Flashback – 10 years ago: A night to remember for football followers in Caernarfon

Caernarfon Town 4 (Mitchell, Green, Lloyd, Roberts)
Caernarfon Wanderers 2 (Sadler, Peters)
Barritt Cup quarter-final – March 18, 2011

One of the greatest occasions in the town of Caernarfon’s football history took place 10 years ago today.

A crowd of just under 2,000 for a modern-day pyramid tier-three Barritt Cup quarter-final tie – it had to be something special.

And it was indeed, as a huge turnout crammed into The Oval on a Friday night for a thrilling first derby clash between the illustrious Caernarfon Town and new kids on the block Caernarfon Wanderers back in the 2010-11 season.

No less than 1,927 spectators ensured Town’s famous ground attracted the second highest gate of any football match in Wales that weekend, and dwarfed the crowds at flagship Welsh Premier games.

Town were coping with a difficult stage in their history, having dropped down to level-three Welsh Alliance Division One after being relegated from the Welsh Premier League two seasons previously.

Ambitious Wanderers had won the Caernarfon and District League Division Two and Division One titles back-to-back before gaining promotion from the Gwynedd League in 2009/10, rising to Welsh Alliance Division Two, of which they were also to finish champions at the end of 2010-11.

So here we were on Friday, March 18, 2011, for one of Caernarfon’s biggest football nights in years. Cup fever had well and truly gripped the town.

Kick-off was delayed by 10 minutes to allow fans into the ground, and it was the lower league Wanderers who were first out of the blocks.

Caernarfon Wanderers 2010-11

The Welsh Alliance Division Two side grabbed two goals in the first 10 minutes through Jonathan Sadler and Dylan Peters.

As the first half wore on, though, the Canaries’ brand of passing football started to gain a foothold, and they were rewarded with goals in quick succession from Geraint Mitchell and Craig Green.

With The Oval turnout at its highest since the glory days of John King’s FA Cup heroes of 1986/87, Town forged into the lead with a Kevin Lloyd strike.

And just on the stroke of half time Gareth Roberts netted the fourth for the hosts to end a breathless first 45.

The second half was a calmer affair, the Canaries becoming increasingly dominant in possession, and squeezing the Wanderers in their own half.

The visitors were restricted to only sporadic breaks as fitness and size of the pitch took their toll on Wanderers’ committed style of play.

Caernarfon Town 2010-11

Despite some close calls, no further goals were scored, with Town gaining the bragging rights from a memorable evening.

Caernarfon Town went on to win the Barritt Cup, beating Nefyn in the final, but remained in Division One.

Wanderers lifted the Division Two crown by a point from Bodedern to set up two town derbies the following 2011/12 season.

Town won them both, 2-0 at The Oval and 4-0 away, finishing fourth in Division One, while Wanderers ended up bottom and disbanded.

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