John Smith's PNE Fans' Panel verdict: A point was still satisfying

Seeing the "Croeso i Gymru" welcome sign on the road into Wales reminded me that Saturday’s game provided me with a rare opportunity to see our team play in an international fixture.

By John Smith
Monday, 14th March 2022, 11:25 am

If I had any doubts in my mind that this was not the case they were extinguished just before kick off when we were serenaded to a Welsh language song enthusiastically belted out by the "Men of Harlech", but in rather more dulcet tones than ones of their national choir.

The travelling faithful immediately responded with chants of "Engerland,Engerland" but these only lasted for a brief period, as once the game kicked off they soon switched their attention to singing their new song about new cult hero Bambo Diaby's massive frame.

Diaby, whose every first-half touch was cheered, had another outstanding game in the heart of our back three. In my opinion he is looking more than capable of playing at this level and must surely be offered some sort of contract in the next few weeks enabling him to remain with us for at least the next season.

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A North End fan enjoys the pre-match atmosphere

Although we had lost our last four league games against Cardiff who had also dumped us out of the FA Cup in this stadium just nine weeks ago, I thought at half- time that they were there for the taking.

In the second half we got well on top of our opponents by playing some neat, free-flowing passing football but unfortunately there was no end product in the penalty area.

If you do not score the best you can get out of a game is a 0-0 draw which is exactly what we got. In the game’s closing stages the home side finally threatened our goal but were thwarted by Daniel Iversen who made two very good saves to preserve the point.

The impressive loan keeper, who I consider to be one of – if not the – best in this league now boasts more clean sheets to his name than you can get in your laundry basket, with Saturday's shut-out being his 12th one of his very good season.

Although we did not get the "tri pwyntiau" from our trip to Wales it was still mildly satisfying to go back across the border with a single well earned one.