| Holyhead Hotspur (a) |
Rhydymwyn [LC] (h) |
Llanrhaeadr (a) |
Caernarfon [WC] (a) |
Rhaeadr (a) |
| Bwcle / Buckleyr (h) |
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 23 November CPD Porthmadog ... 1 Buckley ... 3 Carl Owen '73 Jack Jones '15 Scott Beckett '83, Gruff Williams '86(og)Without a league win all season Buckley left the Traeth with all three points and will worry not at all that this was a rather scrappy disappointing game. When Port levelled the scores with more than a quarter of an hour left Buckley did not settle for a point and their persistence paid off with two goals in the last ten minutes even keeping out an 87th minute penalty. The victory represents a fourth consecutive win at the Traeth for the visitors, confirming their satus as Portís bogey side. Though Port held the advantage territorially, few will deny that Buckley deserved their victory. Inevitably the return of Gareth Thomas to the managerís seat at Globe Way would sooner or later bring about an improvement but it is unfortunate that they reseved this day to break their duck.
Port were on the attack from the start but early efforts from Leon Newell and Carl Owen failed to hit the target. Twice in the early stages John Owen cut inside from the left but drove his low shots the wrong side of the post. But the closest from John Owen was when he met Leon Newellís free kick glancing a header dangerously close to the Buckley goal. It took the visitors until the 14th minute before they really broke out of their own half but this break proved decisive. Tom McGill raced behind the defence down the right and Gareth Barker did well to divert his dangerous cross but the ensuing shot was diverted for a corner. Darlington took the corner from the right and lifted it to the back post where it was met by defender Jack Jones who netted from close range. After the goal Port again controlled the possession but a half chance for Eilir Edwards from Carl Owenís downward header and shortly after Leon Newell turned well in the box, but neither shot troubled Haliban in the Buckley goal. Despite their territorial advantage Port should have been two down after 24 minutes. The dangerous McGill took advanage of poor defending to break goalwards past the advancing Gareth Barker, but with the goal at his mercy he elected to take his shot from a narrow angle and struck the post when he could have closed in on goal. After that let off Port continued to look for an equaliser with John Owen and Josh Banks combining well down the left but Haliban saved the shot from Banks. Port were building a head of steam and Leon Newell and John Owen worked a shooting chance for Carl Owen which was blocked and eventually scrambled for a corner. Rhys Roberts rose well to head on the corner and Dilan Lomas was only narrowly off target at the back post. But at the interval Buckley retained their 1-0 advantage..
An early second half tester from Neil Thomas was saved by Harriman. Buckley responded with a dangerous glancing header from Darlington which was cleared for a corner. Around the hour mark Port pressure almost paid off with Rhys Roberts coming close from a corner and moments later a John Owen shot was cleared off the line and Owen again with a near post header. But on 68 minutes Buckley should have doubled their advantage, again it was McGill breaking with pace behind the Port defence, then playing a quick one-two but, with only Gareth Barker to beat, he fired wide of the target when scoring appeared easier. The visitors could well have regretted this miss as five minutes later Carl Owen levelled the scores. But Buckley had sensed that this was an opportunity to record a victory and pushed forward with pace and Barker had to pull off a good save to keep out a powerful effort from Josh Griffiths and when Port failed to clear their lines with 7 minutes left Scott Beckett took full advantage cutting in from the left and punished Port with a goal from 12 yards. It took only three more minutes for the visitors to virtually make the three points safe. A run down the right from McGill again exposed the home defence and Gruff Williams, under pressure from Scott Beckett, touched the fiercely hit cross into his own net. With 3 minutes left Port were awarded a penalty for hand ball but John Owenís spot kick lacked power and Haliban saved near the foot of the post. Buckley could have made it four, but they failed to capitalise, with Port expecting a whistle for offside. But,as referee J B Roberts blew his final whistle, that miss hardly effected the celebrations for a first league win .
A very worrying second consecutive defeat against bottom six opposition with performances which were only a pale reflection of that exciting occasion at the Oval. Two bread and butter defeats bring more pressure as after next Saturdayís visit to Rhydymwyn comes the Welsh Cup tie and it is vital not to throw away what they achieved against Caernarfon. It may be a truism but you are only as good as your last game..
