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| Gresford (h) | Llandudno Junction (a) | Caernarfon (h) | Rhyl (h) | Caergybi / Holyhead Hotspurs [MGC] (h) |

Nathaniel MG Cup Rd. 1 - Tuesday, 29 August

Match Sponsor: Tanronnen Inn, Beddgelert

CPD Porthmadog..............................3
Cai Jones 56’, 82’
Sion Bradley 80’

Holyhead Hotspurs............................5
John Littlemore 11’, 66’
Chris Jones 39’
Alex Boss 89’
Dewi Thomas 90’+2

A thrilling second half fight back was not enough to get Port through to the second round of the Nathaniel MG Cup. Following a disappointing first half where Port conceded twice, the game stormed to life from the start of the second period and eventually saw them level the scores at 3-3 by the 82nd minute. But Holyhead responded with two goals in the dying minutes of the game to run out 5-3 winners and ensure their place in the 2nd Round. In fact four of the game’s 8 goals came in a hectic final 10 minutes as both teams drove forward looking to clinch the winner.

The game started well for Port with Meilir Williams forcing Hotspurs keeper Paul Pritchard into a full length dive to save. The visitors were then glad to scramble a Julian Williams free kick away under pressure. But after 11 minutes it was the visitors who went ahead with a goal which had more than a little of the freakish about it. Littlemore broke down the right but his cross cum shot took a deflection rose high into the air before striking the inside of the back post and into the net leaving Richard Harvey stranded. Holyhead gained confidence from the goal and put the Port defence under pressure with one effort from Gavin Sharpe going dangerously across goal. Port’s only effort of note came when Julian Williams put Joe Chaplin in on the left of the box but his low shot gave Pritchard a comfortable save. The last word of the first half came from the Hotspurs. A good break down the left led to a deep cross to the back post from Littlemore and former Port forward, Chris Jones, had the simplest of tasks to head into the net unmarked and from close range. A two goal advantage for Holyhead at the interval.

Port came storming out at the start of the second half with subs Cai Jones and Sion Bradley immediately in the thick of the action. First Iddon Price and then Ifan Emlyn played dangerous balls into the box which narrowly eluded a final touch. But in the 56th minute they at last made their pressure pay off. It resulted from Sion Bradley’s dangerous corner which was touched on to the bar and came back to Cai Jones who drilled it into the net from 12 yards. Pressure continued on the Hotspurs goal as Joe Chaplin lifted Sion Bradley’s near post cross over the bar. In the 66th minute Hotspurs restored their two goal advantage when Littlemore got on the end of a right wing cross to head past Richard Harvey from close range. The Holyhead response halted the Port revival as the half entered a quieter period as the visitors sought to consolidate their advantage. But with the game entering its final 10 minutes Port threw themselves forward to get back into the game. In the 80th minute Ceri James broke forward rode a couple of heavy tackles before slipping the ball through for Sion Bradley who held off his marker and fired low to score from 12 yards. This goal gave Port fresh strength and two minutes later levelled the scores at 3-3 when Cai Jones netted his second, taking advantage of good work by Sion Bradley down the left. Now it was winner take all. The minutes past and with supporters looking at their watches and expectng extra time, Holyhead struck again, A break down the right and Alex Boss got on the end of a good low cross to steer it past Richard Harvey. Then into added time with Port throwing everything into attack they were caught on the break and Alex Boss put Dewi Thomas in for a 5th goal and seal the match in Holyhead’s favour.

An indifferent first half display gave the Port too much to do in the second half and despite the great revival, just as they got themselves out of the hole the visitors found that little bit extra to push them back down.

PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, iddon Price (Leon Doran 71’), Josh Banks, Dan Roberts, Steve Bratt, Ceri James. Ifan Emlyn, Gareth Jones Evans (Cai Jones 46’), Julian Williams, Meilir Williams (Sion Bradley 46’), Joe Chaplin. Unused subs: Tyler French, Jake Jones. Yellow Dan Roberts 58’

HOLYHEAD: Paul Pritchard, Dan McGuiness, Kenleigh Owen (Ryan Taylor 46’), Corey Jones, Alex Jones, Tomos Clarke, Mike Kelly. Dean Garney, John Littlemore (Alex Boss 74’). Chris Jones, Gavin Sharpe (Dewi Thomas 68’). Unused subs Reece Brown< Mervyn Williams (gk) Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 26 August

Referee: Nick Pratt.
Attendance: 253.

