| Rhyl (h) |
Caersws (a) |
Afan Lido (h) |
Caerfyrddin / Carmarthen (a) |
Llanelli (h) |
Vauxhall Masterfit Welsh Premier -Saturday, April 16th.
Porthmadog ... 1 Llanelli ... 1
Mike Foster 63 Ryan Davies 16 (o.g.)
The curtain came down on Port's 2004-05 season with a whimper rather than
the hoped for flourish in a game which only rarely roused the watching
spectators. The two goals reflected the standard of attacking play on the
day with one an unnecessary own goal and the other coming thanks to a
Port started promisingly with Gareth Williams, in the visitors' goal,
pushing a Carl Owen shot for a corner after a good build up involving Gareth
Parry and Mark Williams. In a flurry of attacks which followed Mark Williams
had his dangerous cross headed behind for a corner and when Gareth Caughter
was released on the edge of the box he fired straight at the keeper. Then
totally out of the blue the visitors opened the scoring. With memories of
last week's gift goal still fresh in the mind Port decided to concede an
equally bizarre goal. Mike Foster just inside the Port half threw the ball
into Lee Webber but the Port skipper appeared to hesitate and in nipped
Danny Street to steal the ball and make tracks toward the home goal. The
visitors appeared to have wasted the opportunity when they took the ball
wide and Street supplied Rose who carried the ball to the bye-line before
sending a low bread and butter cross towards McGuigan but inexplicably Ryan
Davies became involved and amazingly touched the ball past the keeper and
into the net.
The home side continued to dominate possession and always looked the more
likely to score but there was also the constant fear of a quick breakaway as
the Port midfield squandered so much of the ball with inaccurate passing.
Nevertheless the home side created the better chances. Danny Hughes shot
over when well placed following a Carl Owen cross. Gareth Parry then fired a
powerful shot just over the bar from twenty yards. Carl Owen again turned
well on the edge of the box and brought a good diving save from Williams to
keep his firm low shot out. Llanelli's only threats meanwhile came when
McGuigan saved a well struck Anthony Wright free-kick and later Guy's break
and shot from the right ended up in the side netting.
Surprisingly Gareth Parry who had been one of the few Port players to shine
in a profligate midfield was substituted at the interval. It is not clear
whether he had picked up an injury. However his replacement Tony Williams
made an impact with his clever running and prompting in the centre of
midfield. It was the visitors who threatened at the start of the second
period with Cheesman finding acres of space in the box and his shot
deflected off Ryan Davies and hit the foot of the post for McGuigan to
collect. The Port defence was far from convincing as Ryan Davies was then
too easily turned by Rose who ran into the box but delayed his shot and
McGuigan saved at the near post.
After these scares Port established dominance and strung some useful moves
together with Tony Williams, Mark Williams, Carl Owen and John Gwynfor
prominent. Tony Williams forced keeper Williams into a good save with an 18
yard shot. Then in the 63rd minute Port deservedly drew level but it took a
fortuitous deflection for Mike Foster's drive, after a Danny Hughes touched
free-kick, to deceive the visitors' keeper. It now looked likely that Port
would go on to win the game. They came close when Tony Williams struck the
post and Ritchie Owen should have done better with a header from Mark
Williams' cross. Later keeper Williams scrambled out Mark Williams' touch on
from a Ryan Davies downward header but the goal would not come and in fact
in a late flurry the visitors could have snatched all three points. Both
Webber and Danny Hughes had to make late goal line clearance headers.
A season of progress which at one time promised a top eight finished is
over. We can only hope that it will now prove good enough to gain a Premier
Port: McGuigan: John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Lee Webber, Mike Foster: Carl
Owen, Gareth Parry (Tony Williams), Ritchie Owen (Campbell Harrison), Gareth
Caughter (John P Jones): Mark Williams.
Subs not used: Owain Roberts, Barry Evans.
Llanelli: Gareth Williams, Wright, Bird, Turner, Ashley, Guy, Neil Thomas,
Street, Cheesman, Rose, Mohammed.
Subs: Morgan, Connor, Crabbe, Craig Williams.
Vauxhall Masterfit, Welsh Premier League -Saturday, April 9th
Carmarthen ... 2 Porthmadog ... 1
John G Jones 76 (og) Gareth Parry 83
Martin Giles 80
Even the most ardent Carmarthen Town fan will concede that they were gifted
a victory that they had not earned over the ninety minutes. The goal which
turned the game came after 76 minutes of graft and a greater willingness to
build creatively had established Port as the team most likely to sneak the
win. The circumstances of the goal were bizarre to say the least for the
scorer John Gwynfor had been playing his usual steady role at right back.
