Gwent County League
Tuesday 28th March 2017
Kick Off 18.00 Actual 17.56 !
Albion Rovers 5 Cwmbran Town 1, attendance 30
@ Kimberley Park
No admission or programme.
These two clubs have played at higher levels of the Welsh Pyramid than they currently ply their trade, the top division of the Gwent County League being the fifth level of football in Wales. I never got to visit Albion Rovers during their days in the Welsh League, whilst Cwmbran Town have played in the League of Wales, as it was known when it was formed, being the inaugural champions, thus going on to represent Wales in European Competition.
When I arrived at the ground at 17.35, I was surprised to see both teams on the pitch, although half a dozen home players were either forking the pitch, or sweeping standing water from the near goalmouth. This came as a complete surprise to me, as I had not encountered any rain en route.
The Referee had completed his inspection and said that as long as the water was cleared, then the game would go ahead on the proper pitch. If not, it would take place on a parallel pitch that had no facilities whatsoever, although they would need to get clearance from the Gwent County League Secretary to do this, as it is a league requirement that all pitches must be railed off. Ten minutes later, the nets were up and we were good to go…..on the proper pitch.
Albion were the better team throughout and were certainly not flattered by the result. If it wasn’t for a 12 point deduction, they would be well in the running for the league title and would be 4th in the table, three points behind the teams in 3rd and 2nd, with a game in hand on both and just a further 2 points adrift of leaders Malpas United, but with 4 games in hand ! Unfortunately, the points loss leaves them in ninth place.
Having kicked off some four minutes early, followed by a quick halftime turnaround, this was all over by 19.34, before it became too gloomy and an excellent start to the early evening kick offs where the clubs without floodlights are now able to schedule midweek games.