| Flint (h) |
Llangefni (a) |
Llandudno (h) |
Gresford (a) |
Prestatyn (a) |
JD Cymru North-Saturday, 08/02/20
Jordan Davies 29’ (p)
Zebb Edwards 84’
Shaun Cavanagh 64’, 82’
A performance of character was what was called for this afternoon and that is exactly what we got all over the pitch. There is indeed life after Gresford. Two great strikes from Shaun Cavanagh were the highlights in an otherwise workmanlike afternoon. Great credit must go to Craig Papirnyk and Alun Winstanley for lifting the squad and for ensuring that the team on the pitch were set up to make life difficult for the runaway league leaders and to the players for sticking to the plan. Once again the wind was a determining factor in the way the game was played but this time Port showed that the lessons of last week had been learned.Learned well enough to end Prestatyn’s 100% home record.
With regular keeper Paul Pritchard unable to play through injury, Craig recalled Traeth legend Richard Harvey and despite not having played since his retirement in May 2018, his experience and quality made him the perfect choice in such testing conditions.
Port started with a bare bones squad for, In addition to Paul Pritchard, they were without suspended duo Gareth Jones Evans and Jay Gibbs while John Owen was also absent having suffered a nasty injury at Gresford. Prestatyn were soon on the the attack with the wind on their backs and Richard Harvey was soon called on to show that there was no rust on his skills, going down well to cut out a dangerous low cross. The home team were soon showing why they top the table breaking quickly, bringing their widemen into the game and when they lost the ball they worked hard closing down quickly to regain the ball. Port on the other hand knew they would need to stay organised, keep their discipline, keep things tightand wait for their turn with the wind on their backs.
The home team were enjoying the early possession and Daniel Davies fired over the bar from the edge of the box and on 11 minutes a good ball into the box found Jordan Davies whose clever lob went across goal and narrowly wide. Port looked to bide their time and hit on the break and a good angled shot from Shaun Cavanagh tested home keeper Rushton. Despite their pressure the first real threat to Richard Harvey’s goal came on 19 minutes when Alex Jones, having received a good ball on the right of the box, struck the post with an angled shot.
Then on 29 minutes Port received a setback which could have been a turning point. As Richard Harvey came well off line to collect a long through ball, the wind took it away from him and in the ensuing scramble he was adjudged to have fouled and referee Aaron Jones pointed to the spot. Harvey down well to his left saved Jordan Davies’ shot from 12 yards but the spot kicker followed up to net the rebound. Heads, however, did not go down and the defence remained strong. They survived several corners and some dangerous wind assisted free kicks from Zebb Edwards, one of which Richard Harvey had to turn for a corner. With memories of Clapper’s Lane still raw, a single goal deficit after 45 minutes was a very positive response.
The second half was a fairly scrappy affair but given a huge lift by three excellent goals. In the early stages Alex Jones for Prestatyn, met a Ben Maher corner but his header went wide while Cai Jones for Port worked himself into space but pulled his shot wide. The came was not flowing and neither side was able to create problems for either keeper. Then on 64 minutes Port got themselves well and truly back into the contest. Shaun Cavanagh received wide on the right, cut inside and then unleashed a powerfully struck angled shot past the despairing hands of Jon Rushton to level the score. Following the goal defences and the wind remained in charge with a dangeous Ben Maher free kick being flicked narrowly wide and Cai Jones for Port lifted his shot over the bar. Then on 82 minutes Shaun Cavanagh threstened to stand the game entirely on its head. With Port awarded a free kick 25 yards out, Cavanagh’s power shot thumped against the crossbar befoe deflecting off the beaten Rushton into the net. The ecstatic travelling support had visions of the impossible but unfortunately it did not last, for just 3 minutes later Been Maher’s left foot cracked a beauty of a free kick from wide right and high into the roof of the net. If picking up 3 points proved a step too far today the point and the performance will give all at the club what we hope is a lift which will prove significant during the 10 battles remaining.
