History was made at Bangor City’s Nantporth ground as Wales played their first ever Learning Disability International
History was made at Bangor City’s Nantporth ground as Wales played their first ever Learning Disability International.
History was made at Bangor City’s Nantporth ground as Wales played their first ever Learning Disability International. The 2-0 defeat to Northern Ireland didn’t really matter as 18 months of hard work came together to give the Welsh team their first taste of international football.
The 12.30pm kick off was well attended by almost 500 fans who created a carnival atmosphere as many family members stood proud as the players lined up for the anthems for the first time.
The game began at great pace and the Welsh team started the nervy of the two sides which was expected as Northern Ireland had years of experience behind them including an INAS World Cup quarter final place in Japan.
Northern Ireland went ahead after 11 minutes when striker Ian Brownlees powered his way through and slotted home. Minutes later Alan Crooks team should have extended their lead only for Niall Sloan to see his effort hit the woodwork.
Just before half time Wales’ Adam Roberts nearly levelled the scores but his effort went just wide of the near post.
A much more composed Wales team started the second half, with the players really starting to enjoy the occasion in front of a passionate home crowd.
A good passing move on 50 minutes saw Tom May striking the Irish crossbar. Wales continued to frustrate the experienced Irish side but it was the ever impressive Brownlees who got his second goal which sealed the game for Northern Ireland. The final 10 minutes saw Wales press forward for what would have been a well deserved goal, winning a number of corners in succession and Tom May bringing an excellent save from goalkeeper Darren Hayes at his near post after a good interchange of passes with substitute Cheike Iwobi. Whilst at the other end, Welsh goalkeeper Andrew Parry pulled off a brave save at the feet of the ever impressive Ian Brownlees just before referee Iwan Griffith bought an entertaining game to a close.
Although Northern Ireland won 2-0, Welsh football was the winner today after the launch of the new squad and the excellent atmosphere created by the passionate Welsh crowd. After 18 months of hard work, Wales has another national team to be proud of.
Head Coach Grant Kalahar commented “After achieving our first goal of setting a professional culture of preparation, this was a great first step towards our next goal of stamping the Welsh Way on our performances. Our staff were first class and the squad deserved their little piece of Welsh football history.”