PORTHMADOG: Gareth Barker, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Craig Papirnyk, Dilan Lomas, Rhys Roberts (Phil Williams 67), Leon Newell (Paul Lewis 87), Neil Thomas, Carl Owen (Danny Bell 76), Eilir Edwards, John Owen. Unused subs: Sion Kyle, Gareth Parry. Yellow: Eilir Edwards 43..
BUCKLEY: Darren Haliban, James Gibson, Martin Pierce (Nathan Martland 67), Jack Jones, Dan Barnett, Josh Griffiths, Scott Beckett, Anthony Williams, Phil Molyneux (Neil Wynne 79), Tom McGill (Jason Sutton-Biggs 89), Reece Darlington. Subs not used: Rhys Millington, Gareth Thomas..
Referee: J B Roberts (Llanllyfni)
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 16 November Rhayader Town ... 3 CPD Porthmadog ... 1 Mike Collister 12, 18 (p) Neil Thomas 87 Paul Lewis 56(og)What a difference a week makes. Rhayader gained a clearcut and well deserved victory on the back of some good football. But for Port it was a nightmare day out and though missing Jamie Hulse through injury and Ceri James and Danny Bell suspended, of the team which won at the Oval, this was very much a below par performance. It was also a far cry from the quality of football displayed at the Oval last week. With Rob Evans receiving a straight red, one goal conceded from the penalty spot and another an own goal, these were events which just about sum up Port’s day of misery.
Rhayader were on the attack from the start building up from the back and making good use of the skills of Rhys Thomas from wide positions. With Port penned in their own half in the early stages it was no less than the home team deserved when they went ahead after only 12 minutes. It was a well worked goal resulting from an powerfully struck near post cross from Rhys Thomas to which Mike Collister racing in from deep applied the finishing touch. It was taking Port sometime to get into the game after the early setback as the home side passed the ball around well. But Carl Owen tested the home defence after 17 minutes bringing down a Gruff Williams cross and firing on the turn to draw a decent save from Luke Evans. But just as it looked as though Port were beginning to get a foothold in the game Rhys Thomas struck again. A quick counter move down the left exposed the Port defence and he was brought down as he was cutting dangerously along the byline. Mike Collister scored from the spot firing wide of Gareth Barker’s right hand. Port responded with their best period of pressure of the game so far. Carl Owen broke wide on the right but there was no final touch to his dangerous low cross. The move ended with Leon Newell firing into the side netting. As Port continued to threaten Newell cutting in from the left fired wide of the near post. Towards the end of the half it was Rhayader on the attack again with Nefyn Savage coming close at the back post and a powerful Rhys Thomas free kick whistling over the bar from 25 yards. A 2-0 advantage to the home side at the interval.
Port were on the attack from the start of the second half with Neil Thomas leading by example. But Rhayader defended well and a good block kept out a well struck shot from the skipper. Then instead of cutting the deficit disaster struck and Port found themselves three goals down. A cross from the left did not appear to pose any threat but Gareth Barker hesitated, appearing to leave a comfortable collect to Paul Lewis who was forced into a last minute attempt to sweep the ball to safety. Instead it struck the inside of the post and on into the net. Port were left with a mountain to climb but Josh Banks, who came on as sub, crossed well for Rob Evans who fired narrowly wide from 16 yards. But in the 65th minute Rob Evans received his marching orders for diving dangerously into a tackle and now any chance of a revival had all but gone. Though down to 10 men Port held the territorial advantage but the home side were in no mood to throw away a well earned advantage. John Owen announced his return to the club with a good cameo appearance as sub. He fired a good effort narrowly over the bar and fed Eilir Edwards whose shot was deflected wide. Rhayader still threatened on the break and Lance Jones cutting in from the right fired across the face of goal. With time running out Lomas put Neil Thomas in behind the home defence but the captain screwed his shot wide of the far post. In the end Port did manage to get a consolation goal with only three minutes of normal time left. It was a good goal but too little too late. John Owen, who had looked lively since coming on, broke down the left weaving past two defenders before crossing for Neil Thomas, who took his goal well steering it wide of Luke Evans from 10 yards. In added time Gareth Barker for Port came out well to save at the feet of Rhys Thomas. But these were the last rites of a truly miserable day for Port.