Gareth Williams
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 26 August

Match Sponsor: R J Williams HONDA Talsarnau

CPD Porthmadog..............................1
Joe Chaplin 54’

Rhyl F.C.............................................1
Tony Davies 34’

A tight contest, typical of many we are likely to see in the HGA this season. An end to end game over the 90 minutes with both teams enjoying their periods of pressure but overall, though both sides passed the ball around well, there weren’t too many clearcut chances. Rhyl probably just about edged the first half, going in a goal up at the interval thanks to a Tony Davies header, while Port came strongly in the second period with goalscorer Joe Chaplin taking his chance really well and giving a strong all round performance throughout.

There were early efforts from both sides with Rhyl first to threaten when Mark Connolly got on the end of a Danny Holland cross but directed his far post header wide. Port responded with Julian Williams crossing to the near post for Joe Chaplin but his shot in a crowded box was blocked. Chaplin was a real threat for Port and he got on the end of a Sion Bradley cross but his shot was deflected for a corner. Following a lively start the game settled into a quieter period with neither side able to gain the upper hand. More than half an hour had elapsed before Rhyl produced a further threat. Tom Hartley’s angled shot was hit with power and Tyler French saved well at the expense of a corner. The corner was only partially cleared back as far as Tom Hartley who lifted a good cross to the back post where Tony Davies rose highest and his neader found the net from close range. Port responded with Joe Chaplin again providing the threat but his shot took a deflection over the bar. Just before the interval Rhyl looked to go further ahead. Mark Connolly, on the counterattack, turned Steve Bratt and raced on with only the keeper to beat but the determined Bratt raced back and pulled off a great tackle just as the trigger was being pulled. So it remained Port 0-1 Rhyl at the interval.

Rhyl forced a couple of early second half corners but Port defended the early pressure well and with 9 minutes of the half played it was home side who drew level. Following a Tom Rowlands corner for Rhyl the ball was quickly cleared as far as Ifan Emlyn who slipped a fine through ball for Joe Chaplin. Chaplin playing on the shoulder of his marker beat the offside trap to race on goalwards. He still had work left to do, held off two defenders and placed a low left foot shot just inside the far post. The scores were level and a minute later there was almost a repeat, with Gareth Jones Evans this time putting Chaplin through again, but keeper Rory Crowther got out well to collect Joe Chaplin’s attempt to lob him. Though both sides had periods of pressure there were not many goal threats until sub Jack Hoult for Rhyl got in behind the Port defence but, with only the keeper to beat, shot wide of the post from 15 yards. Towards the end there were efforts at both ends Following Tom Rowlands corner Rhyl defender Tony Davies fired on the turn but over the bar and Rowlands shot hard and low forcing Tyler French to concede a corner. While it was the excellent Joe Chaplin, in the thick of the action as he had been all game, who threatened again for Port Twice he pulled balls back across the edge of the area first for Ifan Emlyn whose shot went narrowly the wrong side of the post and then for Ceri James who lifted his shot over the bar. With time running out Tom Hartley produced a last ditch tackle as Meilir Wiliams closed in on goal. An enjoyable afternoon in an even contest and a share of the points was a fair result.

Port can draw comfort from their performance today after the disappointment of the injury time defeat on Wednesday. If these games prove anything it is that Craig Papirnyk is building a squad that can be competitive in this league just as Niall McGuiness is doing at Rhyl. The signs were there today that these two clubs will be competing at the top end ofthe HGA as the season progresses.

PORTHMADOG: Tyler French, Rob Evans, Leon Doran (Iddon Price 46’), Steve Bratt, Josh Banks, Ceri James, Ifan Emlyn, Cai Jones (Gareth Jones Evans 46’), Sion Bradley (Meilir Williams 81’), Joe Chaplin, Julian Williams. Unused subs: Richard Harvey (gk), Jake Jones, Iwan Lane.

RHYL: Rory Crowther, Danny Holland, Tom Hartley, Tony Davies, Tom Rowlands, Gerwyn Jones, Sam Dewney Stewart Carroll 86’), Jamie Bell, Jamie Whitehouse, Alex Titchiner (Jack Hoult 66’) Mark Connolly. Unused subs: Scott Williams, James Brewerton, Chris Durkin. Yellow: Jack Hoult 72’.

Referee: Tom Owen (Hawarden)
Attendance: 271. Gareth Williams
Huws Gray Alliance -Wednesday, 23 August

Match Sponsor: Aspects of Snowdonia Ltd.

