Monday, June 03, 2024

Football recap of the month - May 2024

And so to what will probably be the final monthly recap of a season that started on 1st July last year. (I say probably final, I have no plans to go to any games in June, but I will be watching the European Championships on TV!)

It's been a long, yet very enjoyable season. A full season recap post will follow soon! But in the meantime, these are the games I went to in May.

Game 61: Coventry City 1-2 Queens Park Rangers

My friend Steve drove us to Coventry for this game, which was the last game of the season for both sides. It was my first QPR game since before the pandemic and a new ground for me. Before the match we met up with Kieran, who was in a youth group I used to help with several years ago. He's now chaplain at Coventry City and doing some tremendous work supporting young people through a charity focused on sport. All three goals were in the goal the away fans were standing behind so we got a good view of them all. 

Game 62: Blaenavon Blues 1-1 Caldicot Town

My friend Paul joined me on a sunny day up the valleys for a game in the "heritage town" of Blaenavon. This was Caldicot's last game of the season and the first time I had seen them playing an away game - my second new ground in a row and my 125th ground recorded on Futbology. 

My friend Ben was playing centre back - it was his 33rd game of the season and he scored! I hadn't seen him score before and it took him to a career high total of nine goals for the season. Although, I don't know how much he knew about it really, because the ball looked like it pinged off a couple of players in the box and hit him last. They all count, though!

Game 63: Penrhiwceiber Rangers 3-0 Seven Sisters Onllwyn

Penrhiwceiber needed to get at least a point to become Ardal South West Division champions (overtaking Cefn Cribwr, whose season had already finished). They won without ever really being pushed by Seven Sisters, who only conceded half the number of goals that I saw them concede against Cardiff Draconians last month. 

Steve came with me from Cardiff and we met Sara and Leanne and their twins there. Sara's dad, Nigel, also came to the match. They used to live in Penrhiwceiber, so it was a bit of a homecoming for them. There was pyro to celebrate at the end of the game and we also got to watch the trophy presentation. The twins were rapt watching grown ups spraying each other with prosecco. 

Game 64: Newport City 2-1 Cefn Cribwr

This was the play-off game to decide who would take the other promotion place from the Ardal Leagues. Newport had finished second in the Ardal South East, and Cefn Cribwr had been overtaken by Penrhiwceiber the previous week. The game was held in Penybont's stadium, and given the proximity to Cefn Cribwr, it felt like most of the crowd were supporting them. However Newport scored two good goals to take a commanding lead and despite a late rally it will be Newport in the Cymru South next season. 

It was very hard luck on Cefn Cribwr, who had lost a cup final the previous Saturday, while Penrhiwceiber were taking the championship and promotion spot off them. 

Game 65: Cymru 1-1 Ukraine

And so to my very final game of the 2023-24 season - a women's European Championship qualifying game at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli. This was a new ground for me and my third new ground of the month. Cymru conceded after two minutes due to a diabolical defensive lapse and then struggled to get back into the game. They seemed really out of sorts with wayward touches and misplaced passes aplenty. Overall, it was a very frustrating watch, which made it a bit like watching the men's team!

One nice note was a special presentation before the game to Jess Fishlock, marking her 150th cap for Cymru.

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