| Caergybi / Holyhead (h) |
Rhayader (h) |
Caersws (h) |
Holywell (a) |
Cefn Druids (a) |
Huws Gray Alliance -Monday, 02 May 2016
CPD Porthmadog.................. 1
Josh Davies 49’ (p)
Mark Winslade 15’
Adam Hesp 76'
Port’s hopes of ending the season on a high were not to be realised, as a well drilled Druids defence kept scoring opportunities down to a minimum. With promotion hopes high, despite Saturday’s heavy defeat, the least the Druids wanted from the game was a point and preferably taking all three would ease their concerns ahead of the last game of the season at Rhayader where one point will now suffice to seal second place and promotion. They were set up not concede and to trust their counterattacks to snatch a win. As it turned out the plan went well up to the interval as they moved a goal ahead but, a Port response early in the second period also resulted in the Druids being reduced to ten men for a last 40 minutes of the game. This led them to pack their defence even more, but again Port only created half chances and a sortie up field secured all three points.
With the visitors keeping it very tight at the back Port found it difficult to create any worthwhile chances in the early stages. They had plenty of the ball and passed it around well up to a point but failed to open up the opposition. Port forced a few early corners which came to nothing and then after 20 minutes top scorer Julian Williams limped off to take no further part in the game and to be replaced by Ceri James. The Druids could have taken the lead in the 2nd minute when Craig Whitfield fired over the bar following a move down the left. Then with 15 minutes gone the Druids struck, taking advantage of a poorly defended ball over the top which was chased down by Mark Winslade who ran on to fire past Richard Harvey. Port still had plenty of possession but despite this, it was the visitors who looked more likely to score again when a long angled ball found Mike Pritchard but the forward lifted his shot over the bar. When Whitfield shot from distance it required a good Richard Harvey save to keep it out. Half-time came with the Druids a goal ahead, in a game which had provided little in the way of entertainment.
Port responded well after the interval and a ball over the defence allowed Josh Davies to chase down, but as he entered the box, bringing the ball under control, he was brought down from behind. Referee Andrew Harms pointed to the spot and showed defender Matty Holt a straight red card. Josh Davies netted from the spot to bring the scores level. Despite having to defend in numbers after losing a defender the Druids still managed to test the home defence first with a long range effort from Ryan Kershaw and a Dave Forbes header struck the crossbar. But with the man advantage Port pushed forward more and more and could have gone ahead when Asa Hamilton’s cross found Gruff Williams, but the header went narrowly over the bar. Shortly after Hamilton was in the action again but fired across the face of goal and wide. The Druids remained a danger with Kershaw’s shot from distance bringing the best out of Richard Harvey. Although the bulk of the play had been in the Druids half it was they who went ahead, when a long throw on the right fell loose and Adam Hesp took advantage to drive past Richard Harvey from 8 yards. Despite plenty of pressure and possession Port failed to break down 10 man Druids. They did have one chance to draw level in the last ten minutes, when Asa Hamilton at the back post met a good Iwan Lewis cross, but the header failed to hit the target.
A season of under achievement ended for Port with a 2-1 home defeat and a disappointing 10th place finish while Cefn Druids go on to Rhayader needing just a point to secure promotion.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans (Aran Burrough 77’) Josh Banks, Steve Bratt, Iddon Price, Iwan Lewis, Gruff Williams, Josh Davies, Jamie McDaid, Asa Hamilton, Julian Williams (Ceri James 20’).Unused Subs: Craig Papirnyk.
CEFN DRUIDS: Louis Mackin, Max Penk, Adam Hesp, Matty Holt, Dave Forbes (Naim Arsan 67’), Mike Pritchard, Ryan Kershaw, Fisnik Hajdari, Gareth Partridge, Mark Winslade (Craig Pritchard 89’). Unused subs: Darren moss, Jay Starkey.
Referee: Andy Harms
Huws Gray Alliance -Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Holywell Town................... 1
Tom Rowlands 29’
Josh Davies 49’
Despite being an end of the season encounter this was a good competitive match with both sides set up to play a passing game. Port without a fixture for three weeks stood up to the pace of the game well. In many respects it was a rerun of their entire season where they dominated the opening half, especially the first 25 minutes; yet found themselves a goal down at the interval. The home side, however, finished the game strongly and might have nicked all three points in the closing stages but overall a draw was a fair result in an entertaining game.