A pleased Craig Papirnyk commented, “Great point today away to a very good Prestatyn side, more importantly a much improved performance and reaction from the players after last week. Really pleased for the travelling supporters who were behind the lads all game once again.”
Porthmadog: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans, Tomos Emlyn, Iddon Price, Josh Banks, Ceri James (Ifan Emlyn 56’), Iwan Lewis, Cai Jones, Shaun Cavanagh, Josh Davies, Jamie McDaid. Unused subs: Sol Kempster, Paul Pritchard, Sion Guto, Tomos Hughes. Yellow: Rob evans 46’, Josh Banks 81’, Tomos Emlyn 85’.
Prestatyn: Jonathan Rushton, Daniel Roberts, Zebb Edwards, Alex Jones, Kai Edwards, Ben Maher, Myles Hart (Michael Parker 88’), Daniel Davies, James Jones (Jack Higgins 82’), Jordan Davies, Oliver Buckley (Ian Griffiths 82’). Subs, Ryan Woods, Macauley Taylor. Yellow: James Jones 82’, Ian Griffiths 86’.
Referee: Aaron Jones
JD Cymru North-Saturday, 01/02/20
GRESFORD ATHLETIC................................ 7
Daniel Holland 51’ 56’
Jake Eyre 59
Jack Jones 61’
Joe Chaplin 72’
Alex Buxton 80’, 92’.
Shaun Cavanagh 23’
What a diastrous afternoon for Port at Clappers Lane. Port were totally blown away in a 10 minute spell early in the second half when the home team netted four times. Blown away is an appropriate description on an afternoon where the gale force wind had such a negative impact on the game. Both teams had entered the game keyed up for this vital relegation battle but on a day, when a top performance was required, Port put in one which was way below the expected standard, and one of the worse in the memory of the travelling support. The win means that Gresford have almost certainly ensured their safety, while Port, now 12 points adrift of the Wrexham area club, know they have a mountain to climb and will need to shake off the memory of this defeat immediately and concentrate on the 11 remaining games.
Port had the wind on their backs in the opening half as well as the advantage of the slope, knowing that gaining a good lead by the interval was an imperative, as playing into such a wind would be a major problem and unlikely to yield much in the way of goals. But despite the wind advantage after 20 minutes of play Port had one corner and a decent effort on goal from Cai Jones to show for their efforts. It was all too frenetic with Port intent on moving the ball downfield as quickly as possible with long airborne balls and crossfield passes too often being overhit and proving difficult to control or keep on the field of play such was the strength of the wind. This only played into Gresford’s hands who were happy to slow the game down and let the first half pass by as uneventfully as possible while waiting their turn to have the typhoon on their backs.
On 23 minutes Port did take the lead Cai Jones’s cross whipped in from the left touchline towards the far post proved a nightmare to defend and Shaun Cavanagh was at the back post to squeeze the ball inside the post and past the two defenders. But even after this the pattern of play did not change with Josh Davies and Shaun Cavanagh often left to chase lost causes as the wind carried over hit passes into touch or over for goal kicks. The strength of the wind can be gauged from Paul Pritchard’s decision to attempt a strike directly at goal from the halfway line and it was not far off target. Half-time arrived and, despite the obvious advantages, there was only Shaun Cavanagh’s goalto show.
Despite being a goal down Gresford were clearly the happier of the two at the interval and soon put Port to the sword. An early sighter from Jake Eyre showed their intent and on 51 minutes they wiped out the slender lead. Danny Holland found space on the edge of the box and fired a low shot just inside Paul Pritchard’s right hand post. Minutes later and Holland repeated the dose with a shot from 20 yards to put the home team ahead. It was one-way traffic now and when the ball was allowed to run into the Port box, Jake Eyre nipped in to score. A minute later Jack Jones rose at the back post to head Gresford’s 4th and now with an hour gone there was clearly no way back for Port.
