FOOTBALL: Late drama as season ends with stalemate

Grange Albion 1-1 Garw SBGC

Match coverage by Tom Sargent

Grange Albion welcomed Garw of Pontycymmer to Coronation Park on Saturday afternoon for their final home game of the 2018/19 season

With both teams assured a place in next season's South Wales Alliance Premier Division there was nothing much to play for.

The glorious sunshine did not look down on a gloriously entertaining game. Both teams were full of endeavour but lacking quality in the final third.

Simon Gardner had Grange's first chance on 20 minutes as he was threaded through on the left by the busy Aaron Harris. Gardner managed to get a shot off but it was deflected into Tom Lewis' hands in the Garw goal.

Immediately afterwards Ryan Roberts and Luke Mackie combined well to force a good block from Garw's midfielder Rhys Jordan inside the box.

The only other shot in anger during the first half came from captain Christian Churcher whose long range drive went wide of the 'keepers left hand post.

In the second half it was more of the same but Gareth Nott was called into action on 63 minutes when Garw broke into the box and he saved well from 8 yards.

Garw finally broke the deadlock on 85 minutes when Nott came to the edge of his box to clear a long ball over the top. Unable to handle he cleared the ball and was knocked to the ground by the Garw defender.

The referee waved play on as the Albion defence stood still yet again waiting for a decision that never came. The ball fell to Damian Barnard who lobbed Nott as he scrambled back to the line. It was harsh on the Albion.

Two minutes later Grange were back on level terms. The referee awarded a penalty for a trip just inside the box and Churcher fired home from the spot kick to make it 1-1.

Finally the game had come to life as Garw charged straight down the other end feeding Harry Davies on the penalty spot. He turned his defender superbly but couldn't keep his shot down.

Churcher then had space to shoot for a winner in stoppage time but his long range effort went wide of the right upright.

Grange Albion: Gareth Nott, Ryan Roberts, Craig Green, Louis Rodrigues, Ahmed Abdi, Luke Malkie, Christian Churcher (c), Cameron Cummings, Simon Gardner, Kieran Francombe, Aaron Harris Subs: Aladje Sani (Simon Gardner 75'), Lloyd Bowen (Craig Green 85'), Tremaine Puttick (Kieran Francombe 49'), David Avery

Garw SBGC: Tom Lewis, Will Jones, Will Rowlands, Daffyd Owen, Nathan Rose, Corey Jenkins, Zack Edwards, Damian Barnard, Harry Davies, Adam Brimble Subs: Elliott Meritt (Adam Brimsble), Oliver Davies, Lewis Davies, Lewis James, Geraint Gillet )

Man of the Match: Aaron Harris

Pre-season friendlies for 2019/20 will be posted on Twitter (@grangealbion) and this website when they become available. Anyone wishing to become involved with the club can ask for details through Twitter or in the Grange Albion's Social Club on Paget Street in Grangetown.


See the 2018/19 final league table

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Eight goal thriller but Albion unlucky

Grange Albion 3-5 Pontlottyn

Grange Albion played out their penultimate match of the season at Coronation Park with an entertaining game on a balmy evening.

The Albion took the lead on six minutes after Abdel Boulachie's looping free kick wasn't cleared. Nile White followed up and hit the post before Ahmed Abdi, who has been in fine form lately, put in the rebound with his left from three yards.

Pontlottyn had their first shot in anger after eight minutes but it came to nothing. Shortly afterwards Kieran Francombe and Nile White linked up well on the left but when Francombe broke into the box he was muscled off the ball.

Just after the quarter hour mark Pontlottyn were level. They hit the bar after the centre forward headed a cross from the wing goalwards. Grange failed to clear and the visitors were level. Two minutes later Pontlottyn had completed the turnaround. A short corner went unchallenged allowing the visitors to put in a pin point cross which was rifled home from 10 yards.

After 23 minutes Grange had a great chance to equalise through Simon Gardner. Good work on the left from Boulachie provided a good chance from a tight angle but it was blazed over.

With 30 minutes on the clock Pontlottyn were in control. Another corner, another goal. Whether it was over the line or not is questionable but it would have resulted in a red card for Albion anyway for handball had it not been.

Just before half-time Grange hit the bar. White held the ball up really well on the 'D' before turning a shooting. His shot rebounded off the bar to safety.

Albion came steaming out of the blocks after half-time and were back in it on 53 minutes. Francombe won the ball deep in the Pontlottyn half and darted into the box. He side stepped his man in a one vs one situation and fired hime majestically; 2-3.

Eight minutes later and Grange were level. A free kick was whipped in from the left which Abdi guided back acros goal from the far post. Cameron Cummings was on hand to turn it in.

