Welsh Premier (J T Hughes, Mitsubishi) -Tuesday, February 17th
Newtown .... 1 Porthmadog .... 0
For the second time within four days Port missed out by a single goal and
this means that they have only managed one goal in the last three outings.
This was a game which they should have won -for they were in control for
long periods and will be very disappointed at their inability to turn
pressure into goals and points.
The game was decided by a single goal which came 17 mins into the second
period, totally against the run of play. It was a near carbon copy of the
decisive goal, conceded against Bangor on Saturday. A long high free-kick by
Adrian Moody was flicked goalwards and Peter Smith reacted quickly to get in
behind the defence to score from close range.
The first half was a largely even contest. In the seventh minute a neat
flick by Smith from a Moody cross almost gave Newtown an early lead but, a
minute later, Gareth Parry for the visitors latched on to a Mark Williams
downward header, but his shot flew wide of the target. On the quarter hour
mark Barton burst into the box and John Gwynfor cleared at the expense of a
corner with home side appealing for a hand ball in the box. Twenty minutes
had passed before Port forced their first corner following a good break by
Carl Owen on the left. From the Dafydd Evans corner the ball ran free at the
back post but Lee Webber's miss-hit shot was scrambled away for another
corner. Then following a prolonged period of Port pressure, with good moves
involving six or seven players, Gareth Parry brought a good diving save from
Edwards in the home goal. As half time approached the visitors forced two
more corners and did get the ball into the net only to have it disallowed
for an infringement. Carl Owen took advantage of a Mark Williams flick to
get behind the defence but his low shot was well saved by Edwards.
Port started the second-half strongly and following yet another corner a
well struck Lee Webber effort was well kept out by Edwards. A minute later
and another corner was eventually cleared after several full blooded shots
had cannoned around the penalty area as Port did everything but score. After
57 mins Carl Owen on the left was set up by a good interchange of passes
between Dafydd Evans and Mike Foster but his shot from a narrow angle was
wide of the target. Then on 62 mins, and against the run of play, came the
In spite of conceding a goal Port continued to dominate and after 74 mins a
fine Gareth Parry pass inside the full-back sent Carl Owen away on the left
before cutting inside but his shot, from a tight angle, went narrowly wide
of the mark. Then came the most glaring miss of all when a Mike Foster
free-kick was flicked on for Carl Owen to control and sent a perfectly
weighted low cross across the face of the goal. Any kind of touch would have
sufficed but unfortunately sub Gareth Caughter failed to make any contact.
As Port threw everything into attack the home side did manage the occasional
break but the visitors continued to dominate as they pressed forward in a
final effort. Another series of corners put the home defence under pressure
with the ball being cleared off the line and then caught under the bar by
Edwards - by far the busier of the two keepers. It was a very fortunate and
relieved home side who heard referee Simon Jones' final whistle. Yet it must
be conceded that matches cannot be won if pressure is not turned into goals.
At one stage of the season the worry was goals being leaked but now that has
been plugged the problem has switched to the other end. This was a polished
Port performance and they should have claimed all three points.
Newtown: Paul Edwards, Tom Reynolds, Gareth Hughes, Anthony Fenton, Gareth
Sudlow, Justin Wickham, Richard Harris, Danny Barton, Peter Smith, Martin
Subs: Nick Evans, Andrew Webb, Martin Morgan, Daniel Field.
Port: Gerard McGuigan, John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Lee Webber, Mike Foster,
Danny Hughes (Gareth Caughter), Dafydd Evans, Gareth Parry, Ritchie Owen,
Mark Williams (Tony Williams), Carl Owen.
Sub not used: Campbell Harrison.
WELSH PREMIER (J T Hughes, Mitsubishi) -Saturday, February 14th
Porthmadog ..... 0 Bangor City .... 1
Kenny Burgess 58
Bangor edged a victory in a close contest which was devoid of the spirit and
excitement usually associated with contests between these Gwynedd rivals.
