Principality Building Society, Welsh Premier -Saturday, April 19th
CPD Porthmadog ...1 Rhyl FC ...0
Richard Hughes 53'
What a perfect day. Viv asked for three wishes when he got up this morning
and the good fairy granted them all. So generous was she that when referee
Kerry Morgan blew his whistle to declare that Port were staying up there was
no one around the Traeth who would have denied that the good fairy exists
and that dreams come true. God's in his heaven and all's well with the
The game? Who care's about the game? This was all about survival. It would
have been great to end with a flourish of quality football but it was never
going to be like that. It was more a case of being in free fall through the
trap door marked 'Cymru Alliance' and then, when all seemed lost, being
yanked upward to safety by the seat of your pants. This was one of the most
tense afternoons ever at the Traeth -for the board, management, players and
supporters and it was settled by a goal which will definitely not be a
candidate for S4C goal of the season but measured in importance to the club
Richard Hughes's goal must qualify for goal of the decade at the very least.
'Boskin' just back from his 'honeymoon', a few hours, was 'over the moon' in
the 53rd minute when he applied the finishing touch to Aled Rowlands' free
kick from the right touchline and put the home side a vital goal ahead.
A stiff breeze was bound to influence the game so it became vitally
important for Port to reach the interval without conceding a goal if they
were to take advantage of the wind in the second period. Rhyl had a couple
of early shooting chances for Hunt and Connolly without causing Richard
Harvey a problem. But when free kick specialist Connolly had a chance from
just outside the box Harvey needed to go down well to his left to save. But
soon after Aled Rowlands' corner provided Carl Owen with a shooting chance
but he fired over the bar. A good build up by Port then threatened but
neither Carl Owen nor Matthew Hughes were able to get a real shot in.
Several times Lee Hunt used his pace to get behind the Port defence but was
unable to punish the home side. Towards the end of the half Rhyl applied
increasing pressure on the Port goal but the home side defended in depth
leaving only Matthew Hughes, who has been such a prolific scorer for the
reserves, as a lone front man. Port survived to the interval with another
Connolly free kick being deflected away and a powerful effort by Wilson
being well blocked.
Straight from the start of the second period Port showed their intention to
shoot on sight. Paul Roberts fired from 25 yards just above the angle and
Marcus Orlik also tested keeper Gann with shots from distance. Then came the
all important Richard Hughes goal after 8 minutes of the second period which
gave them something to hold on to. They defended in depth getting bodies
behind the ball to grind out the all important win. The best Rhyl chance
came just after the hour mark and once again it was Connolly. He let fly
from 20 yards but Harvey threw himself to his right to turn the powerful
shot round the post. There were still one or two hairy moments for Port to
overcome and none more than in the 90th minute when Richard Harvey pulled
off a remarkable save with his trailing leg when it seemed that Lee Hunt
must score. It was all about character in the second half a real team effort
and it would be wrong to single out players in what was essentially a
magnificent team effort.
For the first time since about November Port are out of the bottom three.
Now that's perfect timing! Mention needs to be made of the sporting post
match response of the Rhyl fans. They joined in the post match celebrations
with a presentation of their own to manager John Hulse on his 200th game in
charge. Port are staying up, we are staying up!!!!!
Port;(4-4-2) Richard Harvey, John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Richard Hughes, Mike
Foster: Marcus Orlik, Gareth Parry (Mark Thomas 73'), Paul Roberts, Aled
Rowlands (Barry Evans 82'); Matthew Hughes (Carl Jones 76'), Carl Owen.
Yellow: Ryan Davies 31', Mike Foster 66', John G Jones 88'
Rhyl: Gann, Holt (Brewerton 74'), Graves (White 38'), Connolly, Horan,
O'Neill, Craig Jones M Lloyd Williams 70'), Wilson, Hunt, Sharp, Chris
Yellow: Horan 62', Connolly 84'
Referee; Kerry Morgan Attendance: 357
Principality Building Society, Welsh Premier -Saturday, April 12th
Carmarthen ... 0 CPD Porthmadog ... 0
The character of this game changed following the 30th minute sending off of
central defender Rhys Roberts for a second yellow card. He received his
first after only 7 minutes and the second came later for a trip on Jamal
Easter. These two incidents hardly amounted to a sending off but were enough
to make Porthmadog's bid for all three points, a tall order to start with
against high flying opposition, but having been reduced to 10 men for an
hour it became a mountain to climb. Port reorganised defensively with Smart,
and after the interval Danny Hughes, moving to central defence and Paul
Roberts dropping to midfield leaving Carl Owen on his own up front.
