I first visited Airbus in season 2003-2004 when they were on their way to winning the Cymru Alliance title, and promotion to the top flight. They are now an established Premier League side, having been there continuously since that promotion, though they have had a few flirtations with relegation during that period!
The ground is unrecognisable from my first visit, when it was essentially a railed off pitch with a dodgy looking seated stand on wheels. The ground is now fully enclosed with hard standing, has two seated stands and retractable floodlights. The club shop also has to be amongst the best around too. A most impressive set up.
The game itself was a terrific advert for Welsh Premier League football, swinging one way then another. This was not what I expected given that both teams were the bottom two at the start of play, Airbus also not having registered a win this season.
Newtown were easily the better the side in the opening period of the match but they failed to convert their chances. The turning point came when Gareth Partridge missed a sitter from 4 yards and Airbus promptly went up the other end and scored, Ryan Edwards volleying at the far post from a corner (32). Ian Sheridan doubled the Wingmakers lead (40) when he headed home from another corner.
Airbus continued where they left off but they found Newtown goalkeeper Nick Thomas in fine form. They were nearly left to rue these missed chances as Newtown dragged themselves level. Nick Rushton scored from a corner (66) before Jamie Price hit home a superb free kick (71) to equalise. At this point Airbus could've crumbled, but Sheridan grabbed the winner for the homesters with 7 minutes remaining. Danny Grannon was red-carded for Airbus, but despite the Robins' late pressure they held on for their first win of the campaign.
|The (retractable) lights come down|