Cymru Alliance
23 September 2006
Gresford Athletic 0 Glantraeth 2

Against a Gresford side that started brightly Glan soon took control and the fluency with which they moved the ball around was a treat to watch and served notice to their rivals that they do not intend to give up their League Champions tag easily.

With Neil Hughes unavailable it was manager Paul Whelan that took over in goal. The manager also made some tactical changes, playing three at the back with Emyr Rowlands and Darren Jones given more licence to get forward. The changes also pushed Paul Rowlands into a more central midfield role where he really shone alongside Nigel Barry and Mark Thomas.

The first real threat of the game came after 13 minutes from Gresford as Kevin Hope fired over after good work from the lively Phil Jones but it was Glantraeth that took the lead eight minutes later as Rob Williams, currently in a rich vein of scoring, again made finishing look easy as he took possession of Paul Rowland’s left wing cross before calmly lifting the ball over the advancing keeper.

With half-an-hour gone Paul Whelan’s credentials as a stand-in keeper hadn’t really been tested but he wasn’t found wanting when a Paul Rowlands pass was intercepted leaving Craig Williams with a clear run on goal but the big man was out quickly and pulled off a fine save to deflect the ball away from the danger area.

Another quality goal on the stroke of half-time had the travelling support drooling as Richard Owen’s clever reverse pass to Mark Thomas completely fooled the home defence and the Glantraeth midfielder took full advantage, curling the ball into the top corner with keeper Gareth Rowland having no chance.

Paul Whelan was called upon to make a second save six minutes after the break as he did well to block the ball as Jon Taylor cut in from the left but in truth he was having an easy afternoon as Glan continued to control the game. On the hour mark Mark Thomas headed over from a good position after Paul Rowlands had created the chance and four minutes later Rob Williams broke through Gresford’s rather naïve offside trap and only a good save from Gareth Rowland prevented a further score.

Substitute Mark Owens was soon involved, having one shot saved and then linking up well with Mark Thomas who fired in a powerful shot that passed just over. In the five minutes added time the visitors came close to making it three as first Mark Thomas missed with a great chance then an effort from Paul Rowlands from a good position didn’t really test the keeper.

Glantraeth: Paul Whelan, Emyr Rowlands (Martin Bohana 90), Darren Jones, Warren Gibbs, Gareth Owen, Nigel Barry, Rob Williams, Mark Thomas, Richard Owen (Mark Owens 56), Simon Kay, Paul Rowlands.