| Treffynnon / Holywell (h) |
Cefn Druids (a) |
Prestatyn (h) |
Flint (a) |
Conwy (h) |
Buckley (a) |
Mold Alex (a) |
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 19 December 2015
Mold Alex......................... 1
Dan Dazdrauskas 76’
CPD Porthmadog.............. 2
Stuart Rogers 43’
Josh Davies 71’
Port returned to football after having their games against Rhayader and Caersws washed out. In a tight game played in difficult conditions Port recorded their third consecutive 2-1 victory, completing the double over Alex and continue the climb up the table. The goal which separated the two sides at the end came from the best move of the game with Josh Davies finishing in great style. But like the previous games, a two goal lead was reduced in the 76th minute to give travelling supporters some nail biting towards the end.
In the early sparring both sides created an opportunity each with Rob Evans, for Port, racing on to a quickly taken free kick and testing home keeper Kris Lee at his near post. Alex responded with a break which provided Ross McDowell with a good shooting chance which he lifted over the bar. But in these early stages neither side was able to really test either keeper and was pretty much a midfield battle. After 20 minutes Dazdrauskas broke well down the left crossing for McAuliffe whose powerful shot was deflected for a corner. In the middle part of the half the home side were looking to get the upper hand and there were efforts -off target -from both McDowell and Laird, But towards the end of the half pressure started to build on the home defence. Julian Williams let fly a blaster from 15 yards which keeper Lee did well to hold. Josh Davies was then extremely unfortunate not to put Port ahead. He lobbed a good ball played from the back by Gruff Williams over the advancing keeper only to see it strike the crossbar and bounce behind for a goal kick. Port continued to up the tempo and a downward header by Julian Williams only narrowly failed to find Josh Davies in the six yard box. But with the interval upon us Port broke the deadlock. Rob Evans broke down the right and his cross found Steve Rogers whose excellent glancing header nestled in the corner of the net. 0-1 at half-time.
The second half began with a good early break from Julian Williams cutting along the byline to test keeper Lee at his near post. Then it was the Alex who were the threat and five minutes into the half Richard Harvey had to race 20 yards out of his goal to thwart Dazdrauskas. Harvey was soon in action again going down well to save a well struck Laird free kick. On the hour mark there was a huge scramble in the Port box as Alex fought to get back on level terms but ended with Laird’s close range shot going narrowly wide. But having weathered the pressure Port produced the best move of the match. A Mold free kick was cleared as far as Eilir Edwards still deep in his own half. The winger raced forward over the halfway line before putting Julian Williams away down the left. Williams outpaced his marker, cut inside and pulled the ball back for Josh Davies who still had some work to do. The striker found space in the box and fired low from 15 yards past Lee in the home goal to double the Port advantage. But as has happened so often Port failed to hold on as Mold struck back only five minutes later. Ross McDowell committed defenders with a good run and then put Dazdrauskas clear on goal. The forward finished clinically from 18 yards. A tricky final quarter of an hour faced Port but on this occasion it was they who created the best chances in the final phase. A mazy run from Stuart Rogers took him past two defenders into the Mold box and he forced Lee into a good save. Close to the end Eilir Edwards fired a powerful shot narrowly over the angle of the post and crossbar. Port held on to their narrow lead in worsening conditions with Iddon Price marshalling his defence to close out the home team’s final efforts.
This third consecutive victory leaves Port looking far more comfortable in mid-table lying 10th having closed the gap on teams above and opening an 8 point gap on Buckley in 11th spot. They will now face Holyhead Hotspurs in the holiday fixture with both teams on 22 points.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans (Gwydion Ifan 50’), Josh Banks, Gruff Williams, Iddon Price, Ceri James (Cai Jones 59), Iwan Lewis, Stuart Rogers, Eilir Edwards, Julian Williams (Jack Davies 90’), Josh Davies. Unused sub: Luke Jones. Yellow: Josh Davies, Eilir Edwards, Gwydion Ifan.
