Huws Gray Fitlock Cymru Alliance League Cup -Saturday, September 28th
Lex XI ................ 1 Porthmadog ...............5
Gary Penlington 82 Dave Farr 12, 87
Carl Owen, 39, 44
Lee Webber 53
Lex have gained some important scalps this season and Port were well
aware that Holyhead had lost their unbeaten record at Stansty Park only last
Saturday. Port needed no reminding either, that Lex had put an end to their
promotion aspirations with a 5-0 beating towards the end of last season.
Today's result therefore, went some way to making amends for what happened
on the last visit to Lex's, Wrexham, ground.
From the start of today's encounter both sides set out to play their
football on the ground and build their moves from the back. Lex enjoyed the
greater share of the possession in the opening minutes but once the visitors
got the ball down and started to develop their passing game the home goal
came under threat. Carl Owen's shot, following a good through ball from
Gareth Parry was diverted for a corner. Webber's header, from the ensuing
Mike Foster corner, was blocked but Dave Farr was the first to react and he
scored from close range putting Port in front after 12 mins.
There followed a long period of Port domination but without a change in
the score. Gareth Parry was prominent in midfield combining with front men
Farr and Owen only to see Carl Owen's shot touched round the post by the
capable Rowley in the home goal. Soon after Rowley did well again to cut out
a low Steve Pugh cross, with Farr and Owen again threatening. Then an
accurate Foster pass found Farr free on the left and the striker cleverly
beat two defenders before crossing but Carl Owen's finish was diverted for a
corner. Finally the second goal came after 39 mins when Owen, who had worked
unselfishly throughout the half , fastened on to a Farr pass and beat Rowley
with an excellent finish from 20 yds.
Almost immediately Port were given a reminder that the game was not over
when Penlington crashed a shot against the bar with the visitors still
celebrating their second goal. The wake-up call was taken seriously and two
mins before the interval Carl Owen again completed a fine move, this time
involving Mike Foster and Ritchie Owen, with a volley which went into the
net via the underside of the bar.
With thoughts of two seasons ago, when Lex recovered from three down at
the interval to claim a share of the points, the visitors were eager to make
the game safe with a fourth goal. This duly arrived after 53 mins with Lee
Webber claiming his usual goal with a powerful header from a Mike Foster
corner. Port now withdrew three of their most prominent players, on the day,
skipper Mike Foster, goal scorer Carl Owen and midfield creator Gareth
Parry, and rest them for other battles which lie ahead. One of the subs Tony
Williams was soon in the game and twice cleverly turned defenders in the
box, only to see his shots well saved by Rowley.
The home side were not prepared to cave in and, with Adam Owen prominent
in midfield, they in fact enjoyed a period of possession which they used to
good effect. Mark Williams on 65 mins fastened on to a Danny Hughes
defensive header and shot narrowly wide of the left upright. Eventually,
after 82 mins, the home side gained their consolation when Gary Penlington
got in front of his marker and steered a right wing cross past Ken Jones
into the net.
Port were still very dangerous on the break and Craig Thomas had to
clear a Steve Pugh drive off his line, with keeper Rowley, for once, far
from the action. Port's fifth and final goal came thanks to a fine Dave Farr
run from the half way line before coolly sending a low drive, past the busy
Rowley, into the net.
A comfortable Port win on one of their bogey grounds -but it would be
far sweeter if there were three points on offer as well.
Lex: Rowley, McCracken, Craig Thomas, Shaun Jones, Gareth Williams, Scott
Roberts, Kevin Breeze, Adam Owen, Jonathan Jones, Gary Penlington, Mark
Subs: Hignett, Plant, Alan Rock.
Port: Ken Jones, Harrison, Danny Hughes, Webber, Foster(capt)(John G.
Jones), Dafydd Evans, Gareth Parry(Gareth Caughter), Ritchie Owen, Steve
Pugh, Carl Owen(Tony Williams), Dave Farr.
Cymru Alliance League - Saturday, September 21st
Fflint Utd.......1 Porthmadog..........1
League leaders Porthmadog retained their unbeaten record, in all matches
this season, but relinquished their 100% record in a scrappy encounter at
Cae Castell. The limited ambitions of the home side were fairly evident from
the start. They intended to pack as many bodies behind the ball as possible
and to tackle uncompromisingly and limit space in the middle of the park.