The game was settled by a goal13 minutes into the second period of a game
where clear cut chances were very few and far between. It is not surprising,
therefore, that the goal came courtesy of momentary lack of concentration by
a home defence which had looked secure for most of the game. A high ball was
played into the home box and the tall figure of Les Davies rose above
everybody to direct a header into the path of Kevin Burgess who took
advantage, of the only time he was able to get behind the Port defence, to
drive low past McGuigan from 6yds.
Port started the game looking rather rusty after three weeks without a
fixture and Bangor were in control during the opening quarter of an hour but
without really threatening to open the scoring. The nearest they came were
long range efforts from Goodall after 2 mins and a more useful effort from
Gareth Williams which flew narrowly wide.
Gradually Port got into the game, and after 25 mins could have gone ahead
when Dafydd Evans delivered an excellent chip over the defence into the box
to find Carl Owen in space, but the striker, who was proving to be quite a
handful for the Bangor defence, found on this occasion that his first touch
let him down. Bangor were now being penned in their own half for long
periods and on a couple of occasions the inexperienced keeper Danny Evans
found himself exposed and having to make despate clearances. Then in the
29th minute Evans was in action tipping over a Steve Pugh effort following a
good build-up by the home team. The half ended with McGuigan going down well
to save at Paul Roberts' feet.
The second period continued much the same as the first with little of the
derby fire which we expect. Then in the 58th min the home defence went to
sleep and Kevin Burgess took full advantage to put Bangor ahead. Port had
their chances to draw level when Gareth Parry, who made immediate impact
after coming on with his strong running from midfield, found Carl Owen in
the box but a despairing tackle saved Bangor at the expense of a corner.
Then a 70th minute corner by Mike Foster was headed over by Lee Webber at
the back post.
As Port pushed forward to get back on level terms Bangor were able to hit on
the break. Sub Paul Gedman dispossessed Ryan Davies and his 20yd shot
crashed against the bar. Then McGuigan had to dive low at the near post to
keep out Les Davies. The keeper was again in action diving low as Gedman
raced in on goal and a near post save after an useful ball from Paul
Port will feel that they deserved a share of the spoils but overall they
were unable to create sufficient opportunities. Once again however they have
shown that they are able to compete at this level and give a good account of
themselves against any side in the league.
Port: McGuigan, John G. Jones, Ryan Davies, Lee Webber, Mike Foster, Steve
Pugh, Dafydd Evans, Ritchie Owen (Gareth Parry), Gareth Caughter (Danny
Hughes), Tony Williams (Mark Williams), Carl Owen.
Bangor: Danny Evans, Peter Hoy, Alan Goodall, Jim McNulty, Steve Hitchin,
Gareth Evans (Paul Friel), Kenny Burgess, Les Davies, Paul Roberts, Mark
Connelly, Gareth Williams (Paul Gedman).
Sub not used: Eifion Jones.
Welsh Premier (JT Hughes, Mitsubishi), -Saturday, January 24th.
Porthmadog ....1 TNS ....1
Gareth Caughter 77 Steve Evans 59
At the start of the season Port's aim was to prove that they are able to
compete at this level, and this game confirmed their ability to do this.
Gradually as the season has progressed their performances have become more
consistent. In a tense and exciting game of good quality football Port
matched their professional opponents in all departments, including fitness,
to come from behind to secure a well deserved share of the points.
Port started well taking the game to their opponents and as early as the
third minute referee Brian Bevan turned down loud appeals for a penalty when
Gareth Caughter's shot was blocked. A minute later and Gareth Parry tested
Dean Williams in the visitors goal with a useful looking free-kick from just
outside the area. Port continued to apply the pressure and Dafydd Evans
split open the TNS defence with a measured pass which put Carl Owen through
on goal, but the striker was unceremoniously brought down by Gary Brabin.
The TNS defender was very fortunate that Brian Bevan only produced a yellow
card for what was a cynical foul.
The game switched from end to end and TNS produced some fine passing
movements which first set up the dangerous Nicky Ward whose dipping shot
went narrowly over the bar. Soon after Naylor met a cross from the right but
his shot from the edge of the area was also narrowly off target and then
once more Ward saw an excellent free-kick curl past the post. Roscoe then
fired over after McGuigan had only managed to partially clear a dangerous
cross from the left and John Gwynfor was on hand to clear from the line as
the league leaders threatened again.
