| Fflint Town United (h) |
Holyhead (a) |
Caersws (a) |
Gresford (h) |
Gresford (h) |
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 19 November
Josh Davies 38’
Max Peate 47’
Jack Challinor 80’
Gresford returned to the Traeth and took revenge for their loss on penalties a fortnight ago in the Welsh Cup, gaining a deserved victory, thanks to a strong second half performance. Port deserved to be ahead at the interval but with Gresford looking sharper and quicker on the ball in the second period the equaliser came within two minutes of the restart and and they went on to create several good chances before finally going ahead 10 minutes from the end. Port were made to pay for their failure to take advantage of their good start and slipped to their fourth home defeat of the season.
Port started strongly, piling on early pressure forcing, three corners in the first four minutes and in addition visitors’ keeper Mike Platt was forced into a full length dive to keep out a well struck Julian Williams free kick. Another curling free kick from the same player tested keeper Platt and from the corner Iddon Price saw his header fly past the post. Gareth Jones Evans set up one of the best Port moves after 20 minutes but an excellent defensive block denied Josh Davies. Gradually however the visitors got themselves more into the game and Craig Pritchard began to find more space in midfield. After 23 minutes the clever No 7 opened up the Port defence with a good run into the box but Roberts failed to covert when well placed. That move apart Gresford rarely threatened in the first half and Port were again pushing for a goal. Rob Evans went close after 36 minutes when he turned well on the edge of the box but lifted his shot narrowly over the bar. Two minutes on and Port did take the lead. A burst down the right from Iddon Price opened up the Gresford defence and his low cross to the far post was met by Josh Davies charging in to score from close in. The lead at the interval was deserved but perhaps on the balance of play it needed to be more than a single goal.
That became clearer straight from the restart with Gresford noticably raising the tempo from the kick off. It took them just two minutes to get back on level terms. Following a corner on the left skipper Max Peate received in the box, turned well and his shot through a crowd of players left Tyler French unsighted and unable to keep out the shot. Gresford had the bit between the teeth now and were soon looking for the lead. Jack Challinor headed Cello’s corner wide when well placed and Cello also headed wide from a corner. Following this a Port break saw Julian Williams hit a cracker from the left of the box but Mike Platt pulled off an outstanding save and when Chris Jones followed up his shot was deflected for a corner. But it was Gresford who were now controlling the game and the introduction of Rhys Lloyd wide on the left created more problems for the Port defence. Lloyd twice set up Jake Roberts with good opportunities but one went over the bar and the other straight at Tyler French. But with the pressure mounting the Gresford winner came with 10 minutes remaining. Jack Challinor cut across from the left seeking an opportunity to shoot and when it came he placed his shot just inside the far post. Despite ringing the changes and bringing on the subs Port did not really look like scoring again and inded there was almost a third for the visitors when a ball played in from the right struck Gruff Williams and on to the crossbar before being scrambled clear.
A disappointing result for Port, for they badly needed to pick up a couple of home wins before they have a series of away matches in December, including a Welsh Cup tie against in form Cardiff Met. After next Saturday’s game at home to Penrhyncoch, Port will not be at the Traeth until 7 January.
PORTHMADOG: Tyler French, Iddon Price, Josh Banks (Joe Williams 81’) Ceri James, Steve Bratt (Gruff Williams 65’), Dan Roberts, Chris Jones, Rob Evans, Julian Williams, Josh Davies, Gareth Jones Evans (Cai Jones 65’). Unused subs: Richard Harvey (gk), Craig Papirnyk. Yellow: Chris Jones 43’.
GRESFORD: Mike Platt, Dean Bryan, Ben Nash, Max Peate, Jack Jones, Josh Griffiths, Craig Pritchard, Dave McIntyre, Jake Roberts, Jack Challinor, Jon Cello (Rhys Lloyd 65’). Unused subs: Andy Pride, Matt Thomason, Cavan Daly, Wil Roberts.
