Today was a long and arduous trip to Connah's Quay for the Welsh Cup tie between Connah's Quay Town, from the Welsh Alliance Division 2, and Kerry, from the Mid Wales League Division 2.

Connah's Quay Town play at Dock Road, which, as the name suggests, is right on the banks of the River Dee. The club was only formed as recently as 2009 when, as the match programme explains, the players and staff broke away from Connah's Quay Nomads.

Prior to that they made up the junior teams of the Nomads and the nucleus of the side has been together since under 8's. The team finished runners up in the Clwyd League in its debut 2009/10 season and gained promotion to the Welsh Alliance for 2010/11, where they finished a creditable 3rd.

The ground is also used by the Nomad's academy, so the links have not completely been severed, and is a pretty basic set up. The pitch is fully enclosed by some sort of plastic panelling but there is no hard standing or any cover from the elements, though there is a refreshment portacabin in which you could shelter if needs be. I imagine on a cold winters day it would be a very bleak setting.

The pitch looked very uneven but both teams managed to cope admirably with it and a good match was produced. Kerry took the lead after 16 minutes when Chris Carroll sprung the offside trap (incidently, there were no proper linesmen today) and was left left one-on-one with the goalkeeper, who he had no problems in rounding before rolling the ball into the empty net.

This was as good as it got for Kerry as Town played their way back into the game and began to dominate. Just after the half hour mark Phillip Killa hit the post with a fierce shot and Robert Raggett blasted over with the goal at his mercy. Town weren't to be denied much longer and on 43 minutes Raggett cut in and played the ball into the feet of Carl Wilson who fired home the equaliser.

In stoppage time at the end of the half, Town grabbed the lead when a cross into the box was bicycle-kicked into the goal by Ben Howarth, an absolutely superb finish. You could visibly see the Kerry heads drop.

The second half was a case of how many would Quay score as it was virtual one way traffic. They only added one more goal in the 67th minute when Howarth blasted home a free kick from 25 yards. Kerry did have a golden chance to drag themselves back into the game with 5 minutes to go but Dyfrig Rees side footed wide with an open goal at his mercy. This summed up Kerry's afternoon but overall there can be no complaints with the result.

I thought I was on course for my lowest attendance today as 20 minutes into the game the crowd consisted of 9 people. However, maybe thinking it was a 3pm kick off, a further 5 turned up, then another two at half time. That means my lowest still remains 13 (which was at Furness Rovers).

The Flintshire Bridge which features prominently on the club badge

Ben Howarth (8) heads wide, but he will make up for it with a superb brace

Substitute Jed Rodway on the attack for Kerry

Goalscorer Carl Wilson fires another shot at goal

Look, no flag!

Saturday 13th August 2011
Welsh Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Connah's Quay Town 3-1 Kerry
Attendance: 16 (h/c)

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