Match 21: 07/03/2015. Newcastle Emlyn 2-0 New Quay. Costcutter Ceredigion League Division One.

Saturday 7th March 2015 (7.30pm).
Newcastle Emlyn 2-0 New Quay
Costcutter Ceredigion League Division One.
Parc Emlyn, Newcastle Emlyn.
Attendance: 194 (Including 2 PCSO’s that walked in at half time)

I’d been on the road for just about 12 hours when I pulled into the car park at Newcastle Emlyn’s Parc Emlyn ground. I’d made the mistake of not turning left at Synod Inn (despite having made the journey myself on a previous holiday without a Sat Nav). I trusted the Sat Nav application on my works mobile too much. It took me off the A487 a few miles further down the road near Brynhoffnant and along 30 minutes of testing country lanes, before emerging conveniently one right hand turn away from the ground.

DSC_0249

There’s a country market at Parc Emlyn, every Friday.

It’s safe to say that I arrived in Newcastle Emlyn fairly bruised and broken. After spending the best part of a day hopping around Ceredigion, most of us were looking a bit worse for wear. A few people I’d spoken to at the earlier Aberaeron match spoke of skipping this game, opting instead for an early night or just having a drink or two in Carmarthen town where their hotels were located.

Admission at Parc Emlyn was a very fair £3 and as with all today’s matches, a programme cost £1.

DSC_0251

Newcastle Emlyn offered great value for some excellent entertainment.

Parc Emlyn, on my first gaze, looked to be a very nice ground for this level of football. Newcastle Emlyn, having played the biggest part of their most recently history in my home domain, the Welsh Football League. One of the entry requirements is the need for a stand to house spectators as well as dugouts. This meant their ground was actually well and above the ground requirements for the Ceredigion League.

DSC_0245

Under the floodlights, Parc Emlyn actually looked lovely. I felt a little sad, well I wouldn’t say sad, the ground just reminded me a lot of the grounds I visit back home. It reminded me a lot of Afan Lido’s home ground.

The ground played host to a lovely surface, which looked beautiful under the Parc Emlyn floodlights. It also housed a small but modern stand in the middle of the pitch, which could probably hold the best of 200 or so spectators, if not more. The club also had a pretty impressive and modern looking clubhouse which many of my groundhopping colleagues were putting to good use. The club put on a barbecue near the clubhouse, enticing spectators with pork and apple burgers and the alluring smell of barbecued onions. Unfortunately not being a meat eater and despising the taste and crunch of onions I chose to pass on food for the time being. Making my home on the side of the pitch behind the New Quay bench.

DSC_0212

Tonight’s lineups.

I must admit before you go any further, the neutral fan law definitely did not apply to this match. Having holidayed in New Quay pretty much every Summer for the last 25 years, and even twice a year in the last few years, it’s fair to say I’m a supporter of New Quay FC. Despite having drank many a fine beer in the town’s Football Club, most recently in January, whilst watching Cardiff City on their big screen, I’ve sadly never watched New Quay play until tonight, so I have high hopes. This despite Newcastle Emlyn being a very strong side, who clearly have ambitions of making an immediate return to the Welsh League.

DSC_0293

The main stand at Parc Emlyn.

Occupying 4th place in a league of 12 teams, their league position doesn’t immediately suggest an immediate return to the Welsh League. However when you consider that they have a mighty 8 games in hand over current leaders St. Dogmaels and only sit 14 points behind them, it becomes more apparent that Newcastle Emlyn are serious title contenders this season, only second placed Cardigan, with a mere 4 games in hand over St. Dogmaels offer a similar threat.

DSC_0294

Inside the main stand.

New Quay sit in and around mid table. Llanboidy and Maesglas’s poor showings this season have meant that with two months to go in the regular season both sides have already fallen victim to relegation to Division Two. This means that sides without a serious title attack in place have little to play for in the closing stages of the season, short of pride.

DSC_0240

New Quay come out the traps the better of the two sides and are unlucky not to open the scoring when Ian Hamilton in goal for Newcastle Emlyn, fumbles a shot that goes just wide.

One of the things I notice in the initial exchanges is the quality of football on offer. Both sides play beautiful, attractive and flowing football and it would probably be no exaggeration to say that these two have been the best footballing teams we have witnessed on this long day.

DSC_0218

Phil Furney comes close for Newcastle Emlyn after 10 minutes with a lovely shot that looks to be destined for its home in the top corner of the goal, only a late New Quay defensive head stops the imminent opener.