Referee: Dan Fogarty (Connah’s Quay)
J D Welsh Cup -Saturday, Tachwedd 5ed
CPD Portmadog...................2 (3 pens)
Julian Williams 62’
Gruff Williams 107’
Gresford Athletic,,,,,,,..........2 (1 pen)
Jake Eyre 29’
Nathan Williams 92’
Tyler French was Port’s hero this afternoon, making three outstanding saves in the penalty shoot-out, to take his club through to the 3rd Round of the Welsh Cup. Twice behind, Port failed to take advantage of having an extra man after Gresford midfielder Jack Mountford was sent off in the 58th minute of normal time. Despite the set back Gresford forced the game into extra time and even then went ahead, only to be penned back by a Gruff Williams goal to bring on the penalty shoot-out to give us a result. It was an afternoon of heavy rain showers, hail, sunshine and even a double rainbow smiling at us against a background of the Moelwyn mountains and signalling that today, perhaps, lady luck was on Port’s side.
Port could have gone ahead after just 8 minutes when after a good build-up Josh Davies making his first start of the season layed a good ball back into the path of Chris Jones, whose shot from 18 yards went over the bar. The visitors responded when Nash sent a low cross to the far post which was tantalisingly out of everyone’s reach. Another effort from Iddon Price went close as Port were enjoying more of the possession during the early stages. Port should have gone ahead on 23 minutes when Ceri James, who was ruling in midfield, played a perfect through ball for Josh Davies who fired wide of the near post. Two minutes on, Julian Williams coming in at the back post met Gareth Jones Evans’ long cross from the left but headed narrowly wide of the target. Port were made to pay for failing to capitalise on their pressure on the Gresford goal when the visitors broke away down the right and, in bizarre circumstances, fed Owen Roberts, who had been allowed to drift back on to the pitch after injury out of sight of the home defence. Roberts took full advantage of the space, hitting a low cross towards the far post, where the visitors’ leading scorer Jake Eyre netted from close range. Julian Williams came close to striking back immediately but the crossbar came to rescue keeper Mike Platt. The same player drew an excellent save form Platt when he met another Jones Evans cross at the back post. Gresford retained their goal lead at the interval.
There were early efforts in the second period from Chris Jones for Port and Eyre for Gresford but the keepers were equal to the task. Then a dramatic moment when Jack Mountford received a second yellow and his marching orders after bringing down Chris Jones. It was a long period to be a man short and within four minutes Port had drawn level. It was a superb individual goal. Gruff Williams on the right played the ball inside for Julian Williams who turned sharply on the edge of the box and whipped a perfect shot into the top corner of Mike Platt’s goal. Port now pushed forward seeking a winner and cross after cross was played into the Gresford box. There were headers and shots in plenty but 10 man Gresford were equal to the task defending manfully and looked to have the organisation to frustrate Port. Behind them keeper Mike Platt was in good form. He saved well from Chris Jones after an excellent move involving a series of one touch football and was well placed when Josh Davies met a Cai Jones chip into the box. Gresford grew in confidence, however, feeling that they could snatch the victory in normal time. Several times they caught an overstretched Port defence with both Eyre and attacking full back Nathan Williams proving a threat. But on 90 minutes it remained 1-1.
Into extra time and almost immediately the Port defence were caught out again and Gresford produced a carbon copy of their first goal. Sub Dean Bryan crossed from the right low to the far post where full back Nathan Williams racing in at the back post netted from close in. This stunned the home team and supporters and parity was not restored until the early minutes of the second half of extra-time. Gruff Williams received from Cai Jones and from the edge of the box beat Platt with a shot which took a slight deflection. 2-2 after two hours of football!
Tyler French got the shoot-out off to a flying start diving to his right to keep out Latham’s penalty. Chris Jones then netted for Port and Tyler French repeated the dose this time saving Dave McIntyre’s penalty. Josh Davies then doubled Port’s advantage which was immediately cut back when Chaloner netted for Gresford. Ceri James netted the coolest of spot kicks and Tyler French completed the victory saving his third penalty to deny Jake Roberts. All over 3-1 on penalties for a 5-3 total. Just to underline that it really was Port’s lucky day keeper Platt got a hand to Chris’s pen and Josh’s spot kick went in off the post. But, as they say, they all count the same.
Quite a day, but now we can all look forward to the draw and playing in the 3rd round.
PORTHMADOG: Tyler French, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Ceri James, Stev Bratt, Dan Roberts (Cai Jnes 54’), Chris Jones, Iddon Price, Julian Williams (Jamie McDaid 91’), Josh Davies, Gareth Jones Evans (Rob Evans 65’). Unused subs. Tom Clarke, Joe Williams. Yellow: Gareth Jones Evans58.