Port weathered the storm and struck back with Mike Foster forcing Dean
Williams to make a superb low diving save from a 25 yd free-kick. Port were
more than matching the visitors in midfield with both Gareth Parry and
Dafydd Evans in dominant mood. After 23 mins came the best move of the game
so far when Tony Williams set up Pugh on the right and the winger's cross
was superbly met by Carl Owen's glancing header only for the excellent Dean
Williams to be well positioned to save again. A good run by John Gwynfor
through the middle posed a threat and then another Pugh cross, having being
put away by Gareth Parry, was only inches away from Tony Williams'
outstretched leg with the goal gaping ahead of him and the visitors defence
in disarray. Half-time arrived with the home side perhaps feeling that they
deserved to be a goal ahead.
During the early part of ther second period the visitors applied heavy
pressure on the home goal and when Ryan Davies cleared with a 58th min
goal-line header it was the sign of what was to come. A minute later and the
visitors were ahead Ward's long left wing corner was driven powerfully back
across the face of the goal and defender Steve Evans managed a touch which
sent the ball passed McGuigan into the net. This was a signal for TNS to
redouble their efforts as a long throw by Ward caused panic in the home
penalty area before McGuigan eventually gathered and cleared.
Port were not prepared to bow to the full-time professionals and Carl Owen
broke on the right but the angle proved too narrow as his shot thundered
into the side netting. A minute later and the now rampant Carl Owen got
behind the TNS defence again and his excellent right wing cross set up a 77
min equaliser for Gareth Caughter whose diving header low at the far post
eluded Dean Williams and the game was all square again.
It was along last ten minutes as TNS forced a series of corners as they
looked desperately for the winner but the home defence held firm with Ryan
Davies and Lee Webber at the heart of things starving the usually dangerous
Woods and Wilde of chances.
Then the referree blew the final whistle much to the delight and relief of
the home support. What was Port's reward for such a magnificent performance?
A drop of two places in the league table as Port Talbot and Caersws chalked
up victories.! Who said it's a funny old game?
Port: McGuigan, John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Lee Webber, Mike Foster, Steve
Pugh(Campbell Harrison), Dafydd Evans, Gareth Parry(Ritchie Owen), Gareth
Caughter, Tony Williams(Danny Hughes), Carl Owen.
TNS Dean Williams, Naylor, Ward, Brabin, Steve Evans, Chris Taylor, Roscoe,
Wilde, Woods, Beck, Hogan.
Subs: King, Holmes, Toner.
Welshpool .......... 0 Porthmadog ........... 1
S. Pugh, 31.
Steve Pugh's first strike of the season gave Port their first double, as
they ensured all six points on offer against Welshpool. Port had the best of
the first half, before the game deteriorated in to a poor second half as
both teams struggled on a heavy surface. Welshpool started brightly in the
opening minutes, but Port soon started to take advantage of the slope as
they opened playing down hill. Carl Owen and Lee Webber both came close and
Pugh wasn't far with two long range attempts around the 10 minute mark. Pugh
had further chances to give Port the lead and it looked only a matter of
time before Port would take the lead. And it was Pugh who eventually gave
Port the lead as he broke down the right, from Gerard McGuigan's goal kick,
and only had the keeper to beat to give the visitors the lead and to open
his account for the season on 31 minutes. Ironically, the goal came almost
directly after Port had a lucky escape at the other end, when a defensive
error nearly gave Welshpool the lead through Christian Courtney. His shot
was cleared off the line by John Gwynfor following an excellent stop by
Gerard McGuigan. However Welshpool's attempts at goal during the first half
were few and far between, as they spent the majority of the first half on
the back foot. Further chances for Port before the interval fell to John
Gwynfor from long range, and a golden opportunity for Pugh to get his second
on 43 minutes following a flick on by Mark Williams who again worked hard
The second half was a very different affair as both sides struggled to put
any good passing movements together on an increasingly heavy surface that