Moments later down the other end of the pitch New Quay’s David Evans takes his chances with a lovely shot from the edge of the box. The shot beats Ian Hamilton in the Emlyn goal but doesn’t beat the post, as the ball rolls just wide.

DSC_0228

Sadly, New Quay are unable to take anything from the game and become the only team I’ve watched today not to score a goal. It’s a unfair statement accolade really, as Newcastle Emlyn have been far and away the best footballing side I’ve watched all day, even when they are not running in top gear. The three points for Newcastle Emlyn puts them in a great position and ensures that they maintain their assault on the single promotion place.

DSC_0233

David Evans proves to be quite a flair player for New Quay as he shows some lovely skill throughout the first half and is unlucky on a number of occasions not to get on the score sheet.

DSC_0256

New Quay defend pretty resolutely, but their defences are finally broken on 33 minutes when a beast of a shot from Pete Almond from 25 yards out beat the goalkeeper. Newcastle Emlyn take the lead into half time.

A couple of police officers turn up at half time, not for any sinister reason, just to see what’s going on at the ground. They mix with ground hoppers and take interest in finding out what has brought spectators from far and wide to the match.

As the second half starts for some reason or another New Quay are very slow to the race and are lucky not to concede a couple of goals in the first few minutes of the half. A great opportunity was presented to Newcastle Emlyn substitute Tom Green who was unable to capitalise on his chance, six yards from goal.

Newcastle Emlyn put the ball in the back of the net again on 55 minutes through a beautiful long range shot by Oli Evans, who unfortunately for him, was judged to be offside when he picked up the pass from his team mate. The referee therefore, rules his goal offside.

DSC_0290

New Quay finally awake on the hour with a free kick from a good position just outside of the box. Unfortunately the effort by Mark Davies is fairly poor, going about five foot over the bar.

Newcastle Emlyn make sure of the three points with about twenty minutes to go when Jake Harris got his head to a crossed free kick. He makes no mistake and heads home, beating the New Quay goalkeeper who can only watch the ball nestle in the back of the net.

DSC_0258

As the game gently comes to a close, it’s worth pointing out a very good performance by Steven Hicks of Newcastle Emlyn. Hicks puts in a no-glory performance but gets all of the basics right.

Sadly, New Quay are unable to take anything from the game and become the only team I’ve watched today not to score a goal. It’s a unfair statement accolade really, as Newcastle Emlyn have been far and away the best footballing side I’ve watched all day, even when they are not running in top gear. The three points for Newcastle Emlyn puts them in a great position and ensures that they maintain their assault on the single promotion place.

I walk away from Parc Emlyn and take a moment in my car to collect my thoughts on a superb day of sampling some of the football Ceredigion has to offer. I’ve had a great time. I make the decision to head home to my bed in Pontypridd tonight and return again in the morning for the last two games of the hop.

DSC_0233

The drive home is longer than I remember it being, I make the mistake of getting caught behind the official Groundhop bus as it clumsily works its way through the country lanes that line the route to their hotel in Carmarthen. Working my way back in a convoy meant I was able to mentally switch off, at least from the navigational aspect of the journey. So I turned TalkSport on and listened to a call-in show. The usual type of callers came on – Why Man. United won’t win the league again, why Chelsea will win the league for the next five years, why Liverpool will never win the league under Brendan Rodgers. As I drove away from my fourth game in a day, deep in the middle of nowhere, somewhere between Newcastle Emlyn and Carmarthen in an area I believe to be Cynwyl Elfed, I couldn’t help but feel more detached from the Barclays Premier League than I ever had in my life.

After a quick stop at a McDonalds just off the A48 in Carmarthen for a Latte, which despite being a coffee snob I’d rank as a 8/10, I crawled into my bed in Pontypridd at about 1am, ready for a 7.55am wake up call for more Ceredigion groundhopping in the morning.

My Man of the Match: Steven Hicks of Newcastle Emlyn put in a brilliant but no-nonsense performance.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in ceredigion league, new quay, newcastle emlyn and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Match 21: 07/03/2015. Newcastle Emlyn 2-0 New Quay. Costcutter Ceredigion League Division One.

  1. Pingback: Match 75: 08/03/2015. New Quay 4-1 Felinfach. Costcutter Ceredigion League Division One. | my year in the welsh league

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s