| Holyhead (a) |
Caersws (a) |
Gresford (a) |
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 19 March
Owen Roberts 6’
Jack Chaloner 67’ (p)
Port slipped to their 4th league defeat in their last five matches as a goal in each half gave the home side the three points to help them consolidate their third place spot. Owen Roberts gave Gresford the early lead and a second half penalty from Jack Chaloner settled the outcome against a Port side loooking very low on confidence.
Gresford started strongly and in the 5th minute Chaloner broke strongly from midfield and his through ball put Newton in on the right. Richard Harvey got a hand to the winger’s angled shot and the ball was cleared. But just a minute later Gresford broke quickly, after winning the ball in midfield and the ball was swept out to Dean Bryan on the left. Richard Harvey once again could only get a hand to the dangerous far post cross and Owen Roberts was on hand to net from close range. The home team continued to apply the early pressure and Newton’s cross to the back post was headed wide by Owen Roberts. The game from then on to half time became something of a slog, where neither side managed to put their stamp on the game, with Port in fact unable to test home keeper Mike Platt at all in the opening half. Their only first half threats came from a couple of Paul Lewis corners which failed to trouble keeper Platt. Gresford, after their promising opening, failed to impose themselves on the game and after a busy opening 10 minutes Richard Harvey remained untroubled up to half-time. Jack Chaloner provided the only further threat on 25 minutes when he fastened on to a loose ball on the dge of the box but lifted his shot over the bar.
The second half opened with threats at both ends. Rob Evans for Port lifted his shot over the bar from the edge of the box while at the other end there were a couple of dangerous efforts down the left from Tom Freeman. Tom Clarke was on hand to clear a low ball off the line and Richard Harvey produced a good save diving to his left to keep out an angled shot. Port then enjoyed their best spell of the game penning back the home team and in the 56th mniute Cai Jones did find the net with a neat header to convert a Chris Jones cross. But the travelling supporters elation proved short lived as an assistant’s flag ruled out the goal for offside. A goal at this stage would have lifted Port and might well have changed the direction of the game. Instead following the decision the game went back into its rather tedious pattern with few chances on goal.Tom Clarke met a Paul Lewis corner but his header went wide. As early as the 67 minute the game was virtually settled when Port conceded a penalty. A defensive mix-up down the left forced Richard Harvey to rush off his line to stop Newton;s run into the box and he was adjudged to have brought him down. Referee Ellis Highes pointed to the spot and Jack Chaloner stepped up to convert the penalty which went in off the foot of the post. Soon after Owen Roberts came close to increasing the lead with a powerful strike form 18 yards which went narrowly over the bar. There was little in the way of goal threats in the last 20 minutes as Gresford were happy with their two goal advantage. There were a couple of threatening runs for Port from Paul Lewis and then iddon Price but keeper Platt dealt comfortably with both. Late on a Doherty corner for Gresford found Jack Jones in the box but the header flew wide. Not a great game, played on a bumpy surface and its lack of goalmouth thrills mean that it will not live long in the memory.
Despite the result there were good Port performances from Dan Roberts at the back and Cai Jones who worked hard up front but with little support. Port travel to Penrhyncoch on Wednesday badly in need of a lift following recent results.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Iddon Price, Josh Banks. Ceri James (Meilir Williams 71’), Dan Roberts, Tom Clarke, Rob Evans, Chris Jones, Sion Bradley (Joe Williams 78’), Cai Jones, Paul Lewis. Unused subs: Craig Papirnyk, Tyler French (gk), Rhys Hughes. Yellow: Paul Lewis 44’, Ceri James 64’, Richard Harvey 67’, Iddon Price 81’. Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 19 March
GRESFORD: Mike Platt, Liam Walsh (Shaun Williams 77’), Dean bryan, Max Peate, Jack Jones, Josh Griffiths, Joe Newton, Jack Chaloner, Owen Roberts (Rhys Lloyd 71’), Tom Wells (Dom Doherty 77’), Tom Freeman. Unused subs: Matt Thompson, Jon Collo.
Referee: Ellis Hughes (Wrexham).
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 11/03/17
Cai Jones 60’
Caersws FC ............................2
Josh Hartrick 90’
Sean Evans (p) 90 (+3’)
Three points were thrown away at the Traeth today, as some sloppy play in midfield allowed Caersws to turn around a game that Port looked to have won thanks to a goal from Cai Jones on the hour mark. But Caersws kept going to the end and an equaliser in the last minute of normal time was not the end of the scoring as Port conceded a penalty under late pressure and that in the 3rd minute of added time. Sean Evans completed the late, late smash and grab from the spot.
