PICTURE by Wynne Evans shows James Ryan, who was on target twice for Bryngwran Bulls in their 6-2 win over Mynydd Tigers.
WITH football once again having to be put on hold due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, I thought I’d give followers of the blog a throwback to simpler times.
And this one is a real throwback – to the first ever weekend of Anglesey League football I covered on AFEFootballNews (September 16, 2017).
Here’s how that particular Saturday panned out …
Arriva Bangor 2-5 Valley Athletic
As I recall that season, Valley were on fire for the best part of half a season and were top of the AL pile at Christmas before they faded away a little in 2018 and ended up third. Arriva on the other hand, were playing their first season in Saturday football, and went on to win two cups come May time.
Captain Matty Jones was at the double and goal machine Scott Hughes, who recently signed for tier 4 side Glantraeth after amassing more than 140 goals in the AL for Arriva, were on target for Kevin Jones’ side that day. However, it was the formidable Valley side that came out on top in the end – a Dave Webb double alongside an own goal and goals from Mike Williams and Barry Roberts were enough to hand Barry Rowlands’ side the victory.
Bryngwran Bulls 6-2 Mynydd Tigers
The Bulls ended up runners-up in the league come the end of the 2017/18 season, with the Tigers beating them 4-2 on the final day to secure the title. Richard Owen’s side however did beat Mark Hughes’ team in two cup finals.
The season started out with the Bulls destroying the youthful Tigers side however. Following a disappointing 3-2 defeat at the hands of league newcomers Caergybi a week earlier, the home side wanted to make sure that there was no mistakes this time around.
It couldn’t have got off to a worse start though as Mynydd charged into a 2-0 lead after just 15 minutes after a Arron Roberts penalty and an own goal put the visitors into a commanding lead.
Bryngwran woke up after that second goal went in and started giving Mynydd some serious problems on the attack. Their breakthrough finally came on the half hour mark as John Earnshaw swept the ball in from the left and Tony Meyer smashed the ball in from close range. Two minutes later, they were level as James Ryan scored with a great finish.
On 38 minutes, the turnaround was complete when Matty Roberts finished neatly from an Arwyn Williams ball. 3-2 at half time and the ball was well and truly in Bull’s court.
The home side’s momentum carried through into the second half and the fourth goal came on 55 minutes when James Ryan struck his second of the match with a superb left footed strike from 18 yards out.
Mynydd’s number 9 saw red, he was sent off for a stamping on one of Bryngwran’s players.
After this, the Bulls were well and truly in charge of the game and the chances kept coming. Substitute Barry Edwards got off the mark with a good finish to make it five. Edwards continued to be a nuisance and scored two more goals, but both were ruled out for offside.
Matty Roberts, completed the rout on 82 minutes after he finished neatly once again to bag himself a brace and the Man of the Match award.
Caergybi 4-1 Pentraeth Reserves
Caergybi were newcomers to the AL in this season but had a host of experienced and talented faces playing for them including prolific goalscorer Gary Jo Owen who finished as the league’s top scorer with 58 goals. Pentraeth Reserves were managed by Justin Gallagher – now manager of Gaerwen.
Caergybi continued their good form as they put Pentraeth Reserves to the sword at Millbank.
The visitors almost scored on five minutes with Tom Adamek’s header flying just over the bar. Just minutes later Dafydd Edwards (Caergybi) forced a fine save from Pentraeth goalkeeper Barry Walker.
To everyone’s surprise, it was the visitors who took the lead when Jack Diamond scored. Elliot Patterson equalised for Caergybi on the half hour from a well placed free kick.
It could have been even worse for Caergybi, but for a fine save from Jamie Kiely who denied a good attempt just before half time. Minutes later though, Jack Roberts scored Caergybi’s second goal to put the home side 2-1 up at the break.
In the second half, the chances continued. Man of the match Konner Druce, who later signed for Valley and ended up scoring a total of 23 goals for both clubs, narrowly a missed goal with a header just going over the bar, but on 53 minutes he managed to score Caergybi’s third goal. He was denied another goal soon after due to a great save from Walker once again.
Caergybi midfielder Luke McKittrick was unlucky not to score as his great effort hit the post on the hour mark. Pentraeth’s Jack Diamond also saw his effort bounce back off the bar with about 70 minutes gone.
Konner Druce bagged his second goal about 10 minutes from time to finish the game with a 4-1 victory for Caergybi.
The win saw Caergybi overtake Mynydd Tigers in the league to jump into second place, level on points (15) with Valley Athletic who were top.
Llandegfan 2-3 Llangoed & District Reserves
Despite this close scoreline, Llandegfan endured numerous double-figure defeats during their comeback season, in which they finished bottom of the pile on 3 points (having beaten Pentraeth Reserves). Llangoed’s Reserves (now defunct) were a mixed bag and would often perform well against the ‘big’ teams in the league.
Funnily enough, Llandegfan and Llangoed played out a 3-2 win in the latter’s favour just three weeks ago too!
In this one, Llandegfan fell to their fifth defeat of the season at home to Llangoed and Dist. Reserves despite a spirited performance.
Having been beaten 15-0 and 14-0 in recent weeks, the home side certainly showed HUGE signs of improvement this time around and in truth, were unlucky not to come away with a point in the end.
For much of the first half at Lon Ty Newydd, the two sides were matching each other very well in every position on the field and chances were few and far between.
Two lapses in concentration were all it took for Llangoed striker, Arwyn Morris, who lives in Llandegfan, to bag a brace however, the second goal coming seconds before half time.
However, if the visitors thought that the league’s basement side were just going to sit back and take it in the second half, they were wrong.
A spirited performance along with a goal each from new signing Callum Glaves and player-manager Jordan Love saw Llandegfan pull the game back to 2-2 and the determination from the home side was clear to see.
Ryan Williams led the defensive line well throughout the game and the influence of captain Cerwyn Griffiths and fellow central midfielder, Ashley Jones, was clear to see as well.
Unfortunately, they conceded a late, late winner from hat-trick hero Arwyn Morris who struck a beautiful volley into the top right hand corner to bag Llangoed and District’s first three points of the season.