When the home side broke quickly after clearing a free-kick John Gwynfor
raced back and seemed to have the situation under control. Though facing his
own goal it appeared that he could have cleared to the left or right but
chose instead to loft the ball in the direction of his own goal. To his
dismay the ball flew high over keeper McGuigan, who had probably advanced in
case of a back pass, and dropped under the bar and into the net. The
stalemate in a game of few chances had been broken.
Port once again started with Mark Williams as an excellent target man at the
front with five in midfield and Gareth Parry in the sitting role in front of
the back four. The game started quietly and the first threat came from
Carmarthen after 14' when a useful move ended with a tame Kevin Evans shot
straight at the keeper. A minute later and McGuigan was in action again this
time diving to his left to keep out a low shot from Mark Dodds. Play
continued end to end but with little to threaten either goal until in the
43' when Owain Roberts, Danny Hughes and Gareth Caughter combined well but
the latter's shot at goal was blocked before eventually running for a goal
The second half continued much as the first with Port edging things
territorially and once more keeping possession well and building moves from
the back. Carmarthen on the other hand relied more on counter attacks or
taking advantage of any defensive errors. From one of these McGuigan had to
save well from Aspell. Port were the more creative side and came close after
a well constructed 61' move on the right involving Jon Peris, John Gwynfor
and Owain Roberts. Port could have gone ahead after 68' minutes when John
Gwynfor almost capitalised on a poor clearance by home keeper Pennock by
chipping the ball towards the empty net but unluckily the ball ended up just
the wrong side of the upright.
With 76' minutes on the clock came the calamitous own goal and this shook
the visitors for a time and then Carmarthen all but secured this unlikely
victory with an 80th minute counter attack down the left a quick transfer to
Martin Giles and a low shot past McGuigan from 12 yards. This second goal
saw Port throw players forward and three minutes later scored a good goal.
The scorer Gareth Parry also set it up with a probing ball into the box
before racing forward to accept a Gareth Caughter return pass before coolly
dispatching it into the net from 12 yards. Though Port forced several
free-kicks and corners in the closing minutes it was a case of bolting the
stable door after the horse had made its escape.
Though this was a disappointing result at the end Port can be more than
pleased with their performance in a difficult away encounter. Thanks are
also due to the friendly Carmarthen supporters who showed us where to park
and the short cut to the ground.
Carmarthen: Pennock, Hardy, Gary Lloyd, Carter, Chiverton, Rhodri Jones,
Maxwell, Smothers, Dodds (Cotterell), Aspell (Burke), Kevin Evans (Giles).
Port: McGuigan: John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Lee Webber, Foster: Owain
Roberts, Gareth Parry, Danny Hughes (Jon P Jones), Ritchie Owen Gareth
Caughter: Mark Williams.
Subs not used: Campbell Harrison, Ywain Gwynedd, Barry Evans
Vauxhall Masterfit Welsh Premier - Sunday, April 3rd.
Porthmadog ... 2 Afan Lido ... 0
Carl Owen 67'
Gareth Caughter 78'
Playing on Sunday meant that there was a respectable crowd at y Traeth to
watch the home side facing relegation threatened Afan Lido. Port fielded a
virtually full strength team, but the big news was that top striker Carl
Owen started on the bench.
Port had the lionís share of the early possession Ė justifying the 20 points
which separated the two teams at the beginning of the game. A good chance
fell to Richie Owen 8 minutes from kick-off, but his lob from a distance
flashed past the post. Danny Hughes squandered an even better chance only 5
minutes later Ė he blasted over the bar after good work by Tony Williams.
This was to be a sign of things to come with Port squandering numerous
chances throughout the first half. Gareth Caughter was particularly guilty,
shooting over after 25 minutes when ideally positioned in the Lido penalty
box and heading over the bar from a Mike Foster free kick on 34 minutes.
Caughter wasnít wasteful on the half hour though Ė his shot was blocked by
an Afan Lido defender amid claims of hand ball by the Traeth faithful.
It wasnít all Port though. Lido did have some half chances, the best of
which fell to Matthew Driscol 6 minutes from the end of the half. Driscolís
shot however went well wide of McGuiganís goal after a scramble on the edge
of the Port penalty box. The team from Port Talbot would have taken heart
from the fact that they forced themselves more into the game in the last 10
minutes of the half.
