| Denbigh (a) | Flint (a) |
Holyhead (h) | Penrhyncoch (a)
Huws Gray Alliance Wednesday, 25 April
Sion James 60’
CPD Porthmadog...................... 0
Port, despite enjoying a huge amount of possession, failed to end their poor run of recent results while Penrhyncoch extended their unbeaten run to 7 games. A first half of very few clear opportunities ended scoreless while the second half was dominated by Port who, though creating better chances, failed to open up a resolute home defence ably marshalled by Jon Foligno and Sion James. It was James who broke the deadlock on the hour mark, when a rare period of Rooster pressure forced the error, with Sion James taking full advantage to score from close range. The home side then held on to the lead, relying on hitting on the break and frustrating all Port efforts to get back on level terms. Despite the best efforts of the whole team and the goal attempts of Julian Williams, Ceri James and Joe Chaplin there was no way past Leigh Jenkins in the home goal.
The game was played in a blustery wind on a surprisingly hard surface given the previous day’s rainfall. Port were soon on the attack but found a tight home defence hard to penetrate. Breaks along both flanks by Sion Edwrads and Julian Williams were an early feature. After 6 minutes the ball was worked across from the left and a Cai Jones header flew over the bar. The Roosters responded with a break down the right after 10 minutes and there was a hairy moment for the Port defence when Rob Murfet’s angled shot took a deflection and landed on the crossbar before going behind for a corner. Generally play was concentrated in the home half but without seriously threatening keeper Leigh jenkins’ goal. Penrhyncoch’s main threats came from free kicks and one of these from Harry Horwood required an alert response from Richard Harvey at his near post and on another occasion needed to tip an effort from the same player over his crossbar. One of the best Port chances came after half an hour when Tom Taylor broke from the back and his ball into space behind the home defence had Julian Williams racing forward but his shot went over the bar,. Before the interval a cross from Tomos Emlyn gave Sion Edwards a chance on goal but agian the shot went over the bar and Julian williams was only narrowly off target with a free kick from the edge of the box.Goalless at the interval.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with Port enjoying plenty of possession and the home side looking to hit on the break down the Cae Baker slope. There was an early header from Iddon Price and an angled shot from Sion Erdwards went across the face of goal and narrowly wide. But the Roosters enjoyed a good spell with Josh Banks having to head over his own bar to relieve pressure. Richard Harvey did well to tip a dangerous header from Owain james over the bar. Then on the hour mark the home side got in front when Rcihard Harvey was forced to punch away a cross which fell for Sion James to break the deadlock with a shot through a crowded box. The home side were ahead and now relied on some sterling defensive work to maintain their advantage. Port fought hard but despite their strenuous efforts the goal touch continued to elude them. An angled shot from Joe Chaplin went narrowly wide while a cross from the same pressure was kept out by Leigh jenkins under pressure from Sion Edwards. Port had a good shout for a penalty turned down with Ceri James seeing yellow for voicing his compalints. The same player came close to an equaliser with a shot from the edge of the box. Julian Williams put in a great stint down the right but it was a night when the breakthrough refused to come and the home defence held out. Near the end Tomos emlyn averted a second Roosters goal with a last ditch clearance
Four games without a goal, Port now turn to Saturday’s visit FC Queen’s Park knowing that one of the league’s strugglers gained a second win of the season over Caersws last night.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Tomos Emlyn, Iddon Price Tom Taylor (Sion Bradley 63’), Josh Banks, Ceri James, Ifan Emlyn (Rob Evans 59’), Julian Williams, Joe Chaplin, Cai Jones, Sion Edwards. Unused subs: Leon Doran, Craig Papirnyk. Yellow Ceri James 75’.
PENRHYNCOCH: Leigh Jenkins, Matthew Mousley, Eilian Evans, Sion James, Jon Foligno, Owain James, Rob Murfet, Carwyn Jones, Harry Horwood, Liam Doherty, Liam Lewis. Subs: Cledan Davies, Nashwan Blake, Sion meredith, Steffan Davies, Antonio Corbisiero.
Referee: Rob Jenkins (Guilsfield)
Huws Gray Cup Quarter Final -Wednesday, 18 April
Match Sponsor: TOYOTA HARLECH
Holyhead Hotspurs ..........................2
Mike Kelly 50’
John Littlemore 64’
Holyhead Hotspurs shook off their sub-standard league form to book a semi-final place for themselves, against Flint. Two second half goals from Mike Kelly and John Littlemore settled the game in Hotspurs , against a Port side that which failed to stop the rot of successive defeats against Denbigh and Flint and now make it three straight defeats. The scoring touch that has brought them 62 goals this season has also deserted them, making it three consecutive scoreless games. In a game which hardly rose above the mediocre Hotspurs took their chances and deserved the victory.