GRESFORD: Mike Platt, Mike Latham, Nathan Williams, Max Peate, Ben Nash, Jack Mountford, Craig Pritchard (Josh Griffiths 103’), Jack Chaloner, Owen Roberts (Dean Bryan 68’), Jake Eyre (Jake Roberts 96’), Dave McIntyre. Red: Jack Mountford (2 yellow).
Referee: Ashley Roberts.
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, October 29th
Caersws FC ...................3
Will Thomas 84’
Sean Evans 49’
Lance Jones 32’
Julian Williams 30’
A highly disappointing afternoon for Porthmadog who, despite controlling the game for long periods, dominating possession and playing the game largely in the Caersws half, still went home pointless. The home side defended in numbers, took their chances when they presented themselves and, though their goal sometimes enjoyed a charmed life, they will care little as they took revenge for their recent Welsh Cup defeat at the Traeth. But the Port squad and management will be left wondering how those three points escaped their grasp.
Caersws were out of the blocks first putting the Port defence under early pressure forcing several corners but Tyler French was only in action to deal comfortably with one of these. Tom Clarke put in an early effort for Port with his shot from 25 yards dipping over the home crossbar. Gradually Port pressure started mounting but they did not really threaten the home goal until 20 minutes had elapsed and it wasTom Clarke again this time lifting a Gareth Jones Evans cross over the bar from the centre of the box. Minutes later Julian Williams’s powerful header was only inches wide of Callum Hawthorne’s upright. On the half hour mark the same player opened the scoring with a low shot from the edge of the box which hit the back of the net. It came after strong Port pressure with Cai Jones laying the ball off neatly for Julian Williams. But the lead lasted all of two minutes with Caersws striking back and forcing a corner on the right. Lance Jones met Jack Hughes’s right wing corner heading in just inside the near post. Following the goal it was Port who continued to pressure the home goal and Callum Hawthorne kept out a Cai Jones effort at full stretch while Tom Clarke did find the net only to be ruled offside. Travelling supporters were left scratching their heads as to how the scores were level at the interval.
Port threatened again from the start of the second half with Cai Jones and Julian Williams again threatening in early attacks. But four minutes into the half Caersws again hit against the run of play, breaking up field to take the lead as they have so often done to Port over the years. With Port unable to clear as the ball bounced around in their penalty area, Sean Evans struck to hook the ball across Tyler French’s goal and it went into the net off the far post. Having established an unexpected advantage, Caersws set about defending in numbers to frustrate Port efforts to get back on level terms. Twice Cai Jones, who was leading the line with strength and imagination, threatened the home goal. He controlled a long clearance well but lifted his shot over the bar and almost immediately met a Gruff Williams cross only to head over the bar again. It was all Port now but they just could not find the net. On the hour Julian Williams cut across from the right and another well struck effort went narrowly the wrong side of the post. A minute later and it was Julian Williams again this time his inswinging free kick rattling the post with the keeper beaten. The woodwork came to Caersws’s aid again minutes later, as a defender blocked a Cai Jones shot on to the post and it bounced coveniently for keeper Callum Hawthorne to gather. Having survived the storm the Caersws defence steadied and with Port tending to lose shape as their efforts became more and more desperate to get an equaliser. As this happened it became increasingly possible for Caersws to strike on the break and with fresh legs on this indeed is what happened. Into the last ten minutes the home team won a free kick near the edge of the box on the left. Sean Evans struck powerfully and keeper Tyler French could only block but failed to hold. Striker Will Thomas was on hand to score from close range and settle the result.
Also in the last ten minutes there wa a bizarre incident which summed up Port’s afternoon of frustration, when Caersws player Lance Jones was yellow carded for manhandling Port sub Josh Davies in the home penalty area. The referee then went on to award Caersws the subsequent free kick and leave everyone mystified! It was a disappointing afternoon made worse by the news of teams above dropping points which could have meant a move up the table.
PORTHMADOG: Tyler French, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Dan Roberts, Iddon Price, Tom Clarke, Gareth Jones Evans ( Ceri James 85’), Chris Jones (Joe Williams 69’), Julian Williams, Cai Jones (Josh Davies 76’), Jamie McDaid. Unused subs: Paul Lewis, Craig Papirnyk.