MOLD ALEX: Kris Lee, Michael Wendon, Joe Culshaw, Daniel Dalton, Darren Torpey, Alex Ahmed (Haydn Cooper 56’), Tom Murray, John McAuliffe (Jake Eyre 80’), Jack Laird (Paul Lindfield 80’), Ross McDowell, Dan Dazdrauskas. Unused subs: Dale Davies, Mark Fell. Yellow: Alex Ahmed.
Referee: Dan Fogarty (Connah’s Quay)
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 28 November 2015
Buckley Town .................. 1
Danny Sullivan 65’
CPD Porthmadog.............. 2
Josh Davies 29’
Danny Sullivan (og) 39’
Port beat the ‘Buckley hoodoo’ to record their first win over the Flintshire club since dropping into the HGA. To achieve this victory they also overcame the atrocious weather conditions in a virtual repeat of last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Conwy Borough. Again they did their main work in a top quality first half performance going two goals up. But a Buckley goal midway through the second half meant that Port were under heavy pressure in the final 25 minutes. In the later stages it became increasingly difficult to play football as the weather conditions deteriorated further with the pitch becoming something of a quagmire.
The game was in doubt right up to the kick off as the referee only deemed the pitch playable after a second inspection at 2.30pm. Despite the conditions Port got off to a good start and tactically were getting things right mixing their game well, using a mixture of their usual passing style with long balls into the space behind the home defence. After only three minutes Gruff Williams struck a free kick from 25 yards which had keeper Ben Jones scrambling across his goal as it grazed the outside of the post. A couple of minutes later Josh Davies chased down a long ball into the Buckley box but as it got held up in the mud the home defence scrambled it clear for a corner. Pressure on the home goal continued in the early stages and Ben Jones pulled off an outstanding save to keep out a curling 25 yard Eilir Edwards free kick. Buckley’s first real threat came when dangerman Adam Eden cut in from the left forcing a save from Richard Harvey at his near post. Twin strike force Josh Davies and Asa Hamilton were a constant threat to the home defence with their strong runs and willingness to chase everything. A good exchange of passes between the two produced a shooting chance for Hamilton but again Ben Jones produced a good save. Buckley’s threat came from set pieces and when Durgs met a Kyle Reid corner his header was comfortably saved by Richard Harvey and Phil Molyneux met a free kick from the same player but his clean header went over the bar. Port’s well deserved first goal came after 29 minutes when Cai Jones played the ball inside from the left for Josh Davies who lifted his shot from the edge of the box over the defence into the far corner of the net . The second came 10 minutes later when a fine Cai Jones through ball put Asa Hamilton through on the left of the box and his cross come shot deflected off skipper Danny Sullivan into the net. Port were soon looking for a third and on the stroke of half time Cai Jones netted only to have it ruled offside. 2-0 at the interval.
Like last weekend the second half proved a direct contrast to the first. Buckley were quickly out of the blocks taking the game to Port and it proved a testing time for the defence. A Kyle Reid cross from the right found Josh Durgs at the back post but again the header failed to hit the target. The crosses continued from both flanks and Richard Harvey was at his best gathering high balls under pressure. Again it was Harvey going down at the feet of attackers as a Lee Davey back header caused panic in the box. Port were glad of relief from the pressure and Josh Davies crossed from the right finding Stuart Rogers, who turned well in the box but Ben Jones again saved. But on 65 minutes the Port defence was caught out by a quick Buckley counter attack. The ball was transferred from midfield and it broke for skipper Danny Sullivan to make amends for his earlier misfortune and strike powerfully past Richard Harvey. Port responded immediately with a good build up and when Gruff Williams found Josh Davies in the box the forward controlled well but failed to get sufficient power on his shot to beat Ben Jones. Strikers Josh Davies and Asa Hamilton worked tirelessly to relieve pressure with umpteen unselfish runs but Port had to negotiate a difficult final 20 minutes. It was now a test of character for Port with Lee Davey for the home side featuring increasingly. Twice in the later stages Richard Harvey produced excellent saves to deny first Davey and then Sullivan. But despite the pressure the Port defence held out and to their credit kept clear cut chances down to a minimum.
