With The New Saints’ Welsh Premier League game this week falling on the Friday, that meant I had Saturday free for some groundhopping. Getting back in the early hours from Bala Town, I fancied somewhere local and the destination I chose was Hadley Stadium, where Wonder Vaults FC play their games.
The added attraction was that the club is managed by Lawrence Wilson, who is also part of the management team at TNS Ladies. With the game against FC Darlaston being the final home fixture of the season, it was the last chance – for a few months at least – to visit the ground and add it to the list. In addition, Lawrence took up my offer to interview him post-game, something that developed into a video, which you can view below.
Meeting Darshan Ram, who runs the club, on arrival I asked him if he would like to be interviewed as well. So what was originally a standard chat after the game, evolved both prior to the day and during it, into a much more progressive film, with footage of the match itself. I love that sort of thing anyway. Working in football media is not just a job but a hobby. Never a burden and always a pleasure, I don’t mind a busman’s holiday.
I must say that the welcome I received from the club was superb. From Lawrence, obviously, but also Darsh and the players afterwards. At TNS games, I go on the pitch prior to kick-off filming the players, go in the dressing etc in pursuit of interesting footage and photographs. At Wonder Vaults I felt the same sort of liberty to cover events around the game.
The match itself could have gone either way and as the referee blew right on the stroke of forty five minutes, the deadlock remained unbroken. While both sides looked to create chances in the first half, neither keeper was seriously threatened. What proved to be the only goal of the game was scored in the 64th minute, one that saw the home team celebrating.
A great run from Jamal Jakeman in the box saw him slot perfectly past the keeper, giving Wonder Vaults the lead. FC Darlaston’s task to rescue something from the game was made even harder a quarter of an hour later, when they were reduced to ten men. Courtesy of two yellows they saw the final eleven minutes out – plus almost four added – unable to snatch a goal that would rescue a point.
Wonder Vaults 1 FC Darlaston 0
West Midlands Regional League, Division Two
You can contact Darshan at firstname.lastname@example.org / 07983 625 385