Day: October 6, 2011

Welsh Cup: Merthyr Town vs Barry Town

Old rivalries were renewed in the first round of the Welsh Cup as Merthyr Town met Barry Town, a fixture which has not graced any competition these two teams have competed in for a number of years. Merthyr have not competed in this competition for some time due to the FAW excluding teams that play in the English pyramid system. For 2011/12 though, the FAW extended an invitation to those clubs, but only Newport County, Wrexham and Merthyr Town accepted.A single train journey separates these two towns, the line that the train careers down was once a symbol of how both Merthyr and Barry thrived during the industrial revolution. Akin to the ultimate demise of the coal and iron industries though, both of these clubs have suffered hardships in recent years. Merthyr Tydfil FC was liquidated at the end of the 2009/10 season due to mounting debts; the club had attempted to meet its bills by hosting friendly matches against Cardiff City and Swansea City during the season. These fixtures did little to stave off their financial difficulties and saw them issued with a winding-up order from HMRC. The club reformed as Merthyr Town FC and found themselves three divisions below the Southern Football League Premier Division, where they had finished the 2009/10 season. As Penydarren Park was an asset of the club, they had to find a new...

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Neville On The Box: The Verdict, So Far

Eyebrows were raised when Gary Neville joined Sky Sports as a summariser during the summer Mark Critchley has been running an eye over his performance in front of the cameras so far, and finds that he is holding his own, even though his performances so far have been somewhat removed from the fire-brand expectations that were placed on his shoulders. During this summer’s riotous political climate, it proved important that all of Britain’s law-abiding citizens and honourable armchair generals ‘stand firm’ in a literal as well as figurative sense. For one’s eyes to glaze over, upper lip to curl around fledgling facial hair and hips to sway as if channelled by either Oxide or Neutrino was fishy – behaviours reminiscent of those adolescents whom had just ransacked our national stockpiles of trainers, immodium and value rice. Yet one man did not listen. One man did not stand firm. One man showed all the aforementioned suspect manners and more on television, hotstepping his way through this season’s first Monday Night Football, plain refusing to stand the fuck still. Calls for rubber bullets need not have been made, though. Gary Neville is nothing a nail gun couldn’t fix. That or a few weeks media training. Early performances, particularly his vertical debut during the Manchester City vs Swansea fixture, showed Neville take to broadcasting like a duck to corrosive acids – no...

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Hayes Drops His Eggs On a Double or Nothing

Another loss, this one midweek to Cheltenham Town in the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, suggested a continuation of the poor form Wycombe Wanderers would be in the offing. Granted, this was a rather changed side from the one last playing in the league with considerable minutes given to 15 yr old Jordan Ibe, but the 1-2 reverse marked a third consecutive loss for the Chairboys and five defeats from their last seven competitive matches. Further, while Cheltenham currently play a division below Wycombe, it wasn’t too long ago–say, last season–when Wycombe was in their same league, beating them 2-1 both times on their way to League One promotion following the 2010/11 season. At the moment, the Chairboys are facing the prospect of rejoining Town back in League Two, currently stuck between not yet playing up to the level of their competition and possibly now shorn of sufficient confidence to knock out a side they did the double on last campaign, even after manager Gary Waddock subbed in the regulars. For some Wycombe supporters, it might feel an eternity ago that Adams Park was playing host to a club like Chelsea FC in the League Cup, as a Paul Lambert-managed side kept the Premiership heavyweights at arm’s length in the two legged semifinal before eventually giving way at Stamford Bridge. The Gregorian Calendar indicates this was but four years ago and...

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