Homeward Bound: My Delve into Flintshire Football for the 2019-20 Season

Introduction

Having spent the past few blogs looking at football on the islands dotted around the British Isles, I wanted to briefly return back to the homeland and see how the sides in my home county of Flintshire are doing in the Welsh football league system this season. As you’ll be fully aware, the football seasons have been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so I wanted to write about the Flintshire clubs’ results up to the enforced break in the 2019-20 Welsh football season.

Flintshire Flag

In the 2019-20 season, there are 18 Flintshire-based clubs competing in the Welsh football pyramid, spread out between the five tiers of football which cover the county. Below are the Flintshire teams, along with the links to their websites and social media accounts, should you wish to know more about them, follow them or even support them in the future.

Flintshire Map
The locations of the eighteen clubs within the county of Flintshire.
  1. Airbus UK Broughton

  2. Buckley Town

  3. CPD Caerwys

  4. Castell Alun Colts

  5. Connah’s Quay Nomads

  6. Flint Town United

  7. Greenfield FC

  8. Halkyn and Flint Mountain

  9. Hawarden Rangers

  10. Holywell Town

  11. Mold Alexandra

  12. Mold Town United

  13. Mynydd Isa Spartans

  14. New Brighton Villa

  15. Penyffordd Lions

  16. Rhydymwyn FC

  17. Saltney Town

  18. CPD Sychdyn

Currently, Connah’s Quay Nomads are the county’s most successful team, having finished in second position in the Welsh Premier League (now renamed ‘Cymru Premier‘) in the 2018-19 season. They are also the most recent Flintshire club to have won the prestigious Welsh Cup (and one of just three Flintshire teams to have won the Welsh Cup alongside Connah’s Quay & Shotton FC and Flint Town United) claiming their first national cup title in 2018 by beating Aberystwyth Town 4-1. They are joined in the top flight by Airbus UK Broughton who won the final Cymru Alliance title, to gain promotion back to the first tier for this season.

Cymru Premier Logo

[NOTE: To read more about the Cymru Premier, read my three blogs about the league: PART 1; PART 2; PART 3 ]

There are only two Flintshire teams in the newly named Cymru North (the organisation of the old Cymru Alliance being directly taken over by the Football Association of Wales), with Flint Town United and Buckley Town being the two mainstays of the division. Sadly Holywell Town were relegated in the very last action of the Cymru Alliance meaning they have dropped into the Welsh National League Premier Division, where they will face fellow Flintshire sides Castell Alun Colts, Rhydymwyn, Mold Alex and Saltney Town. Despite some rumours of moving across to the WNL Premier Division also, Greenfield continue to compete in the Welsh Alliance Division One. However it is likely to be their final season in the league as they’ll probably move to an eastern league when the FAW organisation changes affect the third tier league from the 2020-21 season onwards.

Cymru North Logo

[NOTE: To read more about the Cymru North, read my blog on it HERE]

Four Flintshire teams are playing in the fourth tier of Welsh football with New Brighton Villa, Mynydd Isa Spartans and Hawarden Rangers competing in the WNL Division One. They are joined by Halkyn and Flint Mountain, the new name of last season’s North East Wales League champions, Flint Mountain. The name change was made as they moved from their previous Northop Hall base into Halkyn United’s former ground at Pant Newydd.

There are four teams in the North East Wales League, the lowest tier for Flintshire clubs to compete in, and fifth tier in the Welsh football pyramid. Caerwys, Mold Town United and Penyffordd Lions (the club created from the defunct Penyffordd FC) have been joined by a returning CPD Sychdyn team. Sychdyn were the 2017-18 NE Wales League champions before they were forced to resign from the league due to ground issues. However they have made a welcome return to Welsh football after a season’s hiatus.

Finally the number of Flintshire teams competing in the 2019-20 has been reduced by one as FC Nomads of Connah’s Quay, the side who played at Wepre Park, sadly had to resign from the WNL Premier Division prior to the season starting. Hopefully they’ll return back to action next season, or a new club can be created to represent the Wepre area of Connah’s Quay. The ground at Wepre Park is certainly one of the more scenic venues in the county!

Wepre Park - Flintshire

[NOTE: Even though Prestatyn Sports play in the Flintshire village of Gronant, for the basis of this blog, I have considered them a Denbighshire club as they originated from Prestatyn.]

 

 

Cymru Premier

Cymru Premier Logo

Airbus UK Broughton – 12th

Connah’s Quay Nomads – 1st

2019-20 Results:

  • Connah’s Quay Nomads 2 – 1 Airbus UK Broughton
  • Airbus UK Broughton 0 – 4 Connah’s Quay Nomads

2019-20 Cymru Premier Championship Table at Halt
The 2019-20 Cymru Premier Championship table when the season was halted. [IMAGE: Cymru Leagues Website]
Gap Connah's Quay Logo

Once again, the top performing Flintshire side in the Welsh football pyramid is currently Connah’s Quay Nomads, and they find themselves in a very strong position at the top of the Cymru Premier table. Last season’s runners-up are currently four points clear from the defending league champions, The New Saints, who seem to be having a struggling season for TNS’ usual high standards. The Nomads started the season with three consecutive draws, before getting an important away win at Bala at the end of August, to finally kick-start their season.

As per the past few seasons, Andy Morrison has made the Nomads difficult to break down and defeat by having a solid defence to build a successful side upon. From their 26 league games, they have only conceded 19 goals, and turning the Deeside Stadium into a fortress by being undefeated there throughout the league campaign. Connah’s Quay have only lost two league games this season, both away from home, to TNS and Cefn Druids. Curiously though, from their eight clean sheets this season, six of those have come in away games. Regardless, their centre-back partnership of George Horan and Priestley Farquharson has been the best defensive duo in the league this season, and shoe-ins for Cymru Premier’s ‘Team of the Year’.

