Porthmadog
CPD Porthmadog FC
Cynghrair Undebol Huws Gray Alliance League


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| Rhydymwyn (h) | Penycae (a) | Llandudno (h) | Guilsfield (a) | Flint / Fflint (h) | Caersws (a) |


Huws Gray Alliance        -14 September
 
Caersws FC ... 4            CPD Porthmadog ... 3
Adam Jekins 28,38        Neil Thomas 72
Jack Hughes 49      Carl Owen 73
Tomos Richards 58        Dan Bell 84
 
With less than an hour of the game gone Caersws were 4-0 up and 
cruising, and on the hour they netted again only to see that goal 
ruled offside. That low point seemed to galvanise Port and a 
spirited fight back produced a three goal response in just 12 mins 
to set up a tense and exciting finish. That finish was, in the end, 
marred by an 82nd minute injury to Neil Thomas, who left the 
Recreation Ground en-route for Ysbyty Gwynedd with a suspected 
broken ankle.
 
Caersws looked a threat right from the start and in only the first 
minute Gareth Barker was forced to save well as David Edwards met a 
Mark Griffiths cross at the back post. Barker was soon in action 
again when Mark Griffiths chased down a long ball and was denied by 
a point blank save by the keeper. Following a period of pressure Dan 
Bell struck Port’s first goal attempt but his shot went over the bar 
from 25 yards. Port could have drawn first blood after 18’ when 
following a Ceri James free kick, Leon Newell put Ben Vangucci in 
with a clear shooting chance but the full back delayed momentarily and 
the chance was lost. But as the half hour mark neared Caersws struck 
with Neil Mitchell breaking down the centre and a switch right wrong 
footed the Port defence and Adam Jenkins was put through on the right 
of the box and fired a low shot across the keeper into the far corner 
for the lead.  Gareth Barker  continued to be the busier of the two 
keepers saving from Adam Jenkins after a defensive muddle and keeping 
out a David Edwards header. It was perhaps no surprise when after 38’ 
Caersws doubled their advantage and again the initial threat came from 
Neil Mitchell breaking down the right and cutting inside along the 
byline before lifting a cross to the back post which provided Adam 
Jenkins with the simplest of close range headers for his second of the 
afternoon. Meanwhile the best Port efforts came from Carl Owen who hit 
a good effort from 20 yards which went narrowly wide of the angle.  A 
minute before the interval David Jones needed a spectacular save to 
keep out a curling Carl Owen free kick. On the stroke of half time Mark 
Griffiths touched an Iwan Lewis free kick into the side netting.  2-0 
at the interval.
 
The mountain which Port had to climb at the start of the second period 
soon assumed Everest proportions. They conceded two more goals in the 
first ten minutes of the second period. After only 4 second half minutes 
a Jack Hughes free kick from the right took a deflection and though 
Gareth Barker adjusted well he fell while completing his save with the 
linesman flagging that the ball had crossed the goal line. Cruel luck 
for a keeper who made so many good saves during the 90’. On 55 minutes 
Jack Hughes lifted a corner to the back post and Tomos Richards headed 
in unchallenged at the back post for the fourth. Things could have been 
even worse on the hour when Mark Griffiths netted only for the goal to 
be ruled offside. The home side four goals up, relied more and more on 
huge kicks from the back and one of these was controlled by Griffiths 
whose near post cross was screwed wide by Adam Jenkins. Then with Caersws 
coasting Port at last mounted a response. An excellent Dan Bell 
crossfield pass opened up Caersws and Leon Newell was through on goal 
but his shot from 15 yards struck the outside of the post. Another good 
Port build up gave Carl Owen a chance on goal but his angled shot went 
across the face of goal and narrowly wide. Port now raised their game and 
following another good move down the right Ben Vangucci broke into the 
box and Neil Thomas took advantage of the perfectly weighted through ball 
to score with a low shot from the right of the box. It took only a minute 
for Port to add a second when almost from the kick off Carl Owen raced on 
to a through ball and coolly slotted it past David Jones. Very late in the 
afternoon it was game on. Caersws tried to regain control and Rhys Roberts 
had to head a Graham Evans shot off his line. Despite the serious injury 
to the influential Neil Thomas Port struck again with six minutes left. 
First a Ryan Connolly cross from the right found Carl Owen who was denied 
by a an outstanding save by Jones  But a cross from the left, hit with 
pace by Eilir Edwards, followed and was met by Dan Bell whose flicked 
header this time gave the keeper no chance. Six minutes remained but Port 
failed to muster the equaliser and were not helped in this by a referee 
who added no overtime despite the injury and three substitutions.
 
