10 Jul 2023
Ground Hopper, Craig Dabbs, gives his review of Pontypridd United.
VENUE: University of South Wales Sports Park
MATCH: Pontypridd United v Pontardawe Town
GOAL LOG: 1-0(8) 2-0(49) 3-0(60)
PROGRAMME: Did Not Issue
It wasn't my intention to travel down to Treforest near Pontypridd today, I had actually earmarked Newport City v Cefn Cribwr at Newport Stadium until I found it was switched to Cwmbran. Then I noticed this, and this more than made up for any Newport City disappointment. I had consistently over several years kept the top tier of Welsh Football complete until the start of last season when the newly rebranded Pontypridd United moved on up into it, I swore, nothing against the club, just the distance involved in getting it done and also I'm a bit of a traditionalist and I don't like how a league splits mid season into two sections and goes again, so that puts me off.
I last saw Ponty when they were Town, playing in black and white and at Ynysangharad Park in the centre of Pontypridd on a groundhop, the ground has a small stand and lights, it's railed and enclosed but it does have limitations being set within a public park so when the club decided it was time to move on to better things the Park wasn't an option and the USW in nearby Treforest provided a much better solution.
The venue isn't exactly alien to me either, although it's changed significantly since 2009 when I last rolled into the car park at the then named University of Glamorgan Playing Fields to watch Bridgend Town in their short stint playing nowhere near home.
The pitch and stand are still there over on the far side of the complex, the other end now has a smart sports facility with a 4G cage next to it which is now home to United.
Now lets be honest here, it's no oil painting, it has three seated stands, two kit stands on the USW building side and a temporary looking stand that I've so often seen at Rugby grounds down the years, it's functional, it ticks the boxes for top flight Welsh Football and although they are now in Treforest they seem to have a bit more of a fan base than they did when they were in the Welsh League at Ynysangharad. Another thing I will mention is the warm welcome I received, little things like that go a long way.
The top table of Welsh Football is ever improving, it's a very different beast to those early League of Wales days and although it was an early pre season game the difference in standard between the two sides was evident. Pontypridd completely controlled matters, not to say Pontardawe didn't have chances, they did but they were few and far between.
So then that's the Cymru Premier wrapped up once more until someone else comes along and upsets me!
Enjoy the pics,