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Prestatyn success brings Welsh benefits

Published: Friday 12 July 2013, 10.00CET
Prestatyn Town FC's victory against SK Liepājas Metalurgs will lead to an upturn in the domestic game hopes a proud Welsh Premier League secretary Gwyn Derfel.
by Mark Pitman
Prestatyn success brings Welsh benefits
Prestatyn celebrate after beating Liepājas Metalurgs on penalties ©Roman Koksharov
Published: Friday 12 July 2013, 10.00CET

Prestatyn success brings Welsh benefits

Prestatyn Town FC's victory against SK Liepājas Metalurgs will lead to an upturn in the domestic game hopes a proud Welsh Premier League secretary Gwyn Derfel.

Prestatyn Town FC progressed to the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round in dramatic fashion on Thursday night, but their victory proved as much of a success story for the Welsh Premier League as for the team itself.

A penalty shoot-out eventually proved to be the difference between SK Liepājas Metalurgs and the Welsh club in Latvia, after a 2-1 away win had taken it to the shoot-out. Lee Jones's men showed tremendous character after Valērijs Afanasjevs had put the Latvian side 3-1 up on aggregate 17 minutes into the second leg, Neil Gibson scoring in added time after Ross Stephens' equaliser.

Although AUK Broughton FC and Bala Town FC could not match Prestatyn's accomplishment, the performance of the trio in European competition has brought praise. "It is an absolutely fantastic achievement for both Prestatyn Town and the league," Welsh Premier League secretary Gwyn Derfel told UEFA.com. "I am proud that a club from the league has shown such resilience against a team well into their domestic season, especially with it being their first ever European campaign. I am delighted for the people involved with the club, and I believe that this can be the catalyst for the club to progress."

Derfel hopes the result can help change perceptions of the domestic game in Wales. "I believe in the league," he said. "European performances and results have been unfairly used to knock the league and our clubs. If people want to judge the league on European results, take a look at what Prestatyn Town have achieved tonight."

The domestic top division was reduced from 18 clubs to 12 in 2010, and Derfel remains a strong advocate of the system. "Reducing the number of clubs in the league improved standards," he said. "I do believe it is the best format for the league at this time, and that our encouraging performances in Europe tonight are strongly connected to how our clubs have improved since it was introduced. I am personally delighted for the people who believe in, and support, our national league."

Prestatyn head to Croatia to take on HNK Rijeka next week in the second qualifying round. Derfel, and the rest of the Welsh Premier League family, will be right behind them.

Last updated: 12/07/13 10.27CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000465/match=2012261/postmatch/quotes/index.html#prestatyn+success+lifts+wales

Lineups

liepājas metalurgs

Liepājas Metalurgs

prestatyn

Prestatyn

1
VaražinskisRaivo Varažinskis (GK)
1
RobertsDavid Roberts (GK)
4
ZirnisDzintars Zirnis
Yellow Card24
Red Card62
2
Ch. DaviesChris Davies
Substitution113 ET
7
IkaunieksJānis Ikaunieks
Substitution65
3
LewisJack Lewis
8
KalnsJurģis Kalns
4
HayesDavid Andrew Hayes (C)
9
D. IkaunieksDāvis Ikaunieks
Yellow Card56
5
HesseySean Hessey
Yellow Card81
16
HmizsDmitrijs Hmizs
Substitution46
7
ParkerMichael Parker
17
ProhorenkovsAndrejs Prohorenkovs
8
GibsonNeil Gibson
Yellow Card64
Goal90+1
18
ŠadčinsIlja Šadčins
9
ParkinsonAndy Parkinson
Yellow Card86
19
AfanasjevsValērijs Afanasjevs
Goal17
Substitution96 ET
11
StephensRoss Stephens
Goal77
25
I. ŠlampeIngus Šlampe
23
StonesGregory Stones
28
JemeļinsAntons Jemeļins (C)
Yellow Card90
24
HolmesTommy Holmes
Substitution75

Substitutes

31
VīksnaToms Vīksna (GK)
25
Hill-DuntJonathan Hill-Dunt (GK)
2
MiķelsonsMadis Miķelsons
12
FranceAdam France
5
OtaņķisAgris Otaņķis
16
KempTom Kemp
10
ZuntnersMareks Zuntners
Substitution65
17
MurrayCarl Murray
Substitution113 ET
13
PetruksBogdans Petruks
20
OwenRhys Owen
Substitution75
Yellow Card90
14
E. ŠlampeEndijs Šlampe
Substitution46
21
MarklandDanny Markland
87
KiriļinsAndrejs Kiriļins
Substitution96 ET
Yellow Card109 ET

Coach

Jānis Intenbergs (LVA) Chris Hughes (WAL)

Referee

Sergei Tsinkevich (BLR)

Assistant referees

Vitali Malyutin (BLR), Evgeni Romanov (BLR)

Fourth official

Vitali Sevostyanik (BLR)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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