NEW BRIGHTON VILLA

New Brighton Villa Banner

Date of Visit: 8th September 2018

Competition: Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Division One

Ground Number: 107

 

New Brighton Villa

CLUB INFORMATION

  • Founded: 1997
  • Ground: Estadio de Mark Lopez, Moel Fammau Road, New Brighton, Flintshire CH7 6QX
  • Colours: Yellow shirts, black shorts and yellow socks
  • Website: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/newbrightonvillafc/
  • Twitter: @newbrightonvfc
  • Highest League Finish: 4th – Welsh National League Division One [2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 & 2010-11]

 

NEW BRIGHTON VILLA’S 2017-18 SEASON

  • Welsh National League Division One: Fifth
  • Welsh Cup: First Qualifying Round
  • FAW Trophy: Round Four
  • Welsh National Division One League Cup: FINALISTS
  • North East Wales FA Challenge Cup: Round Two
2017-18 WNL Division 1 Table
The 2017-18 Welsh National League Division One table. New Brighton Villa finished in fifth position last season. [IMAGE: Non League Matters]

INTRODUCTION

For the second Saturday of September 2018, I was super keen to visit a new ground to keep my groundhopping tally ticking over once again. The current count of 106 ground was good but it hadn’t increased since I visited Acrefair Youth’s ground of Maes Bont way back in June. Plus it would provide me with a perfect opportunity to write another groundhopping blog for this site. Something I was hoping would keep me occupied for the following weekend, as I was planning of attending the Mold Food Festival the following Saturday rather than go to a football game. Yes I do visit other things than just visiting football grounds during a weekend you know ha!

Throughout the week I had earmarked a few fixtures at grounds yet to be visited, which I thought could be intriguing groundhops and good games. Alas the Llanuwchllyn and Overton Recreation options were scrapped from the list due to their league and cup fixtures being postponed. Their respective opponents in those originally scheduled games, Penycae and Offa Athletic, were scheduled to play each other in a Welsh Cup replay that weekend.

Another option, the Hope-based side Castell Alun Colts, was also crossed-out due to a double-booking error with the referee schedule had meant they would be without a referee and thus they had to postpone the game (absolutely ridiculous this error happened so early in the season!). With games falling by the wayside, it meant that by the time Saturday morning came around, I was still completely undecided which fixture I should go to visit.

With the North Welsh weather being so unseasonably yet sadly predictably awful prior to leaving HQ on the early Saturday afternoon, it did help me to come to a decision for the Saturday groundhop. With the rain looking unrelenting throughout the afternoon (according the weather forecast I had seen in the morning), I ultimately decided not to travel too far from 94th Minute HQ and head towards to one of the few remaining grounds in my home county of Flintshire that I had yet to visit in my travels.

I would be making a short twenty minute journey over Halkyn Mountain to the most exotic and summery sounding setting in Flintshire, the Estadio de Mark Lopez, to see home side New Brighton Villa (a Spanish villa to go with the Spanish ground name perhaps??) take on Coedpoeth United (…wait ‘poeth‘ means ‘hot‘ in Welsh also…oh Summer please come back, Autumn is being a nuisance already…) in the División Una de la Liga Nacional de Gales…sorry I meant the Welsh National League Division One!

 

NEW BRIGHTON, FLINTSHIRE

  • Population: 3,000
  • County: Flintshire
  • Historical County: Flintshire
  • Nearest Train Stations: Buckley [3,5 miles south-east]; Flint [5,7 miles north]

 

New Brighton is a small village of 3,000 inhabitants situated in eastern half of Flintshire, in north-east Wales. The village is situated in a northerly position between the big Flintshire towns of Mold (situated 1,5 miles south-west) and Buckley (situated 2,1 miles south-east), with another village, Mynydd Isa, just a mile due south of New Brighton.

Despite its small size, it has great infrastructural links with A5119 road passing through the village, which links the village up to nearby Mold and to the A494 trunk road, and subsequently the important A55 Expressway. Being so close to the A55 means that New Brighton has become an ideal commuter village for people working in either Mold, Deeside, Chester or beyond. In addition to the great road links, there are also regular bus services between both Mold and Buckley which helps keep the village connected with its larger neighbouring towns.