The game had opened quietly with not too much of a threat at either end. Both teams passed the ball around well but too often both were guilty of giving the ball away when a good final pass was required. Richard Harvey was the first keeper in the action when he went down well to save a low shot from Iwan Lewis. A good break forward from Tom Clarke threatened for Port and, despite a good exchange with Cai Jones, Caersws keeper Luke Evans was out well to intercept. A couple of good forward runs from full back Phil Jones forced Richard Harvey into saves at his near post and it needed a good block from Iddon Price to stop Josh Hartrick. The nearest we came to a goal in the opening half came after 34 minutes when Sion Bradley for Port, broke down the left and cut into the box on the left. His low shot to the near post almost caught out keeper Luke Evans who just about manged to get a hand to the ball and divert it for a corner. It was a largely uneventful first half and ended goalless.
Port came out in the second half looking far livelier and in the first two minutes had carved out a couple of good chances. Twice Sion Bradley crossed dangerously from the right with Cai Jones and Chris Jones getting on the end of them but both shots went straight to the keeper. It was all Port at this stage and soon after, a Chris Jones flick put Iddon Price in on the left but his shot went across goal and wide. On the hour mark the home team deservedly went ahead. Iddon Price broke down the Port right and found Cai Jones who had timed a good run in behind the visitors’ defence and, with keeper Luke Evans well off his line, he opened the scoring with a low angled shot. Following the goal the game appeared to drift into a similar pattern to the first with neither side really threatening, and with the Port rearguard looking strong, it increasingly looked a game where the one goal would settle it. The nearest Caersws came to scoring at this stage came from one of several free kicks conceded in midfield. Graham Evans lifted his kick into the box and it needed a good close range save from Richard Harvey to keep out a Rhydian Davies header. That apart the home defence was in charge and there was no suggestion of what was to happen before the referee blew his final whistle. Indeed in the last 10 minutes of normal time Port had more chances to make the game safe. Chris Jones found Joe Williams free on the right of the box but the shot was deflected over the bar. From that corner Chris Jones met Sion Bradley’s cross to the near post but the header went inches over the bar. Then with three minutes left Meilir Williams put Joe Williams through on goal. He raced forward chipped the keeper but past the post.
The dramatic finale came when Port started conceding possession in midfield. In the last minute of normal time a wayward ball was interceoted in midfield and Sean Evans broke forward toslip in Josh Hartrick with a through ball. It put the forward in on goal and, from 15 yards, the former Port forward scored. Despite getting a hand on it Richard Harvey was unable to keep it out. But worse was to follow for Port as Sean Evans got in on goal on the left of the box. His shot beat the advancing Harvey but Iddon Price nipped in at the back to block the shot. Sean Evans and Iddon Price raced for the loose ball and the latter was adjudged to have fouled. Referee David Wright pomted to the spot and Sean Evans did the rest.
To say it was a disappointing end to the game is a massive understatement and for the second week in succession Port have contributed to their own downfall. Heads up and on to Gresford next week.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Iddon Price, Josh Banks, Dan Roberts, Tomos Clarke, Ceri James (Meilir Williams 71’) , Rob Evans, Chris Jones, Cai Jones (Joe Williams 78’) , Sion Bradley Paul Lewis. Unused subs: Steve Bratt, Tyler French(gk), Craig Papirnyk. Yellow: Paul Lewis 38’, Josh Banks 69’, Tomos Clarke 72.’
CAERSWS: Luke Evans, Jake Parr, Phil Jones, Eilir Jones, Tom Richards, Iwan Lewis, Jolyon Harries (Graham Evans 39’), Rhydian Davies, Josh Hartrick, Luke K Evans, Sean Evans. Unused subs: Graham Jones, Dylan McPhee.
Referee: David Wright (Wrecsam)
Huws Gray League Cup -Saturday, 4 March
Holyhead Hotspurs ...................1
Brendun Hogan 119’
After Extra Time
A goal in the last minute of extra time secured a deserved place in the semi-final of the competition for the Hotspurs. In difficult heavy conditions the home side adapted the better and, though the Port defence stuck manfully to the task making it a tense nail biting finish, they could not repeat their two league victories over Holyhead. Hotspurs enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession and created the better chances but it needed a defensive mix-up to seal the victory.