Deeside Stadium - Flintshire

Since the league split, where the Nomads found themselves four points behind TNS, they have won three and drawn one of their last four games, with a crucial away win at Barry, followed by important home wins to Caernarfon Town and TNS to take the advantage in the title race. In their final match before the halt to the season, they managed a 2-2 draw at inform Bala Town to maintain their great form since the league split. The 13 league goals from Jamie Insall being crucial to the Nomads’ season so far, who look in a great position to finally lift their first Cymru Premier title when (or if) the season restarts.

2019-20 Cymru Premier Playoff Table at Halt
The 2019-20 Cymru Premier Playoff table at the halting of the season. [IMAGE: Cymru Leagues Website]

Airbus UKSadly the Cymru Premier is sandwiched by Flintshire teams as Airbus UK Broughton currently reside at the bottom of the Playoff and combined table. Last season’s Cymru Alliance champions came into the Cymru Premier with great hopes of consolidating their position back in the top flight, but the Wingmakers have found the season particularly tough. Losing players to injury throughout the season has had a massive impact on Airbus, especially in defence, and has seen them lose 17 of their 26 league games this season.

They started by losing their first four games of the season before a victory over Aberystwyth Town, in early September, finally saw their season finally get started. However, by just earning two points in ten games between October and New Year’s Day, it has seen the Wingmakers situated at the wrong end of the table. The nadir of the season clearly being the 0-12 defeat to TNS at The Airfield, with TNS’ Adrian Cieslewicz and Greg Draper getting a hat-trick each.

The Airfield - FlintshireUnsurprisingly, Airbus currently have the worst defence in the league, having conceded 67 goals so far, and just scoring 28 goals, resulting in a goal difference of -39. Even though they are just four points from tenth position, currently occupied by Penybont, they have played a game more than Carmarthen and Penybont above them. Looking at the table, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the Wingmakers will be suffering a quick return back to the second tier for the 2020-21 season. However in the final Cymru Premier match that was played prior to the suspension of the league, Airbus managed an important 3-1 win away at Carmarthen to get within one point of their relegation rivals. Being 0-1 down at half time, a brace from Niall Watson and an additional goal from Oliver Lanceley confirmed Airbus’ first win since October.

 

 

Cymru North

Cymru North Logo

Buckley Town – 13th*

Flint Town United – 2nd

[* – Since the halting of the season, Rhyl FC have since folded due to financial problems, meaning Buckley will probably be in 12th position should the Welsh football season restart.]

2019-20 Results:

  • Buckley Town 0 – 3 Flint Town United
  • Flint Town United 3 – 0 Buckley Town

 

2019-20 Cymru North Table at Halt
The 2019-20 Cymru North table prior to the postponement of the season. [IMAGE: Cymru Leagues Website]
Flint Town United Badge 2

In this season’s Cymru North, there are just two Flintshire sides competing in the league, half of what competed in the final Cymru Alliance league last season. Currently Flint Town United are the best performing Flintshire side outside of the top flight, as the Silkmen are currently situated in second position in the table. Prior to the season, they were considered one of the favourites for promotion considering they finished as runners-up to east Flintshire-based Airbus last season. However they have found themselves a very distant second place with Prestatyn Town currently 16 points clear at the top of the Cymru North table, and seemingly looked like they were due for a return to the top flight.

Flint do have two games in hand over the Seasiders, but they have lost both home and away to the league leaders. Most recently in late February, losing 0-1 to Prestatyn at Bastion Gardens, to give Prestatyn one hand on the league trophy. Nevertheless, they do have a game advantage over third placed side, Colwyn Bay, who are currently just two points behind Flint. Although the team to watch out for are Powys-based side, Guilsfield, who are six points behind Flint in fourth position, but with two games in hand over the second placed side.

Cae-y-Castell - FlintshireWith top spot evading them once again, it’s not through lack of effort from Flint, who look on course to beat their points tally of last season (58 points from 30 games) having 52 points from 24 games. In addition, they have the second-best attack and defence in the league having scored 61 goals and just conceding 24 goals. The Silkmen’s best results came in two 7-0 victories over Llangefni Town and Ruthin Town respectively at Cae-y-Castell.

[NOTE: https://www.faw.cymru/en/news/club-licensing-appeals-body-decisions/ ]

Just as it seemed Prestatyn would gain promotion, in late April 2020, they were denied a Tier 1 licence from the Football Association of Wales (FAW), due to their TV gantry apparently not being to the required standard, as seen in the link above. Whereas Flint Town United have indeed received a Tier 1 licence after a successful appeal to the FAW. As a result, should Flint finish in the top two positions in the Cymru North (providing the season restarts and/or eventually concludes), it will be the Silkmen returning to the top flight for the first time since 1998, rather than champions-elect Prestatyn Town. Should the season be concluded on a points-per-game (PPG) average, then Flint would still gain promotion as they would have a higher PPG average than Guilsfield regardless if Rhyl results are counted or voided.

Current scenario:

Flint Town United = 52 points / 24 games = 2.17 PPG
Colwyn Bay = 50 points / 25 games = 2.00 PPG
Guilsfield = 46 points / 22 games = 2.09 PPG

With Rhyl’s results potentially voided:

Flint Town United = 49 points / 22 games = 2.22 PPG
Colwyn Bay = 47 points / 24 games = 1.96 PPG
Guilsfield = 43 points / 21 games = 2.04 PPG

Buckley Town NewBuckley Town are towards the wrong end of the table, and battling against relegation to the third tier of Welsh football once again. Last season, the Claymen achieved a league finish of eighth position – an impressive result considering they were newly promoted from the Welsh National League. However, this season has been tougher (second season syndrome perhaps?) for the side from Globe Way, and found themselves in thirteenth position, but having played the fewest league games of everyone in the league so far (just 21 games). This meant they were just two points ahead of the four relegation spaces at the bottom end of the table.