When it seemed that things could hardly get worse they did. John Owen had to be helped off the pitch to be replaced by Jamie McDaid and Gareth Jones Evans received a straight red card for a tackle. In between these incidents former Port forward Joe Chaplin turned a free kick into the net from close range for Gresford’s 5th. Port continued to fight to the end and Iwan Lewis put in some good work after comng on and Cai Jones had a good late effort on goal. However it was left to Gresford to rub salt in the wound with two further goals from sub Alex Buxton.
All in all a day of triumph for the home team and a day to erase from the memory for the visitors, Yes there was a gale force wind, yes the pitch was difficult and yes there were some strange refereeing decisions but today there were no excuses. What we saw was hard to believe: on to the next.
Incredulous like the rest of us Craig Papirnyk commented at the end, “Being a football manager can be the lonliest place in the world and performances like today are the worst parts of football. My sincere apologies to Porthmadog and its faithfull supporters who just don’t deserve that today. No excuses, not good enough."
Porthmadog: Paul Pritchard, Tomos Emlyn, Josh Banks, Ceri James, Iddon Price, Jay Gibbs (Rob Evans 64’), Gareth Jones Evans, Shaun Cavanagh, Cai Jones, Josh Davies (Iwan Lewis 68’), John Owen ( Jamie McDaid 68’). Unused sub: Dan Roberts. Red Gareth Jones Evans 71’. Yellow: Josh Davies 23’, Tomos Emlyn 48, Jay Gibbs 60’, Shaun Cavanagh 64’.
Gresford: Jon Hill-Dunt, Martin Williams (Joe Culshaw 78’), Nathan Williams, Jack Jones, Adam hesp, Josh Griffiths (Alex Buxton 70’). Harvey Ellis, Jack Chaloner, Joe Chaplin (Owen Roberts 81’), Jake Eyre, Daniel Holland. Unused sub Ben Jones. Yellow: Josh Griffiths 65’, Martin Williams 71’,
JD Cymru North -Saturday, 18/01/20
Match Sposors: Jim Maxwell Harlech
Robbie Parry 28’ (p)
A bright January day at the Traeth but there was no joy for Porthmadog as they slumped to defeat in a game where the three points were so badly needed. The fact that other clubs in the relegation mix were picking up points only adding to Port’s current woes. Once again Port enjoyed a huge amount of possession but failed to open up a determined Llandudno defence, while at the other end another error at the back gifted the visitors a penalty and ultimately the three points.
Port opened strongly and for the first 15 minutes they dominated the possession with the game played largely in the Llandudno half. In the 3rd minute Llandudno keeper Shaun Pearson palmed John Owen’s cross cum shot away for a corner, Then from the corner a Dan Roberts header flew over the bar. But despite the pressure there were no clear opportunities created and a long ball forward for Llandudno put the home defence on the retreat with Dean Seager getting a shot in but wide of the mark. Port’s best chance came after 15 minutes when John Owen headed down for Josh Davies but the striker’s shot was well blocked. Llandudno’s main threats came about when they took advantage of an overstretched defence or a misplaced Port pass. And when Llandudno went ahead it was a combination of a poor pass and a keeper’s error and it was Paul Pritchard’s error which forced him into committing the foul. Referee Andrew Dogan pointed to the spot and Robbie Parry scored from 12 yards sending the keeper the wrong way.
At this stage it could hardly have been anticipated that this goal would be the only one of the game and that it would be enough to give the visitors the three points. On 32 minutes Port carved out an opportunity when Josh Davies chested down for John Owen who fired low and wide of the target. At the other end failure to clear gave McHarrie a shooting opportunity but it went straight at Paul Pritchard. The half ended with Cai Jones meeting a John Owen corner and the header went across goal and wide. 1-0 to Llandudno at the interval.