Their attacking ideas were mainly limited to the long ball for the nippy Lee
Acott to chase. To their credit it must be said that the policy was
successful and Port may well have contributed to this by resorting to the
long ball themselves and, without winger Steve Pugh, tended to play a narrow
game which suited the tactics of the physically strong Flint side.
The visitors were unable to establish their usual passing game and apart
from some good work by Gareth Parry, Port's best player on the day, they
failed to dominate in midfield as they have done in most games this season.
The visitors also maintained another interesting record -that of failing to
score in the opening half of any of their league games so far this season
and this, despite dominating the possession in the opening half and creating
several openings. The closest they came to scoring early on was Carl Owen's
shot on the turn which skimmed the crossbar following a Foster corner. Later
Gareth Parry ran past three defenders before shooting narrowly past the
post. The best move of the match came after 40 mins when Carl Owen broke on
the left but Iwan Roberts failed to take advantage of an excellent cross to
open the scoring. On the stroke of half-time Richie Owen was unlucky when
his shot struck the bar with home keeper Andy Hughes beaten.
For all their attacking Port could have gone in a goal down at the
interval when keeper Harvey appeared to hesitate before coming out to meet a
long clearance, and it took a timely intervention by skipper Foster to keep
The second-half continued much as the first but then after 52 mins the
deadlock was broken, not for the first time by the set piece skills of Mike
Foster and Lee Webber, which saw Foster's corner being headed in at the far
post by Webber. If the visitors expected the usual rout to follow they were
disappointed for almost immediately the ball was up at the other end being
scrambled into the Port net only for the referee to disallow the goal
despite the very vocal protests of the home side.
Gareth Parry and Tony Williams then came close for the visitors but the
home side appeared to grow in confidence as they were now forced to move out
of their half of the field and the ever dangerous Acott came close to
heading in a near post header from a left wing cross. Despite introducing
subs, Farr and John Gwynfor, Port were unable to change the pattern of the
game and in fact it was Flint sub Christian Evans who was to have a decisive
effect on the game. He took advantage of some indecisive defending to move
forward to the edge of the box before dispatching a low shot past Richard
Port threw everything forward in an attempt to secure the victory but
time ran out and the home side were more than pleased with the point gained.
Flint: Andy Hughes, Scott Beck, Chris Williams, kevin Thomas, Lee Jones,
Darren Johnson, Sean Beck, Sturat Hughes, Lee Acott, Phil Molyneux,Darren
Subs: Ian Taylor, Christian Evans, Paul Jenkins.
Port: Richard Harvey, Campbell Harrison(Joe Cooper), Danny Hughes, Lee
Webber, Mike Foster(capt), Dafydd Evans, Gareth Parry, Ritchie Owen, Iwan
Roberts(John G. Jones), Tony Williams(Dave Farr), Carl Owen.
Welsh Cup Round 1 -Saturday, September 14th
The last time these two teams met at the tail end of last season, and
prior to Denbigh's drop into the Welsh Alliance, the game ended in a draw.
Up to half-time it appeared that we could well have another drawn game on
our hands. The home side showed from the off that they were unimpressed by
Port's fine start to the season and ran, harried and closed down their
opponents to the extent that the visitors were totally unable to settle into
their usual passing game.
The game developed into a battle for domination in mid-field and the
chances at both ends were very limited. Port broke on the right, after 11
mins, with John Gwynfor and Steve Pugh combining, and Pugh forced Howatson,
in the Denbigh goal, to save well at the near post. The closest the visitors
came to score after this in the opening half came from a Richard Owen header
and when Gareth Parry shaved the bar with a 25 yd effort, after intercepting
a loose clearance. Denbigh were rarely a threat in the box and their best
effort came when Houghton broke on the left and Port keeper Harvey saved
with his legs at the near post.
The second-half saw a transformation in the vistors play.They stepped
up a gear and the home side failed to close them down to the same extent.