Port started strongly and for the first 25 minutes the home side made very few sorties into the Port half. Ceri James and Iwan Lewis were both prominent in midfield winning the ball and setting up moves with Josh Banks making some strong pacy runs down the left. Port early pressure saw a series of corners being won but without too much threat. Port’s slow build up lacked an incisive final pass to release Josh Davies and Julian Williams who were champing at the bit to get in on goal. After 14 minutes Julian Williams was put through but home keeper Mike Platt saved well. At this stage a couple of free kicks near the edge of the box posed the only threat for the Port defence. With 22 minutes an injection of pace from midfield saw Jamie McDaid released and even home supporters were looking to see the net bulge as the forward broke one on one with the keeper but Mike Platt but the keeper made himself big to pull off a vital save with his legs. As has happened so often during the season, Port were punished for their failure to turn pressure and possession into goals. Just before the half hour mark Brady McGilloway set up the classic counter attacking goal. Receiving the ball midway inside his own half, he broke forward at pace exposing the lack of cover at the back and with the defence overstretched, McGilloway resisted the temptation to have a go himself and his angled pass found Tom Rowlands cutting in on the right of the box, for the winger to finish in style. The goal was totally against the run of play but so typical of Port’s season. Following this Port continued to enjoy more of the game and Jamie McDaid fired a 20 yard shot which again tested Mike Platt and towards the end of the half the keeper again saved well when Gruff Williams fired in a free kick from the edge of the box. Half-time came with, even the home side perhaps surprised to find themselves a goal to the good.
Port were quickly out of the blocks for the second half and the slow build up of the first half gave way to more urgency and pace. Four minutes into the half and at last Port gained some reward. Jamie McDaid made a burst down the right and his well judged cross found Josh Davies, who for a moment evaded the attentions of his marker Dafydd Griffith, to meet the cross with a strong header and, though Mike Platt got a hand to it he failed to keep it out. Getting back on level terms was no less than Port deserved and for a time the visitors looked the more likely to go on and win the game as both Josh Davies and Julian Williams kept the home defence at full stretch. But as the second goal refused to come, Holywell got more and more into the game, especially after the introduction of Greame Williams in midfield. It was now their turn now to put the Port defence under pressure. They forced several corners which the Port defence gladly scrambled away. Pressure mounted further in the final 10 minutes bringing back memories of the last minute goal in the Welsh Cup Quarter Final tie two seasons ago. Richard Harvey was down to save well to from Littler and a minute later Ceri James brought down Steve Thomas as he burst toward the box but Richard Harvey dealt comfortably with the Tom Rowlands free kick. The final stages of the game also saw young reserve team player Aron Burrough introduced for his first team debut.
All in all a draw was a fair result to both teams and, for Port, who probably felt the lack of match practice towards the end, it was an useful work out ahead of what could be a vital Druids visit to the Traeth on Saturday.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans, Josh Banks, Steve Bratt (Asa Hamilton 30’), Iddon Price, Gruff Williams, Iwan Lewis, Ceri James, Josh Davies Jamie McDaid (Aron Burrough 87’), Julian Williams. Unused subs: Craig Papirnyk, Cai Jones.
HOLYWELL TOWN: Mike Platt, Ross Ankers (Greame Williams 61’), John Leonard, Dafydd Griffith, Tom Rowlands (John Hazeldin 90’), Tony Roebuck, Phil Lloyd (Paul Williams 67’), Connor Littler, Paul D Williams, Brady McGilloway, Steve Thomas.
Referee Dan Fogarty (Connah’s Quay)
Huws Gray Alliance -Tuesday, 05 April 2016
CPD Porthmadog .................. 0
Mark Griffiths 35’, 90’+5 (pen)
Despite having plenty of possession throughout, Port failed to breakdown a determined Caersws defence and the visitors held on to a lead they forged in the 35th minute and then, deep into added time, they added a second with Mark Griffiths netting both. A disappointing evening for Port coming off the back of a recent winning run, but a crucial three points for Caersws, in their battle to stave off the threat of relegation.