The second half started with Port again on the attack and after 10 minutes a low Josh Davies free kick was well saved by the keeper. Llandudno were a threat on the the counter and from one of these Alex Roberts fired across goal and wide. Soon after, when a ball came in from the right Paul Pritchard saved diving full length to keep out a well placed header from Seager. As the half wore on Port were getting more and more possession and the introduction of Ilan ap Gareth helped to push Port forward but it was a case of increasing desparation as they failed to open up the Llandudno defence. The closest Port came to finding the net was when Ilan ap Gareth’s curling effort went inches the wrong side of the post and when John Owen rose well at the back post only for his header to hit the side netting. Such are the margins between winning and losing and promotion and relegation. Surely Port’s luck must turn soon!
For the rest of the opportunities to draw level, they were at best half chances. Cai Jones burst in on the left of the box but keeper Pearson saved with his legs. John Owen crossed from the left for Rob Evans but again Pearson was well placed to make the save. Pressure continued but in the final analysis Port lacked the steadiness and coolness to create the clear cut opportunity. With Port throwing players forward the likelihood of being hit on the break increased. From one of these Farleigh had a shooting chance but he pulled his shot wide of the post. The introduction of Ceri James late on brought more order to Port attacks with his probing passes, hopes were raised that an equaliser could be manufactured.
But in the end despite forcing corner after corner there was no final touch and Llandudno defended in numbers to see them through to a narrow victory.
Porthmadog: Paul Pritchard, Rob Evans, Tomos Emlyn, Dan Roberts, Iddon Price, Ifan Emlyn (Ceri James81’), Gareth Jones Evans (Ilan ap Gareth 58’), Iwan Lewis, Cai Jones, Josh Davies, John Owen. Unused subs, Mel McGinness, Josh Banks, Rhys Alun. Yellow: Paul Pritchard 28’, Josh Davies 31’.
Llandudno: Shaun Pearson, Lennie Armstrong, Dan Stephens, Ant Marshall, Scott McHarrie, Danny Hughes, Dean Seager (Bryan Roberts78’), Robbie Parry, Jacob Farleigh, Lee Thomas, Alfons Fosu- Mensah(Corey Williams 65’)
Refreee: Andrew Dogan
JD Cymru North-Friday, 10/01/20
Jordan Murphy 83’
Josh Davies 39’ (p)
An 83rd minute equaliser scored in bizarre circumstances by Llangefni sub Jordan Murphy gave the Anglesey club a late share of the points. And this was a repeat of events at the Traeth where an 82nd minute equaiiser had levelled things at 2-2. Having held the lead from since Josh Davies’s 39th minute penalty this felt like a defeat for Port with the late efforts to regain the lead eventually coming to nothing. But in terms of the relegation battle we have to take on reflection the half a loaf on offer. It was not a game that will live long in the memory , played in very difficult circumstances a gale force wind billowing the driving rain across the pitch and of no advantage to either side, Add to that a slippery surface and you have the condtions for an error ridden clash.
Port applied the early pressure with an early Gareth Jones Evans effort taking a deflection for a corner. The returning Josh Davies was making his presence felt from the off and was unfortunate not to open the scoring on 9 minutes when a typical shot on the turn thumped against the post. Port continued to enjoy the greater share of the possession, with Llangefni threatening on the break. But despite their pressure Port were not creating many opportunities. The closest they came to scoring was when Gareth Jones Evans curled a shot in from the left that was not too far off target. Both teams were closing down quickly in midfield which stopped the game opening up. Gradually however Llangefni got into the game and twice Paul Pritchard had to pull off good saves to deny the home side. One of these chances came from an Iwan Jones corner and Pritchard was out quickly to save under pressure at his near post. The Port goal came in the 39th minute, when John Owen cut dangerously inside from the left into the box only to be brought tumbling down. Referee Mark Petch pointed to the spot. Josh Davies took full advantage, sending Sinclair the wrong way to celebrate his return to the club with a goal. Port upped the pressure and a good ball from Josh Davies put Rob Evans in on goal but his well struck effort was kept out with a good save from Sinclair at his near post. Port went in at the interval 1-0 up.