Soon the spaces started to appear with Carl Owen running well off the ball
and his close control and pace became a constant threat to the home defence.
After two of Owen's efforts went narrowly over the bar, John Gwynfor took
advantage of a misdirected clearance, on the hour, to find Pugh in the box
and the former Wrexham player opened the scoring with a half-hit shot on the
turn which rolled out of Howatson's reach and just inside the post.
Carl Owen was soon threatening again and a run from his own half was
only saved at the expense of a corner. He was not to be be denied and after
69 mins he took advantage of good work by Gareth Parry, who won the ball in
midfield and found Owen free on the left. The Port striker then rounded
Howatson, in the home goal, before increasing the visitors lead to two goals
with a low shot inside the far post. Five minutes later and, the now
dominant, Port killed off the game with a third goal, when Terry Williams
shot high into the net from an oblique angle on the left after Howatson had
beaten out another Carl Owen effort.
Port maintained their 100 per cent record in all matches this season
and will be pleased to notch up another clean sheet.
Denbigh Town: Howatson, Stubbs, Houghton, Wakefield, Millett, Sean Davies,
Hawkins, Eric Seekie, Paul Cooke-Hannah, Paul Edwards, Gary Roberts.
Subs: David Webster, J. Newsome.
Port: Harvey, John G. Jones(Campbell Harrison), Danny Hughes, Lee Webber,
Mike Foster(capt.), Dafydd Evans, Gareth Parry , Ritchie Owen(Gareth
Caughter), Steve Pugh( Iwan Roberts), Carl Owen, Terry Williams.
Porthmadog.........4 Lex XI..............1
This game was decided in a five minute period just after half-time when
Port scored three times leaving a dejected Lex an impossible task. There had
been nothing in the opening half to suggest that this might happen and in
fact Lex's play confirmed that their recent run, with victories over
pre-season promotion favourites Llangefni and Buckley was no fluke. In fact
the visitors might well have gone ahead after two mins when they capitalised
on poor passing in the midfield and it needed Richard Harvey, in the home
goal, to be at his best to keep out the lively Mark Williams.This was
followed after 5 mins by a speculative 25 yd effort from
Jonathan Jones which flew just past Harvey's left hand post.
The visitors had the edge territorially in the opening period with the
speed and movement of Mark Williams a constant threat to the home defence.
As the half wore on Port created the better chances and it needed a fine
save by keeper Rowley to keep out a Gareth Parry header. The best chance of
the half fell to Carl Owen, after 24 mins, when a clever Dave Farr pass into
the box left Owen with only the keeper to beat but Rowley once again proved
equal to the task and saved again when Owen fastened on to the rebound.
Another opportunity was created by Farr after 34 mins this time with a cross
which keeper Rowley failed to deal with, allowing Iwan Roberts a chance on
goal, but the keeper made amends and caught the lively winger's lob.
Surprisingly, Port forward Farr, was substituted at half-time but there
can be little doubt that the effect of the decision was to transform the
game. Two mins after the re-start and Pugh burst along the right before
cutting into the box where he was brought down by Lawrie Briggs. Referee Hag
Harris pointed to the spot and Dafydd Evans, cool as ever. converted his
third penalty of the season. After 51 mins Gareth Parry flicked on a Harvey
goal-kick into the path of Terry Williams and the half-time sub ran on to
the bye-line, but lacking support for a cross he cleverly held on to the
ball and when support was available he slipped a low ball into the box for
Carl Owen to drive into the net from 12yds.
A minute later and the super-sub, Terry Williams, was involved again
this time receiving from Carl Owen and his 18 yd drive was deflected past
the despairing Rowley into the net. The game had now been well and truly
transformed and after 73 mins Port added a fourth when Mike Foster, Gareth
Parry and, inevitably, Terry Williams combined on the left for Parry to
drive home a low Foster cross. To their credit Lex continued the fight and
probably deserved their consolation of a 78th minute goal when Mark Williams
took advantage of some sloppy defensive play to beat Richard Harvey from 15
yds and score the first league goal of the season to be conceded by the home
Not for the first time a second half transformation enabled Port to
continue their 100 per cent start to the season -against a side who will
continue to upset anyone in the league -especially if they are not taken
Port: Richard Harvey, Campbell Harrison, Danny Hughes, Lee Webber, Mike
Foster(capt), Dafydd Evans, Gareth Parry, Iwan Roberts(Joe Cooper), Steve
Pugh(John G. Jones), Dave Farr(Terry Williams), Carl Owen.
