A Grassroots View From The Touchline. Pencoed Athletic BGC v Vale United

It was a very strange opening to match day today. Instead of my usual hearty full-on Breakfast, Mrs L had prepared me a mango and avocado smoothie with chia seeds… I know, shocking. We had the usual ritual where she asks who we are playing, where at and then wishes me good luck. I knew she never listened because today I told her we were playing Cowdenbeath at the Vetch. Of course, we weren’t, we had close neighbours Vale Utd make the short trip to Stadio Velindre.

We usually kick off around two, therefore the first major shock of the day was when it was discovered that Leeds United was not on the telly this weekend. I am not sure if we are right, but we are sure this was the first game between Pencoed and Vale United in any competitions.

In blustery conditions the pitch was perfect and yet we still have some complaints from some of our young lads. Bit bobbly in the goalmouth and the grass is a tad long. Grass, grass you say? You’re lucky you’ve got bloody grass I tell them. Anyway, Blancheys teams always try to play from the back and we expected that today. They were comfortable in possession without troubling us too much in the final third. We looked a bit laboured at times, and our football was loose. Half time was probably a relief to everyone watching. In fact, one of our ex-players headed to the pub at HT as he couldn’t see any goals coming. He does that every week though…

The boys enthralled after that first-half performance

The manager, Pow made a change at half-time bringing on the evergreen Richie Lewis and he made a huge difference. The second half was a different ball game as we were sharper and quicker when in possession. We scored two quickfire goals through Townsend and Delve and were in control, only to concede a rather poor goal as our keeper miscontrolled a backpass and the Vale sub robbed him and stroked home. We regained our two-goal advantage as skipper, Evan Price headed home from three inches, what a finish…

We peppered the away goal missing some good chances but scored two more through Townsend and a Richie Lewis pen. A 5-1 scoreline sounds an emphatic victory, but fair doos to Vale they made it tough for an hour, and I’m sure they’ll be thereabouts in there league at the end of the season. A word for the ref, Matthew John as well, who had a great game. I cannot recall him getting a decision wrong (in my view). Well done sir.

We move on and Wednesday sees the arrival of Ely Rangers to the hallowed turf of Velindre Road. The playing surface is so good (ignore the ignorance of youth), that we are considering a name change to Axminster United.

I’m still a bit confused about some of these new laws at the minute. Not that I knew the old ones to be fair. I am now sat watching John Wick sipping a merlot with my dog taking up most of the seat but much happier than Wednesday night. My wife just said how was the Vetch and were Cowdenbeath any good?

For those interested, I watched Dr Pimple Popper on Wednesday before bed. Put me right off dessert. Thanks to all those who turned up today and to all the volunteers of grassroots football.

See you all soon.

Pete and Wurly.