Saturday 9 July 2022

Canton Liberal FC - Cardiff International Sports Campus

Canton Liberal FC
Cardiff International Sports Campus
Leckwith Road
CF11 8AZ

07737 704099

Ground Number: 1084
Saturday 9th July 2022
Canton Liberal 3-2 Penybont


The club are a fairly modern addition to the Welsh game. having been established in 2006.They had an impressive rise during their formative years, starting out in Division 4 of the Cardiff & District League and going on to win the league in each season, culminating in reaching the Premier Division in 2010 which they won in 2011 and 2013. This is something that had only ever been achieved once before in the hundred-year-plus history of the Cardiff & District Football League. Following the second title, they joined the South Wales Amateur League with them winning Division 2 in 2015. They've been there ever since, with a best-ever finish of 5th last season.

Canton (or Treganna in Welsh) is a district of Cardiff, lying 2 miles west of the city centre. Canton is one of the most ethnically diverse of Cardiff's suburbs, with a significant Pakistani and Indian population. The total population of Canton increased to 14,304 at the 2011 census. It is also the most Welsh-speaking district of central Cardiff, with 19.1% of the population speaking Welsh. There's another football team - Canton Rangers and a rugby club nearby. Welsh international player Ryan Giggs lives there whilst Charlotte Church, the singer, currently calls it home.


Usually, Saturdays have a great choice of games and I have plenty of choices. However, on this Saturday, there was a real paucity of decent new grounds near home. This was slightly solved by a trip and stopover to Broadwell on Friday which set me up well for this very handy 11 am kick-off in Cardiff. There was also a 5 PM game in Corsham on the way home and this would help me get maximum value from my petrol expenditure. However, the middle game was proving difficult with few fixture lists on the internet covering Welsh teams. The adjacent Cardiff International Sports Stadium would have been ideal, with Cardiff City hosting Cambridge United. However, the hosts were only selling to people with previous booking histories for reasons only known to them. Frustrated by the options that would see me miss the start of the Corsham game, I emailed Cardiff City on the off chance. I wasn't that bothered about missing a bit of a game at a revisited ground, but I would prefer not to divert massively off of the route. In the end, Cardiff City were excellent, emailing me back and saying that I could have a ticket.
 I'd been camping overnight in Broadwell following the game last night and I was awoken at 4 am by the local wildlife making a racket. I did get back to sleep briefly but soon gave up and started writing my blog from last night. I'd have loved to have uploaded it, but once again, Google Photos was on a go-slow and I was unable to do so. At least I got it typed though and after packing up, I left at 8.30. I should have allowed more time really, but nevertheless, I got on my way. I stopped at Monmouth Town FC on the way for pictures but it wasn't so recognisable as a football ground as cricket was still being played there. The entrance gates to the whole sport complex were very pretty though and the groundsman was very friendly. They were hosting a park run and I managed a jog back to the car but I'd be in no fit state to do it over a distance. I then stopped at Tesco Extra in Cardiff to use the toilet and also to pick up 9 bottles of Gwynt Y Ddraig Black Dragon after being frustrated on my previous couple of visits to Wales to find it out of stock. I was at the ground by 10.30 and went into the ticket office to get my ticket for £11. I met a couple of hoppers pre-match - one who changed my destination for the afternoon game after he told me that Trefelin BGC were at home to Swansea at 4PM which was a lot better than a revisit to Corsham. In return, I informed another hopper that despite saying the opposite, they were perfectly happy to sell to first-time customers. I drove to the athletics stadium to park but was directed back to the Cardiff City Stadium car park. I walked back across, arriving ten minutes before kick-off.

It was £3 to get in, though, in my haste, I realised I'd left my ticket in the car. That was remedied at halftime as I went back to fetch it, relieved that I'd not dropped it. Pednybent fielded their first team in the first half and dominated. They hit the bar early on and made it 1-0 on 18 minutes. The goalkeeper parried the initial shot but Kostya Georgievsky was there to follow up from close range. On 37 minutes, the same plater forced a great point-blank save from the Canton keeper as he tried to head home. The hosts took full advantage, scoring on the break when they headed home a cross from the left from close range. Right on halftime, Penybont retook the lead, another header from Georgievsky, The second half saw the visitors make wholesale changes and field their second-string side. Canton Liberal took full advantage. Their equaliser came from the penalty spot following a trip in the area. Penybont still had their chances though and it was with a looping header on the break that Canton first threatened a winner.  A couple of minutes later, another swift break saw them grab that winner, with good pace and a low shot making it 3-2.


The CARDIFF INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CAMPUS is a decent setup for Canton Liberal. In the shadow of two bigger stadiums and a retail park with plenty of choices, it's perfect for the club. The ground is three-sided with flat standing. There are around 250 seats, provided by the standard metal stands, although these have been given a bit of variation by multiple coloured seats. The scenery around the ground is pleasant with forestry on a couple of sides. Facilities at the ground are limited with the toilets outside and the food further afield.

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