Match of the Day: Llanfairfechan Town v Llandudno Athletic (Vale of Clwyd & Conwy League)

This photo was as good as it got from my camera phone. Llanfairfechan’s Ryan Lewis is tracked by Athletic right-back Jordan Dixon

Llanfairfechan Town 5 (Jordan Dixon OG 38, Ryan Lewis 45 & 50 pen, Ellis Jones 58, Sion Devereux 82)
Llandudno Athletic 1 (Lee Stokes 11)
Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League Premier Division – January 25, 2020

Saturday’s Premier Division clash at the Recreation Ground turned on two key incidents in the final minute of the first half.

With the score at 1-1, visitors Llandudno Athletic were awarded a 45th minute penalty which Danny Talbot fired against the post.

Seconds later, Ellis Jones’ sublime back-heel released Ryan Lewis to poke past keeper Mike Parkinson and make it 2-1 Llanfairfechan Town with the final kick of the half.

Ryan Lewis flicks on a header. Pic: Dave Jones

The second half saw Andrew Croston’s Town outfit well on top and in the end their victory margin could have been greater.

At the start of the day Llanfair were well-placed in third, while Rhys Lane’s Athletic, who have played the least games in the division, sat eighth of 11 teams.

It was the visitors who started the better, looking dangerous in attack, and in the 11th minute Lee Stokes headed home at the back post to put them in front.

Weird sort of photo, weird sort of photographer

Llanfair rallied and in the 14th minute Sion Devereux struck the post after fine work from Meurig Evans.

The home side were not clicking, though, and it was not until the half-hour that they threatened again, Lewis Mitchell hitting the upright after seeing a first effort blocked.

From here Llanfair really started to gel, their passing game enabling them to create a number of chances.

Lewis’ header was well saved by Parkinson, who then produced a double stop to deny Mitchell and Jones.

Drat and double drat! The ball’s gone out of play. This was almost a good photo

The equaliser had to come and it arrived in the 38th minute when Tom Croston drilled low into the six-yard box and Athletic defender Jordan Dixon could only succeed in finding his own net.

Robin Roberts blasted a right-foot rocket inches wide before Fechan keeper Barry Eccleston was guilty of a foul which led to a visiting spot-kick.

Eccleston got a fingertip to Talbot’s effort which came back off the left-post, then seconds later Jones and Lewis combined to edge Town in front.

Half-time: Llanfairfechan Town 2 Llandudno Athletic 1

Five minutes into the second half, a dubious penalty was awarded to the hosts for a challenge on Jones and Lewis lashed home clinically from 12 yards.

Well I got the ball in focus and the free kick in motion, sadly you can’t really identify any of the players – except the kick taker maybe

Llanfair now produced their finest football of the game with Devereux orchestrating everything in the midfield.

On 59 minutes, substitute Harry Croston found Devereux, who slotted a lovely pass to Lewis, and his delivery deep to the back post was finished off by Ellis Jones for 4-1.

That was the end of the contest. Llanfair threatened plenty more before in the 82nd minute, Devereux ghosted into the box to head home a thoroughly deserved goal.

Full-time: Llanfairfechan Town 5 Llandudno Athletic 1

Overall Thoughts

The welcome at Llanfairfechan was very warm and the tea was absolutely spot on.

Loved meeting these guys in Llanfairfechan……so cute. They really wanted to be in the picture

It was great to meet not only the Llanfair management team of Andrew Croston, Adam Parry and Dave Roberts, but also Athletic boss Rhys Lane, who has always been so supportive in the past. I never realised you were so tall Rhys!

While it was not Athletic’s day, they were right in the match up until early in the second half.

Had they scored that penalty before the break, they would most likely have gone in 2-1 up and after that, who knows?

It was also evident that Athletic were not quite on the pace like their opponents, and that has to be partly down to the fact they have played so few matches.

Once Llanfairfechan began to gel they looked really impressive.

Some of the passing through the midfield was slick and tremendous, with man of the match Sion Devereux at the centre of everything.

Ryan Lewis looked a really class operator in attack, while the powerful No6 Robin Roberts stood out.

Athletic have some fine players in the ranks and when they get it together they will test anyone. Watch out for them in the cups.

Llanfairfechan’s ground has remained the same for many years. An upgrade would really benefit the club if it plans to progress.

Really like shallow, peaceful rivers like this. This is the Afon Ddu (black river but it’s not black at all) which runs through Llanfairfechan

The village itself is lovely, a gorgeous river, the sea, a duck and swan mini-lake all within view of the football pitch. Some lovely walking areas too.

Definitely a place I will be going back to. In fact, once I retire with a full bank account, it is the type of village I would love to see out my days in.

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