CPD Ton Pentre AFC

Ton Pentre V Oswestry
Welsh Cup Quarter Final
28th January 1911

Ton Pentre last played Oswestry in the quarter final of the Welsh Cup on the 28th January 1911..

To reach the quarter final Ton Pentre had beaten Aberdare 3-0 away, Merthyr 2-0 away, Cardiff City 1-0 in a replay after drawing 2-2 at Ninian Park and finally Treharris 5-1 at home.

Oswestry were one of the best sides in Wales at the time having won the Welsh Cup previously on three occasions. No South Wales side had ever won the Cup and the match at Oswestry was won by the home side with one of the most disputed goals in the history of the Cup.

The Rhondda Leader report of the game was outspoken in its criticism.

“Ton were unlucky in losing the game. It is undisputed that they had the best of the matters and were on the attack throughout. The only goal, if it can be termed such, was quite a farce, and no referee should have given his decision as a goal. Percival, (the Ton goalkeeper), it appears had the ball kicked into his hands. He was standing (so says the referee) inside the bar under the net. The result, Oswestry one goal. There was no goal line marked under the bar, and yet the knight of the whistle could see from almost 25 yards off. A most remarkable eye, in truth, we are given to understand that a protest has been lodged, which however, we fear will be of no avail. There is no fear of the Welsh Cup coming South so long as things remain as they are”.

Ton did in fact lodge an appeal on the grounds that the goal line was not distinctly marked, but the appeal, as surmised by the Rhondda Leader scribe, was not successful.

Let us hope that today, ninety two years later, Ton can at last exact revenge for what at the time appeared to be a gross injustice.

Thanks to Mr Paul Young for a very interesting article.

Wales v Italy
A supporter's tale
October 16th 2002

There was a great air of anxious expectation amongst all the Welsh supporters following the win over in Finland. On the Saturday prior to the epic win all football fans turned their conversation from the celebration of Ton Pentre's win against Cardiff Corries and Cardiff City going to the top of division 2 to how are Wales going to do on Wednesday?

As the Wednesday approached the Welsh public seemed to be consumed with the atmosphere. On the day there was anxious anticipation and nervous talk of a Welsh win. We travelled to Cardiff early and wandered around the City, it was only 5:30 and the atmosphere was building there were supporters young and old, male and female. There were the street hawkers in Queen Street, Westgate St and St Mary Street selling their wears, flags, scarves, hats badges, you name it they had it.

As we walked down Queen Street towards the Castle, there were Italian fans making their way to the Stadium in fine voice and very confident of the three points and the banter between both sets of supporters was friendly, I wondered how many of the people wearing supporting the "Azzurri" were from the Rhondda?

We made our way to the ground, the atmosphere was now building, there were air horns being blasted all around us. Fans from Cardiff, Swansea and of course Ton were there to see our team; the topic was "what would the score be?" One fan said Italy 3-0 another Wales 2-0. The nerves were tingling as we entered the ground, as we walked up to level 6 in the BT stand, we looked up and saw we were 8 rows from the back. We settled down and joined in with the singing of Delilah and the Green Green Grass of home.

Looking around the ground at 6:30 it was now starting to fill, the Manics came on and sang two songs, my mate Mick (A cockney living in Taffs Wells), said I wonder how England would do, I looked at him with a pained expression. He changed the subject. The brass band from St Athan came on and there was a rendition of Men of Harlech.

With 15 minutes to go before the kick off, there was nervousness all around the ground, then with 5 minutes to go the teams entered the arena, they lined up, the band played the Italian national anthem and then Bryn Terfil accompanied by 70,000 Welsh fans gave a rousing rendition of the national anthem, the likes of which I had not heard at a soccer international before. The Welsh team looked confident.

Wales started the game, to a huge roar. What we were all there for had begun, I turned and Mick was a little quiet, then as we went forward he started to shout for Wales, then Davies went through and scored, the roar lifted the closed roof, the Italians were on the rack. Then after 30 minutes a cruel piece of luck the Italians were given a very debatable free kick (It is rumoured the French referee holidays in Rome), Del Piero took the kick and a cruel deflection took the ball passed Jones in the Welsh goal. There was a stunned silence, the few Italian supporters in the BT stand jumped up to celebrate, they looked around and saw many thousands eyes looking at them. Their celebration was short.

Half time came Wales were playing well, the crowd thought that we could get the win, although some were happy with a draw. The atmosphere was building the noise was deafening in support of our heroes. Then a ball was put through by Hartson and Craig Bellamy, beat the defenders and went around the keeper, the crowd were now on their feet, it was like slow motion as he side footed the ball towards an empty net. The ball crossed the goal line, the crowd cheered, the players were celebrating and the Italians looked a beaten side. I could see Mark Hughes on the touchline, he was telling his players to keep calm. The remainder of the game was, exciting, terrific and nervous. How we wanted the referee to blow up. Then after the 90 minutes there was an announcement that there 4 minutes of extra time, we all groaned, how cruel. The Welsh side kept to their task the referee blew up to give us a memorable win 2-1. The crowd cheered and sang loudly, no one wanted to leave the ground. The talk was now of Portugal in 2 years and how great the game had been. I turned to Mick and said well? His reply was "I really enjoyed that and it was better than when he went to Wembley and I want to come again"

As we walked out our attention was taken by some of the Italians with sad looks and tears in their eyes, never mind now they know how we have been feeling in the past. The drive home was a happy one.

It was a night to remember and let's hope for many more.

Gary Matuszczyk

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