The standard of play took a turn for the worse in the second half with very
scrappy play from both teams in the opening minutes. Tony Williamsís turn
and shot, which went just past the post, was probably the only bright
The scrappy play seemed to suit Afan Lido better than Port, with a few good
opportunities coming their way. Carl Reynolds saw his long-range shot go
well wide of the post after 57 minutes and Chris Pridham kicked the ground
instead of the ball when he was clear after 66 minutes. Lido were to rue
these misses only a minute after Pridhamís scuffed shot. Mark Williams saw
off the attention of a Lido defender to put a dangerous ball into the box
and Carl Owen, just on in place of Tony Williams, shot past Brian Thomas
from just 2 meters.
Gareth Caughter, who again created plenty of opportunities for himself
during the second half, must have thought it wasnít his day when he shot
tamely into the hands of Thomas after 77 minutes. His luck would soon change
though. Mark Williams once again was the creator, putting in a good ball,
which Caughter headed well past Thomas (78 minutes).
The goal virtually put an end to the game as a contest. Lido didnít have
enough ideas to seriously trouble the Port defence. An appeal for hand-ball
by the home side, which was turned down by ref Hugh Jones, and a booking for
Carl Reynolds after a late challenge on Gareth Caughter were the highlights
in a dour end to the game!
Definitely not vintage Port, but 3 points are very welcomed at this stage of
the season. With the likelihood that 11 Welsh Premier teams will win places
in the Premier Cup for next year, Portís place in the competition looks
assured Ė a good outcome for the second season back in the Welsh Premier and
a credit to Viv and Osian.
McGuigan, J.G.Jones, Foster, Davies, Webber, Hughes, Parry (O.Roberts
85'), T.Williams (C.Owen 57'), M.Williams,
Caughter, R.Owen. Subs not used: J.P.Jones, S.Roberts.
Afan Lido FC
Thomas, Roberts, Martin, P.Evans, Holmes, Driscoll, Isaac (C.Williams
70'), Pridham, Piper, Walters, Reynolds.
Subs not used: Lavis, Wellington
Vauxhall Masterfit Welsh Premier -Monday, March 28th.
Caersws ... 0 Porthmadog ... 1
Ritchie Owen 5
The goal which separated the two teams at the end came in only the fifth
minute of the game. It came thanks to an enterprising flash of quick
thinking by Ritchie Owen back in midfield after Mike Foster was passed fit
to play. Owen, in possession 25 yards out of goal, spotted Mulliner, in
the Caersws goal, off his line and lobbed the ball over the keeper's head
and it crashed against the bar but then cannoned on to the luckless
Mulliner's back and into the net. Port then held on to this slender lead
for 85 minutes but at the end even home supporters had to concede that the
visitors well deserved the three points. In fact had Port accepted only a
few of the opportunities they created they would have gained a comfortable
When one considers that Port came into this difficult encounter on the back
of three straight defeats this represented a satisfying return to form. For
this game the visitors experimented with a new formation with Mark Williams
as lone striker and a midfield of four together with the fit again Gareth
Parry turning in an excellent performance in the holding roll just in front
of the back four. This also meant that Carl Owen was sitting it out on the
bench for the first 45 minutes. After the early goal Port continued to
threaten and Gareth Caughter, captain in this game in place of Lee Webber
serving a 1 match suspension, sent a header past the far post and then
tested Mulliner from 15 yards. Mark Williams did get the ball into the net
just before the half-hour but referee Lawlor disallowed the goal ruling
that there had been a push in the box. Though they enjoyed a fair share of
possession in the opening half Caersws rarely threatened with Ryan Davies
and replacement partner Jon Peris Jones dominating their penalty area in
front of a secure Gerard McGuigan. Caersws's best effort came late in the
half after a break by Thompson who in turn fed Graham Jones but the latter's
shot went across the goal and wide of the upright.
The home side came out in far livelier mood after the interval with McGuigan
having to be alert to save a Andrew Davies far post header from sub
Bermingaham's right wing cross. But five minutes into the second period
Ritchie Owen was very unlucky not to double his own and Port's tally when he
burst down the right on to a fine ball by John Gwynfor before cutting into
the box to unleash a low shot which hit the foot of the post before bouncing
to safety. Almost immediately Mark Williams took advantage of a weak goal
kick but Carl Owen failed to beat Mulliner when well placed. Play was now
end to end with Clarke for Caersws heading a corner wide at the far post
while a quick counter attack gave Carl Owen another shooting opportunity but
this time the shot was into the side netting. McGuigan a few minutes later
had to make three desperate blocks in the box, well out of his goal, leaving
the ball bounding dangerously around the box. But it was Port who created
the better opportunities and following a good period of pressure Gareth
Caughter shot wide and moments later the same player saw his shot go across
the face of the goal following a neat Gareth Parry chip over the defence.
