Rhyl did very well against Barry Town last week, so this was going to be a
hard task for Porthmadog who crashed to a five nill defeat in mid-week
against Bangor City in the Gilbert League Cup. But, Porthmadog started
quite well managing to keep Rhyl in their own half of the feild. They even
managed to pressurise the Rhyl goal. After 4 minutes new signing, Paul
Howard came close, but shot wide straight in front of goal. He was once
again in the action three minutes later, but Rhyl goalie, Dave Edwards,
reached Howard's cross before Mike Davies.
But, after this Rhyl started to assert their authority and take control.
Just like Wednesday night, there were still faults in the Porthmadog
defence. On 11 minutes they failed to clear which led to a bombardment on
the goal. Steve Jones' shot from the left came off Neil Roberts who was on
the line. From the rebound Dewi Parry's shot went just over the bar. The
pressure during this period on the Porthmadog goal was relentless. One
minute later Rhyl again came close, but Scott Millington's shot went
completely wide. This was followed by Gareth Willson's shot that again went
over the bar, but he got injured in the process.
There were further defence errors on 17 minutes, when Andy Taylor's
mistake resulted in a free run on goal by Leon Gierke who's shot went just
over the bar. It was all Rhyl during this period, and a goal was only a
matter of time away. It was no supise when they took the lead on 25
minutes. Gareth Willson's inch-perfect cross was met by Dewi Parry, who was
given far too much space in the box to head in the opener. Rhyl again came
close straight from a corner, but Kenny Dixon's touch was enough to push
the ball just over the line.
Ten minutes from time Rhyl could have made it two, but Scott Millington's
header, that happened after another piece of sloppy defending by
Porthmadog's Andy Taylor, went just wide. On the stroke of half-time, Paul
Howard was given a yellow card after one of Porthmadog's few attacks on the
Rhyl goal. So Rhyl were deservedly ahead on half-time and Porthmadog were
lucky that more hadn't been scored.
The second half however, was a completely different affair,- Porthmadog
managed to compete much better and the defence looked much more secure. In
the first minute they came close, when Neil Roberts' shot went just wide
after a pass accross the side of the box by Nigel Barry. There was
confusion on 8 minutes, when a free kick was given instead of a clear
corner after an attack by Nigel Barry down the left.
But, Rhyl will kick themselves at some of the chances they missed just
before ten minutes when Steve Jones' attack was stopped by Kenny Dixon, who
bravely took the ball from Jones' feet. Seconds later, Havard Frajfiord's
powerfull curling shot went inches wide of the bar. This was followed by a
period of pressure by Porthmadog, but they didn't create any notable chance
on the Rhyl goal. But, as would have been expected, Rhyl were never really
out of the tie, and Porthmadog had an escape on 17 minutes when Dave
Norman's shot was cleared off the line after a scramble for the ball. One
minute later, Jason Joyce had to make a crucial tackle on Rhyl's Scott
Millington after a fine save from Kenny Dixon from Steve Jones' shot.
On 22 minutes, Mike Davies' header went inches past the post after a good
free kick by Andy Taylor, who had a far better performance in the second
half. One minute later, Paul Howard did some good work, battling his way
through the mid-feild before passing to John Aspinall who was fowled at the
side of the box. John Aspinall nearly equalised from the resulting free
kick, but his fine, curling shot was superbly saved by Dave Edwards.
Ten minutes from time, Nigel Barry made a good run down the center of the
pitch, but, Dave Edwards just managed to get his fingers to the ball when
Barry tried to chip him on the side of the box. But Rhyl did still manage
to get some brakes, three minutes from time Dave Norman's shot came off the
bar. But only seconds later, Porthmadog got the equaliser. Paul Whelan, who
had only came on as sub minutes earlier, made a run to the left of the box
before passing to the far-post, where Chris Banks shot in from close-range.
