Maesteg Park

3 Seasons - 1992/93 - 1994/95

Tudor Park


The Park



Maesteg Park AFC were formed in 1945, as Maesteg Park Athletic FC and they spent nearly twenty years in local league football prior to joining the Welsh League, Division 2 West in 1962/63. Within 6 years, the club gained promotion and, in 1969/70, moved to their present home at Tudor Park. The ground was built adjacent to the clubhouse, which pre-dates Tudor Park by some seven years.

Following promotion in 1972/73, Maesteg spent 2 seasons in the top flight with moderate success, only to be relegated in 1975. Having turned semi-professional, they had plenty to celebrate in the 1978/79 season when the Division 1 title was won along with the South Wales Senior Cup. The following season, Maesteg were runners up to Newport County and reached the last eight of the Welsh Cup before bowing out to Swansea City.

Floodlights were erected at Tudor park in 1982, and are to be upgraded incidentally at 2006/07, with Cardiff City playing the inaugural match under them. Thereafter, Maesteg Park enjoyed an unbroken spell in the Abacus League's top flight, having been elected as founder members of the restructured National Division in 1983/84. They finished third that season and continued to perform satisfactorily in the 1980s, without ever bettering that position.

In 1989/90 Maesteg just managed to escape relegation, although they made up for this lapse by finishing 5th the following year. That was Phil Holmes's first year as the club's Manager and he saw his side triumph over Barry Town in the final of the South Wales Senior Cup, Maesteg winning a two-legged final with a 6-3 aggregate score. Within another 2 years, Park had another achievement to be proud of when reaching the semi-final of the Welsh Cup in 1992.

On their way to that late stage of the competition, Maesteg Park beat Trelewis Welfare 8-0 and Llanwern 4-2, before winning 5-2 away at Cwmbran Town. In the 4th round, they were drawn to play Football League side Hereford United at Edgar Street, yet came away with a remarkable 2-1 success. A 2-0 quarterfinal victory over Aberystwyth Town was rewarded with a semi-final tie against Cardiff City.

Following a goalless draw at Ninian Park, Maesteg Park were ordered to return to Cardiff's home for the second leg. Despite holding the Football League side to 0-0 at half time, strength and experience told in the end and Cardiff ran out 4-0 winners.

Maesteg Park Athletic (the suffix has now been dropped) enjoyed the distinction of being one of just fourteen Welsh clubs accepted into the FA Cup and FA Trophy for each of the 11 seasons prior to the formation of the League of Wales in 1992. Around that time, extensive renovations were made to the social club, a luxurious lounge being just one of many improvements.

The team's initial season in the League of Wales saw them finish in 15th position, gaining 40 points from 9 victories and 13 draws. In 1993/94, however, Park finished last in penultimate position, and only escaped relegation when Haverfordwest County had to resign from the league. Maesteg were forced to play their first seven games away from home in 1993, while ground improvements were finished off at Tudor Park. They fared quite well during that period, but won only three of their next 25 league games and a relegation battle was fought to the end.

The 1994/95 season brought little other than disappointment, as the Tudor Park club slid quietly out of the League of Wales with hardly a murmur. They were tailed off for most of the season and finished 22 points adrift of Mold Alexandra, the other relegated club. One of the fifty players to feature in the first team that season, Mark Jones took over the managerial reins for the following term as Maesteg Park faced up to a return to the Welsh League.

Since then, seven seasons in the Welsh League have witnessed Maesteg Park as a regular top-half side. Twice, in 1995/96 and 1999/00, the club finished in 3rd place and in 2000/01, they lost the Welsh League championship on goal difference only as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup for the second time in nine years.

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