Wednesday, 12 October 2016


I have decided to be adventurous today and venture close to the Welsh border to the small town of Kington to see their league match against the Black Country team of Wednesfield.

The weather is good, mostly cloudy but dry and not too cold either. I have taken the train to Hereford and then catch the number 461 bus from the bus station whose ultimate destination is Llandrindod Wells in Wales. It takes about an hour to get to Kington and it's a journey through some beautiful rolling countryside.

Kington is a very small but attractive market town of aproximately 2,700 souls that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, situated on the banks of the River Arrow. I have a lunch of cod and chips at the local chippy and have a quick look round the town and a browse in the Tourist Information shop. The ground in Mill Street is just a short walk away and soon I am paying my entrance fee and go in to the club house for my pre-match cuppa. It's disappointing that there are no match programmes and no club badges on sale either.

The ground is a pretty neat affair. The car park is found immediately after entering the ground, with the club house on the right and the changing rooms on the left. Also on the left hand side are the team dug-outs while on the opposite side is located a neat wooden stand, comprising of 4 rows of bench seating painted in the team's colours of black and yellow. It looks as if it can seat about 200 spectators.The bottom end of the ground is bordered by a small embankment, which separates the ground and a caravan park.

Kington Town have been members of the West Midlands League since the 1996-97 season. After gaining promotion to the Premier Division after their first season, they became league champions in the 1998-99 season. They had been relegated to the Herefordshire Football League by 2006 but rejoined the WMRL 3 seasons ago. Promotion was achieved at the first attempt and last season the club finished in a creditable 7th place. Town have struggled so far this season and lay near the foot of the table with just one win to their name.

Wednesfield on the other hand are doing better and were in 7th place before today's game. 

The teams come on to the pitch with Kington in their yellow and black striped shirts while Wednesfield are in a change strip of all white.

  The first ten minutes are quite even but the visitors increasingly begin to look the more dangerous side, their players pressing the Kington players and their forwards looking very speedy on the break.

In the14th minute the Wednesfield No.9 is put through on the left and his cross shot is pushed round the post by the Kington keeper. After sustained pressure, a cross from the right is met by a great leap by the diminutive Wednesfield No.7 and his header goes in off the underside of the cross bar in the 18th minute.

2 minutes later and Wednesfield's second goal is scrambled home after the first shot is saved.

        (Kington Town's No.10, Callum Davies, fires in a shot on the Wednesfield goal)

Although Kington are being outplayed they are still able to make sorties in to the Wednesfield half, especially down the flanks. On the left, their No.10 Callum Davies tries hard to get in to good scoring positions but is usually let down by his final ball or touch. On the right it's the No.11, Liam Jones who is prominent.

Wednesfield though continue to look the more dangerous side, with their speedy forwards always causing problems to the home defence, especially their No 9 and No 8. It's their No.8 who scores their third goal when out on the right of the Kington penalty area, he cleverly shoots in to near top corner of the goal, with the keeper probably unsighted thanks to one of his own defenders.

Kington in response step up their own efforts and in injury time, a cross is delivered from the right and their No.7 sends in a glancing header which goes just wide of the far post. Just one minute later and they score through a shot by their No.6, Matthew Watkins, put through by a good pass from the ever probing Liam Jones.

            (Goal scorer, Matthew Watkins is congratulated by his team mates)

The half time whistle goes soon after and Kington have been given a glimmer of hope of salvaging something from this match. Before play had started today, I had predicted a 2-2 draw but it looks as if there will be a lot more goals than that.

I have been impressed by Wednesfield so far and can't really see them slipping up in this match now. The only other time I have seen them was about 5 years ago, playing away at the Hereford side, Pegasus Juniors when an early season win had seen them go briefly to the top of the Premier Division. Sadly they were relegated to the 1st Division 2 seasons ago and where they finished in 4th place last season.

When play resumes, Kington promptly lose possession straight from the kick-off and Wednesfield's No.9 easily slips the ball past the home keeper.

Then Kington just 2 minutes later score their second goal when a great cross is powered home via the head of No.9, Ricky Dyer.

Kington are putting up a great fight and their No.2, Nick Layton is making some powerful runs down the left (as shown below).

Also Liam Jones on the right is still proving troublesome to the visitors defence but after 74 minutes Wednesfield restore their 3 goal advantage when substitute No.16 is put through to lob the goal keeper.

                            (The Wednesfield No.10 is foiled by a great save) 

Kington are going down fighting though and they score the final goal of the match when the ball drops for their No.7 to poke it home following a free-kick on the left.

It's been a very entertaining match played in a good spirit by both teams at this lovely ground. Thanks to the Kington Town Secretary, Nigel Bradley, for providing me with some of the names of the players for his team and I hope they start getting more points soon to help them up the table. Wednesfield could well be challenging for promotion in what promises to be an exciting season, although no team looks likely to catch the runaway leaders, Hereford Lads Club with their 100% record.

Match attendance: approx 40-50
Match entrance fee: £3
Match programme: none available
Match entertainment: 8.5 /10     

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