A second successive win is good news and though Port remain in 10th place in the table but they have opened a 5 point gap on Buckley in 11th place and, with Gresford and Guilsfield both losing today, have closed the gap on some of the teams above them. On to Rhayader next Saturday looking to build on a winning run.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Steve Bratt, Iddon Price, Iwan Lewis, Stuart Rogers, Eilir Edwards, Josh Davies, Asa Hamilton Cai Jones (Julian Williams)
BUCKLEY: Ben Jones, Kyle Reid, Chris Roberts, Ben Nash, Danny Sullivan, Dave Bryan, Adam Eden, Josh Durgs, Jon Taylor, Lee Davey, Phil Molyneux. Sub used: Tegid Lloyd.Yellow: Dave Bryan, Josh Durgs.
Referee; D. Wright
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 21 November 2015
Asa Hamilton 2’, 16’
Conwy Borough .....................1
Moses Barnett 55’
An early brace from Asa Hamilton got Port off to a flying start and those two goals proved enough to secure the three points, which meant the first maximum for a month and only the second win in the last nine outings. But after a storming opening half a Conwy goal ten minutes into the second cut the lead and contributed to a tense finish. The win, which follows on from a spirited second half performance last weekend, will give the team confidence and manager Craig Papirnyk a platform on which he can build.
Port started the game on fire and the early lead they wanted came in the 2nd minute when Asa Hamilton capitalised on an excellent Julian Williams through pass to fire low across Louis Mackin into the far corner of the net. Suddenly the confidence was oozing back and Port were firing on all cylinders, passing the ball around quickly and closing down well to win back the ball. Cai Jones cracked one wide from 25 yards and with only 9 minutes on the clock he was only inches away from doubling the lead at the near post following a super ball from Iddon Price to put Josh Banks through on the left. But there was not long to wait before Port did double their advantage. The under pressure Conwy defence dithered to allow Asa Hamilton in behind and he ran on to round the advancing Louis Mackin to finish with a simple tap in. Three minutes on and Port were grateful to Richard Harvey who made a great point blank save from Jordan Wells who had got on the end of a Moses Barnett free kick. At the other end it was Mackin’s turn to pull off a point blank save when Julian Williams flicked a Stuart Rogers corner goalwards. Towards the end of the half Conwy came more into the game with the experienced Ricky Evans switching to a more forward role. On the verge of half time the visitors could have reduced the lead when an excellent pass from Ricky Evans put Jack Roberts through on goal and a score was only averted by an excellent chase and tackle from Gruff Williams. Half time 2-0 to Port.
Home supporters were looking for a third goal to make the lead more secure but it was the visitors who found the net. Good work by Roberts on the left side of the box created a clear shooting chance for new signing Moses Barnett who lashed a powerful shot wide of Richard Harvey from 12 yards. The lead was now down to a single goal and some of the doubts seemed to return to Port’s play. The game became rather scrappy and though Port were still enjoying plenty of possession worthwhile chances were very limited. The slender lead kept Conwy in the game, though apart from the goal they did not test Richard Harvey. The new central defensive partnership of Iddon Price and Steve Bratt stuck to their task under the high ball and with sub Ceri James providing cover in front of the back four Port were able to hold on to their lead without too many nervous moments. Port’s best opportunity to seal the victory with a third goal came after 73 minutes when Asa Hamilton almost capitalised on a goalkeeping error and complete his hat-trick. In the event his shot on the empty goal went inches over the bar. Apart from this effort Port’s only other threat came when last week’s star performer Eilir Edwards drilled a powerful shot from the left but keeper Mackin gathered safely at his near post. Play went into the last ten minutes with Conwy testing the mettle of the home defence with a series of free kicks into the box from Moses Barnett but Port negotiated the final minutes successfully to claim the three points.
This was a much needed win and a relief to management, players and supporters alike. The win lifts Port into 10th place in the table. Two away games at Buckley and Rhayader follow and Port will be looking to take confidence from today’s result to challenge for the three points at Globe Way next Saturday on a ground which has brought them little luck in recent seasons. They will also receive a boost from the news that Rob Evans and Gwydion Ifan long term injury victims are now near a return to the squad.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey (Capt.), Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Steve Bratt, Iddon Price, Iwan Lewis, Stuart Rogers, Eilir Edwards, Asa Hamilton, Cai Jones (Ceri James 69’), Julian Williams (Josh Davies 54’).Unused subs: Jack Davies, Luke Jones, Craig Papirnyk. Yellow: Asa Hamilton 63’.
