Where do you start with reporting on a game so full of incident and controversy as this one. The match officials certainly came out on top with some bizarre decisions that in all my years involved I have never come across. Glantraeth dominated the game for such long spells that you wonder how they managed to concede four goals, It can be said that Gresford defended resolutely and at times it seemed every time they did attack they scored. The officials however took centre stage in this encounter denying Glantraeth two goals the first being a blast from a defender (picture of which is on the website showing the ball a it was blasted into the face)of Emyr Rowlands and rebounded into the net only for the official to rule hand ball. The second and most controversial of the lot happened as Gresford cleared a corner it fell to Kevin Roberts just outside the box he cut in and shot from the edge of the area as he hit the ball the Gresford defender who was playing a Glantraeth player onside stepped back into the goal net effectively leaving a Glantraeth player as the last man, up went the linesman's flag for offside as the ball went into the goal. Glantraeth were rightly furious at such a decision especially as the Gresord player received a booking for leaving the field of play, and then re entered the field of play without permission. It was certainly unsportsmanlike like of the Gresford player who was fully aware of what he had done. Paul Whelan's protestations along with the players however fell on deaf ears. What a crucial decision at a stage of the game when Glantraeth were well on top.
Gresford it was who were first to score as a corner taken by Danny Brown sailed over the outstretched hand of Dave Ball into the corner of the net, the Glantraeth custodian claimed he was being fouled but this was ignored by the official. Paul Rowlands then tried his luck from distance from a Rob Williams cross. Glantraeth then got the equaliser after 20 minutes courtesy of home debutant Chris Evans, he cut in and SCHEVCHENKO style hit a shot into the top left hand corner giving Gareth Rowland in goal no chance. Paul Rowlands then hit a snap shot over from a lay off by Craig Roberts. In a rare sortie Gresford's Phil Jones saw an effort pushed just around the post by Dave Ball. Glantraeth were playing some good football spraying the ball around the park but the final touch was at this stage just evading them.On 40 minutes a good delivery by Rob Williams from a free saw Craig Roberts attempt an acrobatic overhead kick which was save well by Rowlands. Rowlands was quick to respond as he dropped a Chris Evans shot and managed to recover as Craig Roberts came in. As the half was coming to a close Richard F. Owen missed a clearance as the ball bobbled on the uneven surface and Phil Jones nipped in and to score 2-1 to the visitors.
Glantraeth came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half, within a minute they had the ball in the net although Emyr Rowlands did not know alot about it as a clearance by a Gresford defender was blasted into his face and rebounded into the net. Glantraeth celebrations were short lived though as the official ruled he had hand balled which was a ludicrous decision to make. Kevin Roberts then hit a long range effort which was saved comfortably. Glantraeth then saw Craig Roberts turn and shoot but the chance rebounded off the post into the arms of Rowlands.In the 56Th minute and completely against the run of play Gresford increased their lead Craig Williams found space and put one just past the outstretched hand of Dave Ball. Kevin Roberts then found Richard Owen with a well taken corner but his header was wide of the post, Good movement involving several players saw Chris Evans fire wide as Glantraeth pushed to find the elusive second goal In the 63rd minute Kevin Roberts scored what looked like a perfectly goo goal only for the linesman to flag that a Glantraeth player was offside, in all the confusion Gresford then broke up field and Stef Edwards drew the keeper before firing into the net for Gresford's fourth of the day. Under the circumstances it could be said that nothing was going right for the home side on the day. Richard Owen had a shot blocked on the line then Rob Williams saw his toe poke put wide by the visiting keepers outstretched foot. The final shot of the game summed everything up as debutant Chris Evans saw his shot rattle the crossbar.
These are the views of myself and not necessarily the views of Glantraeth Football club.
Glantraeth: Dave Ball, Emyr Rowlands, Darren Jones, Carl Thomas, Richard F Owen, Nigel Barry (Cemlyn Williams 58), Rob Williams, Chris Evans, Craig Roberts,, Kevin Roberts (Osian Pritchard 71), Paul Rowlands (Richard Owen 58).