CPD Porthmadog..............................2
Cai Jones 3’
Julian Williams 59’

Caernarfon Town ..............................3
Gareth Edwards 15’
Nathan Craig 77’
Darren Thomas 90’ (+2’)

Caernarfon edged the Gwynedd Derby once more, in an end to end contest full of exciting, quality football. It took a late, late added time goal from Darren Thomas to clinch the three points for the Cofis in a game where Port were twice in front and had the visitors chasing the game. But Caernarfon persistence paid off in the end, while Port were left to rue the unnecessary penalty conceded and wonder how, despite scoring two superb goals, they end up on the wrong end of the odd goal in five. So the hoodoo persists!

Port got off to as good a start as they could possibly wish for, when after just 3’ minutes Cai Jones put them ahead with a super strike from 18 yards. Cai took full advantage of some hesitation on the edge of the Caernarfon penalty area, teed up a shot and struck a thunderbolt into the top corner of the net. Caernarfon moved to strike back immediately with Jamie Breese playing the ball to the far post where Darren Thomas touched the ball wide. A minute later Breese received in space 15 yards out but lifted his shot over the bar. Port struck back with Julian Williams breaking dangerously down the right feeding Joe Chaplin at the near post but the striker failed to get a clean shot on goal. With 15 minutes gone Caernarfon drew level and it was the tall figure of Gareth Edwards who took full advantage of Nathan Craig’s corner kick find the net with a clean header from 8 yards. Play continued with plenty of goalmouth action. For Port, following some good build up play, Ifan Emlyn’s dangerous cross to the far post narrowly eluded a final touch.Then Julian Williams’ free kick from wide right went across goal and narrowly wide of the far post while after more good buld up play Gareth Jones Evans lifted a shot over the bar. Caernarfon over the same period attacked with pace as Nathan Crag on the left crossed to the far post where Darren Thomas struck the side netting. It needed a good block from Leon Doran to halt Caernarfon as once more Nathan Craig supplied Darren Thomas. Port came again strongly at the end of the opening half with keeper Alex Ramsey saving at his near post from Julian Williams who also sent a dipping free kick narrowly over the bar. With time in the half running out Sion Bradley raced on to a good ball from Josh Banks down the left, cut inside and forced Ramsey into a good save. All square 1-1 at the interval which was a fair reflection of a good first half.

Two minutes into the second period a great run from Joe Chaplin opened up the Cofi defence with a direct run and a fine through ball for Julian Williams, who took the ball too wide and the chance was gone. Typical of the end to end play Caernarfon responded and a touch on from Nathan Craig’s corner which had to be cleared off the line. But with 59 minutes gone Julian Williams put Port back in front with a superb individual goal. He received the ball just inside the Caernarfon half, raced past Nathan Craig cutting to the edge of the box, turning on to his left foot and placing his low shot inches inside the far post. Again Caernarfon responded and Darren Thomas angled shot was well cleared by Josh Banks at the far post. Caernarfon continued the fight to get on level terms as they attacked with direct runs at pace. A break down the left turned disastrous for Port as a chance to clear was missed and led to Nathan Craig being brought down in the box and referee Aaron Jones pointed to the spot. Nathan Craig netted emphatically from 12 yards. All square again, all to play for. Darren Thomas and Jay Gibbs had efforts for Caernarfon and for Port, their best chance fell for Joe Chaplin. He met a good cross from Meilir Williams but lifted his shot inches over the bar. Then with time running out there was one more act in the drama to be played out. In the second minute of injury time Darren Thomas chased down a long ball on the right. He cut inside, eluding his marker and netting with a fine angled shot from 15 yards. Ecstasy for Caernarfon and their supporters, while Port were left to wonder why it had happend again. An excellent all round performance, two super goals and yet another defeat.

Skipper Rob Evans sums it up well on Twitter. In a situation where home players described themselves as ‘Gutted’at the end. Rob said “...... we have every reason to be upbeat & excited for this season. Diolch am y cefnogaeth heno.”

Manager Craig Papirnyk tweeted after an exhausting 90 minutes for all who wittnessed the game. “No words can describe the feeling but Proud of my players as always @CPDPorthmadogFC on to the next #Port #Ymlaen #FantasticSupport #Diolch”

PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans, Leon Doran. Dan Roberts Josh Banks, Gareth Jones Evans (Ceri James71’), Ifan Emlyn, Sion Bradley, Cai Jones,(Meilir Williams 82’), Joe Chaplin, Julian Williams. Unused subs: Steve Bratt, Jake Jones, Iwan Lane.

