Sunday 18 September 2022

Newtown - Latham Park

Newtown FC
Latham Park
Park Lane
SY16 1EN

Ground Number: 1111
Saturday 17th September 2022
Newtown 2-3 Penybont
Cymru Premier


The club is one of the oldest in Wales, having been formed in 1875 as Newtown White Stars, and was one of the founder members of the Football Association of Wales. Newtown White Stars, which appeared in the first Welsh Cup match on 13 October 1877, is believed to have merged with Newtown Excelsior to form the current Newtown AFC in time to be Welsh Cup finalists in 1885 and 1888.  They played in the Shropshire League during their early days which they won in 1893. They were long-time members of the Mid Wales League which they won five times, plus a further two times with their reserves. They had a short spell in the English Leagues, four seasons playing in the NPL Division 1, their best season coming in their debut of 1988/89, a 9th place finish/ They would join the newly formed League of Wales in 1992, now called the Cymru Premier. They remain there to this day and have had two runners-up spots to Barry Town in 1996 and 1998, though they were someway short of matching their opponents on both occasions. 

Though they did not see a lot of success, Newtown finally won the Welsh Cup in 2015, as they beat TNS 2-0 in the final.  In Europe, they saw progress in 2015, beating Valetta before losing to FC Kobenhavn and this year, beating HB Torshavn before defeat to Spartak Trnava. Newtown have won several local competitions, these include the Welsh Amateur Cup in 1955, the Central Walkes Cup in 1993 & 1994. the Mid Wales Cup in 1995 and 1998 and the Montgomeryshire Cup on sixteen occasions. The town of Newtown is located in Powys and has a population of around 11,500. The most famous person from the town is George Latham, who earned ten caps for Wales whilst playing a big part in World War 1. He died in 1939 at the young age of 58 and has the town's football ground named after him. 


Originally on this day, I was planning on a Welsh treble with Groundhop UK. However, owing to the then-planned train strike and expensive accommodation, it was postponed for a year. It was a shame for clubs and hoppers alike but that is the way of the world at the moment. It had gone even crazier since then with the death of the Queen and the country had gone even crazier, not that I thought that was possible a couple of weeks ago. I did not expect an even better opportunity to come up, but thanks to the ever-useful Non-League Matters Forum, that's just what happened. User 'GCNC' posted: Easy treble in mid-Wales on Saturday with the Welsh Cup matches at Llanfair United (12 noon) and Abermule (2.30 pm) followed by the Cymru Premier match at Newtown at 5.15 pm. I was disappointed that I spotted it too late as I could have gone to Llansantffraid Village on Friday night but it was too late by the time I'd cottoned on.

From the game at Abermule, it was around ten minutes to Newtown with me getting there at 4.45. Google Maps being what it was, it directed me to the wrong side of the ground but that was soon remedied. Five minutes later I was parked up where I should be. It was then a five-minute walk through a pleasant park to the ground. Entry was superb value at £5 and so I also bought a programme for £3. I also bought Sausage and chips for £3.50 which was delicious and then went to the bar, buying a lovely scarf for £6 and a pint for £4.40. Had it not been such a bargain on the gate, I might not have spent so much but I like to help out clubs if they help me out.

Newtown had not had the start to the season that they had wished, having played in Europe earlier on this term. They'd enjoyed a tricky start to the season but had recovered in the past couple of games winning 3-2 at Haverfordwest and  2-1 against Caernarfon Town. Penybont were higher in the table but they'd lost their latest game 2-0 at Connah's Quay Nomads. However, they had beaten Haverfordwest 3-2 and Flint Town United 2-1 in their last couple of games. The game had been fairly even when Penybomt took the lead on 33 minutes, a low shot from the edge of the area of the area by Kai Whitmore. A penalty by Nathan Wood doubled the lead in first-half injury time and by now, Penybont had started to dominate. On  64 minutes, Aaron Williams headed home from a corner to reduce the arrears to 2-1 but a couple of minutes later Sam Snaith restored Penybont's two-goal lead, a goal on the break as he slotted into the bottom corner of the net. A scrappy goal by Williams reduced the arrears once more on 66 minutes but Newtown, despite some pressure, were unable to equalise.


By the time I got back to my car, it was 7.15. I needed petrol and drinks for the way home and after stopping in the store for some Welsh cider, I was away by just before 8. I made good time getting home and was back by 10.45. I was quite tired and so sorted out my pictures. Sunday was a pretty barren day and so I caught up with my blogs and also planned a trip to the Netherlands in October, ensuring that I would make the most of my time off. Next up for me should be Worcester City v Stourport Swifts on Tuesday before I return to work on Wednesday.


LATHAM PARK is an excellent stadium, considered good enough to host European games for Welsh teams. Whilst it is smart, there is also plenty of variation and personality with stands dotted up all over the place. The overall capacity of the ground is 5,000 with the seats in four figures, although I don't know the official figures. The range of merchandise is excellent and well priced with the food also same. The bar is also pretty decent. There's a decent amount of parking and the town nearby has a wide range of outlets. Not that I've tried it, but The Sportsman on Severn Street seems a great place. 

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