talkSPORT presenter and champion of Non-League football Tony Incenzo is getting to the very heart of the community game with a series of exclusive blogs as he ground hops around grassroots clubs up and down the country.
Get more of Tony's Non-League diary, check out last week's at Lydney Town.
Llandudno 0-2 Gap Connah's Quay Nomads
Giant Hospitality Stadium, Builder Street West, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 1HH
Sunday, November 13th 2016
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
A 470 mile round trip for me to recomplete visits to all the grounds in the Welsh Premier League. The league was formed in 1992 and covers the whole of Wales, with qualification to European club competitions. Llandudno is a picturesque town on the North Wales coast.
I went for a walk along the winding seaside pier before the match, only to be physically attacked by three seagulls who stole the sausage roll I was eating.
Football in Llandudno can be traced back to 1878 when a team called Gloddaeth Rovers FC played in the town. Llandudno moved to their current ground in 1991 with floodlights added three years later.
Wales national team manager Chris Coleman officially opened Llandudno’s new £420,000 3G all-weather pitch in August 2014. After winning the Cymru Alliance in 2014/15, Llandudno were promoted to the Welsh Premier League for the first time in their history. They finished third in their inaugural campaign and thereby qualified for the Europa League, losing out to IFK Göteborg of Sweden over two legs in the summer.
Llandudno have worked hard to bring their facilities up to Welsh Premier League standard. Entrance for spectators is via the main club building behind the goal. Their are seated stands on three sides of the 3G pitch.
As with all Welsh Premier League grounds, a TV gantry is prominent on one side.
A bumper 48 page edition, priced at £2. Glossy with good use of photography. Plenty of emphasis on the club’s Academy players.
Connah’s Quay are one of the best sides in the League and raced into an early two goal lead through strikes by Nick Rushton and Nathan Woolfe.
The fixture was watched by a delegation of overseas referees and they were bemused by a couple of bizarre decisions in the second half.
As Llandudno’s official web site reported: “…the most interesting events being Nathan Woolfe of gap Connah’s Quay being allowed to re-enter the field of play for a phase of play after being subbed off a minute earlier, and Danny Hughes of Llandudno being allowed to continue playing for a minute after receiving his second yellow card.”
Meanwhile, the Connah’s Quay website stated: “Nathan Woolfe then came off for Sean Smith, with a communicative mix-up meaning Woolfe re-entered the field for a 30-second phase of play before being booked and leaving the field…a final blow to Llandudno being a delayed red card for Danny Hughes in the 91st minute after two previous yellow cards.”
The incident involving Woolfe was absolutely extraordinary. Home fans in the main stand yelled: “They’ve got TWELVE players on the pitch ref!” until play was stopped and the mistake rectified.
I chatted with Llandudno’s hard-working commercial manager Sam Williams, who spoke with great pride about how far his club have progressed in recent years and their future plans.
For a full match report and more about Llandudno, head to their website
Tony Incenzo is a reporter for talkSPORT Radio and Sky TV. You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo