The opening game of the 2018/19 Football Aid season took place at the Principality Stadium in late November. The match was a change of sporting action at the home of Welsh rugby, with the spherical ball the centre of attention for the on looking, vocal crowd and the contest was certainly a great advert for the beautiful game, with a Rest of the World XI just coming out on top 5-2 in an entertaining encounter against the Wales Home team.
Date: Monday 26th November 2018
Venue: Principality Stadium
Wales (Home) vs Rest of the World (Away)
Kick Off: 11:00 am
Legend: Lee Jenkins (Wales)
Match Officials: Daniel Barclay, Matt Johnson & Kevin Russell
It was a game of pride with the Welsh team sporting all red playing a Rest of the World (ROW) with an English core in white shirts and black shorts.
The ROW started the faster of the two sides and the early pressure showed when a nervous Welsh goalkeeper fouled the driving Dan Peacock to give the ROW an early chance from the penalty spot. Ian Watson stepped up for the visitors but could only agonizingly watch his golden chance to open the scoring rattle off the post and wide of the mark.
It was to be the Home side that opened the scoring five minutes in however when Football Aid regular Kevin Banks opened this season’s account with a calm and composed finish into the bottom corner. Great work from right back, Adam Canning put the defence under pressure before his deflected effort landed at the feet of Banks who finished the job. (1-0)
The ROW looked for an instant response but Wales goalkeeper, Matthew O’Regan had to make up for his early penalty error; the GK making a great save to deny ROW number 10, Dan Peacock from equalising.
They had their equaliser minutes later however when Ian Watson made up for his early penalty miss. The striker found himself unmarked at the far post to head in after a delightful cross to equalize with 15 minutes on the clock. (1-1)
The visitors completed a quick turnaround four minutes later as Watson doubled his tally with a neat finish into the bottom corner after springing the offside trap. Wales looked to catch the striker in an offside position but the flag stayed down and the CF latched on to a through ball from the midfield. (1-2)
Ian Watson’s luck had changed as the striker increased his confidence throughout the first half. The CF had a golden chance to net a first half hattrick but could only watch agonisingly as his effort went inches wide of the post. The Rest of The World continued to look for a third before the break with the CH rattling the crossbar from long range before the referee blew for the interval at the Principality Stadium.
Half-Time: Wales (Home) 1 - 2 Rest of the World (Away)
Wales started the half looking for an immediate equaliser. Half time substitute Tom Neville taking aim with a free kick which was comfortably saved by Sam Godsall. With Wales piling on the pressure, ROW looked to punish from the counter attack and with a corner forced, the visitors looked dangerous. A whipped delivery was eventually cleared after a defensive pinball game.
It was an end to end start to the second half and Wales again had a chance to pull the game level. Neil Phillips with a great turn made way for Kristien Harrison to show why he was a CH dragging his effort well wide of the mark.
ROW then had their chance when Wales ‘keeper O’Regan was called into action producing a low save to deny a long range effort from creeping in the bottom corner. Minutes later the visitors were to have another chance to extend the lead but the effort was spooned over the bar after the attacker was left unmarked in the area.
Tiredness was starting to creep in and the second half deadlock was broken by the visitors on 68 minutes when Dan Peacock extended the Rest of the World lead. The attacker drifted in unmarked from the right side before heading home a pinpoint cross. (1-3)
The Rest of the World piled on the pressure looking to put the game to bed but were caught out against the run of play two minutes later. Wales cut the deficit to one with a clever move. Andrew Jones tapped home after a clever pullback from the far post. A fantastic deep cross to start the move off. (2-3)
ROW were back attacking immediately however and without the heroic defending of Canning could of regained their two goal advantage. The advantage was regained though on 86 minutes when a long ball over the top released the Kev Wright for a 1-on-1 opportunity that was calmly finished off by the attacker for a ROW fourth. (2-4)
Wales looked to go for a possession style of play in the latter stages of the game and this nearly cost them dearly. The defence were caught out at the back but ROW failed to capitalise on the mistake. An enticing cross was then delivered by the ROW but the onrushing Paul Seales was inches away from making a connection. Wales goalkeeper O’Regan then kept the deficit at two with a string of saves.
There was icing on the cake in the 89th minute however when Peacock again found the net. The attacker was quickest to react on the rebound. O’Regan made a strong save to deny a long range effort before Peacock cut through a standing defence to hammer home the rebound to finish off the game. (2-5)
In the first Football Aid game of the season, it was to be victory for the Rest of the World side after a very good game at the Principality Stadium. The Wales side fought throughout the game, scoring two goals of their own including the first of the Football Aid 2018/19 season but the strength of the ROW was too much in Cardiff.
Full-Time: Wales (Home) 2 - 5 Rest of the World (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Paul Line
Man of the Match Away: Danny Peacock
Moment of the Match: Matthew O’Regan
Home Team: Matthew O'Regan, Adam Canning, Lee Jenkins, Kristien Harrison, Paul Line,
Paul Evans, Andrew Balmforth, Andrew Jones, Kevin Banks, Jonathan Good (C), Robert Davies, Neil Phillips, Mark Feehan, Dan McGoldrick, Tom Neville
Away Team: Sam Godsall, Mark Rogers (C), Colin Peacock, Robert Thorpe, Robert Fullam, Paul Seales, Paul Old, Ian Watson, Dan Peacock, Kev Wright, Adrian Childs, Ben Tritta
Match Report written by Ben Waite.
Official photographs are available to order from Matt Nuttall’s website here >> www.footballaidphotos.com. You can also contact Matt on Tel: 07793 818021 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to order a DVD of the match please contact – Chillpics' Shane Wilkinson, Freelance Cameraman & Photographer on Tel: 07306 789002 or E-mail: email@example.com
AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
"Thank you all for a memorable day. Really well organised as always and was nice to see some familiar faces. Enjoyed the game immensely"
“It was an amazing experience, will 100% be doing another one”.
“Thanks for another brilliantly organised day, it was certainly a superb stadium to play in, and with some really top lads too”.
“Thanks to @FootballAid and Football Aid for putting on another great event at the Principality Stadium (Millennium) Cardiff. Special thanks to Lee Jenkins for attending and playing for Wales. Not quite the result we were after against the Rest of the World side. But a great day!!!! Can’t wait for the next one!!”
“An amazing day at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Really well organised and thoroughly enjoyable once again! Great to meet Ex Wales international Lee Jenkins who was outstanding and a genuinely nice bloke. Congratulations Football Aid ⚽⚽⚽⚽❤👌🏟”.
“Once again a great day and organised superbly. Great to see so many Football Aid regulars and of course capped off with a goal always helps. One of the best Football Aid events I’ve done so far”.