Despite the defeat, Gareth Parry will have learned something about his 
team’s fighting qualities today, though he would be better pleased if they 
didn’t in future wait to go 4 goals down before mounting a recovery. Of 
even more concern will be the potentially long term injury to Neil Thomas 
and with a game on Wednesday the dead leg Ceri James has picked up. Our 
very best wishes go to Neil Thomas and fingers crossed.
 
PORTHMADOG: Gareth Barker, Ben Vangucci, Gruff Williams, Ceri James 
(Neil Thomas 49, Ryan Connolly 82), Dan Pyrs, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, 
Dan Bell, Carl Owen, Leon Newell, Eilir Edwards. Subs unused: Dylan Jones, 
Jamie Hulse, Ceiron Hall. Yellow: Rhys Roberts 59.
 
CAERSWS: David Jones, David Edwards, Jack Hughes Paul Grant, Tomos Richards, 
Graham Jones, Iwan Lewis, Neil Mitchell, Adam Jenkins, Mark Griffiths 
(Graham Evans 66), Ian Probert.
Subs unused: Gareth Mansell Jake Parr. Yellow: Graham Jones 43.
 
Referee: N. Rutter (Abermule)            Attendance: 169.     


Huws Gray Alliance        -Saturday, 7 September	
Match Sponsors: Lin Hughes and Steve Sneade Liverpool. 

CPD Porthmadog ... 2	Flint Town Utd. ... 0
Leon Newell	'64
Carl Owen '91

Port put the early season blues well and truly behind them, making
it a third straight win and this time overcoming Flint with another 
polished performance. It took  Port more than an hour before they 
were able  to get their noses in front and that despite completely 
dominating the scoreless opening half with some quality football. But 
having established a lead they needed to defend against a strong, 
spirited Flint finish. They did so, remaining organised and brave at 
the back . The game was not finally settled until Carl Owen’s added 
time goal, his first in the league since before his long injury 
enforced absence when he put two past Rhayader on 9 March 2010. 
 
Port were on the attack from the very start and Flint keeper Ben Jones 
had to be alert to collect a Leon Newell header at his near post  after 
only two minutes. Soon after Carl Owen met a Rob Evans cross but his 
header flew wide. A series of home free kicks followed and there were 
further Port goal attempts as they continued to build up a good head of 
steam. Leon Newell fired a shot from 20 yards straight at keeper Jones 
and Ben Vangucci rose well in the box but his header went over the bar. 
The nearest Port came to the open scoring was when Ceri James slipped 
the elusive Leon Newell in at the near post and the forward was unlucky 
to see his angled shot thud against the post on 23’. Following this Flint 
enjoyed their best period of the opening half and it needed a good Dan 
Pyrs tackle on the edge of the box to ease the pressure. Port then 
continued to dominate with wide men Rob Evans and Eilir Edwards prominent 
in some good passages of play. Visitors keeper Ben Jones was by far the 
busier of the two keepers. He saved well from Carl Owen, taking advantage 
of a Leon Newell flick, and moments later went full stretch to his left to 
keep out a Dan Bell effort. Another Dan Bell effort and a Rhys Roberts 
header were not far off target. But despite all the pressure there was no 
end product and Port had keeper Gareth Barker to thank that they did not 
go in at the interval a goal down. He raced out to make a strong one 
handed save to deny Craig Whitfield who burst clear one on one. 0-0 at 
half time. 
 
