Brecon Northcote v Hay St Mary's

2.30pm  23 September 2018

Radnorshire Cup, First Round
Brecon Northcote 1 Hay St Mary's 5 (att 48)

It's been a tough week for Brecon Northcote. A few days ago they withdrew their struggling first team from the Mid Wales League, to concentrate their resources on the second team playing at a lower level.

On Saturday the reserves, now effectively the first team, suffered a heavy defeat against Knighton Town, who had taken the same decision to regroup in the Mid Wales South League.

Against the background I was a little surprised to learn that this cup tie was going ahead, and Northcote deserve credit for not only fulfilling the tie but also for putting up a decent effort against their local rivals from Hay-on-Wye.

Ironically, had Northcote not pulled out of the league they would have faced a Mid Wales League game against Hay St Mary's on Saturday. Instead Hay had a day off, but the extra rest wasn't evident as they made hard work of progressing in the Radnorshire Cup.

They were, not surprisingly, comfortably the better side, and Northcote's keeper was busy as he helped restrict them to a 2-0 half time lead. But the home team got the opening goal of the second half and threatened a cup upset, before more goals for Hay put the tie out of reach.

It was a scrappy game, not helped by a strong and rather chilly wind that blew across the pitch at the Brecon Sports Association ground. The pitch is barriered on one side by a wooden fence, and there's a pair of dugouts, but other than that it's an open pitch.

It is good to see Brecon Northcote continuing though, and the match programme talks of a future promotion push back to a higher level of football. There's certainly plenty of local interest, the crowd for this game comparing favourably with the tiny attendance at the now-defunct Brecon Town when I visited for a tie in this cup in 2012.

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