New Brighton is also the location for the splendid Beaufort Park Hotel. The AA-rated three star hotel is an excellent and popular venue for hosting any types of conferences, as well as weddings or wedding receptions, or simply an ideal and relaxing hub from which to explore North Wales from.

 

NEW BRIGHTON VILLA’S HISTORY

Club Honours

  • 1 x Welsh National Division Two Champions
  • 1 x Welsh National Division One League Cup Finalists
  • 2017-18 Welsh National League Division One Fair Play Award

 

New Brighton Version 1

The first New Brighton Villa side appeared in the 1987-88 season when they started their history playing in the Welsh National League Division Three. In their debut season, they finished runners-up to league champions New Broughton (New Broughton and New Brighton in the same league? A little confusing if you ask me ha!) and gained promotion to Division Two. They would spend a couple of seasons in Division Two before being promoted to Division One of the Welsh National League system.

After a couple of uneventful seasons in the WNL Division One, they would earn promotion to the Premier Division at the end of the 1992-93 season as they again finished runners-up in the table. This time they would finish seven points behind Cefn Druids’ reserve team, having won two-thirds of their thirty game season.

New Brighton would play in the Welsh National League Premier Division for three seasons, achieving their highest league placement of sixth place in their first season in the top tier of the WNL pyramid (the 1993-94 season). This was followed by a ninth place finish in the 1994-95 season before they finished in eleventh position (out of fourteen teams) the following season. Sadly this would be their final season in the Welsh National League as the New Brighton side would disappear from the Wrexham league set-up at the end of the 1995-96 season.

1993-94 WNL Premier Table
The 1993-94 Welsh National League Premier Division table. The original New Brighton team would finish in their highest position of sixth place that season.

Another New Brighton side did appear in Division Two of the Clwyd Football League as New Brighton United in the 1997-98 season, two years after the original New Brighton side had folded from the Welsh National League. In that season, they finished second from bottom with just five wins from their twenty game season, with only Prestatyn Youth Club being below them at the absolute foot of the Clwyd League system. The team only made the briefest of appearances in the Clwyd League and failed to reappear for a second season.

The Return of New Brighton Villa

A returning New Brighton side reappeared in Division Two of the Welsh National League system in the 1998-98 season. In their debut season, they finished rock bottom of the league having achieved just four wins from twenty-four games played and earning just thirteen points. Having started at the bottom, there was only one direction this side could go and thus New Brighton started to slowly progress up the Division Two table throughout the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

It wouldn’t be until the 2004-05 season when they managed to gain promotion to First Division and win their first league championship by winning the WNL Division Two title on goal difference from rivals Castell Alun Colts. Despite winning one less game than the Colts and scoring four fewer goals, their superior defensive record proved the decisive factor in claiming their only league title to date.

2004-05 WNL Division 2 Table
The 2004-05 Welsh National League Division Two table. New Brighton would achieve their first and only league championship victory to date.

After a couple of seasons competing in Division One, New Brighton would achieve four consecutive fourth place finishes between 2008 and 2011, which is still the club’s highest ever league placement since their reformation in 1997. The Yellers continue to play in Division One of the Welsh National League system, with this season being their fourteenth continuous season in the division. Despite the club existing longer than the previous New Brighton incarnation, they have yet to match their achievements by reaching the WNL Premier Division.

Last season they almost achieved their highest ever league placement when they missed out on third place by just two points, in what would prove to be a fiercely contested league campaign. Their poor start to the season being their undoing having only won once in their first seven league games. They also missed out on winning some silverware when they reached the final of the WNL Division One League Cup. Despite being down for ten men for most of the second half and all of extra time, and then taking the final to penalties, it would not be a glorious comeback for the side as they lost 5-6 on penalties to that season’s Division One runners-up Rhos Aelwyd.

 

PREVIOUS FORM

New Brighton Villa’s last four competitive games:

  • Wed 8th August: Brickfield Rangers (a) 0 – 3 [NEWFA Cup Round 1]
  • Sat 18th August: Rhosllanerchrugog (a) 0 – 1
  • Tue 21st August: Castell Alun Colts (h) 2 – 3
  • Sat 1st September: Plas Madoc (h) 2 – 1 [Welsh Cup First Qualifying Round]

Prior to this game with Coedpoeth United, New Brighton Villa found themselves at the bottom of the Welsh National League Division One table, having lost their first two games of the league campaign. However in comparison with the teams above them, who had played up to five league games already, it was somewhat of a false position for the side who had finished in fifth position last season.