Two minutes into the second half and it was more of the same with Ben Jones 
in action again diving full length to keep out Leon Newell who had been put 
through again by Ceri James. From the corner Mark Beech did well to clear a 
Rhys Roberts’ header off his line. Flint, having introduced Shaun Beck at 
the interval, responded with a series of attacks winning three corners in as 
many minutes. But these came to nothing and again it was Leon Newell putting 
Eilir Edwards through on the left but the winger lifted his shot over the bar. 
A left wing cross from Eilir Edwards was met by Dan Bell at the back post but 
into the side netting. Then with 64’ minutes on the clock Port finally and 
deservedly broke the deadlock. Leon Newell outpaced the Flint defence to burst 
into the box and though Ben Jones got a hand to the shot this time he could not 
keep the ball out. It was Leon Newell’s third in  consecutive games. Flint were 
not in any mood to capitulate and now introduced the tall figure of Jon Rush. 
Three minutes after coming on he rose well to meet a Tom Smith cross from the 
right but failed to hit the target. The visitors pushed forward looking for the 
equaliser and Port were now forced to defend in numbers. But as the Flint 
pushed forward opportunities to counter attack increased. Rob Evans was now an 
increasing threat down the right and he supplied Carl Owen only for Ben Jones 
to make another good stop. Another Rob Evans break and Carl Owen slipped a pass 
for Eilir Edwards who drew another outstanding save from Jones and when the 
rebound came back to Edwards he hurried his shot lifting it over the bar. Rob 
Evans himself was only inches wide with a low shot having cut inside to the edge 
of the box. Flint responded with an angled shot by skipper John Davies which 
Barker saved at his near post.  Shaun Beck then worked himself i a shooting 
opportunity but again wide as was Derek Taylor when he cut inside from the left. 
With added time upon us Port finally made the game safe and Rob Evans was the 
creator, putting Carl Owen through on goal with a perfectly judged pass. Carl  
coolly slotted the ball into the net and it was game over. In the final nervy 
stages Port benefited from the introduction of Neil Thomas who used his 
experience  to slow the game down, keep possession and relieve pressure.  
 
Again it was a team performance with 11 men of the match. This result lifts Port 
into 5th spot in the table and means they retain their unbeaten record in games 
against the Deeside club since dropping back to the HGA.
 
PORTHMADOG:Gareth Barker, Ben Vangucci, Josh Banks, Ceri James, Dan Pyrs, Rhys 
Roberts, Rob Evans (Ryan Connolly 90), Danny Bell (Dylan Jones 89), Carl Owen, 
Leon Newell (Neil Thomas 77), Eilir Edwards. Unused subs: Rhys T Roberts, Gruff J 
Williams. Yellow: Ben Vangucci 59, Ceri James 73, Rhys Roberts 82.
 
Flint: Ben Jones, Mark Beech, Martin Beattie, Mark Allen, John Davies, Jack Ford 
(Stewart Carroll 74), Derek Taylor, Tom Smith, Craig Whitfield (Jon Rush 70), 
Gareth Roberts, Ryan Davies (Shaun Beck 46). Unused subs: Mitch Roberts, John Hill. 
Yellow: Gareth Roberts 6, Tom Smith 90.
 
Referee: Martin Williams.                        Attendance: 169.


Huws Gray Alliance        -Saturday, 31 August	
 
Guilsfield FC ... 1            CPD Porthmadog ... 2
Danny Barton (p) 75        Dan Bell 12
                                         Leon Newell 33
										 
Port followed up their midweek home victory against Llandudno 
with a good win against sterner opposition at Guilsfield –never 
an easy place to come to. They went deservedly two goals up in 
an opening half where they  played some attractive football and 
indeed could have been more than two goals up at the interval. 
The latter stages of the second half inevitably saw the mid-Wales 
club dig in and, up the slope, they built up a head of steam 
which put the Port defence under pressure. Under this pressure 
they conceded a penalty which gave the home side hope and with 
corners, long throws and free kicks flying into the box the Port 
defence had to work hard to hold on to their lead.

Port opened brightly and after only two minutes Ceri James chipped 
the ball for Carl Owen to steer a bouncing ball straight at the 
keeper.  The same player then had a shot deflected into the arms of 
the keeper. A Guilsfield breakway followed with Danny Barton’s 
angled ball finding Cathrall on the right of the box but the winger 
sliced his shot off target. But with only 12 minutes on the clock 
Dan Bell took advantage of a poor goal kick to race forward 
unchallenged and from the edge of the box coolly slotted it past the 
advancing Littleford. The home side could have drawn level immediately 
when Barton robbed keeper Gareth Barker, but despite having a clear 
shot on goal he fired wide. A Dan Bell free kick was then flicked on 
by Dylan Jones and it needed a smart save from Littleford to touch it 
over the bar. Though Port were largely in control  a timely Vangucci 
tackle  halted Gareth Jones as he broke into the Port box. Dan Bell then 
broke from midfield and his 20 yard shot was only narrowly off target. 
Port were putting the home defence under pressure with some well judged 
through balls into the box and one of these from Carl Owen provided Eilir 
Edwards with a good opportunity but he hurried his shot and in trying 
to lob the keeper his effort went over the bar. But on 33 minutes Leon 
Newell scored an even better goal than his gem against Llandudno. Dan Bell 
lobbed  into the box for Newell to chase and though he was going away 
from goal followed by his marker  with the outside of his left foot he 
lifted the ball over both his marker and the keeper into the far corner of 
the net. With half time approaching Guilsfield dangerman Danny Barton put 
Cathrall through down the left but the resulting shot went well wide. 
2-0 to Port at the interval.