Inconsistency has been a problem from day one this season and Port must now put this defeat behind them and get back to the kind of form they showed at the Oval and at several other times for parts of games. Then they must go on to maintain it for 90 minutes. It was a strange day all round with the match referee Neil Brierley of Buckley not appearing on the pitch until 21 minutes had elapsed. He was caught up in the major traffic chaos ensuing from the Motor Rally. Assistant referee S. Crowther took charge in the early stages with a deputy linesman pressed into duty.
PORTHMADOG: Gareth Barker, Gruff Williams, Paul Lewis (Josh Banks 68), Dilan Lomas (Craig Papirnyk 82), Josh Standiki, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, Neeil Thomas, Caarl Owen (John Owen 68), Leon Newell, Eilir Edwards. Unused subs Sion Kyle, Gareth Parry. Red: Rob Evans 63. Yellow: Gruff Williams.
Rhayader: Luke Evans, Matt Lewis (Tom Rowlands 71), T McFadden, Gareth Hughes, Gavin Samuel, Adam Oakley, Dylan McPhee (Lance Jones 67), Christian Jones, Rhys Thomas, Mike Collister, Nefyn Savage (Dale Evans 75). Unused subs: Jordan Cooper, Jordan McFadden. Yellow: Dylan McPhee, Christian Jones, Rhys Thomas.
Referee: Neil Brierley (Buckley) Attendance: 63
Welsh Cup Round 2 -Friday, 8 November. Caernarfon Town ... 1 CPD Porthmadog ... 2 Jordan Barrow 66(p) Leon Newell 27 Carl Owen 33It was a perfect night to cause a cup upset and in front of the Sgorio cameras too. Two goals midway through a first half which Port controlled for long periods proved enough in the end to secure a place in the third round draw. The game took a dramatic turn in the 66th minute when referee Nick Pratt showed Ceri James a red card after a handball incident in a packed Port penalty area. Jordan Barrow scored from the spot to reduce the home deficit and Port now had to call on all their fighting spirit and defensive skills to keep out Caernarfon’s aerial onslaught. They did it and ran out deserved winners on the night to remove the memory of a bad night at the Traeth.
Port were on the attack from the start and an early effort from Rob Evans took a deflection for a corner. With the visitors keeping possession well and building their attacks from deep, play in the opening 15 minutes was mainly in the Caernarfon half. There were further efforts on goal from Leon Newell and Carl Owen without really testing home keeper Paul Pritchard. It took 18 minutes for the home side to threaten and it was a dangerous break down the right with Ywain Gwynedd cutting inside to the edge of the box and his well struck shot forced Jamie Hulse into a fine save diving to his right. Paul Lewis responded with a 30 yard run from the back to the edge of the Caernarfon box only for the ball to take an unexpected bobble as he was about to put the ball into the danger zone. A 25 yard free kick from Danny Bell followed which curled just the wrong side of the post. With 27 minutes gone Port deservedly went ahead. Danny Bell lifted a free kick into the crowded box and it was Leon Newell who found space to place a low shot past Pritchard -his 10th goal of the season. Within six minutes Port had doubled their advantage with Leon Newell this time the provider with a controlled header over the home back line for Carl Owen to race onto and score from 6 yards. Caernarfon retaliated with a powerful drive from Jordan Barrow narrowly wide of the post and a McCardle cracker from 25 yards which John Hulse turned round the post. Another McCardle scorcher raced across the face of the Port goal after half an hour. But in the closing stages of the half it was Port in control again. Paul Lewis went on another powerful run but lost his footing as he was about to fire from inside the box. A good run from Neil Thomas followed, cutting in from the right and drawing a great save from Paul Pritchard diving full length at his near post. Pritchard was immediately in action again saving a well struck shot from Rob Evans. Half-time Port leading 2-0.