CONWY: Lois Mackin, Luke Douglas, Moses Barnett, Jamie Whitehouse, Jordan wells, Chris Rowntree, Andreas Alvarez, Alun Roberts (Peter Jones 19’), Jamil Adam, Ricky Evans, Jack Roberts. Unused subs: Adam Whitlock, Ashley Parry. Yellow: Luke Douglas 59’, Jack Roberts 70’, Jordan Wells 80’.
Referee: Aled Jones.
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 14 November 2015
Flint Town United .................. 3
Kyle Smith 19’, 44’
Paul McManus 37’
CPD Porthmadog..................... 2
Eilir Edwards 61’ 68’
This really was the game of two halves with Flint very much in charge in the opening half but in the second half the home side were left clinging for dear life to their narrow advantage. Their goal remained under siege for long periods as Port, with the bit between their teeth, looked set to make up for some poor defending in the opening half. There was massive relief on the Flint bench and in the stands when the referee blew the final whistle. In the end Port had left themselves too much to do after their lack lustre play in the first half.
On a slippery surface mistakes looked likely to play a part in the game as both sides had early chances to score. Three minutes into the game Mark McGregor grazed the crossbar from close range. Port responded when three players burst in on to Julian Williams’ excellent free kick but somehow failed to apply a finishing touch. With both teams looking to attack at every opportunity Flint came close again when a Paul McManus snapshot was only inches over the bar. After the opening exchanges Flint looked the most likely to open the scoring though Iwan Lewis was not far off target when he latched on to a good lay off by Josh Davies. But this proved to be just a prelude to further Flint attacks and it was hardly surprising when Kyle Smith turned well in the box to rifle a shot into the net. Smith was now looking an increasing threat for Flint and Richard Harvey needed to pull off an excellent save after the burst into the danger area. Harvey was soon in action again going down at the feet of Russ Courtney. Despite this Port were still looking dangerous going forward and when Josh Banks crossed to the far post Asa Hamilton’s clean header flew wide of the angle. But the strong experienced Flint side were putting the Port defence under pressure and when Paul McManus received from John Davies he was not closed down and netted Flint’s second with a low shot from 16 yards. Two goals down, Port now needed to stabilise and keep themselves in the game but almost on the stroke of half-time a long ball from the back put Kyle Smith up against a suddenly under manned Port defence. He broke quickly holding off Steve Bratt and netted coolly from the edge of the box. 3-0 at the interval really looked game over.
Craig Papirnyk introduced Stuart Rogers and Eilir Edwards after the break and the latter went on to give one of his best performances in a Port shirt. He was a constant threat with his dangerous runs, crosses and in particular his accurate shooting. Home supporters were panicky every time he received the ball. From the start of the second half Port were a transformed team as they controlled the middle of the park with Iwan Lewis getting through a huge amount of work as Port drove forward. Twice Eilir Edwards came close. On 59 minutes keeper Ross Dalton kept out his goal bound shot with a fine touch over the bar and a minute later Dalton had to pull off another good save to turn Eilir’s low skidding shot round the post. But the nippy winger was getting ever closer and two minutes on he found the net with a blistering 25 yard effort after a Stuart Rogers corner was cleared straight to him. Now with a foothold in the game Port piled on more pressure and when Gruff Williams’ cross took a deflection to reach Eilir Edwards. Despite the narrow angle he fired across the keeper to find the net just inside the far post. It was disappointing when a linesman’s flag ruined what had looked like a Port equaliser. Cai Jones netted, following a great Port build up, only to be ruled offside. The Port pressure continued and when Cai Jones squared to Iwan Lewis whose well struck shot went the wrong side of the post. One last sortie and Iddon Price met a Rogers corner but the ball drifted inches over the bar. With the home support yelling for the whistle finally Rob Jenkins blew and the Port fight back had fallen just short.