Port looking to build on their first half lead and within a minute Ben 
Vangucci met a Ceri James free kick at the back post which was only 
narrowly wide. But clearly the home sdie were not going to give up without 
a fight and a warning came after 56 minutes when Andy Ford was not far off 
target when he met a Jack Harris corner. Two minutes later when a ball was 
worked across from the right Cathrall fired goalwards but Barker got a hand 
to it and Vangucci completed the clearance. The Port keeper had to repeat 
the process with a close range save from Gareth Jones. The visitors managed 
to relieve the pressure and break forward for Rob Evans to meet a cross from 
the left with a first time shot which he lifted over the bar. The same was 
the fate of Eilir Edwards’ shot cutting in from the left. But as the home 
side pushed forward Port defended more and more deeply and invited pressure. 
Gone was the possession football of the first half which only added to their 
problems. A free kick from 20 yards from Darren Beech struck Gareth Barker’s 
left hand post but was cleared away. Danny Barton then netted for the home 
side but was ruled offside. Under mounting pressure Port conceded a 75th 
minute penalty and inevitably it was Danny Barton who scored from the spot. 
Port now had a difficult 15 minutes left to negotiate and despite a series of 
free kicks, corners and well directed Chris Cathrall long throws they past the 
test succesfully. There was even time for a late chase from Leon Newell down 
the right and an outrageous attempt at goal which was not far away from 
Littleford’s right hand post. 

It is always pleasing to come away from Guisfield with all three points –a task 
which will prove beyond many sides this season. Though this website doesn’t 
comment adversely on referees it is a matter for concern that in a game of very 
few bad tackles today’s official should hand out 7 yellow cards (Port 4 Guils 3). 

PORTHMADOG: Gareth Barker, Ben Vangucci, Josh Banks, Dylan Jones (Dan Pyrs 69), 
Rhys Roberts, Ceri James (Neil Thomas 67), Rob Evans, Dan Bell, Leon Newell, Carl 
Owen (Craig Papirnyk 86), Eilir Edwards. Subs not used: Ryan Connolly, Rhys T 
Roberts. Yellow: Rob Evans, Eilir Edwards, Dan Bell, Dylan Jones.

GUILSFIELD: Dave Littleford, Callum Bromley, Luke Douglas, James Henderson, Andy 
Ford, James O’Reilly, Chris Cathrall, Nathan Leonard(Darren Beech 51), Danny Barton, 
Gareth Jones, Mark Davies (Jack Harris 51). Sub not used: Marty Ziemann, Yellow: 
Danny Barton, Gareth Jones + one more.
 
Referee: Tom Williams (Wrexham)                        Attendance: 80


Huws Gray Alliance     -Tuesday, 27 August
 
CPD Porthmadog ... 3        Llandudno Town ... 0
Josh Banks 43
Leon Newell 55
Eilir Edwards 85

At the third time of asking Port got their show on the road with a result 
and performance more in keeping with pre season expectations. Though the 
first Port goal was a long time coming it was the home team who always 
looked the more likely to get that opener.  In the second half however the 
gap between the two sides widened and it was Port’s team performance from 
Gareth Barker in goal through to Eilir Edwards at No 11 that controlled the 
game and though the third goal did not come until the 85th minute the game 
was over well before then. There were also plenty of individual performances 
to please the the home support noisily backed by our wonderful singing 
supporters, the Cricieth Pathfinders.