Caernarfon started the second half strongly and Hulse was soon in action saving a well struck Barrow free kick from wide on the left. But the early pressure was resisted without any clear cut chances for the home team. It was now Port’s turn to attack and Carl Owen’s through ball put Leon Newell in on goal but the advancing Pritchard did well to partailly block the shot which was scrambled for a corner. On the hour mark yet another Paul Lewis run took him to the edge of the box but this time his shot was deflected for a corner. Then with Port still in control came the incident that could have turned the game on its head. The referee waved a red card at Ceri James for a handling offence in the box and threw the home side a lifeline pointing to the spot. Jordan Barrow sent Jamie Hulse the wrong way and at 2-1 it was very much game on again. But Port called on the spirit of 2008 and survival day against Rhyl. With well over 20 minutes to survive with 10 men, skipper Neil Thomas marshalled his troops and led by example. On a pitch which was cutting up after all the recent rain Caernarfon went the aerial route and the Port goal was subjected to a bombardment, a bombardment which Rhys Roberts and Josh Standiki stood up to magnificently meeting the challenge in the air and getting in some great relieving tackles. They were ably supported by the full backs with Paul Lewis having to fill in at out of position and coming through the test in great style. When they did get through Jamie Hulse was secure as the last line.That is not to say they did not have to survive a few hairy moments. A powerful Powell Thomas shot was deflected for a corner and Hulse was in action again at his near post to save from Cai Jones and again from Powell Thomas. With time running out it was Powell Thomas again with a cracker to the far post which was headed narrowly wide by Darren Thomas. During injury time Caernarfon were also reduced to 10 when Donohue was dismissed for abusive language. Finally after five minutes of added time the referee’s whistle ended the game and started Port celebrations.
A well deserved victory in what was a truly all round team performance and that from the start to the final whistle. Uffar o berfformiad da.
PORTHMADOG: Jamie Hulse, Danny Bell (Gruff Williams 82), Paul Lewis, Ceri James, Josh Standiki, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, Neil Thomas, Carl Owen (Craig Papirnyk 86), Leon Newell, Eilir Edwards (Phil Williams 89). Unused subs: Gareth Jones Evans, Sion Kyle. Red: Ceri James 66.
Caernarfon: Paul Pritchard, Steve Kehoe, Moses Barnett, Grahame Austin, Clive Williams, Kevin Roberts (Luke Powell Thomas 62) , Ywain Gwynedd (Dion Donohue 55), Jordan Barrow, Cai Jones (Gerwyn Jones 85), Darren Thomas, Lee McCardle. Unused subs: Leigh Craven, Danny Murphy. Red: Donohue ‘90. Yellow: Kevin Roberts ‘57.
Referee: Nick Pratt (Connah’s Quay).
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, 2 November. Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant FC ... 1 CPD Porthmadog ... 3 Iwan Matthews 86 Leon Newell 59, 61 Neil Thomas 90 (+2)In a swirling wind and torrential showers Porthmadog ground out a win at Llanrhaeadr. It was a game in which their total territorial dominance should have made the winning margin far greater but in the often atrocious weather conditions they were pleased to pick up the three points as the home side fought a strong rearguard action. Following a goalless opening half two goals from leading scorer Leon Newell, either side of the hour mark, put them in the driving seat and though the home side pulled one back late on to cause one or two nervy moments skipper Neil Thomas rounded off the scoring with an added time third for Port.