Port started the stronger passing the ball around on what was a good looking Traeth surface, despite all the tribulations of recent times. But the familiar pattern was developing with plenty of Port possession and quality passing but no end product. There were early opportunities and in the 2nd minute a weak clearance from a corner fell for Iwan Lewis who drilled a powerful low shot narrowly off target. Soon after Julian Williams cut across the box and fired a low shot which keeper Hawthorne saved well at the expense of a corner. A wayward defensive header then gave Josh Davies a chance on goal but his header went over the bar. Then with a quarter of an hour gone Port received a warning when a misunderstanding at the back allowed Mark Griffiths in and his shot from a narrow angle had to be cleared off the line by the alert Iddon Price, with Richard Harvey stranded. Port countered quickly and a long ball put Asa Hamilton in for a shot which was diverted for a corner by keeper Hawthorne. With Port failing to score the all important first goal Caersws began to grow in confidence closing down quickly and consequently the next Port goal threat did not come until a half hour had elapsed. Ceri James put Asa Hamilton in for a good opportunity which Callum Hawthorne could only push away but there was no one on hand to take advantage. A turning point came with Mark Griffiths getting in behind the defence and his angled shot struck the foot of the post. But the warning went unheeded and a minute later a long ball from the back put Mark Griffiths in again and this time he made no mistake rifling a shot high into the roof of the net, 1-0. For a time the Port defence lost its composure and a loose ball was allowed to run to Will Thomas who brought a good save from Richard Harvey, Half-time arrived with Caersws retaining the one goal to the good.
The second half was one way traffic as far as possession and territory was concerned and Richard Harvey remained a virtual spectator sweeping up at the back on occasions. But possession does not always bring goals and with Caersws putting their whole team behind the ball, Port for all their efforts could not find a way through the crowded box. Cross after cross went in, corners into double figures but Caersws remained resolute with Jack Bermingham and Tom Richards winning or disrupting the aerial battles. Port’s best opportunity came in the 67th minute when Josh Davies flicked on for Cai Jones who held off his marker but though well placed, the finish was wayward. Play was getting increasingly vigorous as Caersws battled to hold on to their lead and Port becoming increasingly frustrated at their failure to find the equaliser. Referee Gareth Wyn Jones had to show several Yellow cards as a result. Time was running out and Caersws were holding on. A late chance for Port came when Jamie McDaid broke to the byline and slipped a low pass for Gruff Williams whose powerful shot was deflected wide of the post. With time running out Caersws made a rare sortie into Port territory and when the ball was played into the box on the right a Steve Bratt tackle was punished with a penalty. Mark Griffiths sealed the victory from the spot in added time.
A precious win for Caersws as they continue the survival battle but the game was really the story of Port’s season, plenty of good approach play but failing to capitalise. The season draws to a close with a performance reminiscent of the very first game of the season, when Rhayader also defended in numbers and went away with all three points.
There was a second call-up on the bench for young reserve player Aron Burrough. Aron comes from Trawsfynydd and is the son of reserves manager Merfyn. Best of luck for the rest of the season Aron with all the games the reserves have left to play and apologies for the name miss-spelling in the Rhaeadr report now corrected!
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans, Josh Banks, Gruff Williams, Iddon Price, Iwan Lewis, Josh Davies, Jamie McDaid, Asa Hamilton, Ceri James (Steve Bratt 56’), Julian Williams, (Cai Jones 56’). Unused subs: Craig Papirnyk, Aron Burrough. Yellow: Ceri James 56’, Asa Hamilton 74’.
CAERSWS: Callum Hawthorne, Alex Jones, Phil Jones, Jack Bermingham, Tom Richards, Carl Rogers, (Jack Williams 83’), Jolyean Harris, Steven Davies, Will Thomas, Mark Griffiths, Ian Probert. Unused subs: Sion Clarke, Lance Jones, Graham Evans, Gavin Allen. Yellow: Steven Davies 63’, Jolyean Harris 74’.