Llandudno were the first on the attack down the right with Gareth Barker 
forced into an early save at his near post. But Port soon responded with a 
Leon Newell effort which keeper Metcalfe turned for a corner. Soon after Carl 
Owen had a shot blocked and the same player was in the action again with a 
header saved by Metcalfe and another header, meeting an excellent Banks cross, 
which was only narrowly off target. A curling Owen free kick followed which 
was kept ut by Metcalfe. The visitors responded with an angled shot from 
Macaulay after 17 minutes.  Macaulay later  left the the field with an injury 
to be replaced by Bryan Roberts. After 22 minutes Gareth Barker pulled off a 
fine one handed save after a dangerous cross from the left but for the rest of 
the half Port were increasingly in control. Rob Evans tested the keeper with a 
cracker which he touched over the bar and following an Eilir Edwards corner Rhys 
Roberts came close. Leon Newell, who was a constant threat to the visitors 
defence, with his pace and clever runs found Eilir Edwards in behind the defence 
and Edwards’ chip over keeper Metcalfe had to be scrambled off the line. But 
with two minutes left of the opening half Rob Evans cut across the edge of the 
penalty area and slipped the ball through to Josh Banks for the full back to open 
the scoring from 12 yards. It was a deserved lead and it needed Metcalfe to race 
out to beat Leon Newell to Carl Owen’s angled ball into the box. The only real 
response from Llandudno in the latter stages of the half was a burst down the 
right by Toby Jones forcing Gareth Barker into a good save at his near post. 
1-0 to Port at the inteval.

Two minutes into the second period Eilir Edwards put in Leon Newell for a shot on 
goal which drifted wide. But 10 minutes into the second half Port got their second 
from a well worked move. Josh Banks’ low cross from the left and Dan Bell’s dummy 
to set up Leon Newell, who crowned what was probably his best performance in  a 
Port shirt, with a superb finish curling wide of Andy Metcalfe’s outstretched left 
hand. Either side of the second Port goal Toby Jones fired wide from 25 yards and 
a free kick by the same player was scrambled clear by the Port defence. Good Port 
moves now opened up the visitors defence with Eilir Edwards finding more and more 
space on the left. The winger almost put Carl Owen through but Metcalfe was quickly 
off his line to clear. Good work again from Edwards beating his marker and crossing 
for Carl Owen to force another good save from the visitors’ keeper. A Rob Evans 
blast called Metcalfe into action again but with five minutes remaining Eilir 
Edwards deservedly got his name on the score sheet, though ironically the busy 
Metcalfe was this time to blame as he failed to hold a 20 yard effort which spun out 
of his grasp into the net. Llandudno in this second period were restricted to shots 
from distance and when Bryan Roberts and Toby Jones did find the target home keeper 
Gareth Barker responded with a couple of good saves.

A good evening for Port, bouncing back from two very disappointing performances and 
providing themselves with something to build on. Port can take heart and confidence 
from both the collective and individual performnces ahead of the visit to Guisfield 
on Saturday.

PORTHMADOG: Gareth Barker, Ben Vangucci, Josh Banks, Dylan Jones, Rhys Roberts, Ceri 
James, Dan Bell, Rob Evans (Ryan Connolly 87), Carl Owen (Craig Papirnyk 83), Leon 
Newell, Eilir Edwards. Sub not used: Rhys T Roberts. Yellow; Ben Vangucci 75.

LLANDUDNO: Andy Metcalfe, Joe Williams, Anthony Tierney, Arron Pritchard, Paul Roberts, 
Joel Richardson, Iwan Williams (Darren Jones), Asa Hamilton, Dean Seagar, Toby Jones, 
Josh Macaulay (Bryan Roberts 29). Unused subs: Matty Singleton, Peter Jones.

Referee: Gareth Wyn Jones (Bontnewydd)            Attendance: 225.   



Huws Gray Alliance League        -Saturday, 24 August.

Penycae ... 0		CPD Porthmdog ... 0
Ian Oliver Davies 22'		Rob Evans 4'
Dan Drazdaukas 32', 65'
James Jones 47'
Aaron Edwards 49'

After last week’s loss against Rhydymwyn in the wind and rain on the
Traeth, this is a game which Port would have hoped would allow them get their 
season back on track. After all, in the four previous meetings between the two 
sides, Port had emerged as victors each time.		