Since Rhyl’s apparent demise due to financial problems, Buckley’s security in the Cymru North has improved with one of the original four relegation spots now removed. As a result, they are now six points ahead of Porthmadog in the final relegation spot, and have three games in hand over the western side. Nonetheless, if Buckley are to survive in the league, they need to score more goals in their league games. From their 21 games, they have just scored 25 goals, making them the second-worst scorers in the league (just ahead of Llangefni Town with 23 goals to their name).

Globe Way - FlintshireIf the situation was applied, where points-per-game would decide league positions for the season, then Buckley would be clearly safe from relegation whether Rhyl’s results counted or not. The Bucks have a better PPG than Porthmadog, Llangefni Town and Ruthin Town currently, whilst they would have a better PPG than Porthmadog, Llangefni and Llandudno if Rhyl’s season was completely voided. Llandudno potentially suffering the most, having gained six points from their two games against Rhyl, although it would still be Porthmadog suffering relegation alongside Corwen and Llanfair United.

Current scenario:

Llandudno = 28 points / 23 games = 1.22 PPG
Ruthin Town = 28 points / 25 games = 1.12 PPG
Buckley Town = 24 points / 21 games = 1.14 PPG
Llangefni Town = 22 points / 26 games = 0.85 PPG
Porthmadog = 18 points / 24 games = 0.75 PPG

With Rhyl’s results potentially voided:

Llandudno = 22 points / 21 games = 1.05 PPG
Ruthin Town = 28 points / 23 games = 1.22 PPG
Buckley Town = 24 points / 20 games = 1.20 PPG
Llangefni Town = 21 points / 24 games = 0.88 PPG
Porthmadog = 18 points / 23 games = 0.78 PPG

 

 

Welsh National League

WNL

Premier Division

Castell Alun Colts – 16th

Holywell Town – 2nd

Mold Alexandra – 5th

Rhydymwyn – 11th

Saltney Town – 7th

 

2019-20 WNL Premier Table at Halt
The 2019-20 WNL Premier Division table prior to the halting of the season. [IMAGE: WNL Website]
Holywell Town Badge

In the third tier of Welsh football, there are five Flintshire-based sides competing in the northeastern Welsh National League Premier Division. Currently Holywell Town are the best performing Flintshire-based team in the league. After being heartbreakingly relegated on the final day of the final Cymru Alliance season, they were naturally considered one of the favourites to return straight back to the second tier, and they have certainly lived up to the billing. They are currently just three points behind the league leaders Cefn Albion, but have three games in hand over the Cefn Mawr based side.

The Wellmen started the season very brightly having found themselves undefeated for their first sixteen league games, winning thirteen of them. Although in their last match before the postponement of the season, their unbeaten run was ended when they lost 0-1 to Cefn Albion, to allow their title rivals to recapture top spot. Despite this, they are the second highest scorers in the league (with 62 goals) with Mark Connolly (12 goals) and Jake Cooke (11 goals) the top scorers for the Wellmen. However, they clearly have the best defensive record in the WNL, having just conceded a miserly 8 goals in 17 league games. Only two of those goals have been conceded at Halkyn Road!!

Mold AlexMold Alexandra are another of those clubs who were expected to do well, and are fighting for the league title as they too also have three games in hand over Cefn Albion. However the Alex are nine points behind the league leaders in fifth position but are four points ahead of Brymbo in sixth spot. They have a home form comparable to that of Holywell (7 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss at Alyn Park), but their away form has been worse by losing an additional two games ensuring they have earned 36 points from their campaign so far. Last season’s fourth-placed side can still make an impact in the league, but will require Holywell and Rhostyllen to slip up in their league games, if they are to improve on last season’s league placement. Certainly their recent form would suggest improvement, as they had earned 13 points from their last six games (third best form in the league)

Saltney TownIn seventh position, and six points behind Mold Alex, are Saltney Town. The Sandy Lane side have had a solid defense this season, much better in comparison with Cefn Albion, Mold Alex and Brymbo above them, although they have scored considerably less than the top six teams. From their 20 league games, they have scored 39 goals, which is the seventh highest in the league, so they are at least playing to expectations. Being on 30 points means that promotion is beyond the Bordermen this season, and they need another 19 points from their last ten games, if they are to equal last season’s point tally. It is also very tight between seventh and tenth, with only three points separating Saltney and Llanuwchllyn, meaning the midfield battle is going to be an interesting one.

Rhydymwyn FCRhydymwyn are currently in a secure eleventh position in the table (as in the form guides also) – an ideal position for the newly promoted side. Although they are seven points behind Llanuwchllyn with 20 points, and just two points ahead of the 2019 WNL Division One champions, Plas Madoc, in twelfth spot, they certainly have the best goal difference of the bottom six clubs with -13. Plus they are well clear of the relegation spots to WNL Division One, meaning this season is already a good one for Rhyd. They would also be involved in the final WNL Premier match before the season halt, losing 2-3 to nearby rivals, Mold Alex at Alyn Park. Matt Gilsenan and Matthew Hill got the goals for the away side, whilst Lee Jones, Kevin Day and Rhys Nash scored the three for the Alex.

Castell Alun Colts v2Finally languishing at the bottom of the table is Castell Alun Colts. After being promoted as WNL Division One runners-up last season, the Hope-based side had ‘hoped’ they would have a good season to consolidate their position in the third tier. However this season has been a nightmare for the Colts. Struggling with injuries and personnel numbers throughout the season, Castell Alun have lost 21 of their 22 league games, and see them rooted to the bottom of the table, with relegation guaranteed. They are the joint-worst goalscorers in the league with 19 goals (with Nathan Davies scoring eight of them this season), and clearly have the worst defence in the league, having conceded a very porous 79 goals. The nadir of the season being a 0-12 defeat to Holywell Town at Halkyn Road in late November, although their young goalkeeper played very well despite the scoreline.