So a great point for Porthmadog, as they continue their march away from
the relegation zone. But Rhyl will be very dissapointed to say the least,
especially after their domination of the first half when they should have
put the result beond any doubt. One Rhyl supporter who called Porthmadog
'geryatric eleven', because of the age of their players, especially John
Aspinall and Paul Whelan will defenatelly be eating his words as it was
John Aspinall that turned the Pothmadog performance arround in the second
half. Paul Whelan also managed to make a mark on the game, despite the fact
that he was only on for five minutes.
K. DIXON, A. TAYLOR, M. FOSTER, C. SAYNOR (O. HALL), G. WILLIAMS (J.
ASPINALL), N. ROBERTS, C. BANKS, N. BARRY, M. DAVIES (P. WHELAN), P.
HOWARD, J. JOYCE.
After their comfortable win over Aberystwyth during the weekend, there was
some hope that Porthmadog might give Bangor a close game. So, the events of
tonight came as a surprise to all. But Bangor did not have to be on their
best to finish the tie in the first leg.
During the first ten minutes, there was little difference between both
teams in a lively start. Bangor's first chance came after 6 minutes when
Darren Prichard's cross was met by John Whelan, whose header was saved by
Kenny Dixon. Bangor took the lead four minutes later, when the Porthmadog
defence failed to clear the ball to leave John Whelan clear at the side of
the box to power home leaving Kenny Dixon with no chance. And, the
Porthmadog defence were a bit suspect for the remainder of then match.
But, Porthmadog did get their share of chances. After the restart from
Bangor's first goal they came close when Nigel Barry's cross deflected from
a Bangor defender to hit the bar, and from the rebound Steven Pugh took too
long to shoot. This lead to a counter attack for Bangor, which lead to
Baangor's second. A mistake by Andy Taylor let Mark Lloyd-Williams free to
coolly finish from close-range.
On the quarter hour, Steven Pugh ran towards the Bangor defence, only to
be easily stopped by the Bangor stand-in Goalie, Dylan Prichard. Minutes
later Porthmadog were under serious pressure again, the problem once again
was their defence failing to clear. This lead to another chance for John
Whelan, but this time Kenny Dixon was there to keep the deficit at two.
But, the defence was not the only problem for Porthmadog, their failure to
convert their chances was also a major fault. Mike Foster and Steven Pugh
failed to score in front of an open goal just before the half hour.
Porthmadog did have a good spell around the half-hour. First, Colin
Saynor's free kick went inches over the bar after Dylan Prichard managed to
get his finger-tips to the ball. Then, minutes later, Steven Pugh's shot
from the edge of the box went just wide, after some good passing on the
John Whelan, by far Bangor's most influential player, managed to get
another chance on 36 minutes. But his header was once again saved by Kenny
Dixon. Minutes later, Porthmadog had another chance, this time through
Richard Jones who easily beat the Bangor defenmce.
So, at half time Bangor were two goals up and Porthmadog faced an up-hill
strugle if they wanted to go into the second leg at Farrar Road with any
chance of going through to the next round. Porthmadog would be very
disappointed that both goals up to now had occurred because of defencive
errors. The second half had very little excitement, and Porthmadog showed
exactly the same errors, which had given Bangor an easy lead at half time.
Porthmadog should have halved the deficit in the first minute of the
second half, when Mike Davies headed forward, for Viv Williams - who came
on as substitute on half time to volley the ball wide. Porthmadog again had
a chance to score on ten minutes, Viv Williams passed through to Steven
Pugh, but Mike Davies was judged off-side by the linesman. Porthmadog must
have felt hard done by, as Mike Davies was not interfering with play in any
Bangor didn't create any real chances during the opening minutes of the
second half, their first serious threat came after 13 minutes when Mark
Lloyd-Williams was allowed a free header to score after a cross form Darren
Pritchard. The marking that lead to this goal was appalling . Bangor then
put some more pressure on Porthmadog during the next few minutes, but
didn't pose any real threat on Kenny Dixon in the Porthmadog goal. But,
Porthmadog weren't out of the game, Viv Williams again came close with his
head after a curving free kick from Neil Roberts.