And the initial signs were good for the visitors. Playing down the slope, and 
despite the frenetic pace of the game, Port were in complete control the first 
20 minutes. It took only 4 minutes for them to capitalise on their early 
domination. Rhys T Roberts was felled outside the box and from the resulting 
free-kick, Rob Evans pounced on Rhys Roberts’ downward header to score 
from close range.

Carl Owen could have doubled the lead just four minutes later but his header 
was straight at the goalkeeper. Minutes later, Penycae keeper Josh Makaruk was 
again called into action; this time saving well from Eilir Edwards when the 
Port midfielder was clean through on goal. Ironically, the home side’s 
only chance during the first 20 minutes came from a Port player, but luckily 
Ceri James’ header went just wide.

Half way through the half came two incidents which changed the course of the 
game. Firstly, on 22 minutes, came a rare spell of Penycae pressure. Following 
some good interplay, the ball fell to Ian Oliver Davies who struck the ball 
home to bring the sides level. Then just after the restart, Gruffudd John 
Williams clashed with Penycae’s Graham Diment – Gruff was forced to 
leave the pitch injured after Diment seemingly stamped on him. Ryan Connolly 
was bought on as substitute to replace the right back.

From this moment on, the whole balance of the game changed, with Penycae 
putting the Port goal under a lot of pressure. After 32 minutes they were 
ahead. Dan Drazdaukas – who had scored twice against Port last season, 
for his former side Rhydymwyn – beat Dylan Jones to the ball and calmly 
slotted the ball home.

Going behind did spur the visitors into action and minutes later a couple of 
half chances came their way. On 34 minutes Ceri James saw his 25 yard effort go 
over the bar while a minute later Josh Banks surged through on the left but his 
shot went past the post. An even better chance fell to Rob Evans two minutes 
before the break - Eilir Edwards’ short corner found him on the edge of 
the box but his shot was well saved.

From Port’s perspective, the least said about the second half, the
better! It started badly with a cross from the right finding an unmarked James 
Jones and his header put Penycae two goals clear. On 49 minutes, the home team 
scored their fourth. This time the scorer was Aaron Edwards with a close range 
effort.

Despite a lot of pressure from Penycae, it took them until five minutes after 
the hour to score their fifth. Drazdaukas was again Port’s tormentor 
– a through ball saw Josh Banks outnumbered two to one by attackers and 
he couldn’t prevent Drazdaukas from scoring with a shot from within the 
penalty box.

Port did have a few chances late on to score a consolation goal. Carl Owen and 
Dan Bell went close with headers while in stoppage time Bell was denied a goal 
– his long range effort saved well by the goalkeeper.

Today was an altogether disastrous day for Gareth Parry’s men and the 
injury to Gruffudd John made it an even worse day. The only positive thing that 
can be said is that it’s only three days before the next game so we 
don’t have to wait long to try to make amends. Tuesday’s visitors 
to the Traeth, Llandudno, were also on the receiving end of a 5-1 defeat 
– on Friday against Cefn Druids.

PORTHMADOG: Gareth Barker, Gruffudd John Williams (Ryan Connelly 24’), 
Josh Banks, Ceri James (Craig Papynik 79’), Dylan Jones, Rhys Roberts, 
Rhys T Roberts (Leon Newell 72’), Dan Bell, Carl Owen, Eilir Edwards, Rob 
Evans.
Subs: Leon Newell, Ryan Connelly, Craig Papynik, Ben Vangouci, Ceiron Hall

PENYCAE: Josh Makaruk, Dan Moore, Graham Diment, Ben Howarth, Paul Griffiths, 
Ian Williams (Nathan Nicholls 46’), Paul Mazzarella, James Jones, Aaron 
Edwards, Dan Drazdaukas, Ian Oliver Davies.
Subs: Naim Arsan, Tim Manuel, Aled Reece, Nathan Nicholls, Lee Butterworth

Ref: Dean Evans, Llanfyllin

Report: Emyr Gareth / Phil Jones


Huws Gray Alliance League        -Saturday, 17 August.
Match Sponsor: Toyota Harlech. Match Ball: Madog Garage

CPD Porthmdog ... 0        Rhydymwyn ... 1
                                  George Baxter 41

In atrocious conditions it was perhaps inevitable that a defensive 
lapse should decide the course of the game. Played in a gale force 
winds and torrential rain from start to finish it turned around a 
41st minute underhit  backpass, routine in normal conditions. But 
on a sodden pitch the ball, back to debutant keeper Gareth Barker, 
held up just enough for the speedy George Baxter to nip in and 
coolly steer the ball into an empty net. It was a priceless lead and 
gave the visitors something to defend in the second half when they 
were playing into the teeth of the storm. The visitors defended 
really well in the second period, riding their luck when they needed 
to and holding on against an increasingly frustrated home side for a 
first day victory .