However the Colts have seen performances improve in recent games, and saw them earn their first (and only) point of the season so far. In early February, after 19 consecutive defeats, they managed a fantastic 2-2 draw with Mold Alex away from home. Harry Brown and Matthew Sutherland getting the goals for Castell Alun. In addition, they are just a point behind Brickfield Rangers, although they have played five more games than the Clywedog Road outfit.

 

Premier Division League Cup

Alyn Park - FlintshireIn the WNL Premier League Cup, Mold Alex are the only Flintshire side to have confirmed their place within the final four of the competition after defeating Castell Alun Colts 7-0, and overcoming a strong FC Queens Park side by a scoreline of 2-1. Both victories came at Alex‘s Alyn Park ground. Connor Kendrick and Danny Warren getting the goals for the home side against Queens Park. In the semis they could potentially face Holywell Town, should the Wellmen overcome Llay Welfare in their postponed Round 2 match. They started the competition in impressive form, demolishing Chirk AAA by eight goals to nil at Chirk’s Holyhead Road ground. Ben Brierley getting a hat-trick for Holywell in the early December cup match.

Saltney Town - FlintshireSaltney Town could also qualify for the semi-finals if they manage to overcome Plas Madoc in their upcoming Round 2 match. They overcame a determined Llanuwchllyn, after the Lakesiders switched the cup tie to Saltney’s Sandy Lane ground. Saltney went 3-1 up with goals from Rabih Jumaa, Adrian Callaghan and Jake Johnson. However the away side would not concede defeat and scored two late goals to send the game into extra time. Danny Burgess would score the deciding goal in the fourth minute of extra time to send the Bordermen through to the next round.

Dolfechlas Road - FlintshireAs mentioned previously, Mold Alex heavily defeated fellow Flintshire side, Castell Alun Colts, 7-0 to book a safe passage into Round 2. Henry Carver and Connor Kendrick weighed in with two goals apiece with additional goals from Lewis George, Danny Wynne and Kevin Day. Rhydymwyn also fell at the first hurdle in the League Cup despite taking the lead against Cefn Albion. Matthew Hill gave Rhyd the lead, before Adam Davies scored to level the score at 2-2, but the home side would be defeated 2-3 by Albion, who have subsequently progressed to the semi-finals.

Round 1

Saltney Town 4 – 3 Llanuwchllyn (AET)
Mold Alex 7 – 0 Castell Alun Colts
Rhydymwyn 2 – 3 Cefn Albion
Chirk AAA 0 – 8 Holywell Town

Round 2

Mold Alex 2 – 1 FC Queens Park
Llay Welfare vs. Holywell Town
Plas Madoc vs Saltney Town

Semi-Finals

Mold Alex vs. Llay or Holywell
Cefn Albion vs. Plas Madoc or Saltney

 

Division One

Halkyn & Flint Mountain – 6th

Hawarden Rangers – 1st

Mynydd Isa Spartans – 8th

New Brighton Villa – 3rd

 

2019-20 WNL Division One Table at Halt
The 2019-20 WNL Division One table at season’s halt. [IMAGE: WNL Website]

Hawarden RangersIn the fourth tier of Welsh football, there are currently four Flintshire-based teams in the WNL Division One table. One of them is leading the WNL Division One table, with Hawarden Rangers on top with ten wins from twelve league games, and 30 points accumulated. After being relegated from the WNL Premier last season, they are aiming to return back to the third tier after one season away. The league championship is looking more certain as Rangers are nine points clear from Coedpoeth United in second position. In addition, they are the highest goalscorers in the league (57 goals) with the league’s top goalscorer, Thomas Bridges scoring 18 goals for them, and Hawarden have the second best defence in the league (15 goals).

New Brighton VillaNew Brighton Villa are currently in third position, 9 points behind Hawarden Rangers. They are in the collection of five teams who all have 21 points so far, although Villa have played more league games than the other four teams, and are in a disadvantaged position currently. In addition, they also have the worst form in the last six games when compared with the other four teams, meaning fifth position could be a realistic position for them at the moment. Nonetheless, they are certainly doing better than last season, and look to improve on their eighth place finish in the 2018-19 season.

Halkyn and Flint Mountain FCNewly promoted, and newly named, Halkyn & Flint Mountain are situated in sixth position in the league, five points behind the group with 21 points. They are having a standard season in their first season in Division One, having won five, lost five and drawn one, in their eleven games this season. James McGlone being the top scorer for the club, having scored eight goals for the Mountain in the league. In addition, they are also one of the in-form sides in the division, having acquired 13 points from their last six games.

Mynydd Isa SpartansThe lowest Flintshire side in the league is Mynydd Isa Spartans, who positioned in eighth position in Division One, but have played the fewest games in the league. They currently have earned 12 points from their nine games, meaning they are 4 points behind Halkyn & Flint Mountain. Curiously, the Spartans have only won once at home this season, and are undefeated in their away games. They have double the points of Overton in eleventh place, and 15 points clear from the bottom spot, which is occupied by Johnstown Youth.

 

Division One League Cup

Estadio de Mark Lopez - FlintshireIn the WNL Division One League Cup, only New Brighton Villa fell in Round 1, losing on penalties to Lex XI after a 3-3 epic encounter. Lex went 2-0 up, before Villa fought back through goals from Aaron Davies, James Beck and an own goal to lead 3-2. However in the sixth minute of injury time, they conceded a dramatic equaliser from Jack Southwell to send the tie into extra time and eventually penalties. Lex’s goalkeeper, Jamie Griffiths, was in inspired form to save two penalties in the shootout to send his team into Round 2.