CAERSWS: Callum Hawthorne, Cledan Davies, Jack Hughes, Paul Grant, Tom Richards, Iwan Lewis, Jolyon Harries, Lance Jones ( Elliot Jones 81’), Will Thomas, Josh Hartrick (Craig Harris 85’), Sean Evans. Unused subs: Mark Griffiths, Luke Evans, Graham Evans. Yellow: Lance Jones 78’.
Referee: Arran Jones (Deganwy)
Huws Gray Alliance–Saturday, 22 October.
Holyhead Hotspurs ...............1
Jay Gibbs 19’
Gareth Jones Evans 6’
Jamie McDaid 37’, 90’
Port were made to work hard for the three points in a scrappy encounter at the New Oval. The home side used the direct route and this together with the quick closing down in midfield made life difficult for Port who were only able to get their passing game going on occasions. But those occasions were enough for them to get their noses in front and a hard working, if less fluent, performance kept them ahead for most of the 90 minutes until Jamie McDaid sealed the three points at the death.
Holyhead started strongly and dominated the opening minutes of the game with Port keeper Tyler French forced into a good save after just two minutes to keep out a shot from Jack Griffiths, at the expense of a corner. Further pressure came from the corner with a header striking the crossbar. But against the early trends Port surprised the home support by going ahead. Cai Jones, who earlier sent a speculative shot over the bar, controlled a long clearance well and found Julian Williams wide on the left. The winger slipped the ball inside to Gareth Jones Evans who worked the space to send a low 25 yard super strike just inside Paul Pritchard’s right hand post for a quality goal.
Jay Gibbs who was having a big influence on the game struck a free kick to the back post where Rhys Roberts headed wide. But a few minutes later and Gibbs had put the Hotspurs back on level terms when he capitalised on a poor defensive header, picked his spot, giving Tyler French no chance from 16 yards. After a period of stalemate Port established a firmer footing in the game and from Julian Williams’ corner Rhys Roberts had to clear a Cai Jones header at his near post. Gareth Jones Evans then initiated the move which produced Port’s second goal when he switched the ball to Jamie McDaid wide left. McDaid cut inside and from the corner of the box fired through the crowded box to beat an unsighted Paul Pritchard. Port now enjoyed a good spell, with Cai Jones having a header cleared off the line and the same player should have scored when he put Chris Jones’ excellent cross over the bar from close in. Hotspurs countered with Deion Evans forcing Tyler French into a good save. The score remained 2-1 to Port at the interval.
As in the opening half the home side came out strongly at the beginning of the second period. Jay Gibbs was again the main threat and twice Tyler French was glad to push away powerful strikes to safety. Gradually Port weathered the early second half pressure and Jamie McDaid began finding space down the left. Just past the hour mark he cut inside from the left but his shot was deflected over the bar. He repeated the process a few minutes later cutting along the byline from the left past two defenders but his shot from a narrow angle was blocked and eventually cleared. With Port increasingly threatening, it was Jamie McDaid again crossing accurately to the near post where sub Joe Williams headed inches over the bar. While the score remained 2-1 the tension also remained. Gruff Williams cleared a Jay Gibbs effort off the line and Mel McGinness headed wide. But with time running out Port sealed the victory when Jamie McDaid chased down keeper Tyler French’s long kick, controlled well, and raced on into the box for a cool finish from 12 yards. The three points were finally in the bag, in a game which could not be rated high on entertainment on an afternoon where hard graft had paid off for Port.
With five of the top six winning today, this victory moves Port up just one place to 5th but they continue their unbeaten run on the road this season. Next Saturday we visit Caersws.
PORTHMADOG: Tyler French, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Steve Bratt, Iddon Price, Ceri James, Chris Jones, Gareth Jones Evans, Jamie McDaid, Cai Jones (Joe Williams 70’), Julian Williams (Tom Clarke 57’) Unused subs: Dan Roberts, Craig Papirnyk, Paul Lewis. Yellow: Joe Williams 89’.