Playing down the slope in the opening half Port were soon threatening the home goal. In the first minute a low 18 yard effort from Ceri James drifted wide of the post and Eilir Edwards soon followed with another low shot which did not trouble keeper Darren Powell. The early play was compressed into the Llanrhaeadr half and when Leon Newell’s shot was deflected for a corner, Eilir Edwards’ corner was met by Carl Owen and on to the post from a defender’s hand. Play continued in much the same vein throughout the opening half with a combination of the tricky conditions, stern defending and lack of steadiness in front of goal keeping the game scoreless. There were some good crosses from Danny Bell down the right and from one of these Neil Thomas’ glancing near post header was not far off target. Carl Owen was full of running linking up play and holding the ball up well and from one of his excellent lay offs Leon Newell again came close. But with the goal refusing to come calamity almost struck when Ben White took advantage of a wayward pass to break forward and after an exchange of passes with George Hughes down the right it needed an excellent save from Jamie Hulse to keep out White’s well struck shot from 15 yards. This was virtually Llarhaeadr’s only attack of the opening half before Port again continued their territorial dominance. Twice before the interval Rhys Roberts came close. With five minutes left he turned well on the edge of the box and it needed a good save from Powell to keep the shot out. Three minutes later he met a Danny Bell free kick at the back post and his header was only inches wide of the angle at the far post. Despite 45 minutes of total dominance Port had failed to convert the numerous half chances created and it remained goalless at the interval.
The second half started much the same as the first with Neil Thomas meeting a Danny Bell cross but without hitting the target. Home keeper Darren Powell then pulled off an excellent near post block to keep out Rob Evans. A break to the byline from Leon Newell set up Carl Owen but again the shot did not hit the target. But with 59 minutes gone at last Port broke the deadlock and not surprisingly it was a cross from Danny Bell which set it up. His cross to the back post found Leon Newell who squezeed his header inside the upright. Having waited an hour for the first Port wasted no time in adding a second as Eilir Edwards opened up the home defence with a break down the left and his low transfer to the near post found Leon Newell and he scored his ninth of the season with a cool finish. Leon Newell was buzzing now and it needed a goaline clearance which flew up over the crossbar to prevent him getting his hat trick. A Carl Owen cross then found Neil Thomas whose angled shot struck the post and bounced wide. Iwan Matthews had shown earlier for the home side that he could be a threat and when he intercepted a pass and broke goalwards it had needed a good block from the advancing Jamie Hulse to keep him out. Then with 4 minutes remaining the travelling support was reminded what a dangerous score 2-0 is and it was Matthews again, this time curling a shot in from the left, to score just inside the far post, with keeper Hulse looking as though he expected it to miss the target. But in the closing minutes Port kept the ball in their opponents half and there was still time for Ceri James to have his 89 minute penalty brilliantly saved by Powell diving to his left. And then in added time skipper Neil Thomas netted with an angled shot cutting in from the left.
The win lifts Port to eighth in the table while Llanrhaeadr slip to the bottom and still without a win this season on their home ground. It was also a good debut for Josh Standiki good in the air, winning his tackles and distributing accurately.
PORTHMADOG: Jamie Hulse, Danny Bell, Josh Banks (Paul Lewis 83), Ceri James, Josh Standiki, Rhys Roberts, Leon Newell (Gareth Jones Evans 80), Neil Thomas, Carl Owen, Rob Evans, Eilir Edwards. Unused subs: Phil Williams, Craig Papirnyk, Sion Kyle. Yellow: Ceri James 65, Rhys Roberts 73.
LLANRHAEADR: Darren Powell, Matthew Evans, Dan Kelly (Jamie Davies 70), Josh Wood Emyr Roberts, Rob Fox, Peter Jones, George Hughes, Iwan Matthews, Ben White, Endaf Owen. Unused subs, Carwyn Johnson, Gwyn Jones, Paul Edwards. Yellow: Endaf Owen 78, Jamie Davies 89.
Referee: Ashley Jones (Wrexham). Attendance: 89
Huws Gray Cup, Saturday 26 October 2013 Match Sponsor: Bernie Smith, Joiner. CPD Porthmadog ... 1 Rhydymwyn ... 4 Neil Thomas '21 Dave Gleave '28 Gary McConnell '35 Rhys Roberts (OG) '37 George Baxter '87A Porthmadog team showing five changes from the midweek game at Holyhead fell at the first League Cup hurdle going down heavily to Rhydymwyn who continued their free scoring recent form.They added a further four to the dozen they have netted in their previous two games. Port took a first half lead and looked comfortable enjoying plenty of possession, but then the game was turned on its head in a nine minute spell when the visitors netted three times one from a set piece and the other two from hits on the break. The goals gave the visitors a huge advantage to defend and this they did successfully. They got numbers in the box to restrict scoring opportunites and behind them Elliot Power pulled off some outstanding saves when Port did get through on goal.