The second half started with Port on the attack again and Ilan ap Gareth played in josh Davies at the near post but once again Sinclair pulled off a good save to deny Josh Davies and Port a 2nd goal. Llangefni mad a double sub change but Josh Davies was continuing to make his mark on the game. He burst through on goal but Sinclair denied him with a good block and the second bite at the cherry which followed went wide. Llangefni then won a free kick on the edge of the box but Paul Pritchard comfortably kept out Matthew Jones’s free kick. Josh Davies could not be kept out of the action and a good ball put him through on the left of the box but he delayed pulling the trigger and a good tackle cleared the danger for a corner. Llangefni were still a threat on the break and Paul Pritchard again saved well from Llangefni’s Matthew Jones. A Port defensive slip allowed McMinimee a shot at goal following burst down the right but, to Port’s relief, the shot went well over the bar. Play was held up late on for an injury to Paul Pritchard and in the climax to the game this proved crucial. With 83 minutes gone Port were still looking for a 2nd goal to make the game safe, while Llangefni were hoping for a late equaliser. Suddenly Port found themselves overstretched at the back and the injured Paul Pritchard was forced to rush well out of his goal but, as he was about to collect, he slipped on the wet surface, allowing Jordan Murphy to kick ahead and chase past a defender and he then applied one more touch for the ball to creep over the ine into an empty net. Elation for Murphy and Llangefni, huge disappointmet for Port and Paul Pritchard. Port immediately pushed forward, looking to restore their lead but a Jay Gibbs free kick which was deflected for a corner was the closest they got despite their best efforts.
It was a case of having to be satisfied with a point which pleased Llangefni more than Port as it keeps the gap between the two clubs at 5 points. It will now be a case of waiting on other results tomorrow and going again at home to Llandudno.
Craig Papirnyk commented afterwards, “We let ourselves down 2nd half. We need to manage games betterwhen in the lead and should be killing games off when the chances come our way. Huge appreciation to the travelling supporters again. Diolch! 2pts in two games but both feel like losses.”
While new assistant manager Alun Winstanley added, “Tough one to take, on reflection not ruthless enough, disappointing to come away with a point but positives to take from it but also plenty to work on in the coming weeks on the traing ground.”
Porthmadog: Paul Pritchard, Tomos Emlyn, Josh Banks, Dan Roberts, Iddon Price, Ifan Emlyn, Gareth Jones Evans, Ilan ap Gareth, Rob Evans (Jay Ginbbs 69’), Josh Davies (Mel MvGinness 74’), John Owen. Unused subs: Ceri James, Rhys Alun.
Llangefni: Steve Sinclair, Gari Owen, Jack Willams (Marvin Pritchard 47’), Alun Roberts, Cai Roberts, Matthew Jones Iwan Jones, Jake Jones (Jordan Murphy 47’), Dave Roberts, Dave Sinclair,Steffan Jones (Callum McInimee 64’). Unused subs: Tyler French, Dan Thomas. Yellow: iwan Jones 41’, Dave Sinclair 43’.
Referee: Mark Petch
JD Cymru North -Saturday, 04/01/20
Match Sponsors: PIKES NEWSAGENTS
John Owen 71’
Telor Williams 81’
FLINT TOWN UNITED.......................................2
Mark Cadwallader 27’
Alex Titchiner 34’
A rousing second-half performance gave Port a valuable point in the struggle to escape from the relegation places. On the balance of play late on, they could perhaps have picked up all three points. Before hand Port might well have felt sorry for themselves, given that they were facing the club placed 2nd in the table and they hear that new signing Mike Sharples has injured his foot and can’t start being replaced by a rookie defender and there’s no Josh Banks or Iwan Lewis either. Then when the game get’s going they go 2 goals behind in the opening half. It all seems a good recipe for despondency. But the moment the returning Gareth Jones Evans switched to central midfield was the turning point in the match. He sprayed a flow of quality passes from midfield and John Owen took advantage of one of these to open Port’s account. Owen then provided the assist for Telor Williams to score the equaliser, the 18 year-old’s first goal for Port.