didn't lend itself to pretty football. Goal mouth action was very scarce at
both ends of the pitch for the majority of the period. Gerard McGuigan was
however forced to make a save after a corner near the hour mark and minutes
later, Carl Owen had a good opportunity to make it two for the visitors
after being put through by a Mark williams flick. This was followed by
another chance for Gareth Caughter following a good run, but the play in the
second half was scrappy by both teams for the most part. Welshpool did
however have a period of pressure in the closing minutes of the match which
started with a free kick on 79 minutes when Joel Kinsey went just wide from
a corner, followed by a further chance for Gary Evans. During this period,
however, Port's back line Ryan Davies and Lee Webber looked composed, as
danger in front of goal was kept to a minimum. This was a good outcome for
Port in the end, who have struggled to hold on to their lead in similar
circumstances during previous away trips. The conditions in the second half
were definitely a factor and prevented both teams from playing, however Port
deserved the win on balance for their first half performance when they could
well have netted two or three. A second consecutive clean sheet was also
Welshpool: Goodwin, L. Davies, M Thomas, Barton(M Roberts), Windsor, Kinsey,
Wilkinson, G Evans, Courtney, C Roberts, Meredith(Rogers).
Subs not used: G Jones, Glen Evans, Glover.
Port: McGuigan, J G Jones, Foster (D Hughes), Webber, R Davies, D Evans, S
Pugh, M Williams, R Owen, Caughter, C Owen.
Subs not used: T Williams, Wagstaffe.
Welsh Premier (JT Hughes, Mitsubishi) -Saturday, January 10th
Porthmadog ..... 2 Afan Lido .... 0
Mike Foster 21
Tony Williams 86
For a long period it appeared that this game would be a mirror image of
their August encounter with the home side holding a single goal advantage
for over an hour. Then with only four minutes left Port made the three
points safe with the best move of the match. Carl Owen, who despite his goal
drought, proved what a vital player he is with a great counter attack from
his own half, and then taking advantage of Mark Williams' intelligent dummy
run to the left, to open up the Lido defence with a precision pass into the
box where super-sub Tony Williams made the most of a glorious opportunity
drilling a low shot past Brian Thomas.
Despite the disappointing away defeat at Carmarthen the home side started
brightly and spent the first ten minutes encamped in the Lido half. When
Lido eventually broke out nightmare memories of Belle Vue were to the fore
as a McGuigan clearance struck an attacker but fortunately this time round
it bounced to safety. As early as the 11th minute referee Mike Jones of
Wrexham started dishing out the yellow cards and though this site rarely
makes adverse comments about match officials it must be said that this
referee's first-half performance left much to be desired. He seemed to be
unduly influenced by the visitors histrionics prompting one spectator to
enquire if local hero Sir Anthony Hopkins was a member of the coaching team.
Seriously though he appeared to miss some very nasty tackles whilst
punishing the seemingly innocuous, a recipe for allowing a game to get out
of hand, but fortunately this did not happen as players, by and large,
refrained from retaliating.
Following an early period where Port kept possession without threatening to
score, they won a free-kick some thirty yards out. "Bend it like Beckham"
exhorted one fan and Mike Foster stepped up to meet Dafydd Evans' short pass
and with his left foot lifted the ball over the wall and curled it into the
top corner of the net leaving keeper Brian Thomas clutching at fresh air.
Only a few minutes later Ryan Davies tested Thomas again with a fine
downward header from Ritchie Owen's corner but the keeper was equal to the
task. Thomas was again in action on the half-hour mark this time parrying
away Mark Williams' looping header from just beneath his crossbar.
It took Lido 33 mins to produce their first real effort on goal, and a good
effort it was, with Shaun Holmes whipping a low snap 18yd shot which brought
an excellent diving save from McGuigan at his near post. Just before
half-time McGuigan was again in action scrambling clear under pressure from
Kevin Bartley but that was not before Foster and Caughter had set up a good
move on the left for the home side and Thomas safely gathered the latter's
cross under pressure from Mark Williams.