But, one minute later there was another defencive error in by Porthmadog.
The culprit this time was Neil Roberts who miss-judged a pass. Mark
Lloyd-Williams, didn't hesitate to take advantage of this, and made a run
before a fine finish. Porthmadog didn't let their heads go down, Mike
Davies and Viv Williams combined to create another chance. But Viv Williams
again fired wide after Mike Davies' head down.
There was great doubt about Bangor's fifth. At least three of the Bangor
players were meters off side, one of these was Mark Lloyd-Williams who
capitalised on the blindness of the Referee and his assistant. Bangor did
have one other chance, Mark Lloyd-Williams strong shot went inches over the
So, a very disappointing result for Porthmadog, their defence were very
lacking because of the absence of John Aspinall and Geraint Williams.
Things were made even worse when Colin Saynor had to come off at half time.
There was further bad news when Steven Pugh was given a yellow card for a
bad tackle, this means that his ban will be extended to four matches. After
Saturday's result tonight was very disappointing.
And how we celebrated.
Aberystwyth came in to this match on the back of a embarrassing hiding
last week at the hands of Cemaes Ynys Môn. And they were lucky not to lose
from a grater margin against Porthmadog this week-end.
Porthmadog were allowed to attack from the start in this afternoon's match
at the Traeth. But against the run of play it was Aberystwyth who opened
the scoring. Martyn Griffiths scored straight from a free kick which was
awarded after Aberystwyth's first attack of the match after 4 minutes. The
Porthmadog defence was caught ball-watching as the ball skidded across the
grass into the bottom corner. Porthmadog however, rightly equalized seconds
later, Geraint Jones' cross reached the head of Mike Davies, after original
good work by Davies himself. The ball went in after some appalling
goal-keeping by Stuart Kinninmouth, who after managing to get his hand to
the ball, flapped it into the back of the net.
There followed sustained pressure on the Aberystwyth goal, and Chris Banks
hit the ball meters wide after good work by Mike Davies, whose earlier shot
was deflected off a Aberystwyth defender after 9 minutes. But, despite the
domination of Porthmadog, Aberystwyth did manage some chances. Martyn
Griffiths came close when his header hit the bar which shook due to the
power of the header. One minute later, Kenny Dixon showed his brilliance,
superbly saving the downward header of Andy Evans.
Half way through the half Mike Davies should have done better in front of
goal, when his weak shot went just wide. This was followed by a brilliant
run down the left by captain Geraint Jones for Porthmadog and Mike Fosters
cross was met by Mike Davies' downward header. But, Kinninmouth made some
amends for his earlier blunder by taping the ball over the line.
Gavin Allen's shot went miles over the bar on the half-hour, and
throughout the game he showed nothing to justify his reported fat wage
packet (or is that a parcel?). And, two minutes later, Porthmadog came much
closer, when Geraint Jones' free-kick reached Mike Davies who powered his
header inches wide of the bar.
Aberystwyth's desperation was showed clearly when John Morris pushed
Steven Pugh to the ground, when Pugh looked to be clear of the Aber
defence. Morris was rightly given the yellow card by Mr. Evans of
Prestigne, who, unlike many other LoW referees, only booked two players
through the match.
Colin Saynor powered a free kick after 38 minutes that was blocked by the
Aberystwyth defencive wall. But three minutes later, Porthmadog took the
lead after Geraint Jones again crossed, this time from left, and Mike
Davies' powerful header nearly tore through the net, leaving Kinninmouth
without a chance.
On the stroke of half time, Chris Banks' pass found Steven Pugh clear on
the left. Pugh ran into the box, dodging two defenders before brilliantly
curling the ball passed the diving Kinninmouth to give Porthmadog a clear
and deserved lead at half time.