Before this incident the game had opened up promisingly with chances being
created at both ends. David Hughes came close for Port in the 9th minute
when his well struck free kick from 25 yards tested Neil Thomas, but the
diving keeper turned the shot round the post. Richard Harvey was also in
action going down for a good save to stop Sasha Walters who cut in from the
right. The best early chance for the home side came in the 19th minute when
the Port defence stood still expecting an offside flag, but when it did not
materialise Tim Hicks was left with only Harvey to beat but his shot was
well off target. Paul Roberts had a shooting chance cut out by a home
defensive block following a good Port build up. But the best Port chance
fell to Aled Rowlands receiving a long right wing cross from David Hughes
but hurried his shot and lifted it over the bar. Easter was a threat for
Carmarthen and soon after his low cross had been well cut out by John
Gwynfor he burst into the box again but his 15 yard shot skidded off the
In the second period Port made a further reorganisation with Mike Foster
replacing Richard Smart who had become one of three players, along with Rhys
Roberts and Carmarthen's Gregg Coombes, to receive a yellow card within the
space of three minutes. Fortunately the referee showed more restraint after
this but the damage had already been done as far as Port were concerned. The
visitors were now left with little option but to organise themselves to
battle for a point and hope that they might catch the home team on the
break. They defended with discipline closing down the Carmarthen attack and
such was their success that Carmarthen created very few clear chances and
Richard Harvey needed to make very few serious saves during the second
period. Danny Thomas did put the ball into the net for Carmarthen soon after
the hour mark but it was a clear case of offside. Otherwise they were able
to put few shots on target and indeed the closest they came to a goal was on
80' when Kris Thomas cut in from the right and created space for a shot
but could only fire into the side netting. In fact it was Port who came well
towards the end and with a quarter of an hour to go a good passing move
provided Gareth Parry with a shooting chance but he shot wide of the mark. A
couple of Orlik free kicks put the home defence under pressure and one found
Aled Rowlands whose shot flew over the bar and later Paul Roberts shot low
but straight at keeper Neil Thomas.
It was unfortunate that the game as a contest was spoiled by the sending off
but Port can feel satisfied that, having had to set themselves more limited
targets, they have at least taken themselves into the final week of the
season with the door marked escape still not closed. This point also lifts
them off the bottom, albeit thanks to a superior goal difference.
Carmarthen: Neil Thomas, Deryn Brace, Smothers, Coombes, Palmer, Kris
Thomas, Sasha Walters, Tim Hicks (Danny Thomas 61'), Fowler, Easter,
Cotterall (Morris 80')
Sub not used: Phil Cattlin. Yellow Greg Coombes 32'
Porthmadog (4-4-2): Richard Harvey: John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Rhys Roberts,
Richard Smart (Mike Foster 46'): Dave Hughes (Marcus Orlik 59'), Gareth
Parry, Danny Hughes, Aled Rowlands: Paul Roberts, Carl Owen.
Sub not used: Mark Thomas. Red: Rhys Roberts (2 yellows 7' 30'), Richard
Referee: Huw Jones (Oswestry) Attendance 315.
Principality Building Society, Welsh Premier -Saturday, April 5th
CPD Porthmadog ... 3 Connah's Quay Nomads ... 3
Carl Owen 7' Sam McNutt 24', 27'
Rhys Roberts 37' Craig Jones 50'
Paul Roberts 43'
Despite scoring three times in the opening half Porthmadog failed at the
16th attempt to pull off a win at the Traeth. There were five goals in the
opening half with Port regaining the lead two minutes before the interval.
But the only goal of the second period was a scrappy affair but enough to
give the Nomads a share of the points. Port should have taken advantage of a
drawn game at Caersws but went on to miss numerous clear chances in the
closing stages of the game.
This was an open game played in a stiff breeze and though the Nomads enjoyed
more of the play in the opening period it was Port who had the perfect start.
Aled Rowlands came close after only four minutes and three minutes later
they were ahead when Carl Owen beat keeper Pritchard to a through ball and
steered it into the net from 12 yards. The main threat for the Nomads came
from McNutt who struck a series of dangerous free kicks which tested the
home defence. Danny Hughes had a shot deflected for a corner but McNutt
again forced Harvey into making a good diving save. When the Nomads
equaliser came after 24 minutes inevitably it was from McNutt. Port conceded
another free kick and the tall winger struck the ball inside Harvey's left
hand post. Three minutes later and the visitors went ahead and again it was
thanks to McNutt who beat Harvey to a cross from the right to head into the
net from 8 yards. With neither defence looking convincing there were more
chances and Paul Roberts could have done better when he received from Danny
Hughes. A long throw from Danny Hughes in the 37th minute caused panic in
the Nomads six yard box and Rhys Roberts applied the final touch to level
the scores. The best goal of the six came two minutes beforethe interval when
Carl Owen flicked on Richard Smart's free kick and PaulRoberts finished off
with a perfect lob into the corner of the net from 12yards to score his 10th
league goal of the season and his first in 2008.