Albion were now in the ascendency in a cracking game of football. They produced the moved of the night when Ryan Roberts fed White in the box from the right. He followed his pass, collected the ball and curled sumptuous effort goalwards only to be denied by a wonderful save.

Pontlottyn then scored two quickfire goals on 74 and 80 minutes to sink Albion. It was a harsh scoreline on the Albion who deserved more out of the game.

Grange Albion: Tom Kariasko, Ryan Roberts, Craig Green (c) (David Avery 45'), Cameron Cummings, Ahmed Abdi, Luke Macrie, Louis Rodrigues, Abdel Boulachie, Nile White (Lloyd Bowen 45'), Kierna Francombe, Simon Gardner Subs: Lloyd Bowen, Nathan White, David Avery, Mason Bennett, Anthony Kennedy (Simon Kennedy 79')

Man of the Match: Kieran Francombe


Jeremy stars in vital win at Welfare

Cwm Welfare 1-8 Grange Albion

Match coverage by Tom Sargent

Liam Jeremy was the star man with a hat-trick as Grange Albion romped to a much-needed win in their fight for survival in the South Wales Alliance Premier.

Despite the scoreline, Grange had to wait until the 21st minute to break the deadlock against a young but dogged Cwm Welfare side at Mount Pleasant Park in Beddau.

Aaron Harris stole the ball midway inside the opposition half, stormed past two defenders and forced a corner. Nathan Alderman the volleyed in the corner at the far post for the opening goal.

With a move straight from kick-off, Cwm nearly scored with the first real shot of the game. They then equalised after 25 minutes when a mix-up at the back allowed Jordan Watson in on the edge of the area. He made no mistake and slammed in a sumptuous strike to the far right corner.

Like Grange last week, Welfare let their opponents back in waiting for an offside that never came. Nile White beat the offside trap, rounded Dan Thomas in goal and restored Albion's lead as they went in to the break leading 2-1.

Grange came firing out of the blocks in the second half, as usual, and only had to wait two minutes to get their reward. Liam Jeremy scored his first, direct from a free kick, on the edge of the box. Thomas could only get a hand to it as it curled it round the wall into the bottom left corner.

Five goals in 25 minutes sank Welfare's hopes of a resurgence. The first came from in-form Christian Churcher on 65 minutes. Good work from Hani Radman on the left opened up a scoring opportunity on the left side of the box and he fired home.

On 71 minutes, Jeremy got his second when he collected the ball 18 yards out, beat two defenders and fired into the bottom right with his left. 5-1.

After 83 minutes it was six when Cammeron Cummings's long ball was flicked on by Alderman, and Mason Bennett got onto the knock down to slot home.

With two minutes remaining Radman, who had a great impact after coming on as a substitute, was involved in the thick of the action again in winning a penalty. Jeremy stepped up for his hat trick and made no mistake - seventh heaven for Grange.

Churcher then got his second and Albion's eighth, latching onto a long ball before the 'keeper and slotting home to finish off a resounding win for Albion.

Grange Albion: Gareth Nott, Kieran Francombe, Craig Green, Cammeron Cummings, Ahmed Abdi, Nathan Alderman, Christian Churcher, Liam Jeremy, Nile White, Simon Gardner, Aaron Harris Subs: Anthony Kennedy (Nile White 71'), Mason Bennett (Kieran Francombe 60'), Hani Radman (Simon Gardner 65')

Man of the Match: Liam Jeremy


Rowley rolls over Grange

Grange Albion 0-3 Baglan Dragons

Albion suffered another blow on Thursday evening as they went down to another defeat at Coronation Park.

Matthew Rowley sandwiched two goals either side of Ollie Bowen's lob midway through the second half.

A tight first half ended 0-1 after Rowley had scored the best goal of the game. He picked up the ball from a quick throw in and dribbled to the right edge of the Grange box from left field.

Rowley went unchallenged and zipped a great effort into Gareth Nott's bottom left corner.

Albion over hit passes at crucial times and it cost them dearly. Christian Churcher put too much on his pass to Aladje Sani in a good position, just after the quarter hour mark.

Just before the break some great team play from Grange resulted in them winning a free kick 20 yards from goal. Churcher fired his direct shot just left of the upright as Albion searched for an equaliser.

Immediately after half time, Abdel Boulachie raced through from halfway and Grange had a 3 v 2 situation. Boulachie again misplaced his pass and the chance went begging.

The defence were static when Bowen latched onto a thrown in after 54 minutes. Grange's defence seemed to be waiting for a refereeing decision which didn't come and Bowen lobbed the stranded Nott to make it 2-0.

In stoppage time Rowley showed great speed and skill to beat Ryan Roberts with the ball and he slotted home past the 'keeper.