However the Yellers experienced a miserable August having lost in the three games they played in the first month of the season. They lost in their first game of the 2018-19 campaign, being unsurprisingly knocked out of the North East Wales Challenge Cup by third-tier (and Welsh National League Premier title favourites) Brickfield Rangers. A brace from Alan Bull and a further goal from Chris Boyes ensured the Clywedog Park side progressed to the second round of the regional cup competition.

In their first league game, they disappointingly lost to Rhosllanerchrugog by a single goal. A deft chipped shot by Josh Rush being the deciding factor in a tightly-fought game between the teams. A couple of days later, and New Brighton would suffer another defeat in the league, this time at home to fellow Flintshire side Castell Alun Colts. An enthralling opening ten minutes saw New Brighton take a 2-1 lead at the Estadio de Mark Lopez. Paul Rambaldi scored a five minute brace, including a penalty, whilst Owen Ward opened the scoring for the visitors after just two minutes of the game played. However the turning point was on the thirty-second minute when Nathan Griffith was given a straight red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity. With a player disadvantage, Villa found it difficult to hold onto their lead, and a three minute double salvo from Josh Colecliff in the middle of the second half ensured the Colts earned all three points from the encounter.

In their previous match, New Brighton faced the inform and newly promoted Plas Madoc at the Estadio. Despite their league positions, it would be the Yellers who would claim victory in the First Qualifying Round match for the Welsh Cup. A double for James Beck either side of half time was just enough to ensure the home side progressed to the next round of the national cup competition. Nicky Williams scoring the consolation goal for last season’s North East Wales League champions.

 

Coedpoeth_United_badge

Coedpoeth United’s last five competitive games:

  • Wed 15th August: Llangollen Town (a) 0 – 6
  • Sat 18th August: Castell Alun Colts (a) 1 – 2
  • Wed 22nd August: Plas Madoc (a) 1 – 11 [ELEVEN]
  • Sat 25th August: Mynydd Isa Spartans (h) 2 – 3
  • Sat 1st September: Cefn Mawr Rangers (a) 5 – 1 [Welsh Cup First Qualifying Round]

It would be fair to say that Coedpoeth’s season has been somewhat dramatic since they got relegated from the WNL Premier Division last season. Despite winning their opening league game of the season against Cefn Mawr Rangers, results have dramatically dipped as August rolled into September. A heavy 0-6 defeat at Tower Fields by Llangollen Town was followed up by another away defeat, this time losing 1-2 to Castell Alun Colts at Hope. Arthur Doo and Rob Ward scoring for the Colts, whilst Jamie Williams found the net for the visitors.

Then what followed can only be described as a disaster for Coedpoeth, as they were thumped 11-1 (yes, eleven goals) at The Muga. Kurt Griffiths getting the only highlight in a very bad day at the office for Karl Fenlon’s lads. They managed to perform much more admirably a couple days later when they faced Mynydd Isa Spartans at the Penygelli Playing Fields. Another Kurt Griffiths goal followed by a Nathan Jones strike were sadly not enough to get their second win of the season, as they conceded a Mike Whales hat-trick which meant the Spartans would win the battle.

In their previous match, Coedpoeth finally managed to get their second win of the season as they thumped struggling Cefn Mawr Rangers in the First Qualfying Round of the Welsh Cup. Having beaten them 2-1 a few weeks previously, Coedpoeth unleashed their pent-up frustrations against the Rangers to ensure they progressed to the next round of the knockout tournament in style. Goals from Luke Hall, Olly Lewis, Cameron Lewis, Kurt Griffiths and Nicky McCormack gave Coedpoeth a 5-1 victory at The Muga.

It would be interesting to see who would come out on top for this league encounter considering both sides had had similar starts to the season. They had both endured a poor start to the season, but had important Welsh Cup victories in the previous weekend which could potentially kick-start their league campaigns.