Argoed Sports and Social - FlintshireMynydd Isa Spartans and Halkyn & Flint Mountain managed to get through Round 1, with the Spartans demolishing Johnstown Youth 11-1, whilst Mountain received a bye into the next round. Sadly both teams would not be reaching the semi-finals as they both lost their respective cup games. Mynydd Isa fell to a single goal away at Coedpoeth, whilst Halkyn & Flint suffered a 1-5 defeat in the Eisteddfod town. James McGlone getting the only goal for the away team as they crashed out of the league cup.

Gladstone Playing Fields - FlintshireIn the semi-finals, Llangollen will face Hawarden Rangers, who overcame Overton Recreation and Cefn Mawr Rangers to reach the last four of the league cup. Matt Armstrong and John Platten scored Rangers’ goals against Overton, whilst Tom Bridges and Kamie Brailsford scored for Hawarden in the ‘Rangers clash’ against Cefn Mawr. Should Hawarden manage to defeat Llangollen, they will face either Coedpoeth or Lex XI in the final.

Round 1

Hawarden Rangers 2 – 1 Overton Recreation
Mynydd Isa Spartans 11 – 1 Johnstown Youth
New Brighton Villa 3 – 3 Lex XI (3 – 4 on penalties)
Halkyn & Flint Mountain received a bye

Round 2

Coedpoeth United 1 – 0 Mynydd Isa Spartans
Hawarden Rangers 2 – 1 Cefn Mawr Rangers
Llangollen Town 5 – 1 Halkyn & Flint Mountain

Semi-Finals

Llangollen Town vs. Hawarden Rangers

 

 

Welsh Alliance Division One

Welsh Alliance Icon

Greenfield – 6th

 

2019-20 Welsh Alliance Division One Table at Halt
The 2019-20 Welsh Alliance League Division One table at the season’s halt. [IMAGE: Welsh Alliance Website]

Greenfield BadgeGreenfield are currently in sixth position in the Welsh Alliance Division One table, but are within the close-proximity pack of five teams who are situated near the top of the league. Only 4 points separate Greenfield from Glan Conwy, who are in second position. The Flintshire-based club also have four games in hand over the second placed side, although have played a game more than Denbigh Town and Llanrwst United, just above Greenfield in third and fourth places respectively.

From their eighteen league games, the Bagillt Road outfit have won eleven of their games, and drawn two, meaning they have accumulated 35 points so far, although 11 points behind the runaway leaders Holyhead Hotspur. Greenfield have also earned 13 points from their past six games, having won four and drawing one of their games, with their form the same both home and away. Sam Jones being their top scorer in the league, having scored 11 goals so far this season.

Bagillt Road - FlintshireIn the Cookson Challenge Cup, Greenfield started off their cup challenge against St. Asaph City in October, where a 71st minute strike from Sam Jones was the deciding factor in the tie. In the second round, they went away to Llanberis, where it would be another close encounter. Again Greenfield came out on top by scoring the match’s only goal of the game, this time coming from Dean Hyland. This would set up a tie in early February against the league leaders, Holyhead Hotspur. Despite Ryan Jones scoring a leveller after Greenfield had conceded after seven minutes, they were unable to reach the final of the cup as Cory Jones scored a second for Hotspur, and confirmed Holyhead’s place in the final.

In the Mawddach Challenge Cup, Greenfield have been rampant in their goal scoring away from home. Firstly they travelled all the way to the Llŷn peninsula to face Division Two side, Pwllheli. Despite the journey, which is one of the longest in the league, Greenfield got a comprehensive 6-1 victory, with Sam Jones getting four of them. The high scoring continued in the second round, when they defeated Mynydd Llandegai 5-1. A brace from Dan Henley, and further goals from Sam Jones, Sion McHugh and Dean Hyland ensured a path to the third round, where they are scheduled to play the Anglesey-based side, Gwalchmai, at home.

Cookson Cup

Round One: Greenfield 1 – 0 Saint Asaph City
Round Two: Llanberis 0 – 1 Greenfield
Semi Finals: Greenfield 1 – 2 Holyhead Hotspur

Mawddach Challenge Cup

Round One: Pwllheli 1 – 6 Greenfield
Round Two: Mynydd Llandegai 1 – 5 Greenfield
Round Three: Greenfield vs. Gwalchmai

 

 

North East Wales League

NEWL Logo

Caerwys – 4th

Mold Town United – 8th

Penyffordd Lions – 3rd

Sychdyn – 5th

 

2019-20 NE Wales League Table at Halt
The 2019-20 North East Wales League table at the season’s halt. [IMAGE: NE Wales League Website]

The North East Wales League is the fifth tier league which covers Flintshire, Wrexham and eastern Denbighshire. This season the league has nine sides competing in northeastern Wales’ lowest league in the Welsh football pyramid, with four of them based in Flintshire.

Penyffordd LionsThe best performing Flintshire-based side are Penyffordd Lions, who are currently in third position, six points behind the league leaders, Brymbo Victoria, but with a game in hand over the Vics. In addition, the Lions are in the inform team in the league having won five of their last six games and have accumulated 27 points from their fourteen league games so far. Their excellent form and title challenge was suddenly halted by a heavy defeat to Brymbo Vics, losing 1-5 at The Crick before the season was suspended. The league leaders ended Penyffordd’s seven game winning run, with Ben Hughes getting the consolation goal for Penyffordd.

Caerwys FCA position and a further five points behind the Lions are Caerwys. They have played the fewest games in the league so far (playing only 12 games), and so have opportunities to catch up on the leading pack. Under their manager Jordan Hadaway (who is considered to be the world’s youngest manager of a senior team), they are currently second in the form book, having earned 13 points from their last six games. After a sensational start to the season, Wys struggled throughout the autumnal months, especially in November when they lost all their games. However they have since improved in form, inflicting Brymbo Vic’s only defeat at their home this season.