Though Port’s disappointing run continues the second half fight back will do them a power of good as they search for the confidence to start winning again. They will need to control midfield as they did in the second half today and defend as they did against Holywell and then the results will come again.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Luke Jones (Stuart Rogers 46’), Josh Banks, Ceri James (Eilir Edwards 46’), Steve Bratt, Iddon Price, Iwan Lewis, Gruff J Williams Asa Hamilton, Josh Davies (Cai Jones 65’), Julian Williams. Unused sub: Craig Papirnyk. Yellow: Steve Bratt 77’,
FLINT: Ross Dalton, John Davies, Paul Doran, Mark McGregor Ross Courtney (Aden Shannon 67’), Craig Jones, John Hill, Stewart Carroll, Simon Thelwell, Paul McManus, Kyle Smith ( Abe Dobson 62’). Unused subs: Phil Dejun, Alex Groundly.
Referee: Rob Jenkins (Guilsfield)
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 07 November 2015
Asa Hamilton 38’
Josh Davies (p) 85’
Prestatyn Town ......................5
Jack Kenny 21’, 56’, 58.
Alex Jones 31’
Jordan Davies 75’
Worrying times for Porthmadog as they slumped to a heavy home defeat, once more t failing to defend against a Prestatyn side set up to hit with pace on the break. Ironically Port created excellent early opportunities and could have been two up in the first ten minutes but they were given a lesson in clinical finishing by the visitors’ hat trick hero Jack Kenny, who took full advantage of some lax defending to score what appeared to be 3 identical goals after finding himself in space behind a stretched home defence.
Into a strong wind and on wet surface Port started well and should have been ahead in the first minute when following a good break down the right Eilir Edwards crossed from the left on to the head of Iwan Lewis who, with the goal gaping, headed wide. In the 5th minute Iwan Lewis crossed for Asa Hamilton but again the final header was wayward. Port continued to pile on the pressure and a deflection took a Stuart Rogers shot narrowly wide of the target. Chances continued to come and it needed a good save from visitors’ keeper Mike Jones to deny Iwan Lewis. Prestatyn were also committed to attack and Stead’s free kick was not far off the target. But Port continued to pressurise the Prestatyn defence and an excellent through ball from Ceri James found Stuart Rogers whose shot went across goal and narrowly wide. But after spurning these chances Port were hit on the break. A good ball into space down the Port left gave Jack Kenny the chance to outflank Iolo Hughes and run on for a cool finish. Ten minutes later, following another good Mike Jones save this time from Eilir Edwards, Port found themselves two behind with a similar move, as the ball was again played from the back for Alex Jones to run through the centre and score against an undermanned home defence. But after 38 minutes Port gave themselves a lifeline when Asa Hamilton got on to the end of a low Ceri James free kick and netted from close in. At the interval 2-1 to the visitors.
But the lifeline was hurriedly thrown away early in the second half when Port suffered a double whammy as Prestatyn scored two goals in two minutes to virtually settle the game. Again Port were caught short at the back as Jack Kenny broke free down the right cutting inside past Iolo Hughes finishing well from 12 yards. Two minutes later and Jack Kenny completed his hat trick bursting through the middle with Iolo Hughes pulling up injured to score unopposed. Chances still came Port’s way but Eilir Edwards headed straight at the keeper following a good Stuart Rogers cross. In the 75th minutes the victory was sealed as Jack Kenny and Jordan Davies combined well for Davies to net from close range. The same partnership could have added a sixth goal, avoided only by another good save from Richard Harvey. With time running out Port did gain a consolation when sub Josh Davies was brought down in the box by visitors’ keeper Mike Jones. Josh Davies himself converted the penalty to reduce the deficit. But despite some late efforts Port were now well beaten and in a defence which conceded five goals Iddon Price and Richard Harvey worked tirelessly.
At the end supporters were left to wonder what had happened to the sterling defending shown in the Holywell game only a fortnight ago as they were destroyed by the counter attacking football of Prestatyn. Craig Papirnyk and his coaching team will need to find a way of buttressing the defence ahead of next Saturday’s visit to Flint.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Ceri James (jack Davies 87’), Iddon Price, Iolo Hughes (Josh Davies 60’), Stuart Rogers, Iwan Lewis, Asa Hamilton (Julian Williams 73’), Cai Jones, Eilir Edwards. Unused subs: Sion Parry, Luke Jones. Yellow: Iwan Lewis
PRESTATYN: Mike Jones, Tom Kemp (Niall Hill 90’), Noah Edwards, David Hayes, Connor Shackleton, Chris Davies, Michael Parker, Jordan Davies (Lee Beattie 84’), Jack Kenny, James Stead, Alex Jones (Alec Williams 78’). Unused subs: Ross Weaver, Jo Newell. Yellow: Alex Jones.