 

ESTADIO DE MARK LOPEZ GROUNDHOP

  • Distance Travelled: 12,7 miles
  • Journey Time: 25 minutes
  • Entrance: FREE
  • Programme: FREE

 

The rather short journey from 94th Minute HQ to New Brighton could be easily described as “monsoon conditions”. The early September rain descending from the fiercely gloomy and darkened clouds above with such force, I did wonder whether the upcoming game would actually be played at all, such was the intensity of the downpour. As I drove through Brynford and Lixwm to reach the Mold-Denbigh road (I took the scenic route rather than the water flume known as the A55 Expressway), I did glumly concede that this was confirmation that the gloriously warm summer was indeed over, and that autumn was now firmly established.

This was all too apparent in the previous night, when I went to watch my beloved Holywell Town square off against Conwy Borough in what would end to be a rather unspectacular 1-1 draw. Whilst watching the match at Halkyn Road, the biting cold breeze surging in from the Irish Sea had made everyone complain about the temperature, especially those who had unwisely decided to wear shorts to watch the game. Nevertheless, the cold breezes made for a very cold night, and it was the first sign that the seasons were turning. As so often quoted by the Stark family in Game of Thrones, “winter is coming“…

Holywell Town vs Conwy Borough - 7th Sept 2018
Watching Holywell Town play Conwy Borough on a very cold Friday evening at Halkyn Road.

Thankfully the temperature on the Saturday was less chilled than the previous evening although it had been replaced by a rain of such biblical proportions that it would have been considered somewhat prudent if someone had decided to construct a large wooden arc.

The road over Halkyn Mountain, as well as the Mold-Denbigh road were full of large puddles which had congregated in every dip on the road. Whilst it provided a satisfying ‘sploosh’ whilst driving through them and creating bow waves which wouldn’t have looked out of place on a speedboat, it was also become a little bit treacherous. Driving through the puddles would cause the car to veer towards the hedges/walls on the left when driving through them, or would cause a slight aquaplane of the car. With such sketchy grip issues on the road, and my concentration levels being so high whilst driving, that I failed to notice I hadn’t even switched the radio on. Some would argue that considering some of the music that is out at the moment, it was probably the best subconcious decision…

It took about twenty-five minutes to reach New Brighton Villa’s ground, which is situated in the far-west corner of the village, at the end of Moel Fammau Drive. My annoyance levels were already raised prior to reaching the ground when some bozo driver decided to stitch up the junction by the delightful Beaufort Park Hotel, and stopped drivers from turning right coming from the Mold direction. This meant I had to go around the large roundabout just to the east of the village to have another go at turning down Bryn Lane but from the opposite direction.

New Brighton Villa’s pitch is behind the village’s community centre building, from which the changing rooms are also located within. The community centre has an ample sized car park although when I arrived at 2pm, half an hour before kick-off, the car park was already full with parked cars, meaning I had to park up on the side of the road leading to the community centre. It was when I parked up that the downpour was at its most extreme for the day, with the raindrops creating a relentless and loud thumping rhythm on the car roof whilst a small stream was descending down my car’s windscreen. My hopes for this game starting were decreasing by the ever dampening minute!

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Welcome to the Estadio!

Under the protection of a large golf umbrella, I headed towards the football pitch behind the community centre. Rather annoyingly the community centre itself was not open for the game, with its entrance locked to supporters. Even more frustratingly the toilets were in the community centre and therefore not available this afternoon – ironically it would be the only place where water would not be flowing on this rainy day.

The entrance to the ground is located between the left side of the community centre and the large metal fence that separates / protects the car park from the football pitch. I had to pass through a waterfall of cascading water which was streaming off the slanted roof of the community centre before I could get into the ground. Thankfully the umbrella took the brunt of cascade and I was grateful I had remembered to bring it along for once.

Despite the miserable conditions, both sides were in the middle of their soggy pre-match warm-up routines and the pitch itself wasn’t looking too bad. Only the area in the six yard box where the goalkeeper stands being the obviously muddy part of the pitch, with water pooling in a number of the larger mud divots and holes in this area. The home keeper was already covered in a layer of mud! Despite that, there was a good chance this game could start after all…

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So much rain…

The Estadio de Mark Lopez is only a small ground in comparison with other grounds in the same league and is hemmed in on a few sides. It has the community centre / changing rooms with its car park at one end of the pitch, whilst a hedge surrounds one length of the pitch and the opposite end of the ground. Finally a wooden fence atop a slight bank shields the houses backing on the pitch from any flyaway balls that could stray in their direction.