In the second period the visitors came out fighting hard to get back into
the game, and enjoyed what was probably their best spell of the match
without managing to create any clear chances. By the hour mark the home side
appeared to have weathered the storm and the home side, with newcomer Ryan
Davies coolly controlling things at the back, came into the game once more.
By this time, however, the swirling wind and the drizzling rain had gained
the upper hand and the second period descended into a scrappy affair. The
nearest the visitors came to draw level was in the 75th minute when
O'Leary's high free-kick into the box caused panic and was only scrambled
clear for a corner via the upright. For Port one of the few flashes of the
second-half came from a fine long Ryan Davies pass to Pugh and the winger
was kept out at the expense of a corner. That is how it remained until Carl
Owen set up a glorious second goal.
A largely scrappy affair but brightened up by two magnificent goals which
were worthy of winning any game. Then there was a clean sheet now that is
something to savour -only the second one of the season. All-in-all a good
day and three more points.
Port: McGuigan, John Gwynfor, Ryan Davies, Lee Webber, Mike Foster, Steve
Pugh(Tony Williams), Dafydd Evans, Gareth Parry(Ritchie Owen), Gareth
Caughter, Mark Williams, Carl Owen(Andy Wagstaffe).
Afan Lido: Brian Thomas, Craig Martin, Leigh Shrimpton, Paul Evans, Chris
Piper, Andrew Pickard, David Moss, Chris Pridham, Kevin Bartley, Shaun
O'Leary, Greg Hurley.
Subs: Sacha Walters, Carl Evans, Liam McCreesh, John Felton.
Welsh Premier League (JT Hughes, Mitsubishi) -Saturday, January 3rd.
Carmarthen Town ...... 1 Porthmadog ...... 0
Nick Burke 79
An important game for both sides with the home side needing a good start to
the new year after after a disastrous spell which showed only one victory in
16 games this season and the visitors eager to erase the memory of a six
goal Boxing Day reverse against Rhyl. Port started well and Caughter and
Pugh combined well on the right for the latter to cross but Pennock in the
home goal collected under pressure from Mark Williams. In fact Port could
well have gone ahead in the ninth minute when the first of two defence
splitting passes by Gareth Parry found Pugh in space on the right but the
winger did not make the most of the opportunity and his shot was wayward
when he only had the keeper to beat. Gareth Parry produced an excellent
performance both in defence and going forward and always appeared to be in
the thick of things.
Port had moments when they were under pressure and McGuigan needed two bites
to gather a Pratt corner from the right and in the 17th minute when the ball
had to be scrambled away to touch as McGuigan failed to gather under
pressure from Keaveny. On the whole however Port controlled the opening half
with Mark Williams winning a great deal of ball in the air and working hard
to bring other people into the game, but his sterling efforts did not
produce the results such effort deserved as support often did not arrive
quickly enough. The visitors produced some excellent build-up but neither
side were able to create any clear cut chances. As the opening half drew to
a close Port were closest to gaining a lead when Pugh broke into the box on
the right and nutmegged Pratt before seeing Pennock spread himself and save
with his legs at the expense of a corner. From the resulting corner by
Ritchie Owen, Pugh rose first to head just over the bar.
The second period again produced some neat build up from both sides but few
if any clear cut chances with the experienced Andrew York strong at the back
for Carmarthen and Andy Wagstaffe, making his first league start for Port,
coolly controlling things at the back with timely tackles and a good reading
of the game. Port again held the territorial advantage in the early stages
with Pennock having to scramble away a Pugh cross from the right. Lack of
numbers in the box meant that a Cauhter break and cross came to nothing.
Increasingly it became apparent that the game might well be decided by a
defensive error as neither side were able to supply that good final ball. As
the home side enjoyed their best period McGuigan had to make a point blank
reflex save. With the clock ticking away it was Port who made the error when
Webber over committed himself as he and Keavney challenged for the ball and
the Carmarthen forward was past him and his well struck low cross was swept
into the net via the underside of the crossbar by Nicky Burke. With 79 mins
gone Port, for all their territorial advantage, were facing defeat. A minute
later and the home side could have been two up but for a Webber clearance
from the line after Keavany had drawn McGuigan from his goal. There
was,however, no addition to the score and Carmarthen happily added to their
previous solitary league win hoping that this indicates a happier new year.
