Pontypridd Town made an historic trip to Valencia last week to play Valencia CF Mestalla (Valencia’s reserve team).
Many were expecting a whitewash for Valencia, but Ponty had other ideas and restricted the Spanish 2nd division side to a 3 – 0 win.
The game was played in an electric atmosphere as over 100 fans from Talk Sport’s PontyParty came from all over the UK to support us, most having never heard of Ponty Town before hearing of the tour on Colin Murray’s TalkSport show. Valencia had about the same number of supporters, which made for a noisy encounter.
Ponty organised themselves to contain Valencia in the first half, chasing down every ball and putting in some big tackles. Valencia were largely restricted to shooting from distance as they found it difficult to break down the organised Ponty team. Adam Webb made several crucial saves in goal, but right on the stroke of half time, Valencia’s captain Sergio Ayala broke the defence (although over 100 Ponty fans will tell you it was off-side) and put Valencia 1-0 up. It was a cruel blow as Ponty had played so well.
In the second half, Ponty got right into the game and attacked Valencia, breaking down the flanks on several occasions, but just couldn’t find the final ball in the box. Then after a break down the left, Valencia’s Robert Ibanez played a through ball into the path of Fernando Cano, who put them 2 – 0 up.
Ponty were not to be deterred and kept battling hard, but couldn’t stop Pinnero Ebwelle’s great run through the defence, which led to Valencia’s 3rd goal. Substitute keeper Pete Scammell had the shot covered, but a cruel deflection saw the ball sneak into the bottom right corner.
Lead by PontyParty organiser Colin Murray, the supporters sang their hearts out for 90 minutes and never gave up, they were truly the 12th man of the team.
Manager Dominic Broad said after the game. He said: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of us to line-up against one of the biggest clubs in the world and I actually thought the game went well. We thoroughly enjoyed it. We reduced their attacking options and condensed the space in central areas. We are hugely proud from the effort of every single person.”
“The whole trip has been absolutely phenomenal. An incredible achievement for all involved with promotion through talkSPORT and huge thank you to Wickes who have made this all happen. All the media attention we’ve had has been quite unbelievable. We can’t thank everyone enough for what they’ve done and this is something that will live long in all our memories”
“This is only our first year in coaching so we hope to keep this momentum going and we will always strive to do more. So we will continue to aim high and you will see the PontyParty again next summer!”
Shelley Allison, National Advertising & Sponsorship Manager at Wickes said:
“We were delighted we could help make this match come to life. When Colin approached us with the story, we recognised Dominic was building an amazing project, so we wanted show our own support. We hope the Ponty Party had a brilliant experience for all involved.”