The incentive for The New Saints FC, ahead of the trip to south Wales in April, was clear. Win the game and an eighth consecutive JD Welsh Premier League (as it was then) title was secured.
The fixture, against Barry Town United, was always going to be a tough one, especially with The Linnets chasing a European place themselves. They did eventually go on to qualify for the UEFA Europa league, and I went to see them in the home leg against Cliftonville.
That was played at the Cardiff International Sports Stadium, so was another groundhopping tick. I had seen the venue previously, when I had a tour of the wider facilities, prior to TNS FC using the Cardiff City Stadium for a European tie against Denmark’s FC Midtjylland.
Back to the featured game though and it was The New Saints who ran out 4-0 winners on the day. Although the trophy wasn’t presented after the match – that took place at Park Hall at a later date – nevertheless there was plenty of celebrating come the final whistle.
I produced a short behind-the scenes video that you can watch below, which includes the players on the pitch immediately following the match.
It’s always a long journey back, and especially when it’s an evening fixture, I finally get home well into the early hours of the following morning. Needless to say though, that the team bus on the trip back to Oswestry on this occasion was a very happy one indeed.