3-1 at home.

Overall I found Cae Nant to be an excellent ground for a groundhop and everything that I enjoy about grounds in Welsh league football. It possessed superb views of the pitch, a uniqueness with its stands and slope, and provides excellent landscape views of the surrounding Welsh countryside. Whilst it will be a shame not to see any further league games being played there beyond this season, I am excited to see the new ground once it is constructed and return to Llandyrnog to watch a game in their new surroundings.

Finally I was proud of myself to overcome my major anxiety hurdle and start visiting new grounds again. Whilst I appreciate it might not seem significant to you readers, for me it was a massive hurdle to overcome and is another welcome step in my recovery from an illness which affects so many people. It has given me hope and renewed some confidence that I can continue to do the things that I enjoy doing, and that my recovery is on the right path.

A massive thank you to Matthew and Llandyrnog United for the warm welcome – it was so greatly appreciated! I wish everyone at the club all the very best for the rest of the season and best of luck for the upcoming move into the new ground in the near future!

Diolch yn fawr!

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4 comments

  1. […] One such Llandyrnog supporter who had turned up before the game was Matthew Lewis, the secretary of Llandyrnog United. I managed to catch up with him during the half-time break and throughout the second half, and it was good to have a chat with him again! It’s potentially exciting times for Llandyrnog as they seek to move from their Cae Nant ground into their new ground beside the former Arla creamery for next season. This is something which I mentioned within my Llandyrnog United blog, which can be found HERE. […]

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