The early skirmishes were mainly in the Port half of the field but the first real opportunity was at the other end of the pitch. After 6 minutes Port broke down the right and an exchange of passes released Cai Jones down the right. His excellent far post cross was met by Paul Lewis whose strong header went narrowly over the bar. A minute later and a Paul Lewis cross also to the back post was lifted over the bar by Chris Jones from a narrow angle. But Richard Harvey was soon in the action saving well from Alex Jones at the foot of his post following Dean Garmey’s free kick. Paul Lewis was Port’s main threat with some good strong runs, and it needed a block for a corner to keep him out. The home team came on strongly in the middle part of the half and Steve Bratt did well to chest a Dewi Thomas shot into the safe hands of Richard Harvey. The Port keeper was now in the thick of the action and pullled off a string of excellent saves to keep Port into the game. He pulled off a super save to punch away Hilditch’s fiercely struck shot which looked goalbound. He repeated this to keep out and excellent free kick from Alex Jones 20 yards out. In the closing stages of the half a shooting chance for Port when a good exchange of passes between Chris Jones and Iddon Price released Iddon whose shot from 15 yards went over the bar. Chris Jones was soon involved again and Meilir Williams headed the cross goalwards but Paul Pritchard was down to save well. The last word in a goalless first half came from the home side when an Dewi Thomas put Mel McGinness through for a good shooting chance, but the strike from 15 yards struck the angle of the post and cross bar.
Port came out strongly in the second period but again it was the home side that came closest to opening the scoring. The fact that the game remained scorless after 53 minutes was again down to Richard Harvey who pulled off a remarkable double save to keep out the two close range efforts from Mel McGinness. Round the hour mark Port enjoyed a good spell mainly due to some strong runs down the left from Paul Lewis. His deep cross was headed back into the goalmouth by Meilir Williams but there was no one to apply the finish. Paul Lewis was in the action again receiving a quick free kick from Josh Banks but his cross was overhit and Chris Jones lifted his shot over the bar. In the latter stages Holyhead came strongly again and Mike Kelly was not far off the target when he met a Deion Evans corner with a glancing header. Pressure was mounting on the Port goal and Richard Harvey did well to clear a dangerous Mel McGinness inswinging corner. With extra time looking ominously likely Iddon Price made a good block with Mike Kelly’s shot being deflected over the bar. 0-0 after 90 minutes.
On to extra time with the saturated pitch cutting up and making passing really difficult. With players slipping and sliding it was a credit to both defences that no goals had been conceded. Hotspurs were first to threaten in extra time but Richard Harvey saved from Mel McGinness who made a good break down the right. But Port responded and Meilir Williams met a Cai Jones cross to the near post but Paul Pritchard was down well to save. Tom Clarke then fired a shot from 25 yards but wide of Pritchard’s goal. Play became increasingly confined to the Port half of the pitch and an angled shot from Deion Evans went dangerously wide of the post. Rob Evans then pulled off an excellent tackle to halt Mel McGinness bursting into the box. With just a minute left Brendun Hogan produced the decisive action minutes afer coming on as sub. He capitalised on a moment’s hesitation in the Port defence as Richard Harvey and Dan Roberts appeared to leave things to each other. Hogan nipped in and sent an angled shot into the empty goal and put the Hotspurs in the semi-final.
It will be back to league action for Port next Saturday with Caersws the visitors, buoyed by the news that both Flint and Gresford both suffered defeats today. We wish Campbell Harrison and the Hotspurs the best of luck in the semi-final.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Iddon Price, Josh Banks, Ceri James, Dan Roberts, Steve Bratt (Tom Clarke 46’), Rob Evans, Chris Jones, Cai Jones, Meilir Williams, Paul Lewis (Joe Williams 90’). Unused subs: Craig Papirnyk, Tyler French (gk). Yellow: Dan Roberts 59’, Ceri James 102’.
HOLYHEAD: Paul Pritchard, Dan McGinness, Keiron Hilditch, Corey Jones, Alex Jones, Rhys Roberts, Mike Kelly (Brendun Hogan 109’), Dean Garmey, Mel McGinness, Dewi Thomas (R Llewelyn-Jones 95’), Gavin Sharpe( Deion Evans 59’). Yellow: Dewi Thomas 17’, Paul Pritchard 69’.
Referee: John Alun Jones (Mold)