The second half could only be described as a one-sided affair. Neil
Roberts attacked from the first second, with a blistering run down the left
side, but there was no-one there when he crossed into the box. Steven pugh,
three minutes later, was allowed to make a run down the right, but his long
range shot went just wide. The runs down the wings came thick and fast
during this period for Porthmadog, indeed the space left by his defence
would have worried Aber manager Meirion Appleton. On five minutes it was
Mike Foster's chance to make a run down the wing, and a good save was
needed from Kinninmouth to stop Porthmadog from taking a further lead.
On ten minutes, Aberystwyth did manage one attack, which was squandered by
David Parry for the visitors, when his shot went over the bar. But this was
only a stay of execution for Aber, as Porthmadog pushed further ahead on 14
minutes, when defender Colin Sayor's close-range header hit the bar before
bouncing just over the line. Porthmadog also created further chances
through Jason Joyce, who battled his way through the Aberystwyth midfeild.
Aberystwyth did manage some further chances, Andy Evans' poor shot went
across the face of the goal. They came closer, one minute later, when
Martyn Griffiths pulled out a fine save from Kenny Dixon.
Aberystwyth's defence were caught out on 18 minutes, and Steven Pugh,- who
was clearly not off-side, contrary to the belief of the Aberystwyth
defence-, coolly executed the shot passed Stuart Kinninmouth into the
Aberystwyth goal. Minutes later, it could have been six, when Geraint
Jones' shot was tapped over the bar by Kinninmouth after a short corner by
Aberystwyth's reply came after 26 minutes of the second half, when Gavin
Allen converted from close range after very poor Porthmadog defending. The
goal took place after one of the few Aberystwyth counter-attacks.
Porthmadog tried to restore their advantage straight away, but there was
no-one there to score, after another blistering run by Neil Roberts. And,
again on the half hour, Porthmadog came very close to adding to their
total, when Steven Pugh's shot went just wide.
Five minutes from time, Steven Pugh crossed from the right, and Nigel
Barry came very close, but his shot went just over the bar. The next
Porthmadog chance came to Paul Whelan, who came on as sub after being
absent from the team since September, but his week shot bobbled wide.
At the end of normal time, came Aberystwyth's third, yet again against the
run of play, Andy Evans headed home from close range after a cross from
substitute Hayden Fleming. Questions would have to be asked, once again,
about the Porthmadog defence. But, there was still time for one more attack
from Porthmadog, Paul Whelan's shot went just wide.
So, Aberystwyth were swept away once again, by a team from the bottom four
of the League as their poor form of late continued. It seems that
Aberystwyth, who had a good start to the season, will be pulled into the
mire yet again. Porthmadog, on the other hand, will be delighted to say the
least, with the result that could and should have been even more
convincing, and will hope that this can be the platform for their exit from
the basement. Their future certainly looks more secure after an anonymous
supporter donated £3,500 to greatly improve the financial situation.
K. DIXON, A. TAYLOR, G. JONES (R. HUGHES) , C. SAYNOR, J. JOYCE, M. FOSTER,
N. ROBERTS, N. BARRY, C. BANKS (P. WHELAN), M. DAVIES, S. PUGH
SUB NOT USED O. HALL
CARMARTHEN TOWN..........3 PORTHMADOG..........1
Porthmadog, who had a crisis meeting during the week, in which their
financial future was considered, went down to Carmarthen on the back of two
wins. This was be a match against a higher placed team, where the
expectation to win would be far less, meaning less pressure on the team to
Porthmadog started well, managing to put some pressure on the Carmarthen
goal, and restricting Carmarthen to the mid-field area. Colin Saynor came
close from a free kick after four minutes, and only seconds later Nigel
Barry's shot went over the bar from Mike Davies' pass after good work from
Porthmadog again came close through Steven Pugh after 14 minutes, but his
shot went over the bar after a pass from Andy Taylor. Two minutes Pugh took
too much time with his shot to waste a good opportunity on goal. From this
point onwards, Carmarthen started to take control of proceedings. Their
first real chance came after 18 minutes, Dean Rosster's strong shot going
wide, after a cross from the left by Wayne Jones. One minute later Steven
Pugh wasted another chance by slipping on the heavy Waun-dew pitch after a
cross from Nigel Barry.