Referee: J B Roberts.
Welsh Cup Round 2 -Saturday, 31 October 2015
Cefn Druids.................. 2
Steve Blenkinsop 28’
Craig Whitfield 79’
CPD Porthmadog.......... 0
There was to be no repeat of Port’s league victory at The Rock only two months ago as a goal in each half was enough to give Cefn Druids a comfortable passage into Round 3 of the JD Welsh Cup. In the opening half Port hardly threatened the home goal and keeper Adam McGee had no worthwhile saves to make. Though things did improve after the interval with Port gaining more possession they again only rarely threatened McGee’s goal. Though Druids created many chances with dangerous crosses from both flanks both their goals came from defensive errors as it was an afternoon to forget for Port.
The home team got off to a good start and Richard Harvey was soon in action punching away a dangerous cross off the head of striker Blenkinsop. The Druids continued to enjoy the majority of the possession with Naim Arsan finding plenty of space on the left. Mark Winslade met one of his crosses to the back post but headed wide. The Druids were using the width of the pitch and there were plenty of crosses coming in to test the Port defence. Harvey did well again from a Kershaw cross under pressure from Winslade. But when the goal came after 29 minutes it was not as a result of a cross but a powerfully struck speculative Kershaw shot from 25 yards caught which out Richard Harvey as he appeared to slip as he went to save and could only parry the ball into the path of Steve Blenkinsop who netted from close range. The rearguard action for Port continued as panic followed a Kershaw corner with Harvey failing to gather and the ball having to be scrambled clear. Port hardly threatened at all in the opening half with the nearest they came to testing McGee’s goal coming when Gruff Williams made a break down the right, with his cross only centimetres away from Asa Hamilton’s head. As the half drew to a close the surprise was that the Druids were only one goal ahead and they spurned another good chance just before the interval with Matty Hurdman blasting over when well placed. 1-0 at half-time.
Port’s performance picked up in the second period and early in the second half sub Eilir Edwards caught McGee by surprise when his cross cum shot rattled the crossbar and that was the closest they came to finding the net during the 90 minutes. But as long as the single goal separated the two sides Port remained in the game. They were now gaining far more possession but the home defence remained largely in charge though the referee turned down a big apppeal for a push in the back in the box on Sion Parry. But the Druids were able to break on the counterattack and twice they came close with shots from narrow angles. First Kershaw fired from an oblique angle on the left across the face of goal and narrowly wide. On the other flank Forbes saw his shot drift narrowly wide as it fizzed across goal. Iddon Price who was outstanding at the back for Port pulled off a great tackle to deny Mark Pritchard but with 11 minutes remaining the home team all but settled the game and again it was a poor goal to concede. The Port defence failed to deal with a high bouncing ball which broke free to an unmarked Craig Whitfield on the left of the box. Whitfield ran on and netted with a confident low shot. Port continued to chase the game and Cai Jones was wide of the target when receiving from Eilir Edwards while Edwards shot straight at the keeper when well placed.
It was a day to forget for Port and it is Cefn Druids who deservedly progress to the next round. Port must hope that some of their lengthy injury list will soon be ready to return and start reviving fortunes.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Gruff J Williams, Jack Davies, Ceri James, Iddon Price Josh Banks, Stuart Rogers (Eilir Edwards 46’), Iwan Lewis, Asa Hamilton, Cai Jones Julian Williams (Sion Parry 63’) Unused subs: Craig Papirnyk, James Papirnyk.
CEFN DRUIDS: Adam McGee, Max Penk, Matty Holt, Robbie James, Matty Hurdman (Craig Pritchard 72’), Steve Blenkinsop (Craig Whitfield 60’), Ryan Kershaw, Naim Arsan, Fisnik Hajdari, Mark Winslade (Dave Forbes). Unused subs: Adam Hesp, Greg Mills.
