Druids look ancient

22 01 2008
Newi Cefn Druids 1 Bangor City 6
Welsh Premier League

For some reason I’d never been to Plaskynaston before tonight. It’s one of the oldest grounds in the world and looks it; urbanisation hasn’t touched it. Quaintness does have an appeal though. It is certainly has more appeal than those off the peg numbers that Premiership clubs seem fond of.

Dewi gave me a lift from Chester. It was a drive into the unknown after the turn off by Wrexham. All dark country roads and small signposts. The ground appeared through a floodlit haze like Brigadoon. Then it was gone. We’d missed the sharp turning. After negotiating the bend a farmhouse came into view, it appeared to be the clubhouse, how lovely.

You can tell a lot about a club from their shop. Bangor City – well run, fully stocked, polite staff, efficient service – nice club. Druids – nice people, ramshackle shipping container, find the odd gem – scruffy but wholesome club.

As I gazed at my new badge I heard a shrill whistle, the teams were ready to take to the pitch. Bangor’s players appeared in the farmhouse doorway, so they were the changing rooms aha!! The players approached the field of play in a torrent of moving flesh; there was a slope from the changing room to the pitch.
Some grounds have these little quirks. However one persons’ quirk is another’s breach of health and safety legislation. Imagine if a small child had been carrying a cup of tea across the entrance to the pitch just as Lee Webber was hurtling in that direction, they’d be helpless. “I was at the football match and I was walking across the tunnel entrance and then this player came hurtling towards me, I got 3 thousand pound and I didn’t even have to go to court” In these litiguous times such a scenario is surely something to bare in mind. It’s also the duty of concerned citizens to highlight such potential deathtraps

The game was unbelievably easy. Although after a couple of minutes I thought I might have been a little rash in betting with some children, I had to give them £30 if Bangor lost. Fortunately my money was safe from about about 9 minutes onwards; Stotty scored. Just under 2 minutes later Stotty scored again and splattered us with mud as well. Sarge made it 3-0 with a long-range chip. At this point the goalkeeper began to look a bit helpless; he failed to get more than a weak touch on the ball as it descended. Stotty made it 4-0 with a shot that beat him at the near post. Les made it five after another trademark run and shot.

Bloody hell, this was almost liquid football. Every shot seemed to be going in, the movement and passing was sublime, the execution was perfect. We even had a goal disallowed. I felt sorry for the keeper. He looked so forlorn and muddy trudging off, sound of the crowd laughing at his attempt to “save” Sarge’s chip spinning around his head. Poor chap. 5-0 at half time.

The clubhouse was behind a rather strange looking stand, named after somebody prominent in the Ancients’ history. The ambience was very relaxed and friendly. We were jovial and I dare say that this had something to do with the fact that we were all confident of seeing a score in double figures.

It didn’t turn out that way, as is the want of best laid plans. Almost the first piece of action was a Druids goal. We continued with our slick movement and precise passing. Les went close before we scored again, Stotty!!! Unfortunately, it was another disallowed goal. One of the legion of Wrexham old boys sprang into action; Karl Connoly flattened Sion. Les took issue with this so they fouled him later. During the foul he held his arms out, as if to say “Look I’ve been sinned against here, my soul is clean”, the Druids continued with the attempt to put him in the mud, he didn’t succomb.

Stotty did actually score his fourth. I thought now the prudent time to take the flag down; a crowd of urchins circled it. After I’d rebuked their taunts we were all subjected to their intelligence. With the game sewn up it became annoying that we couldn’t bask in another fantastic performance without the scallies disturbing our collective reverie.

We all left with a quiet glow of satisfaction and the not so quiet sound of scally threats. One loudmouth even threw a stone at Dewi’s car, when we stopped to check the damage the assialant had fled. Never mind, there was no damage and we’d won.
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