CPD SychdynIn fifth position, and just three points behind Caerwys, are Sychdyn. In their first season after having to resign as defending champions before the start of the 2017-18 season, this season was always about consolidation and they have achieved that. Middle in the table, with a middling form of six wins, six losses and one draw from their thirteen league games, and earning just seven points from their last six games. Curiously they have won more games away from home this season, and have the third-best defence in the league, having conceded just 22 goals from their thirteen league games.

Mold Town UnitedFinally, the lowest Flintshire-based side in the Welsh football pyramid is Mold Town United, who are positioned second-from-bottom in eighth place. A disappointing position considering they finished in third position in the NE Wales League last season. They are 4 points behind Acton FC in seventh place and seven behind Sychdyn. Mold’s second team has had a very weird league campaign as they have scored 52 goals (joint third highest) but have conceded 46 goals (second highest) meaning their games have been entertaining, goal-fests this season. In January alone, they lost 3-5 to Caerwys, 2-5 to Borras Park Albion and 3-4 to Penyffordd Lions! They also started the season with a 5-5 draw with Brymbo Victoria, and put 17 goals past Bellevue in early October. If you want goals, check out a Mold Town United match!!

 

 

Welsh Cup

Welsh Cup Logo

Previous Flintshire Winners:

  • Connah’s Quay & Shotton FC – 1929
  • Flint Town United – 1954
  • Connah’s Quay Nomads – 2018

Alas there would not be a fourth Welsh Cup win for a Flintshire club this season, with interest from the county ending in the quarter finals of the competition. Ironically it would be the two Flintshire clubs who had previously won the national cup, who got the furthest in the competition. The 2018 cup winners and 2019 finalists, Connah’s Quay, exited the competition by the hands of Cardiff Met. George Horan gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at half time, but second half strikes from Chris Baker and Eliot Evans sent the Archers into the final four of the national cup competition.

Flint’s dream of reaching the semi-finals (and potentially appearing in their first final since winning the cup in 1954) were ended by fellow Cymru North side, Prestatyn Town. Substitute Jack Kenny scoring the decider in the cup tie, to end Flint’s superb cup campaign. Certainly they achieved one of the cupsets of the tournament, beating Bala Town 2-0 in the Third Round. Goals from Callum Bratley and Andy Brown knocking the 2017 Welsh Cup winners out of the contest. They also won the local coastal derby in the Second Round, beating Greenfield 3-1 at Bagillt Road. All the goals coming in the first half, with Callum Brately, and a brace from Nathan Brown gave the Silkmen the advantage, before Sam Jones reduced the arrears soon afterwards.

Welsh Cup TrophyGreenfield would achieve a good cup result of their own, beating Mid Wales League Division One side Caersws in the First Round. A goal from Connor Hughes, and another two from Sam Jones, giving Greenfield the advantage in the tie. However the surprise package of the tournament has been Mold Alex, who reached the Third Round of the Welsh Cup. They scored 8 goals in all three of their games against Castell Alun Colts, Waterloo Rovers and Llanrug United to set up a tie against the cup holders, The New Saints. Despite a spirited and courageous performance at Park Hall, their cup journey ended with a 0-9 defeat.

Also acknowledgement must be given to Mynydd Isa Spartans who defeated Denbigh Town in the Second Qualifying Round of the competition. Denbigh, who had been relegated from the Cymru Alliance last season, and finished runners-up in the league in 2018, were defeated 3-2 on their own patch by the fourth-tier Flintshire-based team. Kallum Pierce was the Spartan hero, scoring a hat-trick at Central Park to ensure Mynydd Isa progressed to the First Round.

First Qualifying Round – North

Brickfield Rangers 2 – 7 New Brighton Villa
Castell Alun Colts 4 – 0 Llangollen Town
Cefn Mawr Rangers 5 – 4 CPD Sychdyn
Mynydd Isa Spartans 5 – 1 Llanuwchllyn
Penycae 6 – 0 CPD Caerwys
Rhydymwyn 3 – 2 Hawarden Rangers (AET)

Second Qualifying Round – North East

Denbigh Town 2 – 3 Mynydd Isa Spartans
Saltney Town 1 – 3 Rhydymwyn
Mold Alex 8 – 0 Castell Alun Colts
Greenfield 4 – 3 Plas Madoc
Holywell Town 8 – 2 New Brighton Villa

First Round – North

Blaenau Ffestiniog 0 – 2 Buckley Town
CPD Dyffryn Nantlle Vale 2 – 0 Rhydymwyn
Flint Town United 9 – 0 Four Crosses
Greenfield 3 – 1 Caersws
Holywell Town 2 – 3 Llandudno
Mynydd Isa Spartans 3 – 5 Llanfair United
Waterloo Rovers 1 – 8 Mold Alex

Second Round – North

Greenfield 1 – 3 Flint Town United
Holyhead Hotspur 0 – 3 Buckley Town
Mold Alex 8 – 1 Llanrug United

Third Round

Pontardawe Town 3 – 1 Buckley Town
The New Saints 9 – 0 Mold Alex
Abertillery Bluebirds 0 – 3 Connah’s Quay Nomads
Colwyn Bay 1 – 0 Airbus UK Broughton (AET)
Flint Town United 2 – 0 Bala Town

Fourth Round

Flint Town United 3 – 2 Colwyn Bay
Connah’s Quay Nomads 8 – 0 Afan Lido

Quarter Finals

Connah’s Quay Nomads 1 – 2 Cardiff Met University
Flint Town United 0 – 1 Prestatyn Town

 

 

Welsh League Cup

Previous Flintshire Winners:

  • Connah’s Quay Nomads – 1996

Welsh League Cup TrophyThe format of the Welsh League Cup (known as the sponsored name of the Nathaniel MG Cars Cup) changed this season in keeping with the organisational change at the top of Welsh football. Every team in the Cymru Leagues, from the Premier and North & South leagues (i.e. the top two tiers) now compete in the League Cup, with the Premier clubs coming into the tournament in the Second Round.