Referee: Tom Williams (Wrexham)
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 24 October 2015
Sion Parry 76’
Holywell Town ......................0
Port came into this game on the back of five straight league defeats and could be forgiven for feeling low on confidence, especially facing the challenge of 2nd placed Holywell Town. In addition they were missing five first team players, out with injuries. But what transpired was a huge team performance with Josh Banks, Iolo Hughes, Iddon Price and Gruff John Williams putting huge shifts in a heroic back four. Then in the second half with home fans just hoping that Port could hold on for a point, up pops teenage Sion Parry to coolly turn in Julian Williams’ low cross and win the game. Port had to ride their luck at times as Holywell squandered several good scoring opportunities piling on the second half pressure. But for once it was Port who benefited from a smash and grab counter attack to collect the three points.
The opening stages of the game were rather low key with neither side creating very much. Steve Lewis for the visitors flicked a header wide of the target while Asa Hamilton for Port tested Platt in the visitors’ goal with a shot from distance. The only real effort on goal on the opening 15 minutes came when Steve Lewis for the visitors found Rod Williams in space on the right but the shot went across the face of goal and wide. Around the middle of the half Holywell enjoyed a good spell forcing several corners but the Port defence dealt with these confidently but it required excellent defensive tackles from Iddon Price and Ceri James to halt Littler and one in particular from Josh Banks to stop Steve Lewis. But gradually Port came into the game themselves. There were a couple of good runs from Julian Williams which threatened the Holywell goal without causing too much alarm for keeper Platt. At the very end of the half Asa Hamilton on his home debut came close to opening the scoring with a determined run down the left, drawing the keeper but his shot being deflected for a corner. The game remained goalless at the interval.
From the start of the second period Holywell were a huge threat. Steve Lewis should have put them ahead early in the second half when he headed Roebuck’s back post cross over the bar. Five minutes later the same player spurned another good chance, lifting his shot well over the bar. Around the hour mark Holywell twice stretched the Port defence with good build up play but first Dazdrauskas and then Steve Thomas failed to hit the target. From the other side of the box Josh Roberts tried one but his effort crossed the face of goal and wide. While the scores remained level and chances were being wasted, Port remained in with a chance to pick up all three points. With 76 minutes on the clock the game was turned on its head. Julian Williams, who had been having a quiet second period, received from Sion Parry and broke dangerously down the right to cross low for young Sion Parry, who had started the move, to finish with a close range shot. Holywell seeing their chance of moving to the top of the table disappearing struck back and Josh Roberts’ free kick caused panic in the home goalmouth but a header off the line and a scrambled clearance kept Holywell out. Then with six minutes left Port were handed a glorious opportunity to seal the three points when they were awarded a penalty for a handball in the box. Up stepped the usually reliable Ceri James but Platt flung himself to his right and pushed away the spot kick. All hands to the deck again for Port and they kept going, kept their heads to pick up the points.
This was a highly pleasing clean sheet, the first since Caersws in the second game of the season. The performance of the defence will bring confidence as they rebuild the season and look forward to the return to the squad of the injured players. Postscript to a tense finale –the start of the game was delayed by 15 minutes because both teams wore the same colour stockings and red ones had to be rustled up for the visitors before referee Michael Gray could blow his whistle.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Gruff J Williams, Josh Banks, Ceri James, Iddon Price, Iolo Hughes, Steve Rogers, James Papirnyk (Sion Parry 46’) Iwan Lewis, Asa Hamilton, Julian Williams. Unused subs: Jack Davies, Eilir Edwards, Craig Papirnyk, Aron Jones. Yellow: James Papirnyk, Ceri James.
Holywell: Mike Platt, Rod Williams, Josh Roberts (Graham Williams 86’), John Leonard, Dafydd Griffith, Jonathan Jones, Tom McElmeel, Tony Roebuck, Connor Littler (Dan Dazdrauskas 58’), Steve Lewis (Stuart Hayes 76’), Steve Thomas. Yellow: Steve Lewis 57’
Referee: Michael Gray.