Naturally there are no permanent floodlights (very few if any are present at tier four grounds of the Welsh football pyramid), nor was there a concrete path around the perimeter of the pitch, so it could get muddy walking around the pitch in the winter months. However there is a permanent metal barrier which surrounds the playing area and allows supporters something to lean on during the ninety minutes. Finally the ground does has a couple of ample-sized and permanent metal and perspex constructed dugouts on the hedge side of the pitch. Sadly on this occasion, there didn’t seem to be any snatch bar or anywhere where a cup of tea/coffee could be bought – something which I would have greatly appreciated under the umbrella. Perhaps that is another thing which is normally found in the community centre?

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Coedpoeth United (in their away kit) heading out onto the soggy pitch.

Now you may be wondering the origins of their rather uniquely exotic and continental sounding ground name. The “Estadio” is named in honour of the efforts of a key clubman, Mark Lopez, who made a hugely significant contribution to NBV during the early days of the fledgling club. For someone with a Hispanic surname, the ground’s name should rightfully match it by being Spanish sounding also. A small piece of La Liga flair in the middle of Flintshire! Ole!

Whilst the teams were continuing their pre-match routines, I got talking to a number of the Coedpoeth United travelling party and supporters about the weather (naturally) and the current state of the Welsh game, and how next season’s planned league changes are going to hugely affect local football. It was expected that a considerable number of teams in the second and third tiers might take a voluntary relegation due to them not being able to fulfill the new ground standards which will be implemented in the top three tiers from next season onwards. Expect the leagues at tier four to be highly competitive next season!

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The official preparing for the game ahead.

In fairness the Welsh National League Division One is already a very competitive league, and this was confirmed by the Coedpoeth United supporters who had seen their team suffer relegation from the Premier Division last season. They all agreed it would a fairly equal and tough league campaign this season, with the newly-promoted side of Plas Madoc being considered by them as the favourites to lift the league trophy at the end of the season. A start of five wins from their first five games played would certainly emphasise why a number of people were tipping The Muga-based side for their second league title in two seasons.

With the scheduled half two kick-off approaching, both sides came out of the dry comfort of their changing rooms onto the soggy pitch. Thankfully the rain had subsided somewhat in comparison from half an hour ago, but there was still a considerable rainfall dropping from the grey clouds above. It was looking highly probable that the game would indeed commence, but not before the referee ordered that the pools of water in the six yard box should be dissipated by forking the muddy area. Only when that was sorted out, would the sole official (today being Mr Martin Colloby) be happy to start the game.

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The game would only start once the water had forked off…

Once of the New Brighton coaches had forked the heck out of the Somme-like mud patch in the goalkeeper’s area to ensure all the collated water in the small puddles had finally disappeared, was the official then content to commence the league match. New Brighton Villa would be playing in their home strip of bright yellow shirts, black shorts and yellow socks, whilst Coedpoeth United were wearing their alternative strip of red shirts with white sleeves, red shorts and red socks.

New Brighton Villa’s manager, Dave Roberts, would be making a few changes to the line-up from last week’s cup victory over Plas Madoc. Firstly Jordan Dorrington would be deputising in goal for the unavailable first-choice goalkeeper Rhys Peers, whilst Braden Lavin and Sam Moffatt replaced the duo of Mike Price and Jack Leonard-Gill who were away for the weekend. The returning Nathan Griffith, having served his suspension after his dismal against Castell Alun Colts, would find a place on the substitutes bench alongside George Jones and the injury-recovered Liam Davies.

New Brighton Villa vs Coedpoeth Utd - 8th Sept 2018 (12)
Preparing for kick-off.

 

MATCH ACTION

[NOTE: I apologise the lack of a match report but my notes, which I had written on my phone, had typically corrupted – I blame the weather ha! Anyway a big thanks to New Brighton Villa’s write-up of the game, it was a lifesaver!  http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/newbrightonvillafc/teams/28618/match-centre/1-3652655 ]

For the first half , I took a viewing position next to the Coedpoeth supporters by the halfway line on the slope side of the pitch. The rain was still heavy at kick-off but gradually eased off throughout the half and had eventually stopped by half time. There were about 25 supporters dotted around the ground at kick off, with more appearing throughout the first half as the weather improved.

New Brighton Villa vs Coedpoeth Utd - 8th Sept 2018 (15)
Miserable weather but excellent start to the game!
New Brighton Villa vs Coedpoeth Utd - 8th Sept 2018 (16)
The dugouts on the far side of the pitch, with the rain falling.

