Wrexham AFC legends fight back for thrilling draw in charity game at Caerwys

Caerwys defender John Haseldin puts in a challenge on Steve Watkin as Gareth Owen looks on. Pic: Lee Douglas

Legends of Caerwys and Wrexham football clubs played out a thrilling 3-3 draw last weekend.

A crowd of more than 200 turned up on a sunny afternoon for the charity match held at Caerwys FC.  

North East Wales League side Caerwys turned out an older team in the first half, many ranging in the 44-55 age bracket, featuring Joe Griffith, John Haseldin, Ben Williams, Ben Temple, Rob Griffith, James Griffith, Shaun Davies, Will Hebson, Adam Phillips, Geraint Roberts, Bryn Roberts, Simon Rose, Ian Greenough, Neil Greenough, Graeme Geary, Gareth Davies and Gaz Rush.  

Half of the team had not played for over 15 years but having put some training in under their old boss Jack Phillips, they gave a good account of themselves.  

Bryn Law fears the worst as Caerwys forward Dale Adamson connects with an overhead kick. Pic: Lee Douglas

The Wrexham team contained some of the popular faces from the 1990’s including David Walsh, Robin Gibson, Steve Roberts, Gareth Owen, Steve Watkin, Karl Connolly, Andy Griffiths, Rob Morris, Kevin Jones, Stephen Thomas and Sky Sports commentator Bryn Law.

Wrexham started the stronger with Law finding himself in good positions, putting in some decent balls into the box. Owen, Watkin and Connolly all threatened but found the Caerwys defence well marshalled by Rob Griffith and Haseldin, the current boss of Holywell Town. Gibson had the Dragons’ best chance but blazed well over the bar. 

At the other end Rose and Geraint Roberts linked up well, supported by Phillips on the right wing.  It was Phillips who put Caerwys ahead after 20 minutes. A move started by Bryn Roberts found Phillips in the right place to drill the ball in off the far post from 18 yards.

The crowd were soon cheering again when Neil Greenough made it 2-0 on the half-hour with a decent strike.

Johnny Haseldin (furthest left) beams broadly after Caerwys score a goal. Pic: Lee Douglas

Caerwys Veterans, who compete in the North East Wales Vets League, took the field after the interval.

This team included: Joe Griffith, Andy Price, Dai Booth, Lee Jones, Ralph Gallagher, Gavin Hughes, Nick Voyle, Dale Adamson, Dai Jones, Chris Geary, Dougie Hughes, Steve Hughes, Richard Newsome, Gary Thomson and Mark Baker. 

Wrexham soon found themselves 3-0 down when Steve Hughes volleyed home from 10 yards out following a goalmouth scramble.  

As the game wore on the Wrexham Legends started to up their game and after reducing the arrears on the hour, a fightback was on with 10 minutes left when Connolly found himself unmarked in the box and his precision lob from a tight angle beat Joe Griffith.  

Wrexham’s Bryn Law (right) plays a precision pass. Pic: Lee Douglas

In the 89th minute referee Dave Williams had no hesitation pointing to the spot after a blatant foul by the Caerwys keeper.  

Watkin, remembered for his match winner in the FA Cup against Arsenal in 1992, stepped up and his low shot just found the net for the equaliser.

Caerwys’ Ben Williams on the ball (left) watched by Johnny Haseldin and Steve Watkin. Pic: Lee Douglas

The match was a great advert for veterans football, played in great spirit and in the right manner. In the region of £800 was made to be shared by the local school Ysgol yr Esgob and Caerwys in Bloom.  This included match day takings and a generous donation from the Royal Oak.

Pre-season friendlies for Caerwys

Caerwys’ new first team managers Ethan Jones and Jordan Hadaway have announced the following pre-season friendlies:

Sat, June 22 – Lex XI (home – 2.30pm);June 29 – Cerrigydrudion (home); July 6 – Coedpoeth Utd (home): Friday, July 12 – Cefn Druids (away – 7.30); Wednesday, July 17 – NFA Rhyl (home – 7.30pm); Saturday, July 20 – Bala Town Res (home); July 27 – Flint Town United under-19s (home).

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