With the recent spate of cancelled games in the Welsh National League (WNL), it was nice to get one that was being played, while at the same time and more importantly, fitting in with my schedule at The New Saints FC.
Living in Wolverhampton, it’s a long way to travel to the likes of Pen-y-Cae just for a game but if I’m in the area anyway then it’s convenient indeed. With everything aligned nicely, I made my way from Park Hall en route the ten miles or so to Afoneitha Road, the home of Pen-y-Cae FC who play in the WNL Premier Division.
Outside of the top flight of Welsh football – the national Welsh Premier League that TNS play in – the tiers are regionalised. The WNL is focused on the Wrexham area, which as the largest town in north Wales and the fourth most populated area in the nation, is certainly more than able to support one of the leagues.
The first thing you notice on arrival at the Pen-y-Cae ground is the slope of the pitch. Running from the entrance down, it didn’t prove to be an obstacle to the visitors Lex Glyndwr though, who in spite of having to play against the slope, went into the break 2-0 to the good.
The opening goal came halfway through the first period as a ball in from the right was met by a good header. The second goal was again a header, this time from a left wing cross that gave the visitors a comfortable cushion at the break.
Using the pitch to their advantage in the second period, the third goal for Lex came as result of a chip over the keeper. If that was looking signed and sealed then the fourth certainly delivered the points, as a great ball down the middle resulted in the ball being lifted over the goalkeeper and again hitting the back of the net.
Two more were added in the final ten minutes as firstly a deflected shot and then an error from the keeper resulted in another chip into the net.
The final score of 6-0 to Lex Glyndwr highlighted their ability to create more chances, and more importantly, to take them. The home side lacked that little extra but if there is one positive it’s that they never gave up.
The heavy rain prior to kick-off only had a slight affect on the movement of the ball and both sides adapted well to the conditions, although it’s true to say that it was more of an uphill struggle for Pen-y-Cae than it was for the visitors.