Grange Albion: Gareth Nott, Ryan Roberts, Craig Green, Louis Rodrigues, Nathan Alderman, Ahmed Abdi, Abdel Boulachie, Aladje Sani, Simon Gardner, Christian Churcher (c), Kieran Francombe. Subs: Cameron Cummings (Christian Churcher 70'), Lewis Bevan, Gurlakhan Singh (Kierna Francombe 76'), Tremaine Puttick, Hani Radman (Aladje Sani 76')

Man of the Match: Ahmed Abdi


Well-drilled Pencoed give Grange tough work-out

Pencoed Athletic 6-2 Grange Albion

Albion went down to high-flying Pencoed Athletic in another tough match in their hectic April schedule.

The well-organised hosts dominated proceedings from the first whistle and soon found their range after eight minutes when their right winger tried his luck from distance.

Grange Albion replied with a shot over the bar from Liam Beattie before Pencoed's Richie Lewis had another go straight at Albion's 'keeper, Gareth Nott.

Just after the quarter hour mark David Avery made a fantastic block in front of goal after a high ball into the box was knocked down to the left of the goal.

Moments later Pencoed took the lead when Abdel Belem struck from six yards out. Declan Howe's pinpoint cross found Belem inside the box and he slotted in with his right foot.

Belem again was in the thick of the action in the middle of the Grange half when he took the ball inside his defender to turn him with a lovely touch. His long range effort wasn't quite up to the standard of his build up play though.

On the half hour mark Grange had their first real attack of the match with some good counter-attacking play. Abdel Boulachie finished a promising move with a shot over the bar.

Shortly afterwards, Athletic made it two as Tom Powell was left unmarked in the box. He finished with a shot in off the left upright. Pencoed then had a goal chalked off for offside as Belem turned his man on the left to put in a cross which was nudged in.

Grange came out strongly after half-time. In the first minute of the second period Boulachie threaded in Beattie but his shot was blocked for a corner. From the resulting corner Nathan Alderman was felled in the box and the referee awarded a penalty.

Christian Churcher placed the ball home with his right foot from the spot and the Albion were back in it. No sooner had they got back in the game though, they were out of it again.

Jack Delve, who caused problems all night for the Grange backline, smashed in from the edge of the box into the left corner following a quick counter attack.

Tom Powell then got his second of the night on 48 minutes after some great interchange play with Delve. After 60 minutes a mix up between Nott and centre-half Ahmed Abdi gifted Shaun Williams Pencoed's fifth goal of the night.

With 67 minutes on the clock Williams hit the inside of the post from a deep cross into the Albion box. Grange then counter attacked and Boulachie curled a great effort over the bar having beat his man after cutting in from the right.

After 70 minutes Pencoed got their final goal of the night from Delve when he rounded Nott and slotted into the empty net. Simon Gardner got a consolation from the left side of the goal area following Churcher's good hold up play on the edge of the penalty area.

Grange Albion: Gareth Nott, Liam Beattie, David Avery, Cameron Cummings, Nathan Alderman, Ahmed Abdi, Christian Churcher (c), Kieran Francombe, Simon Gardner, Abdel Boulachie, Louis Rodrigues Subs: Mason Bennett, Hani Radman (David Avery 60')

Man of the match: Christian Churcher


Buns turn the heat up to crush Grange

Ynyshir Albions 8-1 Grange Albion

Grange Albion got sucked into a real relegation battle as they went down 8-1 at league leaders Ynyshir Albions on Tuesday night.

Grange started well, causing Albions problems at the back. A long ball over the top was latched onto by Aaron Harris, who was taken out by the goalkeeper, Daniel Hurton, after only 10 minutes. The resulting free kick was blazed over by Nathan Alderman. Shortly afterwards Ynyshir went close after Gareth Nott fumbled the ball. Albions spread the ball out wide from the mistake and struck just wide of the far post.

Anthony Kennedy then made a great block from point blank range as the league leaders started to turn the screw. Indeed, after 20 minutes The Buns broke the deadlock as Sam McCarthy beat the offside trap and slotted home from the left side of the box.

Three minutes later it was 2-0 as a free kick from the right wasn't dealt with and Daniel Lever scored from close range. Just before halftime Ynyshir made it three from a quick counter attack. McCarthy headed in at the far post as Albions went from back to front in a matter of seconds.

As the clocked ticked down to the break Grange finally showed some promise. Good interplay around the box resulted in Simon Gardner firing in a good effort stopped by the 'keeper. Christian Churcher scored from the resulting corner after Liam Beattie's header rebounded off the bar.

The second half started badly as Ynyshir got three ahead again just after Albion had got themselves back in it. A sloppy back pass was intercepted by Ynyshir captain Scott Jones, leaving him with only the keeper to beat, 4-1. With 68 minutes gone McCarthy beat the offside trap again to slot home from six yards. Substitute Ceirion Mason made it 6-1 on 74 minutes as Ynyshir turned the evening into a rout.

