Boys are Backing Town

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Boys are Backing Town

Post  Boz1964 on Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:46 am

The Boys are Backing Town

'You get no prizes for winning friendlies' was a quote from my late competitive pool doubles partner- which is true- but he regrettably had seemed to miss the point a bit.

Friendlies aren't about score lines - they are about building up on-field fitness and team bonding, after the ever shortening close season.

Now Penydarren Boys (& Girls) Club are always a welcome sight at Penydarren Park, principally because most of the players are true Martyrs fans and one of the more senior players- a former Merthyr First Team player.

It was no surprise then that it was he- the talented Chris Colvin - who lobbed the unfamiliar Merthyr keeper inside the first few minutes for an early lead for the youngsters , which brought much delight to the few stalwart fans, who had declined the annual Horeb Chapel Sunday School trip to Barry Island or had refused to watch Venus Williams 'crash' out of Wimbledon.

Which tacitly answered the question where was the usual stadium announcer?

Merthyr Town had fielded a side made up of a mixture of youth players and a smattering of loyal first team heroes from last season.

The only recognisable regulars being the Rock of Gibraltar at the back in the shape of Jarrad Wright and Kyle 'making up the diamond' Patton.

There was also a very welcome 'family reunion' of the 'Dynamic Duo' -Matthew Harris
( Mattman) and Kerry Morgan ( Robbing the Ball) to the first half side which brought about most of the creativity in the game.

In the first friendly of the season, it was hard for these returning players to find their rhythm, as most of their new- team mates and the even younger opposition looked new to the game some of whom hadn't even started shaving yet.

But whilst Mattman did his very best to put his strikers in on goal- one such superb curling ball from the left took out both defenders and left our Primary School striker with just the opposition keeper to beat.

Sadly, he did a 'Beaudon Barrett' and failed to convert.

If Harris was running the game from midfield it was left to his sidekick to leave his mark on the game or more precisely the Penydarren keeper.

So desperate was Morgan to score again on his return to his beloved Penydarren Park
(His rightful place) that on one fifty/fifty ball he slid in on the keeper with a Kapow - who subsequently needed the attention of the Physio.

It was somewhat ironic that the young Penydarren Defender 'Pike' shouted at the Dads Army player 'You Stupid Boy!'

Fortunately with the Merthyr winger only taking a size 2 boot, the injury looked more like a case of ringworm or the six needles injection on the goalies leg.

The half time came with the Away side up by one and all and sundry came off to a well earned drink on a sultry July afternoon.

SuperGav decided that there would be whole scale changes for the second half and brought on pretty much the remaining Merthyr Town first team - with the absence of the holidaying Adam Davies (don't tell the burglars) being the exception.

The momentum of the game changed dramatically, as Penydarren spent the majority of the second half on the back foot and more surrounded than the current Qatari blockade.

The previously resolute Penydarren defence of Gibbons and Pike was now in for much sterner test against the experienced new star striker Stuart Fleetwood and the electric pace of Corey Jenkins.

As I sat in the 'Granville Morris Memorial Stand ' backing onto the famous 'Webley steps', my view of the ground on the far side was somewhat blinkered and I began to doubt that the pace of our flying winger is genuine.

Surely not even Jenkins is fast enough to outrun a Pompeii pyroclastic flow - with or without a football ?

My suspicions proved correct - as most of our more senior fans will recall Merthyr was prevented from entering the Football league, as we had a greyhound track around the side of the pitch.

Not so much 'White City' dog track as Black n White Corey, as I am convinced he has been hitching a lift on that electric hare down the touch line.

With senior personnel on show it soon turned into to a game of Merthyr Men against Penydarren boys.

The Dads Army Home Guard against poor Pike that had him 'panicking'.

The equaliser came when Ian Traylor crossed from the right beating the keeper and the entire defence and the instinctive Fleetwood 'linekered' the ball home from three inches to open his Martyrs goal account.

It is true that the new idol of the Theatre End has some fading tattoos that are older than the opposition players but as Christian Grey would say you can only 'beat what is in front of you'.

And with Fifty shades of Fleetwood leading the Martyrs attack, it will put an end to 'Rumours' that Merthyr are going to struggle to score goals this season.

But Fleetwood was not to have it all his way in the second half.

Local lad Ben Gibbons went to great lengths to man mark our much travelled striker and stuck to him like he was playing in the Evostik.

The veteran striker was complaining with great regularity to the officials about Gibbons having 'long arms' and his shadow marking.

But having had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus and much League experience and even a Wembley appearance to his name ( I think it was during the 'Tango in the Night' tour) Fleetwood showed his class dummying the tight marking defence with a ball through his legs leaving the on-rushing Stephen Graham lookalike in acres of space to fruitfully 'Muller' the ball into the Copp Corner of the net for the victory.

In between, Merthyr's second was scored by the man on the A465(T) bungee cord- AbergaBENNY Watkins, as the youngster's 'heads of the valleys' Peny began to drop.

So much so that any Anxiety in the UK that the late arriving charitable Park View Martyrs would have had after their sponsored walk was lifted by a draught Roman beer and the knowledge that at 3-1 there was not likely to be any children comeback.

In fact the second half of the match was more one-sided than a Hard Brexit Euro debate in Brussels with the Merthyr stand in goalkeeper a spectator for the entire 45 minutes.

The question was who was he? nobody in our stand seemed to know.

At the end of the game I went over to the David Miles Stand to find out.

It turned out to be a Joe Hart Sticker from a Panini Collection from 2015 attached by blu tac to the crossbar presumably by a leaping Barry Thomas.

Strange times at the Park indeed but given the reputed rumour mill minimalist playing budget - it turned out to be a wise decision.

In 'Summery' and in cricket parlance for the benefit of our returning local Superheroes and Penydarren Country XI sportsmen Harris & Morgan - it was a decent 'run out' - plenty of good first-half deliveries which 'bowled' the fans over and a decent 'Test' too.

Let's hope for more of the same as Harris meets Treharris on Tuesday Night, when all the boys both on and of the pitch will be backing the Town.



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Re: Boys are Backing Town

Post  rustic on Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:18 pm

The keeper was Ricky Fowler,a former academy player who as been playing in the Merthyr league.


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Post  Boz1964 on Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:49 pm

Thanks Rustic.

I knew he was a Merthyr Fan as I have seen him in the crowd supporting us in past seasons.


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