Port, with the wind on their backs, were first to threaten and, after 9 minutes, Danny Bell lifted an excellent cross to the back post but Craig Papirnyk’s header went wide of the post. Port were controlling possession in the early stages but shots from the edge of the box from Sion Kyle and Paul Lewis failed to hit the target. Rhyd were fortunate not to go a goal down when Port netted after Power dropped the ball in the box but the referee whistled for a free kick. Rhyd did however show that they could be a threat on the break and on 18 minutes when Kendrick got behind the defence Josh Banks cleared at the expense of a corner. With 21 minutes gone Port took a deserved lead when Neil Thomas met Danny Bell’s excellent near post cross and flashed a header into the far corner of the net. The visitors responded with another pacy break from Kendrick but his shot was blocked by Gareth Barker at the near post. The home lead survived for just eight minutes when Rhyd won a free kick on the left and this was deflected on into the path of Dave Gleave who netted with a close range header. Rhys Roberts for Port drew a good save from Power with a shot on the turn but Rhydymwyn soon added a second goal. A long ball from the back put Kendrick behind the defence on the right and his cut back was driven low by Gary McConnell to put the visitors ahead. Worse was to follow as two minutes on and Rhyd went further ahead. Port gave the ball away just inside their own half and a quick transfer followed and inevitably it was Kendrick again finding plenty of space down the right. With Gareth Barker drawn well out of his goal the forward fired goalwards from a narrow angle, a shot that was helped into the net for an own goal by a desperate Rhys Roberts slide. It was 1-3 at the interval.
Early in the second half Gareth Barker saved well a Rich Griffiths 20 yard free kick while at the other end Craig Papirnyk’s pass found Phil Williams well placed for a strike on goal but he was denied by a brilliant diving save by Elliot Power. Sion Kyle was the next to be denied by Power while on the hour mark the keeper again prevented a Port fight back this time pulling off an outstanding double save to deny first Craig Papirnyk and then Neil Thomas. Rhyd responded with counterattacks and during one of these Kendrick sent a low ball across the face of goal and later McConnell failed to take advantage of a defensive mix up and fired over the bar. Port were still enjoying plenty of possession and with Rob Evans injecting pace into midfield after coming on as a sub there remained some hope of a grandsrtad finish. A good build up followed by a Craig Papirnyk lay off provided Josh Banks with a shooting chance but straight at the keeper. The nearest Port came to scroing was when Craig Papirnyk struck the bar when he met Eilir Edwards’ corner. But with Port pushing up more and more inevitably there were further opportunities to hit on the break. Baxter intercepted a wayward pass but fired across goal and wide but with three minutes left the winger added Rhyd’s fourth when Kendrick’s cross field ball found him in acres of space at the back post for a simple tap in and complete Port’s afternoon of woe.
The one bright spot on a disappointing day was that Gareth Jones Evans, following his brief appearance at Caergybi, had the best part of an hour on the pitch. The return of an outstanding young talent to full match fitness would the best possible news for Port.
PORTHMADOG: Gareth Barker, Dan Bell, Paul Lewis (Eilir Edwards 53), Ceri James, Josh Banks, Rhys Roberts, Sion Kyle (Leon Newell 69), Neil Thomas, Craig Papirnyk, Phil Williams, Gareth Jones Evans (Rob Evans 53). Sub not used: Gareth Parry.
RHYDYMWYN: Elliot Power, Gary Tebble, Daz Bunnell, Dave Bryan, Rich Griffiths, Chris Guy, George Baxter, Andy Watkin, Connor Kendrick, Gary McConnell (Leigh Williams 16), Dave Gleave. Unused subs: Steve Belli, Mark Weir, Tom Evans. Yellow: Gary McConnell 55.
Referee: Gareth Wyn Jones (Bontnewydd) .