It was Carmarthen all the way after this, Dean Rossiter headed wide after
24 minutes and Colin Pascoe's shot went just wide on the half hour. Five
minutes later, the opening goal came to Carmarthen. Ceri Williams' cross
from the right was met by Gerald Thomas who converted from close range,
after some sloppy defending by Andy Taylor for Porthmadog. This was
followed, four minutes later, by Dean Rossiter's cross, which was headed
just over the bar by Gerald Thomas.
So, the score at half time was one nil to Carmarthen, and Porthmadog
couldn't really complain about the score-line, after Carmarthen's
domination of the latter stages.
The second half started lively, Chris Banks' first minute effort from
long-range went around a hundred meters above the cross-bar. Porthmadog
again came close in the second minute, Colin Saynor's header from a Mike
Mike Foster corner went inches over the bar. This was followed by a good
period of pressure on the Porthmadog goal from Carmarthen, but no
Porthmadog thought that they had equalized after 6 minutes, but Mike
Davies was judged to be off-side. Carmarthen added to their lead after ten
minutes, Gerald Thomas again met a cross from Ceri Williams to score his
But, Porthmadog never gave up, Mike Davies' shot went just past the post
after 15 minutes of the second half. Pugh then headed just wide for the
visitors after a cross from Geraint Williams who returned today after being
out of the team since the beginning of the season because of injury. But,
on the half hour Kenny Dixon had to make a brilliant save from a corner to
keep Porthmadog in the match, and a couple of minutes later, Dean Rossiter
missed an open goal opportunity which would have made it three.
There was a glimmer of hope for Porthmadog after 35 minutes. Richard
Hughes, who had came on as sub, made good work down the right side, and
crossed for another substitute - Oliver Hall - to coolly convert from
inside the box. But, only two minutes later, the margin was once again two,
Gerald Thomas this time made the run down the right and repaid Ceri
Williams who got to the ball before Porthmadog defender Andy Taylor to
score from close-range. There was further bad news for Porthmadog three
minutes before the final whistle,- Steven Pugh was sent off for swearing at
the ref which was a second "bookable" offence.
So, Porthmadog's mini run was brought to an end by Carmarthen, after a
disappointing performance by the "Crisis Club". And, after some other
results which went against them, the problems off the field are not the
only ones for Porthmadog.
"It's a good thing we don't win EVERY week!" said someone on the bus home
from mid-Wales. I wouldn't subscribe to this view, but the celebrations
after this much needed win would have worried the people at Alcoholics
Firstly, can I confess that I didn't quite catch all the names of the
Rhaeadr players as the public address system was a bit quiet in the stand.
This was a game Port had to win, but they got off to the worse possible
start. The defense looked lacking, to say the least, in the first few
minutes, and they were heavily punished by Rhaeadr. After 5 minutes they
were one nil up. The ball broke to Rhaeadr forward Ben Bannon on the left,
after the Porthmadog defense had many chances to clear. Bannon's finish was
clinical - driving the ball diagonally into the right corner, and leaving
Kenny Dixon in the Port goal no chance.
Port quickly tried to claw back - just a minute later, Tony Draper saw his
quickly taken free-kick go just wide of the post. Just afterwards Port had
a promising move with slick passing. Mike Davies laid the ball off to Nigel
Barry who threaded a fine pass to Steven Pugh but his shot from the edge of
the box was saved by keeper Simon Jones. This was Pugh's major fault in the
first half - he got into promising positions, but his shots were snatched
at, instead of running forward to create a clearer scoring opportunity.