CAERNARFON: Alex Ramsey, Joe Williams, Nathan Craig, Gareth Edwards, Rhys Roberts, Clive Williams. Gareth Evans, Jay Gibbs, Jamie breese Darren Thomas, Ryan Williams. Used subs: Chris Williams, Aaron Davis Thomas, Kevin Roberts. Unused subs Iwan Williams, Llion Jones. Yellow: Joe Williams 43’, Clive Williams 78’.

Referee: Aaron Jones
Attendance: 568

Gareth Williams
Huws Gray Alliance 19 August

Llandudno Junction..................1
Joel Hewitt 7’ (p)

CPD Porthmadog......................7
Joe Chaplin 3’, 43’
Sion Bradley 49’, 51’
Julian Williams 77’
Meilir Williams 82’, 89’

A cracking Port performance, turning on the style in the second period after a tight competitve opening half. Three goals in an 8 minute spell either side of half-time broke the home resistance and allowed Port to race ahead and score some quality goals. Three players recorded doubles but, despite the scoreline, the home side did not allow their heads to go down. But faced with a fluent Port performance at the end of the 90 minutes all the Junction had to show for their efforts was a 7th minute penalty.

Port started strongly and Julian Williams made a diving effort to meet a good Cai Jones cross. It took them just 3 minutes to get their noses in front. Joe Chaplin got into space behind the home defence to score from 12 yards. But Port were unable to build on their early advantage as Richard Harvey had to race off his line to halt a Junction counterattack and in the process brought down Craven in the box. Referee Rhys Ryder pointed to the spot and Joel Hewitt’s confident strike found he corner of the net. All square again and Junction seemed to grow in confidence following the penalty, their first ever goal at this level. Play was even at this stage but neither keeper was severely tested. For Junction there were efforts from Leigh Craven and Dean Seager while Sion Bradley for Port fired one on target after receiving a good ball from Gareth Jones Evans. The breakthrough for Port eventually came two minutes before the interval. A Cai Jones assist put Joe Chaplin in on goal but even then it needed a quality shot from a very narrow angle to beat Keighan Jones, with the ball strikng the inside of the post and into the net. 1-2 at the interval.

The home side came out strongly in the opening minutes of the second period with Joel Hewitt firing into the side netting. But Port responded with two goals in two minutes from Sion Bradley, to turn the game on its head. They were both goals of the highest quality. For the first the ball was cleared back to him following his corner but from wide on the right he struck an unstoppable shot from 20 yards into the top corner of the net. His second came via Ceri James’s assist. Sion Bradley raced on to it, cut inside, held his nerve and beat the keeper with a well place low shot. Suddenly the Junction found themselves 4-1 down and a mountain to climb. To their credit they pushed forward and passed the ball around well, keeping the Port defence on it’s toes. The shots however were from distance, one from Seager narrowly over the bar and a snapshot from Craven forcing Richard Harvey into a good diving save. But then in the last 15 minutes Port went up a gear again, to score three more goals in theclosing stages. Meilir Williams, on as sub, was straight in the thick of the action with good anticipation and an excellent touch. His cross after 77 minutes led to Julian Williams goal. A good low cross was only parried away by the home keeper and Julian Williams netted from close range. Meilir then got his name on the scoresheet twice. For his first he ran on to another Cai Jones assist to finish cooly from 12 yards and with a minute left he pounced on a loose ball to fire low past the keeper and complete the scoring. There was also a promising debut performance from young Jake Jones who came on as sub and could well have added an 8th goal but keeper Keighan Jones denied him with a good save.

A good day for Port and their supporters seeing the club build on last week’s win, with a fluent performance ahead of two difficult home encounters next week when first Caernarfon visit the Traeth on Wednesday followed by Rhyl on Saturday.

PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans, Steve Bratt, Josh Banks, Leon Doran, Ceri James, Gareth Jones Evans (Ifan Emlyn 62’), Sion Bradley (Jake Jones 78’), Cai Jones, Joe Chaplin (Meilir Williams 71’), Julian Williams. Unused subs: Tyler French (gk). Yellow: Jake Jones 90’.

LLANDUDNO JUNCTION: Keighan Jones, Joel Hewitt, Sam Sinkinson, Daniel Roberts, Rob Marshall, Alun Roberts, Bryan Roberts, Joe Morgan, Dean Seager, Lee Craven, Merrick Knight. Subs: Sean McCaffrey, Keiran Davies, Adam Hodgson, James Etherington, Tom Cardus Williams. Yellow: M Knight.

Referee: Rhys Ryder
Attendance: 155
Gareth Williams
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday 12 August.
Match Sponsors: Toyota Harlech.