Early in the second half Paul Roberts netted from close range but he was
adjudged offside. But ten minutes into the half the Nomads were back on
level terms again when a miscued Smart clearance reached Craig Jones who lobbed
overRichard Harvey and the linesman signalled that the ball had crossed the line.
But from then on it was Port who made most of the running relying almost
exclusively on hitting route one balls forward with little width to their play.
The Nomads still threatened on the break and Harvey pulled off a good save to
deny McNutt who broke into the box on the left. But as Port threw players
forward they created enough chances to win the game. Carl Owen had a low shot
touched round the post by Pritchard. With time running out Paul Roberts had a
header cleared off the line and the rebound ran to Gareth Parry whose shot
crashed on to the bar.But the best chance of all came in the 90th minute when
Paul Roberts was put clean through but fired over the bar from 12 yards.
This game represented Port's best chance of picking up three points as the
visit to Carmarthen and the home game against Rhyl will be extremely
difficult. However it is still mathematically possible and other teams will
no doubt drop points before the curtain comes down. No surrender ...yet.
Porthmadog: (4-4-2) Richard Harvey, John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Rhys Roberts
(Richard Hughes 73'), Richard Smart: Danny Hughes, Gareth Parry, Mark Thomas
(Marcus Orlik 72'), Aled Rowlands: Paul Roberts, Carl Owen.
Subs not used: David Hughes, Mark Bridge. Yellow: Richard Smart 25'.
Connah's Quay: Pritchard, Baker (Kilgannon 83'), Wayne Morgan, Alston, Chris
Williams, Craig Jones, Cadwallader, Forde, Cook, White, McNutt (Courtney
70'). Yellow: Wayne Morgan 90'.
Referee: L James. Attendance: 173
Principality Building Society, Welsh Premier -Monday, March 24th
Rhyl FC ...1 CPD Porthmadog ...0
Michael White 81'
Porthmadog were desperately unlucky to come away from the Belle Vue without
at least a point. A much improved performance, especially at the back, with
Ryan Davies and Rhys Roberts largely in charge and John Gwynfor doing his
usual cleaning up job. Having matched Rhyl in performance throughout it was
a thoroughly gutting experience to go down to an 81st minute winner.
Despite all the excellent defensive play it was a poor clearance which led
to the goal. It was picked up in a central position by Michael White who
took advantage of the space to move goalwards before unleashing a powerful
low drive which seemed to take a bit of a bobble and though Richard Harvey
managed to get a hand to it he could not prevent the score.
Porthmadog started well and a dangerous early cross from the left by Aled
Rowlands proved to be just beyond Gareth Parry and when it fell to Carl Owen
Rhyl defender Horan blocked the shot. Gareth Parry was also a constant
threat and several times, in the early stages, he pressurised the home
defence without managing a clear shot on goal. The main threat for Rhyl was
provided by the speedy Craig Jones who in turn worked both flanks. A good
effort wide on the left after five minutes just went outside the far post
and later he did the same from the right wing but the Port defence was
pleased that the outcome was also the same. The best first half opportunity
for Rhyl came in the 20th minute when Connolly found space on the edge of
the box but his shot struck a team mate and flew wide. Five minutes later
Port had a good opportunity when John Gwynfor was brought down on the edge
of the Rhyl box but Richard Smart lifted his free kick over the bar. There
were a couple of efforts from the hard working Carl Owen but the nearest
Port came to opening the score was when Aled Rowlands' well struck free kick
flew tantalisingly across the face of goal and the trio of Rhys Roberts,
Gareth Parry and Mark Thomas storming in just failed by a whisker to apply a
finishing touch. Port deserved to go in level at the interval with Danny
Hughes giving a commanding performance in midfield.
In the second half Port again threatened to go ahead from a well struck
dipping effort from 30 yards out from Mark Thomas. But the best Port chance
of the half came in the 69th minute when a super through ball from Gareth
Parry put Carl Owen behind the Rhyl defence but keeper Kendall was quickly
off his line to pull off a good save diving to gather at the striker's feet.
But Rhyl needing the three points to make sure of the 3rd spot in the table
were also a threat and the ever dangerous Craig Jones found Connolly with
room on the edge of the box but he sliced a good opportunity well aide of
the target. Pressure began to mount on the visitors' goal and it needed good
work by Rhys Roberts to cut out Lee Hunt's dangerous cross. In the end the
difference between the two sides was the fact that Rhyl were used to winning
close encounters while Port were too used to hard luck stories. The 81st
minute winner by White left Port once more to contemplate what might have
been. Port are running out of games but with Connah's Quay, Carmarthen an
Rhyl again to come they will have learned today that they need not fear any
of these sides, especially if they get that stroke of luck to go with the
quality of play shown.
