The Recreation Ground

Ground No. 153
Visited - Saturday 5th April 2008
Result - Caersws 1-1 Llangefni Town
Competition - Welsh Premier League
Attendance - 248

A free weekend and the prospect of no new League grounds to visit was a situation that was becoming more and more frequent as I was nearing the end of the 92, so looking down the fixture lists, there was one game that stood out more than most – Kettering vs Telford to see who would most likely win the Conference North title. It sounded a good game and a ground that I’d wanted to visit for a while, but when looking at the train timetables, it seemed that there was work on the track and nothing going there that weekend, which was quite frustrating, meaning I had to look elsewhere.

Wolves had been due to play Cardiff at home, but with their FA Cup semi-final appearance then the match had been postponed, but keeping the Welsh theme going, I looked towards the League of Wales and settled on probably the most Welsh sounding fixture of the day – Caersws vs Llangefni Town.

The journey into mid-Wales was relatively easy, direct from Wolverhampton and taking just over 90 minutes, arriving just before midday. Their club guide proudly proclaims Caersws as a village side, and once there you can really see why.

Situated in the middle of Powys, several miles west of Newtown with the River Severn traversing through, then it really is quite a rural setting, with just a couple of pubs, several shops and a butchers in the High Street, and not a lot else. The ground is a mere 5 minute walk from the centre, located on the edge of the village and is quite odd in terms of access, in that the road leading to it is a very narrow, small subway beneath the railway line. Coaches and large vehicles were forced to park the village side of the railway tracks and their passengers made to walk the couple of hundred yards to the ground on the other side.

Once under the railway line then the ground opens up in front of you, with two football pitches side by side and tennis courts completing the scene that is surrounded by mountains and hills on all sides.

On the far side is a small seated stand, with an even smaller terrace adjacent, whilst the rest of the facilities, including a large refreshment hut and the changing rooms, are situated on this side as well. The only other structure at the ground is the press box, which sits in the centre of the near side, whilst both ends (and the near touchline) provide hard standing for the spectator, with a slight slope in the near corner which gives an elevated view of the pitch.

Having taken a few pictures, I went back into the village and found a nice little pub called the Red Lion, spending the next few hours there watching the Portsmouth–Albion FA Cup Semi-Final (Portsmouth won, much to my delight!), before it was time to head back to the ground.

As is normal with Welsh League games, the match kicked off at 2:30pm, with Llangefni dominating the opening proceedings. Neither side were doing well in the league, sitting second and third off bottom with a combined goal difference of -73, and to be fair, it really showed! The first half was an awful game to watch, with few chances of note until in the 28th minute, Caersws striker Neil Mitchell managed to round the visiting goalkeeper only to see his effort cleared off the line. It was the visitors from North Wales that had the next real opportunity, and they took the lead from it, with Darren Thomas showing a good bit of skill after being played in from the left he strode confidently into the box and slotted the ball home into the bottom right corner.

After half time, the game continued in the same manner with neither side really dominating until with 15 minutes left on the clock the home side equalised. On the break, the ball was played over from the right hand side to the far post, where substitute striker Jon Slater volleyed the ball home on the turn to make it 1-1. He had a chance to win all three points late on but put the ball over the bar from a corner, leaving the points to be shared. 

Having left the ground, I made my way back to the station only for the train to be delayed, but it turned up eventually and I got home for about 7pm, slightly later than planned after further delays on the journey.

Overall, it had been a fairly good day out. The ground is very scenic, tucked away in the valley of the hills and mountains that surround it, but with little development and quite a poor game, then not the best trip ever. One thing that I will say though was that everyone at the club (and in the pub in the village) seemed very friendly, with the lady in the clubshop (which twinned as the refreshment hut), giving me an extra pin badge free of charge whilst buying one as a souvenir, so expect a warm welcome if you do make the journey into mid-Wales!

Welcome to Caersws

Entrance to the ground beneath the railway track

Pay Box

The Near End

The Main Stand

The Near Side

The Far Side

Terrace adjacent to the Main Stand

The Far End

Ready for Kick Off

The Near End

The Near Side

Hills in the Distance

The Main Stand

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