Most people who know me will testify, i'm a groundhopper. Most people who know me may testify i'm slightly mad. Either way, I travel around various football grounds of this island and, sometimes, beyond to watch the beautiful game.
Most of my travels encompass the non-league game and, with my inane ramblings, I will attempt to show you where my travels take me and, also, try to show you that there is footballing life beyond the so-called "best league in Europe"
I hope you enjoy reading!
As I was heading south today to watch Peter Kay in Cardiff, it meant I had a myriad of games in and around the capital to choose from. As I was staying near near Bridgend, Goytre United v Barry Town seemed an obvious choice but on re-scanning the fixture list I noticed it was trophy day in Wales and Risca United, which happens to be en route to Cardiff, were playing a team called Swansea Dockers. Whenever would I watch a team with 'Dockers' in their name? Not in the immediate future, so decision made!
The weather was not good on the way south and the rain was heavy and persistant. A few calls to the secretary confirmed that the game was on, after groundstaff had worked tirelessly to make sure it went ahead, but upon arrival at the ground the referee was doing a very, very thorough pitch inspection. The few fans that had already gathered could see there was nothing wrong, the ball was rolling perfectly but the referee wasn't having it. Maybe HE didn't fancy it? Anyhow, he eventually he declared the game on and I could now relax with a brew (incidently this was the only tie in the south to survive the weather).
Risca United avoided last season's mass re-structuring cull from the Welsh League Division 3 on appeal, indeed it was their appeal that delayed the start of the whole season by a month, however they are currently struggling at the wrong end of the table so perhaps this season it will be results that see them down. Swansea Dockers are flying high at the top echelons of the Swansea Senior League and perusing the programme today, the pen pics indicate a very useful side.
he game got off to a flyer for the visitors, their power and pace catching the Cuckoo's cold, and they were two goals up inside 20 minutes. Kyle Morgan fired home a low shot after 4 minutes then after 20 minutes, he picked the ball up inside his own half, headed towards the Risca goal and the defence parted like the red sea and he continued through to score a superb individual goal. Risca kept going and had a few attacks of their own, only to be thwarted by the Dockers reserve keeper Rhodri Mugford, who also happens to be the club chairman!!
Right on the stroke of half-time, the Dockers conceded a penalty with a clumsy attempted clearance, and the lead is reduced to 2-1 at the break, Andy Gay converting. This could've been a turning point as it totally put a different slant on the respective half time team talks. Risca came out for the second half like they meant business and for the first fifteen minutes they looked more likely to score but, on the hour, a quick Dockers breakaway down the wing was unceremoniously ended in the penalty area and Morgan completed his hat-trick from the spot, via a deflection off the post.
Five minutes later the two goal deficit became three as, when another (stonewall) penalty appeal is refused, the ref's embarrassment is spared when the ball is only half cleared and a shot from Andrew Bonomi makes it 4-1 and it effectively game over. With a few minutes left a Risca striker is hacked down in the box and unbelievebly they are denied a penalty. Whilst the homesters are in the midst of protest, the visitors break, a superb run down the left and an unselfish square pass sets up goal number five, scored by Steven Hughes. Risca, who have never given up, and they do get a late consolation when Mugford twice stops efforts on goal but is beaten by Paul Michael at the third attempt.
Overall though, Risca can have no complaints as Swansea Dockers were much the better side and have to be a good bet to win the trophy. The next round takes them North to Conwy United, so we will have to see what happens at Y Morfa in February.
Andy Gay scores for Risca, from the penalty spot
Kyle Morgan effectively seals the match for the Dockers
Saturday 20th November 2010 FAW Welsh Trophy 3rd Round Risca United 2-5 Swansea Dockers Attendance: 65