Port Chairman Phil Jones, despite the excellent welcome he received at the
Rhyl canteen together with the fine fare served up was left once more to
curse another afternoon of so near yet so far.
Rhyl: Kendall, Ruffer, Chris Roberts, Connolly, Horan, O'Neill, Craig Jones,
Stones, Hunt(Wilson 84'), Sharp (Marc Lloyd Williams 80'), White (Holt 90')
Yellow: George Horan 25', Craig Jones 84'
Porthmadog: (4-5-1) Richard Harvey, John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Rhys Roberts,
Richard Smart: David Hughes, Gareth Parry, Danny Hughes, Mark Thomas, Aled
Rowlands (Paul Roberts 84'): Carl Owen.
Subs not used: Richard Hughes, Barry Evans.
Referee: Lee Evans. Attendance: 381.
Principality Building Society, Welsh Premier -Saturday, March 22nd
CPD Porthmadog ...2 Llanelli ...4
Mark Thomas 83’ (pen) Craig Jones 14’
Stuart Jones 87’ (og) Ryan Davies 25’ (og)
Rhys Griffiths 42’, 90’
It was perhaps asking too much of Port to expect them to record their first
home win of the season against opposition of the quality of Llanelli.
Despite a reasonable start the home side found themselves a goal behind
after only 7 minutes and poor defence led them to concede a further two
goals before the interval. A late revival failed to really threaten the
league leaders and leaves Port asking where the vital points are coming
Port threatened early on and following a good build up Carl Owen had a
shooting opportunity but failed to get enough power on his shot to threaten
Harrison in the Llanelli goal. But after only seven minutes Craig Jones
burst forward from deep, past Mike Foster before firing low just inside
Richard Harvey’s left hand post to open the scoring. A minute later Mumford
had his free kick from 25 yards deflected for a corner. Though Llanelli
looked threatening breaking quickly from defence Port continued to create
opportunities and a good through ball by Ryan Davies gave Carl Owen a
heading opportunity but Harrison again dealt with it comfortably. From Aled
Rowlands’ corner Carl Owen fired over the bar. But with 25 minutes gone Port
found themselves further behind when lack of communication between Ryan
Davies and Richard Harvey saw Davies rise at the far post to meet a Mumford
free kick and loop his header over Harvey into the net. Llanelli threatened
to add a third when Corbisero headed over at the far post after a counter
attack down the right. But three minutes before the interval the visitors
got their third when Craig Jones again broke down the right and having
reached the bye line crossed low to give the league’s leading scorer, Rhys
Griffiths, the simplest tap in. It could have been four but Richard Harvey
pulled off a good save to deny Rhys Griffiths
Twice after the restart Llanelli could have increased their lead, first when
Corbisero shot weakly straight at Harvey and Craig Jones chipped a shot just
wide. Harvey was again in action palming a Mumford free kick over the bar.
Llanelli profligacy continued with Rhys Griffiths firing across the face of
goal when well placed. Having escaped without conceding a further goal Port
gradually started to threaten themselves and a Mark Thomas shot from 25
yards over the bar was followed by a dipping Carl Owen effort after Paul
Roberts had found him in space on the edge of the box. With 82 minutes gone
Carl Owen burst clear and rounded the keeper before being pulled to the
ground just as he was about to score. Harrison received a straight red card
and Mark Thomas sent replacement keeper Ryan Lewis the wrong way to score
from the spot. Four minutes later and the two goal advantage was restored
when Rhys Griffiths netted Lee Phillips’s cross from close range. Port
gained an injury time second when a Paul Roberts cross from the right was
deflected into his own net at the far post by Lee Phillips under pressure
from Carl Owen.
With four games left Port will need to get something from the very difficult
away fixture at Rhyl on Monday.
Porthmadog (4-5-1) Richard Harvey, John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Rhys Roberts
(Richard Hughes 78’), Mike Foster (Richard Smart 55’), David Hughes, Gareth
Parry, Danny Hughes, Aled Rowlands (Paul Roberts 61’), Carl Owen.
Llanelli Harrison, Lee Phillips, Gary Lloyd, Mumford, Stuart Jones, Wyn
Thomas, Craig Jones, Corbisero, Rhys Griffiths (Mark Jones 87’), Chris
Holloway, Mark Pritchard.
Subs not used; Legg, Follows. Yellow: Rhys Griffiths 25’, Matthew Jones 77’.
Red: Ryan Harrison.
Referee; Mark Petch Attendance: 224