Fellow Yellows – Taff’s Well FC

Welsh Football League, Division 1
Taff’s Well AFC v Goytre FC
Friday, 14th March 2014, 7.30pm
Entrance £5, Programme £1
Distance 154 miles, Attendance 83
Arriving on the other side of Cardiff, I’d no idea what this club had in store for me. In truth, previously I had no idea the place even existed but, the tone of the programme editor’s address was extremely easy to empathise with.
Whilst Taff’s Well has become a commuter town to its neighbouring city, the name refers to a hot spring – Wales’ only thermal spa – once used by the Romans. This settlement on the River Taff was also inspiration to both “Open All Hours” and, “The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain”.

140314 WFL Taffs Well v Goytre (10)w

Given such attractions, it would have been preferable to visit during the day however – living in the shadow of one of the bigger Welsh clubs – the Wellmen games are often moved to Friday nights so as not conflict with those of the Bluebirds. Whether or not this is having a adverse effect, this season the club are riding high once more.
Formed at a 1946 meeting in St Mary’s Church Hall, Glan y Llyn, The Wellmen moved to their current home a year later. The first silverware arrived in 1953, with consecutive South Wales Amateur League championships; last season they retained the Welsh Football League Cup.

140314 WFL Taffs Well v Goytre (166)w

Leaving work early I crossed the Severn before the impending rush hour took its hold. Whilst I’d hoped to be taking romantic shots of floodlights, as the sun set behind Mynydd y Garth, the stationary M4 traffic around Newport had other ideas. When I eventually found the ground, the sun’s light and warmth had long since failed.
Parking across the road, I donned all my available clothes, paid my dues and, headed for the club bar. Inside, surrounded by all manner footballing memorabilia, former Welsh international – now Carmarthen Town boss – Mark Aizelwood was keeping warm before his scouting duties began.
At the bar, an amicable QPR fan served as programme editor, Jeff Jones filled me in the finer points of the Welsh Football League. Though Jeff’s son Jordan had, until recently, turned out for The Wellmen; tonight he was on the bench for Goytre.
140314 WFL Taffs Well v Goytre (64)wAvoiding any need for the pre-match respectful handshakes, officials greeted players warmly as they exited the changing room door though following kick-off, some pleasantries soon evaporated into the cold night air. As Taff’s Well tried to play the ball around; Goytre were a little more physical.
140314 WFL Taffs Well v Goytre (115)wTesting out either goal, Burnett’s long range effort came before a defensive mix-up afforded Goytre an opening. Both were comfortably saved. The unsighted ref then missed a stamping incident right which threatened to interrupt this entertaining encounter. Soon however the complaints turned to cheers, as Prangley’s left foot drive crept into the corner from 12 yards.
Defending his area admirably, at the back, Bloor continually demonstrated both strength and composure. Up front Marcus Jones was swift on the break. Though his efforts were initially saved, after a fantastic passing move he was brought down.
The penalty save may not have been in the script but, Taff’s Well pressed on regardless. As the home bench 140314 WFL Taffs Well v Goytre (92)wliberally dished out encouragement, Mohsin had a shot well saved after a brilliant through ball from Jenkins and, Bennett and Prangley broke swiftly to set up Jones for the second goal.
Play became a little more even in the second half and though Taff’s Well struck the bar, the score line failed to change. Rewarding both the club, and their dedicated committee, with a thoroughly deserved win maintained top spot; unfortunately however, promotion to the Welsh top tier may not be so straight forward.
140314 WFL Taffs Well v Goytre (21)On the gate earlier, club treasurer Don James – “It’s hard to remember when I wasn’t here” – outlined the financial difficulties that promotion would bring. Given the hard work he and others put in, it seems a shame that progress could now be capped by the cost travel and ground grading requirements but in the long run, the longevity of the community’s sport is the priority.
As the programme read earlier, “It is absolutely amazing what a small group of dedicated people, who are passionate about the football club, can achieve with very little, or at no cost. They know who they are, and the club is indebted to them. Long may it continue.”
shorts league
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Initially appearing in the 2013-14 Watford FC matchday programmes, consequently these reports will have a delayed publication on here.
140314 Taffs Well prog (1)



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