PENARTH Wanderers Vets FC brought their first participation in the South Wales Casual League to a disappointing end on Thursday evening in their closing match against Cardiff St Pauli.

There’s no escaping the fact that even in veterans (over-35 years) football there are going to be some teams that are fitter, stronger and younger which proved to be the case in their last two games.

St Pauli went about their business like a team who knew that they had the upper hand and were determined to finish their share of the matches strongly - their last game being against Thornhill who Penarth played the previous Sunday - and on this showing Thornhill will need to be on top form to keep up with them.

The Wanderers wanted desperately to make a game of it, after all they had won four out of five in the league.

With manager Ronnie Rahman keeping basically the same team as the previous match - Billy Nolan in goal, a back four of Gary Ato, Dave Lewis, Nathan Self and Steve Peters, in midfield Chris Rodd, Scott Ato, Mike Kean and Mike Bracey with Martin Chick and Darren Scanlan up front.

Things looked quite good in the early stages but conceded two soft penalties in quick succession making the prospects of a successful evening look bleak.

The pace and power of the St Pauli midfield providing good service to their forwards were giving Penarth a torrid time.

Gary Ato was injured and was replaced by Huw Longman. Obviously having to contend with the age difference in some positions and fatigue from the Thornhill match was having an effect.

The dry 3G surface did tend to make the ball drag a bit which made it easier to cut out some passes. Chick and Scanlan tried their hardest but could provide little threat and the whole team were regularly on the back foot.

St Pauli’s third goal soon came about when one of their midfield managed to get beyond their forwards to place the ball high into the Wanderers net.

Penarth’s only bright spot of the night came not long after when some quick, short passes and a low cross into the St Pauli box enabled Chick to get in front of the St Pauli keeper and clip the ball in on the near post - 3-1.

For a short period it seemed as though St Pauli had blown themselves out? Penarth found more space and were playing some reasonable football.

Was the storm abated? Unfortunately not and St Pauli scored their fourth and fifth goals just before half-time.

The second half started in much the same vein. The game was now damage limitation as knocks to players were starting to tell as St Pauli’s sixth and seventh went in. Lewis was struggling, Rodd was replaced by Nathan Turpitt and Catalin Katany for Bracey.

Scott Ato having to leave the field with a nasty looking knee injury to be replaced by Alan Robinson for the last ten minutes.

The final whistle could not come soon enough after number eight. Final score 8-1 to St Pauli.

This result meant that Penarth finished fourth out of seven in the league.

Overall it could be seen as a successful campaign as most players were satisfied with the experience and all thanks to them.

Now preparations are in hand for the forthcoming start of the SW Casual Winter League. So, same again please!