McCarthy completed his hat trick on 80 minutes from Mason's deep cross from the right. Mason himself then made it 8-1 after McCarthy's smart cut back from the byline allowed him to find the bottom right corner.

Team: Gareth Nott, Ryan Roberts, Kieran Francombe, Anthony Kennedy, Nathan Alderman, Christian Churcher (c), Louis Rodrigues, Cameron Cummings, Simon Gardner, Aaron Harris, Liam Beattie. Subs: Hani Radman (Liam Beattie 75'), Lloyd Bowen (Anthony Kennedy 60'), Mason Bennett

Man of the match: Sam McCarthy (Ynyshir Albions)


Corries too strong for Albion

Grange Albion 0-4 Brecon Corries

Coronation Park hosted a match in glorious Grangetown sunshine on Saturday but sadly that was as glorious as it got for Albion against a well-drilled Corries side.

It might have been different had the sun been shining more kindly on Grange's early attacking play. An end-to-end game saw the locals create the first opportunity of the match after five minutes.

Some excellent interplay on the edge of the Corries box saw captain Matthew "Bingo" Phillips put through on the edge of the goal area for a one on one. Bingo duly slotted home a cool finish but the referee ruled it out for a questionable offside.

First blood came shortly afterwards from a quick thrown in. A ball over the top fell nicely on the right hand side of the box for Jack Bain who scored first time with a sumptuous chip over Grange's stranded 'keeper.

Corries then went on to have a sustained period of dominance. Barely five minutes after their opener they had a goal chalked off for offside and then after 20 minutes came their second. A deep cross from the right was headed in for an own goal at the far post. Grange weren't out of the game and finished the half strongly. A pop shot from Simon Gardner on the edge of the area tested the Brecon goalie before Bingo put in two excellent crosses from the right, which went unpunished.

Enforced substitutions disrupted Albion's flow in the second period and Brecon Corries capitalised. Early on, Matthew Rodgrick forced a good save from Gareth Nott at his near post before Dale Evans shot from point blank range forcing another.

Nott saved again on 68 minutes before Brecon hit the post on 81 minutes. He made another superb stop on 82 minutes and then Brecon scored their third after 83 as Joel Evans swept in from close range. On 86 minutes, the rout was completed as substitute Damien Daniels finished smartly in the bottom left corner.

Team: Gareth Nott, Kieran Francombe, Ryan Roberts, Louis Rodrigues, Lewis Bevan, Nathan Alderman, Matthew 'Bingo' Phillips (c), Liam Jeremy, Simon Gardner, Christian Churcher, Abdelrahman Boulachie Subs: Ahmed Abdi, Omar Abillahi (Liam Jeremy 47'), Stephen Jones (Stephen Jones 58'), Junior Scott (Abdelrahman Boulachie 46')

Man of the match: Gareth Nott

Thanks to Thomas Sargent.


Albion dominate with double acts

Grange Albion 4-0 Caerphilly Athletic

Grange Albion got back to winning ways in emphatic style on Saturday afternoon at Coronation Park, thanks to two goals a piece from Liam Jeremy and Aladje Sani.

Grange started slowly conceding the early chances to Caerphilly before losing Kyle Campbell to injury after less than quarter of an hour gone.

Shortly afterwards some great interplay between Matthew Phillips and Aladje around the box gave Albion their first chance resulting in a missed header from Abdelrahman Boulachie.

Incisive play from the energetic Jeremy resulted in another good chance, blazed over by Simon Gardner. Grange's dominance soon told and Jeremy pounced on a loose ball after Athletic failed to clear their lines from a corner to give Albion a 1-0 lead from close range.

Two goals in two minutes put the game to bed just before half-time. Aladje took a long ball down nicely on the edge of the box before rasping a drive past the helpless Caerphilly goalie.

Almost from the restarted Aladje doubled his tally for the day after the Caerphilly centre-half dallied on the ball. Aladje nicked the ball back before toe poking home to send Grange in 3-0 at the break.

The Albion never looked back after half-time and their dominance continued in the second half. A corner kick lead to their final goal after 53 minutes. The ball was whipped in the Boulachie turned the ball towards goal with his chest before Jeremy helped it over line to complete the rout.

Team: Nathan Alderman, Craig Green, Ryan Roberts, Louis Rodrigues, Lewis Bevan, Kyle Campbell, Matthew Phillips, Liam Jeremy, Simon Gardner, Kieron Francombe, Abdelrahman Boulachie. Subs: Stephen Jones (Aladje Sani), Aladje Sani (Kyle Campbell), Liam Beattie.

Man of the match: Liam Jeremy