A Day in the Life of G. Ridgeway

Porthcawl Town Athletic v Caerau
Preparation is the important factor for all games, officiating games in one of the oldest cup competitions in the world is an honour and a privalige.
Pre-match meal of pasta with chicken is the ideal start, plenty of fluids as well. I arrived at locks lane in plenty of time. I would say on inspecting the pitch it was in a poor state for a Welsh Cup game, markings very poor and grass too long. Both teams were at ground and team sheets, after chasing for them, were handed to us.
Caerau from the Welsh League were favourites for this tie, in all aspects of cup football the underdogs do their best to upset the odds.
With my kit all sorted and important in Welsh Cup I kept with tradition of match officials wearing black socks with white tops, not something you see much these days.
Onto the game with a good crowd watching it was not a spectacular game. In fact it was very dissapointing with the attitude of players from the very first minute of the game, every decision questioned by the players, whether it be a throw-in or free kick. There were niggly incidents off the ball behind the referee’s back and verbals exchanged by both sets of players which resulted in players winding each other up which was making the game extremely difficult to officiate, even with my years of experience this was very testing.
Porthcawl took the  lead, then reduced to ten men after their goalkeeper was sent off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity by handling the ball outside the box. After an half hour of play I stopped the game as I had enough of all players constantly moaning – captains were told anymore and I’m off – sort your players out.
Caerau equalised and then Porthcawl took the lead before half time. It was an eventful 1st half to say the least. Second half saw Caerau absolutely dominate the game in search of the equaliser. Porthcawl stood firm with brave defending and the replacement goalkeeper making save after save. Caerau with all their missed opportunities were made to suffer as Porthcawl broke away and scored to make it 3-1.
Porthcawl were then reduced to 9 players when a player was dismissed two cautionable offences.
All in all, an eventful Welsh Cup tie, two red cards, four yellow cards and plenty of incidents that made the game entertaining for the crowd.

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