HOLYHEAD: Paul Pritchard, Brendun Hogan, Kenleigh Owen (Dewi Thomas 51’), Corey Jones, Ceiron Hilditch, Rhys Roberts, Jack Grifiths, Jay Gibbs, Mel McGinness, Asa Thomas (Deion Evans 33’), Dean Garney. Unused subs: Gavin Sharpe. Yellow: Asa Thomas.
Referee: Andy Harms (Prestatyn)
Huws Gray Alliance –Saturday, 15 October.
Flint Town United..............2
Andy Brown 9’
Joe Culshaw 56’
It was a disappointing result for Port, in a close encounter between the third and fourth placed teams. Flint got off to a flying start with a set piece goal after just 9 minutes. They repeated the dose ten minutes into the second half, with Joe Culshaw firing a rocket from 25 yards into the top corner of the Port net. It left Port chasing a game where they created enough good chances to earn a share of the points. A strong, composed defensive performance in the second half secured the points for Flint, despite having to ride their luck at times, as Port rattled the woodwork three times with the ball just refusing to cross Ben Jones’s line.
The game started at a lively pace with an early chance at either end. Cadwallader blasted Kyle Smith’s cross over the bar for the visitors and Gruff John hit a powerful shot across the face of the Flint goal. But with just nine minutes gone Flint got their noses in front, capitalising on Joe Culshaw’s corner with Andy Brown’s header finding the net. Following a period of stalemate Port came more into the game, but breaking down the Flint defence was no easy task and Port were restricted to shots from outside the box. Joe Williams fired a shot from 20 yards to test keeper Ben Jones. Twice Julian Williams burst from midfield and forced Ben Jones into good saves, one of which he was glad to grasp at second attempt. Good work down the right by Chris Jones and his cross to the back post was just a whisker away from Joe Williams’ head. But before half-time Flint should have gone two up when a break down the right caught out the Port defence and Mark Cadwallader fired wide when well placed.
Port introduced Cai Jones for Joe Williams after the interval and he was in the early action with a flick on for Chris Jones in the box, but the shot struck the post and wide. But Flint countered and, after a Cadwallader headed wide, Port failed to clear following a free kick. After several blocks and partial clearances the ball reached Joe Culshaw 25 yards out and he unleashed an exocet which gave keeper Tyler French no chance. Port responded to going two down with their best play of the game. Ben Jones pulled off an outstanding save to keep out a Chris Jones header from close range while Gareth Jones Evans saw his shot from the right of the box go narrowly wide. Pressure continued and Tom Clarke met a Gareth Jones Evans cross but was unlucky to see his clean header strike the post. The visitors’ goal was now leading a charmed life at times and, when Chris Jones had his shot blocked it fell to Jamie McDaid and a good opportunity was fired into the side netting. There was one more chance for Port to score near the end but true to the way the afternoon had gone Gruff Williams free kick rattled the crossbar rather than hitting the back of the net. But despite being at full stretch at times the Flint defence, capably marshalled by John Davies and Steve Cunningham, held out.
Today’s defeat means that Flint take their place in the third spot while wins for Holywell Town and Guilsfield mean that Port slip to 6th place. The top half of the HGA is very tight and dropping points, especially at home, has its immediate effect on our league placing. But it is early days yet with two thirds of the season remaining for things to change around many times before next April. Despite the defeat, most supporters will have left the Traeth pleased with both the performance and quality of the play and wondering how Port failed to find the net during the 90 minutes.
There was an excellent gate of 261today. Thanks go to our supporters and it was especially pleasing to see so many young supporters present.
PORTHMADOG: Tyler French, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Ceri James (Steve Bratt 72’), Iddon Price, Tomos Clarke, Ywain Gwynedd (Gareth Jones Evans 62’), Jamie McDaid, Chris Jones, Joe Williams (Cai Jones 46’), Julian Williams. Unused subs: Dan Roberts, Richard Harvey (gk). Yellow: Gruff Williams 58’, Gareth Jones Evans 75’
FLINT: Ben Jones, John Hill, Joe Culshaw (Luke Douglas 86’), Steve Cunningham, John Davies, Ieuan Hewitt, Levi Mackin, Andy Brown (Louis Austin 59’), James Hooper, Mark Cadwallader (Richie Foulkes 79’), Kyle Smith. Unused subs Joe Palmer, Luke Tyson. Yellow: J Culshaw, S Cunningham.
Referee: Ellis Hughes.