Despite the slippy conditions, the game would start frantically with both sides creating decent goal scoring opportunities. After five minutes, Villa could have taken the lead had Max Quinn taken full advantage of a brilliant Ste Orsler cross, but could only agonisingly head the ball wide of the post. A couple of minutes later and Coedpoeth had a chance to take the lead, but they could only fire their close effort over the crossbar. A couple more efforts from both sides were either spurned or saved by the respective keeper ensuring the score stayed level in the opening phase of the match.

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Match action.
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A headed chance for New Brighton.
New Brighton Villa vs Coedpoeth Utd - 8th Sept 2018 (21)
Coedpoeth United cause the home side all ends of problems with the rapid counter-attacks.

As the first half progressed however, it would be Coedpoeth who would take control of the ball possession through, aided by some sloppy New Brighton passing and some slick counter-attacks. They would gain a lot of success through their quick wingers who were creating a lot of chances from the flanks.

New Brighton Villa vs Coedpoeth Utd - 8th Sept 2018 (23)
An over the top ball for the Coedpoeth attacker to run onto, as the weather starts to improve.
New Brighton Villa vs Coedpoeth Utd - 8th Sept 2018 (24)
Another Coedpoeth attack breaks down.
New Brighton Villa vs Coedpoeth Utd - 8th Sept 2018 (25)
Now it’s New Brighton’s turn to go on the attack!

It wouldn’t be until half an hour into the game when the deadlock was finally broken, and in accordance with the momentum of play, it would be the visitors who would strike first. The home side failed to cope with a throw-in, which allowed Coedpoeth to loop a pass over the top of the home defense without any defensive pressure. It seemed as if it would be an easy catch for the home replacement keeper, Jordan Dorrington, but he could only fumble the slippy ball out of his grasp and knock it forward towards a Coedpoeth player who had quickly advanced into the penalty area. He took advantage of the loose ball to tap the ball into the empty net and give Coedpoeth the lead. An awful goal for the home side to concede.

New Brighton Villa 0 – 1 Coedpoeth United

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A free-kick for Coedpoeth in the New Brighton half.
New Brighton Villa vs Coedpoeth Utd - 8th Sept 2018 (29)
Much drier conditions now, with the scenic Flintshire countryside in the background!

About five minutes after conceding, and Villa had a superb chance to level the scores once again. Coming from a throw-in on the right side of the pitch, the ball arrived to the home side’s Paul Rambaldi who hit a curling half-volleyed shot from just outside of the penalty area. It looked as if the spinning ball’s trajectory was going to dip just beneath the crossbar but the Coedpoeth goalie pulled off an outstanding stretched save to just fingertip the arcing ball just over the bar.

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Another Coedpoeth free kick attacking towards the Community Centre end.
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Making an attempt on goal!
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New Brighton earning themselves a corner.

Sadly the visiting keeper’s world-class save was ultimately in vain as a minute after his heroics and he was plucking the ball from out of his net. The home side were slickly passing the ball around the edge of the Coedpoeth area after a short corner, before Sam Wainwright decided to gamble by firing a low shot from the corner of the penalty area. It looked as if the away keeper would easily deflect the low drive away, but the ball bounced just in front of the goalie’s outstretched arms and deflecting the ball’s path over his reach and past the inside post. The home side had earned a fortuitous yet deserved equaliser, and both sides would end the half with a goal apiece.

HALF TIME: NEW BRIGHTON VILLA 1 – 1 COEDPOETH UNITED

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Half time at the Estadio and it’s a goal apiece!

At half time, the rain had completely stopped and clouds were now parting to display increasing patches of blue sky and some sunshine. In addition, the temperatures were now on the increase meaning waterproofs were discarded by a number of supporters. I returned back to the car to discard the now redundant umbrella, although I kept hold of the waterproof jacket just in case…I know what the Welsh weather is like with its unpredictability!

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The New Brighton Community Centre during a sunny period at half time!

Whilst returning back into the ground, I received a free match programme from the New Brighton programme editor, and one of the first team coaches, Liam Evans. It is an excellent match programme with a welcome article from the manager, Dave Roberts, as well as a thorough write-up of the Plas Madoc game from the previous weekend. In addition has all the usual information like fixtures, results, player statistics and league tables. All in all, a superbly produced programme which had all the pages printed in colour also (the yellow ink on the printer took a battering no doubt ha!). I was certainly very grateful of receiving it, especially for free as well!

