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Wales International 2013

The 2013 Wales International took place at the Millennium Stadium on the afternoon of Wed the 15th May and the game was a closely contested affair with the Rest of the World Away team just managing to edge the result 3-4 after grabbing a late winner. This followed an impressive performance from the Home team who had been dominant in the first half. With 7 excellent goals, and lots more chances beside the match proved to be thoroughly entertaining for all those watching in the stands of the iconic stadium.

Date: Wednesday 15th May
Venue: Millennium Stadium
Wales Home vs Rest of the World
Kick off: 4pm
Legend: Steve Jenkins
Match Officials: Stuart Haden, Robin Cox, Barry Darvell and Mark Taylor

After the pre-match formality of the team photos and handshakes were completed, it was the Home team that got the game underway, wearing the famous Welsh all red strip with green socks, with the Away team wearing an all white special Rest of the World strip.

The early proceedings were mostly dominated by the Home side, with the team in Red holding up the ball well and trying to use the wings to get the ball into the box, and 5 mins in they earned a deserved opener. The Away team’s right back Gary Jordan got crowded out in the left-hand corner of his half allowing the Home side’s Nick Medlicott to pick up the ball and drive it across the box. The Away side’s centre half Craig Wegrzyn thought he had been fouled by his opponent, but the referee didn't blow his whistle for play to stop and the loose ball was promptly picked up by the Home side’s right back Steve Forbes, who neatly side-stepped a defender before tucking it into the bottom corner (1-0).

Five mins later and the Home side were pressing again. They earned a throw-in deep in the Away half and after a long throw by Andrew Blocksage, No 11 Mike Burke was able to control the ball and play it back to Blocksage. The No 10 whipped in a very inviting cross, which was met well by Nick Medlicott, and his near post header was only prevented from doubling his side's lead by a very good diving save from Sam Godsall.

For the next 10 mins the game was reasonably quiet, with both teams trying to mount attacks but to no real prevail. However, in the 20th min the Home side added to their lead with a well finished effort by No 9 Nick Medlicott. After Centre Half Gavin Tyler dispossessed his opposite number Stuart Green, he surged forward with the ball past the halfway line, before seeing Medlicott making a run off his marker. Medlicott held off centre half Wesley Alsop, before rounding the keeper to finish from a tight angle (2-0).

Although being composed on the ball and managing to find good passes, the Away side posed little threat to the Home side’s goal at this stage and failed to create many chances and ultimately this led to them falling behind even further in the game. A well crafted move by the Home side led to a shot from Centre Mid Huw Evans, which took a deflection off both the Home side’s Tim Evans, and the Away side’s Gary Jordan, sending goalie Sam Godsall the wrong way and increasing his side's lead on the half hour mark (3-0).

The Away side did eventually get a decent chance in front of goal. No 14 David Woodfield went on a quick run down the left wing, before tricking the defenders with some step-overs. He then checked back inside and passed it across to Patrick McCaffrey at the edge of the box, whose driven shot to the far post looked goalbound only for goalie Ronnie Smollet to make a great diving save. The Away No 9 Peter Turnbull followed up the save, but he couldn’t quite get his effort on target.

A min later and the Away side’s hard work paid off though and it was David Woodfield prominent again. Exchanging a one-two with Garry Hamill down the left wing, Woodfield cut the ball across the box and after it took a deflection Patrick McCaffrey was on hand to add a bit of flair, flicking the ball into the goal with his heel to cut the deficit with only 15mins left in the half (3-1).

With just 5 mins left to play of the half the Home side had another chance to restore their 3 goal cushion. A long ball by Steve Forbes to Nick Medlicott on the halfway line, led to him playing in fellow Forward Mike Burke who had escaped the Away side’s high line. Burke ran at the Goalie Sam Godsall before rounding him confidently, however his touch round the Keeper was just too strong and the ball ran out of play for a goal kick.

As the half drew to a close the game ended very open with the Away side finally showing some attacking threat upfront. The Home side went into the changing rooms the happier side, but the Away team's upturn in fortunes in the latter stages led them to believe they could at least bring it back in the 2nd half.