The Nomads would reach the final of the League Cup although they almost came a cropper in the Third Round, when they faced Cymru North side, Guilsfield. At the Guils’ Clos Mytton ground, Connah’s Quay opened the scoring through Jamie Insall, but conceded a Callum Bromley goal, which ultimately sent the game to penalties. Fortunately for the away fans, they came out on top during the spot-kicks, winning 5-3 to progress to the quarter finals, to face Flint Town United.

Flint managed to upset the odds in the Third Round when they dumped Airbus out of the League Cup, before getting defeated in their second Flintshire derby of the tournament to Connah’s Quay. After the Nomads defeated Bala in the last four, they faced the surprise finalists the Cymru South side, STM Sports at the neutral venue of Latham Park in Newtown. A headed double from Michael Wilde gave Connah’s Quay a 2-0 lead at half time, before an exceptional volley from Jamie Insall early in the second half ensured Nomads won their first League Cup since 1996, and bring the trophy back to Flintshire.

First Round

Buckley Town 0 – 2 Rhyl FC

Second Round – North

Rhyl FC 0 – 2 Connah’s Quay Nomads
Airbus UK Broughton 4 – 0 Llanfair United
Flint Town United 5 – 1 Porthmadog

Third Round – North

Guilsfield 1 – 1 Connah’s Quay Nomads (3 – 5 on penalties)
Flint Town United 2 – 1 Airbus UK Broughton

Quarter Finals

Connah’s Quay Nomads 4 – 1 Flint Town United

Semi Finals

Connah’s Quay Nomads 2 – 0 Bala Town

Final

Connah’s Quay Nomads 3 – 0 STM Sports

 

 

FAW Trophy

FAW Trophy Logo

Previous Flintshire Winners:

  • Mold Red Stars – 1894
  • Caergwrle Wanderers – 1895
  • Queensferry Ironopolis – 1896
  • Buckley Engineers – 1906, 1907 & 1911
  • Flint Town United – 1948
  • Connah’s Quay Nomads – 1953 & 1981
  • Rhydymwyn – 1995 & 1996
  • Holywell Town – 2011 & 2015

The FAW Trophy is the second oldest national competition (after the Welsh Cup) and is open to all Welsh leagues clubs who compete in the third tier in the pyramid and below. There has been some Flintshire success in this competition recently with Holywell Town winning the cup twice in 2011 and 2015, whilst Rhydymwyn reached the final in 2005. Sadly there wouldn’t be another Flintshire winner of the trophy this season.

FAW TrophyMold Alex, who have established themselves as a good cup team this season, got the furthest in the cup, being the only Flintshire side to reach the Fourth Round. They beat fellow Flintshire sides, Saltney Town and New Brighton Villa to set up a tie against Mid Wales League Division One side, Radnor Valley. Sadly for Alex, they found themselves 0-2 down at half time, but managed to fight back to 1-2 and then 2-3 during the second half. Alas they conceded a fourth goal but scored a late consolation goal to lose the game 3-4 in a very competitive match.

Four Flintshire sides fell in the third round, with two-time FAW Trophy winners Holywell Town, losing 2-4 at The Crick after finding themselves down to 10 men for the majority of the heated cup encounter. Greenfield lost at home to fourth-tier Cefn Mawr Rangers in a cupset, whilst Mynydd Isa Spartans took eventual finalists Llandudno Albion into extra time. Alas for the Spartans, the home side would grab the crucial goal to win the match 3-2. Finally New Brighton Villa were knocked out by Mold Alex, losing 1-4 to their local rivals.

First Round – North

Bangor 1876 5 – 1 CPD Sychdyn
Caerwys 2 – 3 Nefyn United

Second Round – North East

Saltney Town 1 – 3 Mold Alex
Brickfield Rangers 4 – 2 Rhydymwyn
Acton FC 2 – 8 Mynydd Isa Spartans
Hawarden Rangers 1 – 7 Holywell Town
Overton Recreation 1 – 4 New Brighton Villa
Rhos Aelwyd 2 – 0 Castell Alun Colts
Greenfield 3 – 2 Penycae (AET)
Halkyn & Flint Mountain 1 – 2 Denbigh Town

Third Round – North

Brymbo 4 – 2 Holywell Town
Greenfield 0 – 2 Cefn Mawr Rangers
Mold Alex 4 – 1 New Brighton Villa
Llandudno Albion 3 – 2 Mynydd Isa Spartans (AET)

Fourth Round – North

Radnor Valley 4 – 3 Mold Alex

 

NEWFA Cup

NEWFA

Previous Flintshire Winners:

  • Buckley Rovers – 1975
  • Buckley Town – 1980, 1981, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010 & 2013
  • Mold Alex – 1986, 1987, 1988 & 2015

The North East Wales FA Challenge Cup is a regional cup competition which is open to all clubs who are affiliated to the NEWFA organisation – so all teams located in northeastern Wales. Since its inaugural final in 1970, Flintshire-based sides have naturally done well in this competition with Buckley Town having won the trophy seven times since the turn of the millennium, most recently in 2013. Mold Alex won the trophy in 2015, whilst Holywell Town have reached the final in 2016 and 2018, but losing to Cefn Druids and Ruthin Town respectively.