Lex: Rowley, Craig Thomas, Kevin Jones, Lawrie Briggs, Gareth Williams,
Scott Roberts, Kevin Breeze, Shaun Jones, Jonathan Jones, Mark Williams,J.
Subs: Peter McClaren, Darren Hignett.
Airbus UK..........2 Porthmadog..........4
Chris Herbert 21 Mike Foster 21
Mike Costello 31 Dave Farr 16, 64
Lee Webber 27
After four games, which has seen them establish a four point lead at the
top of the table, Port turned their attentions to the preliminary round of
the League Cup with a visit to Broughton -never an easy place to gain a
victory. The hosts have enjoyed a mixed start to their season, but their
hopes must have been raised with the very late arrival of two Port players.
This meant that manager Viv Williams had to start the game as an emergency
Conditions were not easy for either side with a stiff breeze blowing at
the visitors backs, and it was Port who threatened first when a Carl Owen
shot from a Mike Foster cross took a slight deflection and went narrowly
over the bar. It took Port only 7 mins to put themselves deservedly ahead
when keeper Wil Dixon and the Airbus defence were caught out by Mike
Foster's unexpected low free-kick which squeezed past everybody. After 15
mins Viv Williams was pleased to make way for latecomer Richard Harvey and
that without having to touch the ball -a fair reflection of the visitors
domination of the early action.
A minute later saw Port double their lead with the best move of the
game. This was a slick move involving Farr, Parry, Foster Pugh and then Farr
again -who latched on to Pugh's excellent downward header and found the back
of the net from 12 yds. Almost immediately Carl Owen almost caught out the
home defence when he raced through the home defence only to see his shot go
narrowly past the post. Suddenly the defensive frailties of Airbus started
to infect the visitors and they were caught out when dangerman Chris
Herbert, after 21 mins, took advantage of Paul Murphy's header into the box
and nodded the ball past Harvey in the Port goal.This was the first goal
conceded this season after a remarkable total of 381 mins football.
It took the visitors only six mins to re-establish their two goal
advantage when Lee Webber rose to power in a Dafydd Evans corner.The home
side despite their weakness at the back looked dangerous going forward and
Herbert came close on the half-hour and only a minute later, aided by a rare
Richard Harvey error, Mike Costello found himself with a fairly simple shot
into a vacant goal. Five goals in just over half an hour and on the stroke
of half-time a Gareth Parry header struck the bar.
In the second period Airbus were looking to take advantage of the wind,
which was now at their backs, but though they enjoyed more of the play they
posed few threats to a Port defence which had now regained its composure.
The goal which sealed the game came after 64 mins when Dave Farr, whose
ability to hold the ball and turn defenders together with his intelligent
running off the ball had been a feature of the game, beat the visitors
offside trap and raced into the box beating Dixon with a low shot into the
The visitors were now in charge and they could have added to their tally
when Carl Owen had only the keeper to beat, but Dixon was equal to the task.
Pugh and Farr were a constant threat with Dafydd Evans enjoying time and
space in midfield prompted a series of flowing moves. Gareth Parry was
unlucky to see his shot go over the bar as he strove to keep up his record
of scoring in all the three games he has played.
The League Cup is always something of a diversion but it gave Carl Owen
his first real run of the season and he was full of running -not good news
for Alliance defences.
Airbus: Wil Dixon, Nick Whitley, Aled P Jones, Dowdridge, Dodd, Piper,
Costello, Holland, Herbert, Hooley, Murphy.
Subs: Carl Hughes, Riley, Gary Wynne.
Port: Viv Williams(Harvey), Harrison, Danny Hughes, Webber, Foster(capt),
Dafydd Evans, Gareth Parry, Steve Pugh(Tony Williams), Iwan Roberts, Carl
Owen(Matthew Hughes), Dave Farr.