Port played into the howling gale and driving rain in the opening half 
and Rhydymwyn were able to gain the early territorial advantage. To 
their credit both sides got the ball down to pass it around despite the 
difficult conditions. It was a testing baptism for Gareth Baker in the 
Port goal and a Chris Guy free kick into the swirling wind put him under 
early pressure. The ball was scrambled away as far as Andrew Watkins who 
lifted his shot over the bar. It was another free kick after 15 minutes 
that provided the visitors with another shooting opportunity. Watkins 
played in Guy on the right of the box but Barker was down well to pull 
off an excellent save. Barker was again called into action after 20 
minutes and this time he went down at his left hand post to keep out a 
McConnell effort. Gradually however Port got themselves more into the game 
and a break by Eilir Edwards produced their first shot on goal. Port now 
enjoyed increasing possession and moved the ball about well putting the 
Rhydymwyn defence under some pressure. The nearest they came to a 
breakthrough resulted from a good Josh Banks cross from the left but Carl 
Owen’s header under pressure was blocked away. With half time approaching 
the visitors sneaked ahead at a stage when Port appeared to be gaining the 
upper hand. To his teamates’ delight George Baxter capitalised on the error 
and gave Rhydymwyn a goal advantage at the interval.

It was very much all to play for as the second period started with Port now 
setting themselves up to take advantage of the unrelenting elements. Four 
minutes into the second period Leon Newell broke down the right and lifted a 
cross to the back post where Josh Banks was only narrowly off target. With 
Port continuing to drive forward Gruff Williams unleashed a 25 yard cracker 
which keeper Elliot Power managed to turn on to the post and was relieved to 
see it scrambled away. Port continued to pressurise and Danny Bell curled a 
free kick past the post and when keeper Power failed to hold a Rhys Roberts 
effort there was no one on hand to steer home the rebound. With Port’s 
frustration mounting as the equaliser refused to come Rhydymwyn were able to 
break out and threaten to double their lead. One of their best breaks came 
from their goalscorer Gearge Baxter, and his low angled shot drifted very 
narrowly past the far post. A Watkins free kick for Rhyd had to be scrambled 
away. A  long ball out by Port’s Gareth Barker followed which was  ably 
brought under control by Eilir Edwards in a central position 20 yards, but  
he fired his shot straight at the keeper.  With now only 12 minutes left 
Danny Bell for Port drew a good save from Power. As they strove desperately 
to get on level terms Port were tending to lose their shape and it needed 
Gareth Barker to come to the edge of the box to stop a threatening break 
from Gary McConnell. With time running out Power pulled off another good save 
to keep out a Dylan Jones thumper. But the final whistle arrived with the 
visitors defence, well marshalled by Dave Bryan and Richard Griffiths, still 
holding out for all three points.

There was no concealing that this was a big disappointment to lose at home on 
the opening day. It is frustrating to prepare a team for a game of passing 
football on an August afternoon and then turn up to find you are playing in 
worst possible conditions. But as they say it was the same for both teams and 
if it’s any consolation then on this form Rhydymwyn will prove a handful for 
many more clubs in this league.

Port: Gareth Barker, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Ryan Connolly (Craig Papirnyk 72), 
Dylan Jones, Rhys Roberts, Leon Newell (Rhys T Roberts 60), Danny Bell, Carl Owen, 
Rob Evans, Eilir Edwards. Unused subs: Ben Vangucci, Ceiron Hall (gk). 
Yellow: Josh Banks 20, Craig Papirnyk 73.

Rhyd: Elliot Power, Gary Tebble, Barry Bunell, Dave Bryan, Richard Griffiths, Andrew 
Watkins, George Baxter, Chris Guy, Gary McConnell, Terry Pughe, Dave Gleave 
(Alec Sumner 74). Yellow: Andrew Watkins 57, Terry Pughe 89.

Referee: Martin Roberts.                                            Attendance; 131.


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