Half time: Wales Home 3 - 1 Wales Away

The 2nd half started in much the same way that the 1st half ended, with both teams attacking each other’s goals with real endeavour and the first real chance fell for the Away side after just 4 mins. A throw-in down the left side led to a cut back to Midfielder David Woodfield on the edge of the box, and he took a powerful shot at goal, but Ronnie Smollet in the Home goal managed to dive down to his right quickly and push it behind for a corner.

Moments later, the Away side come close again after a free-kick on the edge of the box. No 7 James McCaffrey stepped up and his curling effort just looped over the left side of the goal. The Away side were looking dangerous and mins later the ever dangerous David Woodfield was involved again, whipping in a low ball across the Home side’s box, it needed only a touch to put it in, but it was agonisingly just out of reach of those sliding in to get to it.

On the hour mark the Home side got their first real chance of the half, Medlicott drew a foul before taking the kick quickly to Left Midfielder Matthew Jones, who was making a run down the wing. Jones cut inside, put the ball through the defenders legs and attempted a lob over Goalie Godsall, only to see his effort go past the far post.

With 20 mins gone in the 2nd half the Away side got the goal their efforts deserved. Once again No 14 Woodfield was involved, playing a neat one-two with No 11 Kenneth Cobb before crossing the ball low into the box. The deadly No 8 Patrick McCaffrey was on hand again, sliding the ball into the net, for his 2nd of the day and reducing the deficit to just 1 goal (2-3). Game on!  

With 15 mins left on the clock the Away side got another chance to equalise with a free-kick. James McCaffrey stepped up again and this the No 7 aimed a bit lower, but his effort just went past the foot of the post. Shortly afterwards and the Away team were pushing for an equaliser again. The ball came in from the left and with a lack of defenders around him Patrick McCaffrey had time to take a touch before firing in a shot, however on this occasion his effort was to end up over the bar.

Finally, the Away team got the goal they had been pressing for. The Home team had decided to play a high line in defence, in the hope that it would restrict the space for the Away team's attacks. However the plan backfired and a clever through ball to James McCaffrey from centre half Stuart Green allowed the Right Mid to square the ball to his prolific brother Patrick McCaffrey, who slid in again to get his hat-trick, levelling the scores in the process (3-3).

With just mins left to play it was a dream come true for the Away side and agony for the Home team! Their two best players on the day combining once again to get the winner. David Woodfield collected the ball after a pass from captain Garry Hamill, and the Centre Mid cut into the box before squaring it to Patrick McCaffrey who smashed it into the top corner, bagging his 4th of the day and putting his side ahead for the 1st time in the game with only mins to go (3-4)!

Despite the efforts of the Home team in the seconds that remained, the game ended soon after with the Away team edging it 3-4. A brilliant, determined 2nd half performance from the Away side saw them fight back from 3-1 down at half-time to win the game. Overall, it was a great day all round for the proud players and the watching fans were treated to a closely fought, competitive game of football.

Full time: Wales Home 3 - 4 Wales Away

Man of the Match Home: Gavin Tyler
Man of the Match Away: Patrick McCaffrey
Moment of the Match: Mike Burke

Home Team: Ronnie Smollet, Steve Forbes, Steve Jenkins (1st Half) Gavin Tyler, Steven Holland, Huw Evans, Colin Atkins (C), Tim Evans, Nick Medlicott, Andrew Blocksage, Mike Burke, Matthew Jones, Paul Foster, Kevin Banks, Simon Joslyn
Home Mascot: Ethan Hayden

Away Team: Sam Godsall, Gary Jordan, Steve Jenkins (2nd Half), Stuart Green, Wesley Alsop, Simon Joslyn, James McCaffrey, Patrick McCaffrey, Peter Turnbull , Garry Hamill (C), Kenneth Cobb, David Woodfield, Craig Wegrzyn, Kev George, Patrick McCaffrey
Away Mascot: Harrison McCaffrey