Magpies Hold On
Points sheared in Mynydd Llandegai
On what was the first home fixture for Mynydd Llandegai F.C. this season, we have to comment on the quality of the home sides pitch, in past years this fixture would have fallen to the weather, especially on the rain that fell in North Wales over the last 48 hours, but with the new drainage system installed the pitch played perfectly.
During the pre game warm up it was clear that both teams would have to battle with the wind as well as each other. Goalkeeper Adam Walters having to practice his goal kicks from the opponents half.
Barmouth shaped up with several changes to the team following the defeat to Llanrwst Utd. With no less than 7 players unavailable Manager Paul Lewis brought back in Ben Fisher on the left side of midfield, Nathan Cottam and Nathan Porter on either side of the defence and Andrew Papirnyk playing just behind Joe Ephraim up front, Captain Joey Jones alongside Jono Harrison in the hart of defence. The only players to keep their places from the week previous were Paul Lewis and Jake Jones in the middle, Geth Evans on the right hand side of them, and Adam Walters in goal.
The game got underway with Captain Joey Jones electing to play with the wind after winning the toss, a decision that would both benefit and hinder the Magpies. From the start it was a huge factor in distrusting the game, Adam Walters in goal found it hard to place goal kicks, and outfield players finding it impossible to judge the flight of the ball. In the first 20 minuets Barmouth we’re in full control, putting the home side under pressure with Joe Ephraim holding the ball up for his young teammates to exploit the Mynydd defence. After this the home side started to mount a sustained effort, but Adam Walters was more than a match, saving several efforts at close range in a 5 minuet spell that saw the lads concede 4 corners and a similar number of throw-ins, Captain Joey Jones and Jono Harrison working effectively to block, tackle and thwart the onslaught. It was after a move by the home side on 39’ the game would see the first goal, hard work by the Barmouth midfield saw Ben Fisher win the ball on the edge of the centre circle, with players peeling off either side to take the defenders away, he slotted the ball staight through the Mynydd defence straight into the path of Geth Evans who took a single touch before firing the ball past the keeper. Following the goal Barmouth had several chances that didn’t come to anything before the Referee blew his whistle for half time.
The second half got underway with Paul Lewis and the lads playing into the wind, which hadn’t eased from the beginning of the match. The visitors carried on their pressure from the first half, Andrew Papirnyk coming close with an effort saved on 49’, Joe Ephraim also coming close with an effort just wide moments later. The match would become harder for the Magpies on the hour, a free kick awarded on the half way line for a inocuse challenge, the Referee was called over to his assistant, and from the insuing conversation the Referee turned to Nathan Porter and brandished a Red Card. Following his dismissal Paul Lewis acted quickly to move Ben Fisher to left back, and move Andrew Papirnyk to replace him. With a man down Barmouth had to defend for their lives, and they would be caught out on 69’ when a Mynydd move that looked several yards offside was put in the back of the net, Captain Joey Jones appealed to the officials but his appeals were not heard. With there backs to the wall, Barmouth dug deep, putting everything on the line, Adam Walters performing save after save, Jono and Joey putting in tackles over and over, the boys managed to get to the end of the game with the score still 1-1.
After the game Manager Paul Lewis was full of praise for his teams performance, a draw that was full of positives, a much improved performance from the home defeat to Llanrwst Utd, a great worked goal by Geth Evans and all the lads showed great character and resilience to hold on in the end against a good side.
Adam Walters would receive Fans Man of the Match for his tremendous display in goal, multiple acrobatic saves, great distribution and his commanding presence in the Penalty area. Well done Adam. A mention has also got to go to Captain Joey Jones, who is developing into the foundation of this team, a performance today that saw him tirelessly but himself in the right place, whether it be blocking a shot or putting in a late challenge.
Barmouth will be back in action next week when they Llandudno Junction visit The Wern Mynach.