CPD Porthmadog..............................2
Joe Chaplin 64’(p)
Chris Jones 91’

Gresford Athletic ..............................0

Port will be pleased with the three points in the season’s opening game but, overall it was a disappointing performance, in a strange game which hardly rose above the ordinary in terms of entertainment. Following a goalless first half the game took a sudden turn early in the second half when, in the space of five minutes, Gresford found themselves down to 9 men. Even then Port failed to take charge of the game and it was Joe Chaplin, scoring on debut from the spot, and Chris Jones netting in injury time who brought relief for home fans.

Gresford started well looking to hit on the break and after 3 minutes Dave McIntyre tested Richrd Harvey with a powerful effort from 25 yds. The same player followed this up soon after, pulling a shot across the face of goal from 15 yds. Port responded with a a good move after 11 minutes with Rob Evans finding Cai Jones, in space, on the edge of the box but this shot was also pulled wide. Then both teams missed good opportunities to go in front. Following a Gresford free kick on the left the ball broke for Owen Roberts but he failed to hit the target from 15 yds. On the half hour Port spurned an even better opportunity when Julian Williams was upended in the box. Referee Dewi Owen pointed to the spot but visitors keeper Mike Platt saved rather easily a tame shot from Julian Williams. Before an uninspiring first half came to an end both sides had opportunities. Gresford’s new signing, Aaron Edwards turned well 18 yds out and it needed a good save from Richard Harvey to prevent a goal. Five minutes before the end of the half the busy Joe Cahplin raced on to a long ball down the right and found Cai Jones in the box but Platt was out smartly to block the shot. Scoreless at the interval.

Gresford came close twice early in the second period. A poor clearance gave Aaron Edwards a chance on goal but he lifted his shot over the bar from 15 yds and minutes later Rob Evans had to clear Tom Freeman’s free kick off the Port line. The game then took a sudden turn for the worse for the visitors as, in the space of five minutes, they were reduced to nine players. First Adam Davies was dismissed on 59 minutes for a tackle on Rob Evans and on 64 minutes Simon Smith joined his colleague in the aftermath of Sion Bradley being brought down in the box and the referee awarding a penalty. The penalty that followed gave Joe Chaplin his chance to score a debut goal. Chaplin struck low and powerfully well wide of Mike Platt’s left hand. Port were ahead but despite playing against nine men they failed to control the game and Gresford remained stubborn and difficult opponents. Port’s Sion Bradley started to find space down the left and made some dangerous runs, twice creating heading opportunities for Chaplin at the near post. Chaplin himself made a good break down the right but was denied by a good save from Platt. One of Port’s better moves came ten minutes before the end with Chris Jones and Rob Evans combining well, down the right but a good defensve tackle foiled Julian Williams’ scoring chance. Despite being down to 9 players, while the score remained at 1-0, Gresford still fancied their chances of getting something from the game and indeed they kept possession well and created chances. Jack Jones screwed a close range effort over the bar and Freeman supplied Daley who struck a low shot narrowly wide while McIntyre fired across goal and wide. In addition they forced a couple of late corners so it was a relief for home supporters when Chris Jones beat the offside trap to fasten on to a long ball over the defence, race on into the box and coolly beat the advancing Mike Platt with a low angled shot.

Port travel to Llandudno Junction next week to take on a club who will be pleased with a tight performance against Airbus, one of the promotion favourites. They will know, despite the three points today, that a much improved and more convincing performance will be needed. It was perhaps a chance today to blow away some cobwebs without any real damage being done.

One more item for the record, the assistant referee, Laura Griffiths had to withdraw through injury at half time and thanks to Dylan Ellis, a qualified official took over. Diolch Dylan.

PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans, Leon Doran, Steve Bratt, Iddon Price (Josh Banks 46’), Ifan Emlyn Gareth Jones Evans ( Ceri James 79’), Julian Williams, Joe Chaplin, Cai Jones (Chris Jones 65’) Sion Bradley. Unused subs: Tyler French (gk) , Meilir Williams. Yellow: Gareth Jones Evans 36’, Ceri James 89’.

GRESFORD: Mike Platt, Simon Smith, Adam Davies, Max Peate, Jack Jones, Josh Griffiths, Jack Chaloner, Dave McIntyre, Owen Roberts, Aaron Edwards, Tom Freeman. Subs: Luke Peate, Tom Wells, Jack Edwards, Joe Williams, Cavan Daley. Red: Adam Davies 59’, Simon Smith 64’. Yellow: Josh Griffiths25’.

Referee: Dewi Owen (Anglesey)
Attendance: 224.

Gareth Williams


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