Referee: Gareth Wyn Jones (Bontnewydd).
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 02 April 2016
Rhayader Town.................. 0
Asa Hamilton 60’
Thomas Wozencraft (o.g.) 90’+
Porthmadog made it three straight wins at Rhayader today and four wins in their last five games. With just three games of season 2015/16 remaining it raises the hope that this mixed season can end with something of a flourish. Asa Hamilton scored the all important goal on the hour to repay some of the damage he had caused in the opening game of the season at the Traeth way back in August! ! That night, wearing a Rhayader shirt, he scored the only goal of the game to send the Red Kites home happy. Today his goal helped to make Rhayader’s fight against relegation all but impossible.
In the very first minute of the game Port keeper Paul Whitfield pulled a hamstring and after a fruitless attempt to continue was subbed after ten minutes with manager Craig Papirnyk donning the keeper’s shirt. Play was even in the early stages with the first real effort on goal coming for Rhayader after 10 minutes when Rhydian Davies tried a shot from 20 yards which failed to hit the target. The closest the home side came to scoring throughout the 90 minutes came in the 15th minute when player manager Dylan McPhee lifted a free kick into the box and with the ball bouncing dangerously around Rhydian Davies headed narrowly over the bar. Port gradually worked themselves into the game and home keeper Luke Evans made the first of several excellent saves when he did well to tip a Gruff Williams header over bar following a Jamie McDaid corner. Evans was in the action again minutes later, this time going down well to divert Asa Hamilton’s 20 yard effort round the post for a corner. Both teams’ goal efforts were mainly from distance and Craig Harris struck one for Rhayader but failed to work deputy keeper Craig Papirnyk. Towards the end of the half Port came on strongly and twice Josh Davies was unlucky to see shots on the turn deflected for corners after he had received first from Cai Jones and then from a Gruff Williams free kick. In the last minute of the half the home team had their keeper Luke Evans to thank again as he saved well from Asa Hamilton. It was scoreless at the interval with Port having created the better chances but with Rhayader defending well and looking to hit on the break.
Early in the second half a dangerous Craig Harris free kick caused some panic in the Port penalty area but was eventually cleared. Port responded with Rob Evans bursting down the right but his excellent low cross took a slight deflection which took it out of reach of the onrushing Asa Hamilton. Port were now dominating possession and Jamie McDaid burst threateningly from midfield only to fire over the bar from 18 yards. Then on the hour mark Port finally took the lead. It came as a result of an excellent Cai Jones break down the right and Asa Hamilton stealing in at the back post met his well judged cross to net with a low shot from 8 yards. It was no more than the forward deserved as he had been a constant threat to his former club. Four minutes after going ahead a good Port build up ended with a Cai Jones effort which curled wide of the post. Though Port continued to enjoy plenty of possession with Ceri James directing operations from midfield there were few real chances at either end. Keeper Craig Papirnyk did eventually get into the action in the later stages first saving a low shot from Craig Harris and another from Rhydian Davies and also cutting out Chris McKenzie’s looping cross. In the closing stages Port pushed forward to try and settle the game as Asa Hamilton’s free kick scraped the bar and Jamie McDaid’s through ball found Josh Davies but Luke Evans was in the action again, going down well to save. Port’s second goal did not arrive until the 2nd minute of added time. Julian Williams, who had been a threat since coming on after 75 minutes, cut into the box on the left and his low cross evaded the Port attackers but was turned into his own net at the back post by full back Thomas Wozencraft. This was a win which should have been sealed far earlier had Port capitalised on their often excellent build up play.
The win lifts Port to 7th place in the table following their good recent run and should give them the confidence to push for a strong finish to the season. Manager Craig Papirnyk watched it all from a distance and was not too often called into the action but must have been delighted to play his part in gaining Port’s fifth clean sheet of the season. We move forward now to next Tuesday’s game at the Traeth against Caersws.
PORTHMADOG: Paul Whitfield (Craig Papirnyk 4’), Rob Evans, Josh Banks, Gruff Williams, Iddon Price, Ceri James, Iwan Lewis, Asa Hamilton , Josh Davies, Cai Jones (Julian Williams 75’), Jamie McDaid. Unused sub: Aron Burrough. Yellow: Josh Davies.