With the clock running down Caersws upped the tempo in search of the
equaliser. But a couple of excellent tackles first by Jon Peris and then by
Ryan Davies plus a fine McGuigan save to cut out Graham Evans' low cross
from the bye-line kept the home side out. A final moment of panic when Mike
Foster misjudged a back-header but the inevitable Ryan Davies cleared from
under the cross-bar and then it was all over. Those who recall Caersws's
piece of highway robbery snatching a late victory after being outplayed at
the Traeth will concede that Port deserved to take all three points on this
Caersws: Mulliner, Thomas, Jehu, Reynolds, Clarke, Geraint Lewis, Graham
Jones, Marfell, Thompson, Ricky Evans, Andrew Davies.
Subs: Graham Evans, Bermingham, Probert.
Port: McGuigan: John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Jon P Jones, Foster: Gareth
Hughes, Tony Williams (Carl Owen), Ritchie Owen, Gareth Caughter (Harrison):
Sub not used: Lloyd Edwards.
Vauxhall Masterfit Welsh Premier - Tuesday, March 22nd.
Porthmadog ... 0 Rhyl ......... 3
A. Moran(pen) 17
C. Adamson 31
G. Wilson 78
Port were aware that taking on the defending champions without three key
players, Mike Foster, Mark Williams and Gareth Parry all out injured, would
be a difficult task. That task was made well nigh impossible when after only
17 minutes skipper and defensive lynchpin Lee Webber received his marching
orders for stopping a certain goal by handling on the goal line. It was
probably a case of an instictive reaction on Webber's part but the referee
M A Jones had no alternative but to show the red card. With Andy Moran
powering the penalty into the corner of the net Port found themselves a
goal down with only 10 men on the field and 73 minutes still left on the
clock if they were lucky.
In fact after a quiet opening Port had made the first serious attack after
10 minutes when lone striker Carl Owen broke down the left holding off
Powell's challenge to cut inside and supply Owain Roberts whose shot from
the edge of the box was off target. This was soon followed by a case of
panic stations when Port keeper McGuigan, well out of goal, sent a hurried
clearance straight to Gareth Wilson on the edge of the box but Wilson's goal
bound shot was spectacularly cleared from under the bar and for a corner by
Ritchie Owen. Rhyl now enjoyed the lion's share of the possession but they
did not threaten the home goal until the 27th minute when McGuigan brought
off a good safe, to deny Lee Hunt, by touching the ball over the bar. In the
31st minute, however, the Port defence was breached when Chris Adamson
skilfully turned John Gwynfor on the edge of the box to find space to beat
McGuigan with a confident finish. Before half-time McGuigan was in action
again turning a 30 yard effort by Simon Davies round the post.
The home supporters feared the worst as the second period opened and when
only four minutes after the re-start Moran headed an Adamson cross over the
bar they held their breath for the inevitable. But in fact the expected
avalanche did not materialise thanks to the excellent tactical
re-organisation job carried out by managers Viv Williams and Osian Roberts
during the interval. This was probably given added support by the fact that
the visitors had probably taken their foot off the pedal. The 10 men
proceeded to close down the opposition and for long periods were first to
the ball winning the tackles and denying Rhyl space to develop attacks. They
ventured forward confidently but though they passed the ball around well
they did not really threaten the visitors goal. Neither side in fact really
threatened the goal but in the 74th minute Graves was put clear in the home
box but an excellent Danny Hughes tackle denied him a goal at the expense of
a corner. Eventually it was a fine 25 yard drive by Gareth Wilson which
breached the home defence for the only time in the second period as he
pounced on a defensive header following a corner on 79 minutes. Both sides
brought on full complement of substitutes in the later stages as the game,
which had not been a serious contest since the 17th minute, petered out to a
With the season drawing to a close Port will need to raise their game and
hope for a change of luck for the challenges to come, as they seek to claim
a place in the Premier Cup. Easter Monday they face another of the front
runners when they visit Caersws.
Port: McGuigan, John G Jones, Ryan Davies, Webber, Ritchie Owen: Tony
Williams (Steff Roberts), Danny Hughes, Owain Roberts, Dafydd Evans (J P
Jones), Gareth Caughter (Lloyd Edwards), Carl Owen.
Rhyl: P Smith, Graves, Brewerton, M Powell, T Edwards, Simon Davies, Wilson,
Limbert, Hunt, Moran, Adamson.
Subs: G Powell, Atherton, McGinn.