Lon yr Ysgol - FlintshireIn this season’s competition, there are three Flintshire-based sides in the last four of the competition, with a guarantee of a Flintshire club being in the final with Mold playing rivals Buckley in the semi finals. There’s a possibility it could be an all-Flintshire final, should Flint overcome fellow Cymru North side (and 2019 finalists) Gresford Athletic in the other semi final fixture.

Some of the highlights from the tournament from a Flintshire point of view have been Buckley’s 2-0 victory over the NEWFA Cup holders, Cefn Druids, Holywell Town’s comprehensive 13-0 beating of North East Wales League side Bradley Park, and Caerwys’ 5-2 extra time victory away at Bala Town! An incredible result for fifth-tier Caerwys there!!

Qualifying Round

CPD Sychdyn 0 – 3 Brickfield Rangers
Rhostyllen 4 – 4 Mold Alex (2 – 4 on penalties)
Penyffordd Lions 4 – 8 Halkyn & Flint Mountain
Rhydymwyn 1 – 3 Plas Madoc

First Round

Bala Town 2 – 5 CPD Caerwys (AET)
Mynydd Isa Spartans 3 – 2 Chirk AAA
Mold Alex 3 – 1 New Brighton Villa
Holywell Town 13 – 0 Bradley Park
Coedpoeth United 3 – 0 Airbus UK Broughton
Halkyn & Flint Mountain 2 – 4 Plas Madoc (AET)
Rhosllanerchrugog 0 – 6 Castell Alun Colts

Second Round

Buckley Town 4 – 0 Corwen
Flint Town United home w/o Mynydd Isa Spartans
Castell Alun Colts 0 – 3 Ruthin Town
Mold Alex 5 – 3 Coedpoeth United
Holywell Town 1 – 2 Gresford Athletic
Brymbo 5 – 3 Saltney Town
Cefn Druids 3 – 0 Caerwys

Quarter Finals

Flint Town United home w/o Plas Madoc
Cefn Druids 0 – 2 Buckley Town
Mold Alex 4 – 3 Brymbo

Semi Finals

Buckley Town vs. Mold Alex
Gresford Athletic vs. Flint Town United

 

 

NEWFA Horrace Wynne Cup

NEWFA

Previous Flintshire Winners:

  • Buckley Rovers – 1974
  • Castell Alun Colts – 1980
  • Saltney CC – 1992 & 1993
  • Mynydd Isa – 2002
  • Penyffordd FC – 2007 & 2010
  • Saltney Town – 2011
  • Aston Park Rangers – 2012
  • Point of Ayr – 2013
  • Penyffordd Lions – 2018
  • Flint Mountain – 2019

Flint MountainThe NEWFA Horrace Wynne Cup is a competition open to NEWFA affiliated clubs who play further down the Welsh football pyramid, and will sometimes also include under 19 teams from the Cymru Premier and Cymru North sides. For the past two seasons, the cup has been won by Flintshire-based sides, with Penyffordd Lions winning the Horrace Wynne Cup in 2018, and Flint Mountain (now Halkyn & Flint Mountain) beating the Connah’s Quay Nomads’ under 19s side in the 2019 final.

There is a potential for a second consecutive all-Flintshire final should Mynydd Isa Spartans and Caerwys overcome their opponents of Chirk Town and Borras Park Albion respectively in the semi finals. Both sides having home advantage in their cup ties, should the season restart.

First Round

CPD Sychdyn 3 – 2 Brymbo Victoria
Acton FC 1 – 3 Mynydd Isa Spartans
Flint Town United U19’s away w/o Penyffordd Lions
CPD Caerwys home w/o Mold Town United

Second Round

Penyffordd Lions 0 – 2 Chirk Town
CPD Sychdyn 1 – 2 CPD Caerwys
Mynydd Isa Spartans – Bye

Semi Finals

Mynydd Isa Spartans vs Chirk Town
CPD Caerwys vs Borras Park Albion

 

Conclusion

A massive thank you for reading my blog on football being played in my home county of Flintshire. After having researched the leagues on the many islands around the British Isles, it was nice to come back home and focus on the performances of the Flintshire-based clubs in all tiers of Welsh football. Naturally considering the current situation (at time of writing) where the league is still on postponement due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown, the future of the 2019-20 season is still uncertain. Whether the season will be completed in some fashion, if certain competitions will be voided, or if a compromise will take place to finally conclude the season, we shall see. Either way, I will be interested to see how football in Flintshire shall be affected from this break, and how it will develop in years to come. I hope we’ll see the return of some lost clubs in the future!

Hopefully by reading this blog, it will encourage you to venture up to Flintshire to watch some football once normality returns to the world of football in Wales. There are many excellent clubs here, who will provide a very warm welcome to any visitor who comes to watch a match. Also the county has many interesting sights that will be of interest to potential visitors. Whether it be the sandbanks of Talacre Beach, the history of Flint, Ewloe and Caergwrle castles, the religious history of Basingwerk Abbey and Saint Winefride’s Well, the beauty of the coastal path along the River Dee or up in the Clwydian Range of hills, or seeing the towns of Mold, Flint, Holywell et al, Flintshire has something for everyone.

For more information about my home county, please check out:

http://discoverflintshire.co.uk/

If you have any comments on football in Flintshire, experiences playing, or watching games there, or even if you follow a specific team from my home county, I would love to read about them. Either mention them below in the comments box, send a tweet on Twitter to @The94thMin or put it on my Facebook Page, it would be great to hear your comments. Also if any of you spot any errors in the above information, please let me know and I’ll update the information above accordingly.

Finally, I am currently in the depths of doing a charity challenge of staying sober for the entirety of 2020! It’s not been easy as I have just completed a fourth month (and being stuck indoors) but I am hoping to raise a lot of money for the mental health charity, MIND. So if you would like to see how I am progressing in my challenge, or even be kind enough to add a donation, the link is here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/the94thmin2020 

Stay safe folks!

Diolch!

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