RHAYADER: Luke Evans, J Jones (Chris McKenzie 70’), Thomas Wozencraft, Gavin Samuel, Gareth Hughes, Dylan McPhee (Dan Goodman 68’), Sean Powell (T Jones 48’)), Rhydian Davies, Craig Harris, Dafydd Caruthers, D Griffiths. Yellow: Dylan McPhee 9’.
Referee: Rob Jenkins.
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 19 March 2016
CPD Porthmadog.................. 1
Gruff John Williams 45’
Holyhead Hotspur ........................0
This was a game which took a long time to get going and, despite becoming more entertaining as the 90 minutes wore on, clear chances were at a premium throughout. On balance Port did just about enough to deserve the win and Craig Papirnyk will be pleased with a disciplined defensive performance which meant a Holyhead equaliser never looked that likely.
The majority of the first half had the air of end of season dead rubber. So much so, that with nearly 40 minutes gone, neither keeper had been forced into any meaningful save! Port did manage a few threats – Jamie McDaid, Cai Jones and Asa Hamilton combined well a couple of times, but each time they were unable to force the ball into a shooting position. Gruff John Williams did managed a shot from distance after 17 minutes, but his effort was always rising above the bar. The same player did eventually get the first effort on target after 37 minutes – his free-kick from just outside the box was well struck, but unfortunately straight at the keeper.
Out of nowhere, with 5 minutes left until half time, the game sparked into life! In the fortieth minute, Port’s attacking trio were in action once more. Cai Jones stated the move, his pass finding McDaid on the left who in turn put in a dangerous cross to find Asa Hamilton in the box. Hamilton, however, will be disappointed that his shot didn’t test Carl Jones in the visitors’ goal. Two minutes later and it was Hotspur’s turn to be close to scoring; a dangerous cross from the left found Jamie Roberts on the edge of the 6 yard box but his shot crashed against the post. The deadlock was finally broken on the stroke of half time – Gruff Williams broke from midfield and his pass found Cai Jones free in the box. Jones could only palm away the striker’s shot and Williams, who’d charged into the box, slotted away the rebound from 10 yards.
The second half started similarly to the last 5 minutes of the first! Asa Hamilton was in the thick of things – seconds after the restart a Cai Jones pass put him through on the keeper but he pulled his effort across the face of goal. A minute later, and the same player took advantage of a mix-up in the Holyhead defence to run in clear on goal only to be stopped by a last ditch tackle – which seemed not to make contact with the ball. Much to the frustration of Hamilton, the ref didn’t think so though and waived play on. It was soon to be Holyhead’s turn to feel hard done by when again the ref signalled no foul despite appeals for a penalty for a push in the box.
The game then deteriorated into a rather bad tempered affair, with a number of niggly incidents and the referee showing a flurry of yellow cards. At the same time Holyhead forced their way into the game and did create a handful of half chances, but Port’s goal wasn’t really under threat until the 74th minute – when a Phil Williams header landed on top of the cross-bar. But that was really as close as they got. Substitute Josh Davies should have made it safe for Port with 4 minutes left on the clock when he stole in behind defender Rhys Roberts, rounded the keeper but could only manage to find the side-netting.
It wasn’t a vintage performance from Port but, all in all, it was a deserved win, which with some cooler finishing could have been more emphatic.
PORTHMADOG: Paul Whitfield, Stephen Bratt, Josh Banks, Gwydion Ifan (Ceri James 45’), Iddon Price, Iwan Lewis, Rob Evans, Gruff Williams, Asa Hamilton (Josh Daves 81’) Cai Jones, Jamie McDaid.
HOLYHEAD HOTSPUR: Carl Jones, Mike Kelly (Robert Jones 92’), Kenleigh Owen, Corey Jones, Alex Jones, Rhys Roberts, Ryan Jones, Phil Williams (Brendan Hogan), Damien Ketley, Jamie Roberts, Dean Garmey.
Ref: Tom Owen