* Llangollen U16s line up at The Racecourse ground.
Saturday, April 26 2014 will stay forever in the memories of Llangollen
Youth Under 16s players.
The team played the final of the Wrexham and District League Cup at Wrexham
The Racecourse, only to
lose 4-1 against a very good Ruthin Town side.
Llangollen started the game well and had a couple of chances thanks to Sam
Gostage’s pace and Aaron Davies’s skills.
The game was evenly balanced for the first 20 minutes but then Ruthin
started to control the midfield and their physical strength made it very
difficult for Llangollen to play their own way.
Llangollen had to make one unexpected change as one of our reliable
defenders, Nathan Butler, had to retire due to an ankle injury.
Luke Edwards, his replacement, played an excellent game but the lack of
option on the bench to cover the back coupled with the huge size of The
Racecourse pitch meant that players’ physical endurance and strength would
The first goal came from the midfield and a very good Ruthin move ended up
with an easy tap-in.
Llangollen’s players suffered from the blow and Ruthin kept on putting
pressure on their goal resulting in a deserved second barely 10 minutes after
the first one and coming from a similar play.
In the meantime Llangollen’s first half goal keeper, Jacob Colley, made an
unbelievable save to keep his side in the game.
The first half came to a conclusion with the scoreline 2-0 in favour of
The half-time talk was very much about raising the spirits of the players
and to make them realise what a fantastic occasion it was. They knew they had
to play the passing football they know best and that scoring the next goal
could put them back in contention to win the trophy.
With new intent and purpose the players came back fighting at the start of
the second half and took control of the game putting a lot of pressure on the
Following a scare in the first minute where our second half goalkeeper, Jack
Carver, made a brilliant save, Llangollen were awarded a free kick about 30
yards from goal which their captain Tristan Lloyd dispatched to perfection. The
Ruthin keeper managed to palm it away only for Sam Gostage to score from close
The roar that came from the stand where the Llangollen supporters were was
amazing and lifted the team. Llangollen pushed for an equaliser and had a few
chances but none of them fell kindly.
Ruthin had managed the storm and from their first chance in the second half
scored a third from a badly defended corner. Llangollen tried to rally but
their players had given everything.
Ruthin scored a fourth to give a final scoreline of 4-1 to Ruthin which was
harsh on Llangollen.
Llangollen coach Nico Decourt looks back at the team’s memorable cup run ...
Llangollen U16s players will play the final three games of their youth
football in the next few weeks before sitting their GCSE exams.
It is a 10-year story that is about to finish but the run they had in the
League Cup this year will stay with them forever.
Llangollen U16 has 17 players and is a Llangollen team only in name as just
three players live in Llangollen.
The squad has survived only because other local teams have folded – this may
be due to a lack of boys born in 1997-98, interest in other sports or more
likely the advent of the Xbox.
Meuryn Hughes, Sam Gostage, Mark Jones, Tom Phillips and Euan Decourt made
their grand debut for Llangollen Youth FC in September 2004 against Coedpoeth
to be joined a couple of years later by Josh Brazier and Nathan Butler.
Four years later it was Niall Roberts, Luke Edwards and Jack Carver turn to
join when Acrefair Youth folded.
Other players came and went and although Llangollen was ‘lucky’ enough not
to have many local rivals to fight players for, it was always a struggle to
have enough reliable players to compete.
Chirk had a team in the early years but most of the players went to play for
At the start of the U13s seasons, three years ago, St Martins also folded
and Tristan Lloyd, Ross Briscoe and Rhys Kynaston joined the Llangollen squad.
Morgan Jones followed the season after and finally Jacob Colley, Aaron
Davies and Brenden Clegg reinforced the squad this year following another team
folding, this time Johnstown Youth.
The misfortune of some made the squad stronger and created the amazing bunch
of lads that are Llangollen U16s today.
Llangollen Youth has never been renowned to be a ‘winning’ club, but more of
a nice gentle club. However, over the last few seasons better results have come
from some of the junior teams.
It is fair to say that the current Llangollen U16s were never considered
title contenders, often winning the fair play awards at younger age groups,
until this season.
A brilliant start to the league meant that for the first time Llangollen
would be able to challenge for the honours. Their target from early on was the
League Cup as the final would be played on Wrexham FC’s ground, The Racecourse.
Although some of the league results didn’t go Llangollen’s way and ended
their title aspirations, their run in the league cup started with an away win
against Rhosddu 2-1, followed by the only home tie this year and a win against
Marford & Gresford 5-2.
Llangollen were now in the quarter finals and the draw put them against
Garden Village, a team they never managed to beat.
Llangollen played the quarter final in the most surreal weather - sunny to
start with then windy in the first half quickly followed by rain, hailstones
and lightning in the second half.
The game had to be abandoned with nine minutes to go and Llangollen winning
2-1. The game was replayed three weeks later and they won it 1-0.
The final step to The Racecourse was a game against the other Ruthin team,
Ruthin Blues, which proved to be a fantastic game which Llangollen won 4-3.
Llangollen’s trip to The Racecourse was booked and they went there in style.
They booked a team coach, all suited with club ties, and although they lost
the final to a worthy Ruthin team they all came back to Llangollen to watch
Llangollen vs Chirk while enjoying a BBQ.
It was a fantastic day with the weather being kind to us and made extra
special thanks to the support provided by many people from a wide Llangollen
area – the roar that came after our goal will stay in my memory forever. Thank
you, thank you, thank you.
Never before had a Llangollen Youth team made the final of the league cup and as
such this year’s Under 16s have made history. But with other fantastic teams
coming up the age groups it won’t be long until another Llangollen team goes to
The Racecourse and brings the cup back to town!