After this the game developed into a scrappy affair, with head-tennis
dominating much of the match. The team who profited most from this were
Rhaeadr. On 21 minutes Port were lucky to escape when Bannon headed over
from a cross from Rhchard Jones. Richard Jones made numerous runs down the
wing pressurizing the Port defense who lacked in pace.
As the half progressed, Port became more dominant. Steven Pugh had another
good run on 24 minutes, but again shot poorly, and later Tony Draper had a
long range effort saved. Seconds later Pugh set off on a run from his own
half, and seemed to be blatantly pulled down in the penalty area by a
Rhaeadr defender. Everyone was surprised by K. L. Parry - the ref's arm
waving, and even more surprised when they realized he was waving the game
on. I can't see how he could have disallowed it, but I must concede that,
although he was inconsistent, he was nowhere near as bad as the refs I have
seen in recent weeks.
Pugh obviously felt hard done by with the penalty decision, and tried to
make up for it, but his dive in the box was not enough to deceive Mr.
Parry. After this both sides exchanged shots, with Richard Jones (Rhaeadr)
and then Jason Joyce (Port) going close with long range shots. Hugh Clarke
then had a good run from inside his own half, which caused a lot of
problems for the Port defense.
The half finished in controversy as Port had a goal disallowed. Nigel
Barry's fine over-head kick hit bar, and after a scramble, Chris Banks
headed over the line. A late decision of off-side by the linesman
disallowed the goal, and meant that the half time score was 1-0, but it was
only kept this way thanks to a last minute finger tip save by Kenny Dixon.
The second half was a much less scrappy affair, and substitute Mike Foster
started well - crossing the ball only for Steven Pugh to put the ball wide.
Rhaeadr seemed to loose their cool a bit a Porthmadog played the better
football. Hugh Clarke was booked for swinging a punch at Nigel Barry. Port
made this early superiority show by scoring a fine goal after 54 minutes.
Pugh crossed the ball in from the left for Mike Davies to head back across
the goal mouth. Nigel Barry finished well with a volley.
Rhaeadr then tried to regain the lead - Dylan Mcphee coming close to
scoring direct from a corner, but the save was made by Dixon. As it seemed
that Rhaeadr were getting better, Port scored again - on 67 minutes. Nigel
Barry had his shot deflected of the back of Mike Davies, but the ball came
loose to Tony Draper who curled a strong shot past Simon Jones into the
net. This was Draper's first goal for the club, and it was greeted with
cheers from the 35 or so noisy away supporters.
This time Rhaeadr had to fight back. They dominated the next period,
having many corners - one of which hit the bar direct from Dylan Mcphee's
boot. This chance came after 69 minutes after a long range volley from Lyn
Owen which went wide (strangely seeming not to touch a Port player!) Four
minutes later John Aspinall made a crucial tackle inside the penalty area
after a surging run - again by number 7 Richard Jones.
After half an hour of the second half, Neil Roberts nearly scored one of
the goals of the season. After sidestepping a Rhaeadr defender he teed the
ball up for a volley, which from 40 meters, bought the best out in goalie
Simon Jones. A minute later the result was put beyond doubt when Mike
Davies headed in the rebound after his original header, from a corner, was
cleared off the line.
Rhaeadr did put some pressure on Porthmadog in the final minutes, with
Richard Jones again in the thick of the action with a good run. But by this
time the result was not in doubt, and after the final whistle the Port
players were cheered off the field by their relieved following. This is the
first time for a while Port are out of the relegation zone, but there is a
very long way to go before they can be sure of their future in the LoW.
K. Dixon, C. Saynor, J. Joyce, J. Aspinall, T. Draper, N. Roberts, R.
Hughes (M. Foster), C. Banks, N. Barry, S. Pugh, M. Davies.
Subs not used: R. Williams, O. Hall.
Emyr ac Iwan.