Port on the other hand will be concerned that they have only gained one
point from the last twelve which adds to the pressure for their next home
match against Afan Lido.
Carmarthen: Pennock,De Vulgt, Pratt, Barnhouse, York, Reid, Rossiter, Nicky
Burke, Keaveny, Owen Thomas, Padraig Burke.
Subs: Chapple, Dale Price, Steffan Davies, Fayers.
Port: Gerard McGuigan, John G. Jones, Andy Wagstaffe, Lee Webber, Mike
Foster, Steve Pugh(Tony Williams), Dafydd Evans, Gareth Parry, Ritchie Owen,
Mark Williams, Gareth Caughter.
Subs not used: Bari Evans, Ceri Roberts.
Mark Powell 7. Dafydd Evans (pen) 90.
Chris Adamson 33.
Steve Walters 44, 78.
Andy Moran 72.
Chris McGinn 84.
A Boxing Day nightmare for Port as they crashed to one of their heaviest
defeats ever in the Welsh Premier. They had plenty of possession for most of
the game but failed to create any real problems for Rhyl defenders and were
broken down too easily. Most of the first half followed the same pattern -
Port worked to create chances and although they succeeded to some extent,
they failed to create any real goal chances of note. But as Rhyl broke
swiftly, Port were put on the back foot and it only took 7 minutes for these
tactics to pay off, as the hosts took the lead, after Mark Powell scored
from a cross by Chris Adamson. Although Tony Williams, Lee Webber and Carl
Owen all had chances at goal during the first half, they were from a fair
distance and didn't give Paul Smith too much to keep him warm on a cold and
extremely wet afternoon. At the other end it was Andy Moran and new signing
Lee Hunt who were the danger men as they combined down the right, and Hunt
came close on a few occasions. But it was on the break that Rhyl's second
goal came after a corner at the other end for Port. As most of the Port
players had pushed up was 3 against 2 for Rhyl at the back and it was no
surprise when Chris Adamson drove home on 33 minutes following a slick
build-up, leaving McGuigan with no chance. Rhyl's third goal that put them
out of sight couldn't have come at a worse time for Port as the cliché
goes - just on the stroke of half time. Steve Walters was given too much
time and space in the box and netted from close range.
The second half started more promisingly for the visitors, and until the 72
minute it seemed that they could prevent a further deficit and they managed
to create some openings - most notably after 5 minutes when Carl Owen had
Port's best chance of the afternoon, but failed to get the better of Rhyl's
goalie, Paul Smith. From the resultant corner Gareth Parry also came close
as his header from Dafydd Evans' corner went just over the bar. Dafydd Evans
then had a chance after a failed clearance. But after a sloppy fourth goal
for Andy Moran on 72 minutes when McGuigan dropped a cross, things went
sharply down hill for Port. Port's heads went down after this and an
avalanche was imminent as Steve Walters netted his second after some slack
defending once again on 77 minutes. Five minutes later the rout was complete
as Rhyl scored their sixth goal ,on the break once again, as McGuigan raced
out to clear only to see his shot cannon off the advancing Chris McGinn and
come to rest in front of goal leaving McGinn with the simplest of taps into
the net. Port's goal came from a last minute penalty after substitute Ceri
Roberts - making his Welsh Premier debut - was pulled down in the box.
Dafydd Evans was dependable as ever from the spot, but this was scant
consolation after such a capitulation.
Rhyl: Smith, Walters (Wilson 81'), Wood, Atherton, Edwards, M.Powell, Hunt
(McGinn 72'), Brewerton, Moran, G.Powell (Hogg 60'), Adamson.
Port: McGuigan, J G Jones, Foster (Pugh 45'), Parry (R.Owen 72'), Webber,
D.Evans, Hughes, E.Williams, T.Williams (C.Roberts 76'), C.Owen, Caughter.