New Brighton Villa Programme - 8th Sept 2018 (1)
The accompanying match programme for the game.

In the second half, Coedpoeth continued to be the more dominant side with their pacy wingers forever threatening the home defense through their counter-attacks. They forced the home keeper into a save early in the half before the found their second breakthrough of the afternoon. On the sixty-third minute, a long ball down the left flank allowed the Coedpoeth winger to quick advance from his flank and into the penalty area relatively unchallenged. The forward made no mistake with his opportunity to fire the ball beyond the stretch of the diving Dorrington and into the far corner of the net to give the visitors the lead in the match once again.

New Brighton Villa 1 – 2 Coedpoeth United

Finding themselves 1-2 down in the game, New Brighton managed to work their way back into the game and started to look for the equaliser with half an hour remaining. Goalscorer Sam Wainwright almost doubled his tally for the fixture when his 25 yard fierce-looking effort drifted just wide of the post. However on the 75th minute, the home side finally had a great chance to score another equalising goal when substitute Liam Davies was unjustly tripped over in the penalty box, just as he was about to shoot on goal. The replacement would pick himself off the mud to take the spot kick he had earned for his side, and made no mistake as he sent the Coedpoeth keeper in the wrong direction by blasted the ball into the opposite corner of the net.

New Brighton Villa 2 – 2 Coedpoeth United

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Liam Davies preparing himself for the penalty.
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The substitute sends the visiting keeper the wrong way to get the equaliser from the penalty spot.

With only a small amount of game time remaining, it was looking as if one of the teams could potentially find a late winner. Coedpoeth continued to threaten the home side on the counter-attacks, and gave the home defense real problems at times, although they never quite managed to test the Dorrington in goal or even get a shot on target. If anything, it looked as if the momentum was behind New Brighton as they were more likely to score a winning goal as they had a number of solid goal-scoring opportunities.

Firstly a delightful and slick one-two between James Beck and captain Orsler saw the skipper denied by a great save from the Coedpoeth keeper, before Wainwright had a golden opportunity to score his second and Villa’s third deep into injury time after a delightful cross had found him unmarked in the box. Alas the first half goalscorer failed hit the target on this occasion as his effort just zipped past the woodwork, much to the relief of the scrambling Coedpoeth defense.

Wainwright’s chance at the death would be the final phase of the match, and with weather worsening once again as light rain started to descend upon New Brighton, the official, Mr Martin Colloby, subsequently blew his whistle to end this thrilling contest between two decent teams. The points would be shared at the Estadio de Mark Lopez!

FULL TIME: NEW BRIGHTON VILLA 2 – 2 COEDPOETH UNITED

 

POST MATCH AND CONCLUSION

The 2-2 draw would ensure Coedpoeth United would climb above Cefn Mawr Rangers into ninth position in the Welsh National League Division One table. Whilst the hard-earned point was the first of the season for New Brighton Villa, although they were still bottom of the table, trailing Johnstown Youth by a single point. However with NBV having as much as three games in hand over the teams above them, I would imagine they’ll start climbing up the table sometime in the near future.

WNL Division 1 - 9th Sept 2018
Coedpoeth climb up the table but New Brighton’s point still keeps them at the bottom of the table (ignore Maesgwyn, they have sadly folded). [IMAGE: Non League Matters]
I really enjoyed my visit to the Estadio, and ticking off another Flintshire ground. It was just a shame there was nowhere to buy a cup of tea/coffee from and it was frustrating to see the community centre locked up, meaning the toilets were off limits for the supporters. Nevertheless, the game was a really good one despite everything the Welsh weather threw at it, and it was really nice to chat with the Coedpoeth and New Brighton supporters and staff throughout the game. Everyone gave me a very warm welcome which was greatly appreciated!

Plus some of the views of the surrounding Flintshire countryside from the ground were quite impressive, especially seeing the steam clouds rise up from the surrounding hills. Makes me appreciate how scenic and picturesque my home county really is!

I wish New Brighton Villa and Coedpoeth United all the very best for the rest of the season, and will hopefully see them play again in the near future!

Diolch!

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