Huws Gray Alliance -Wednesday, 23 October Holyhead Hotspur ... 2 CPD Porthmadog ... 2 Jay Gibbs 12, 42 Leon Newell 45 Ceri James 60(p)Porthmadog staged a good fight back having been two goals down just before the interval to get a well deserved share of the points. With more steadiness in the second period with both the wind and the slope in their favour they could have got more as they pressured their opponents for long periods. But on the other hand the home side could well have have got something from their ability to quickly turn defence into attack. All in all a draw was probably a fair result.
The home side with the stiff wind on their backs were first on the attack and a Murphy’s flicked header screwed wide of the post. Soon after Murphy had to leave the field injured to be replaced by Jeffreys. Port responded and Eilir Edwards’ cross cum shot went past the far post. But a minute later the home side went ahead when Jay Gibbs struck a powerful 25 yard free kick which beat Jamie Hulse at his near post. Port had a couple of efforts on goal when Josh Banks lifted his shot over the bar and Rhys Roberts header went past the post. Another Gibbs free kick tested Jamie Hulse at his near post and a Mike Kelly cross from the right found Gowans but his shot took a deflection for a corner. Porthmadog as the half wore on gained more and more possession and were now an increasing threat but without really testing Heald in the home goal. Carl Owen fired straight at the keeper and Neil Thomas lifted his shot over the bar. Yet another Gibbs free kick was saved by Hulse and the same player drew another good save from the keeper when he received from Evans. Soon after a poor Port clearance was pounced upon and Josh Banks did well to clear close to his line. More Port possession and good runs from Josh Banks down the left but there was still no end product and they were punished when Murphy broke down the right and slipped inside for Jay Gibbs who cut inside, rounded the keeper and netted his second with a good finish. The game could well have slipped out of Port’s reach at this stage but they responded well and a determined Neil Thomas run took him to the byline and his cut back reached Leon Newell at the far post and the forward drilled a low shot which Heald could not keep out. 2-1 at the interval and the goal had kept Port in the game.
Port were first on the attack in the second period but Hotspurs responded with Darren Gowans taking advantage of a partial clearance but fired wide from 12 yards. A Carl Owen header meeting a cross from Eilir Edwards was saved by Heald. But on the hour mark Neil Thomas was pulled down in full flight racing goalwards and the referee pointed immediately to the spot. Ceri James fired the penalty into the corner of the net to level the scores. Port now scented the three points and Rob Evans was now increasingly influential with strong runs from midfield. From one of these his curling shot from 18 yards was well saved by Heald. Eilir Edwards then fired over the bar after a good exchange of passes with Neil Thomas. Edwards again fired powerfully from the edge of the box but straight at Heald who saved comfortably. Despite Port pressure the home side looked dangerous on the break especially after the introduction of McGinness. From one of these McGinness won the ball at the far post but his angled shot was deflected for a corner. But Port pressure continued and Danny Bell found Carl Owen at the back post but Heald pulled off the save. But despite their possession Port found the Holyhead defence a hard nut to crack. A 30 yard Danny Bell free kick was gathered under his bar by Heald. With time now running out a draw seemed the likely outcome though there was an effort from Paul Lewis and a header from Rhys Roberts for Port. Holyhead worked one more counter attack with McGinness slipping the ball inside for Mike Edwards who lifted a good effort just over the angle. But clear chances in the second period were very few as defences kept control and in the end a draw probably satisfied both teams.
This is never an easy place to visit and with the strong wind making life difficult Port will consider a point a good return for their evening’s work.
PORTHMADOG: Jamie Hulse, Danny Bell, Josh Banks, Ceri James, Phil Williams, Rhys Roberts, Rob Evans, Neil Thomas (Sion Kyle 86), Carl Owen (Craig Papirnyk 83), Leon Newell (Paul Lewis 78), Eilir Edwards.
HOLYHEAD: Ben Heald, Dean Garney, Mike Edwards, Rory Coulander (Mel McGinness 66), Alex Jones, Gareth Owen, Mike Kelly, Deon Evans, Dale Murphy (Keiron Jeffreys 4), Jay Gibbs, Darren Gowans. Unused sub Mike Roberts.
Referee: I. Griffiths. Attendance: 139