Flint enjoyed more of the early possession but Port had two great chances to go ahead, In only the 2nd minute John Owen made an interception 10 yards inside the Flint half and raced on outpacing the visitors’ defence into the box, only to lift his shot narrowly over the bar, Then 10 minutes later a superb crossfield ball from Mel McGinness put Ilan ap Gareth in on goal on the left but out rushed keeper Danby to make a block and as the ball bobbled around in the box there were two more blocks to prevent a goal. At the other end Paul Pritchard needed to pull off a good save to keep out Foulkes ‘s low shot. Another dangerous Port break came after 20 minutes with Gareth Jones Evans putting John Owen away down the right, a great cross followed which was only inches beyond Mel McGinness racing in at the back post.
But despite all this good work Port were at the receiving end of a Mark Cadwallader break. He broke through on the left on the box and and his well placed angled shot found the net inside the far post. Just 7 minutes later and the disappointment for home supporters was palpable. When your luck is down every piece of good fortune goes against you. Alex Titchiner broke to the by-line on the right, then lifted a looping cross which by a stroke of luck ended up in the far corner of the net. Disappointing for Port but for Flint it perhaps looked like job done. That is how it remained to half-time and few could see any way back for Port.
From the start of the second period Flint looked to slow the game down and maintain what they had. Then on 56 minutes Craig Papirnyk made the switch which changed the game. Gareth Jones Evans went into centre midfield, going on to control the game and Telor Williams came on wide left to play an important role in the fight back. Immediately, Gareth Jones Evans put John Owen through on the left of the box and with Mel McGinness racing in, a goal looked certain but he went down to a last ditch tackle. Now with Flint making little impact on the game Port raised their game with the home support sensing that they could get back in the game. It was Gareth Jones Evans again with a long cross for john Owen at the back post and the striker produced a great finish from a narrow angle, lifting his shot over the keeper and into the far corner.
1-2 now and Port had the bit between their teeth and John Owen was showing his full array of skills. Another threat from him was halted with a foul just outside the box. Then with the game entering its final 10 minutes Owen was breaking down the right, showing great control and steadiness, spotting Telor Williams ready and able to make it 2 on 1 and when Telor received the square pass he coolly slotted it past Danby to level the scores. The visitors were under the cosh now and Telor Williams played inside for Mel McGinness whose low shot was scrambled for a corner. From the corner a fine header from the excellent Sol Kempster was only inches wide of being a winner. Given the excellent performance which Kempster put in today as late replacement for Mike Sharples, that would have been no more than he deserved. Some rookie!!
It was an emotional day at the Traeth commencing with a silent tribute to club stalwarts Dafydd Wyn Jones and Alun Roberts. It ended with a storming fight back -both would have heartily approved.
All in all, a good day for Port -despite all the bad early signs-, two young players making the most of their opportunities, a great decision from Paps to bring back Gareth Jones Evans and an even better one to switch him to centre midfield. Are things looking up? We’ll see on Friday at Llangefni.
Craig Papirnyk commented at the end, “It’s been a tough week at the club but that strong 2nd half today has helped to lift the spirits and I’m sure one Daf would’ve been proud of. We could’ve had all 3pts but will take the 1pt and move on, to what is a massive game next week.”
Porthmadog: Paul Pritchard, Rob Evans, Tomos Emlyn, Sol Kempster, Iddon Price, Ifan Emlyn, Jay Gibbs (Telor Williams 56’), Gareth Jones Evans, Ilan ap Gareth, Mel McGinness, John Owen. Subs: Ceri James, John Littlemore, Rhys Alun. Yellow: Iddon Price 80’, John Owen 82’, Gareth j Evans 85’.
Flint: John Danby, Thomas Kemp, Richard Foulkes, Alex Titchiner, Mark Cadwallader, Dominic McHugh, Callum Bratley, John Davies, Chris chungWal Li, Nathan brown, Jacques Welah, (Tony Davies 84’). Subs: Aaron Jones (gk), Tom Hartley, John Hill Dan Andrews.
Referee: Conor Charlton-Fleming.