There were chances at both ends early in the first half. In the very first minute of the game Julian Williams put Cai Jones in for a shot on goal. The shot was on target but lacking power and keeper Pritchard saved. At the other end Mel McGinness, for Hotspurs, surprised the home defence after three minutes with a low free-kick to the near post which Richard Harvey scrambled away for a corner. Gradually Port appeared to be gaining the upper hand with Sion Bradley threatening down the left and Julian Williams looking lively. But despite this it was Holyhead who came closest to scoring at this stage. A ball was allowed to run across from the right and into the Port box. Alex Boss took full advantage and it needed an excellent save from Richard Harvey to keep out Boss’s goal bound shot. This appeared to sting Port into some action and a good exchange of passes between Joe Chaplin and Cai Jones gave Cai a clear shot on goal, but again Pritchard, for the visitors, saved comfortably. A minute later Sion Bradley fired a shot from the edge of the box across the keeper but narrowly wide of the post. Late in the opening half Bradley received an excellent crossfield pass, cut inside but again his shot went narrowly wide. In the final minute of the first half the reliable Joe Chaplin rose well at the back post to meet Cai Jones’s right wing cross but this time his header went across goal and wide. Though not at their best in the first half, Port had created chances and at the end of the 90 minutes they would rue their lack of clinical finishing. Goalless at the interval.
The visitors came out strongly after the interval and they forced a corner on the left taken by Mel MCGinness. A huge scramble followed in the home penalty area with several shots and blocks until the ball broke for Mike Kelly whose low shot was adjudged to have cross the line. Hotspurs persistence had paid off and they had their noses in front. Port responded immediately and Cai Jones cut dangerously across the byline on the right and pulled his cross back for Joe Chaplin. But the leading scorer’s shot failed to trouble Paul Pritchard. Hotspurs concentrated now on keeping things tight while looking to hit Port on the break. On the hour mark the plan should have produced a second goal as the pacy John Littlemore got in behind the Port defence and with only Richard Harvey to beat, the forward somehow pulled his shot wide of the post. Relief for Port was however shortlived as Littlemore got in behind the Port defence on the left running on to a through ball and this time he made no mistake beating Richard Harvey from 15 yards. Two goals up all the visitors needed to do was to keep the ship steady and a semi-final place was theirs. Port’s response to going two down was very disappointing and the nearest we came to a further goal came when Alex Boss, looking for Hotspurs third, fired across goal and narrowly wide. But the two goals were more than enough and at the end a delighted Hotspurs squad celebrated their semi-final place.
Having put out the holders Caernarfon in the first round, which now seems an age ago , Port spurned a great opportuinty to give the remainder of the season some meaning and a chance to win some silverware. Even the fact that some key players were carrying injuries or being cup-tied does not explain this performance. Now for disappointed supporters the thought of the season dragging on to May 12th hardly fills anyone with enthusiasm. Let’s hope for an upward surge to tke us through the closing games.
Congratulations to Holyhead on the victory and best of luck in the semi-final against Flint.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans ( Jake Jones 72’), Tomos Emlyn, Iddon Price, Tom Taylor, Ceri James, Ifan Emlyn, Julian Williams, Cai Jones, Joe Chaplin (Math Roberts80’), Sion Bradley. Unused subs: Morgan Jones (gk), Iwan Lewis, Craig Papirnyk. Yellow:Cai jones 57’.
HOLYHEAD: Paul Pritchard, Dan McGinness, Rees Brown, Corey Jones, Alex Jones, Tomos Clarke, Harry lewis, Mike Kelly, John Littlemore (Rob Ll, Jones 86’), Mel McGinness ( Kenlrigh Owen 89’), Alex Boss. Unused subs: Kyle Murphy, Dan Williams. Campbell Harrison. Yellow: Dan McGinness 59’)
Referee: Rhys Ryder
Huws Gray Alliance -Saturday, April 14
Flint Town United ......................2
Mark Cadwallader 50'.
Richie Foulkes 65'
Port went down for the second time this week without scoring a goal. Whilst Port failed to score against Denbigh in the 1-0 defeat on Wednesday night the fact that they hit the post or crossbar on six different occasions was testament to their effort. Today, however, was a game best forgotten and one of the league’s top scorers never really created sufficient clear cut chances to have won the game.
It was the first Saturday match since the home game against Ruthun on the 24th. of March and, although it was a change from wet and soggy pitches, the Cae Castell surface was not suited for free fast flowing football. As a consequence most of the first half was played in the air, with both sides just as guilty of punting balls up to front men who found them hard to control properly. Flint had the first chance on 4 minutes, a 20 yard shot from Jack Stewart that went wide of the Port goal. On 8 minutes Tomos Emlyn released Sion Bradley with a good ball down the right. Bradley’s dangerous centre was cleared by the Flint defenders for a corner. Neither team made any realistic impact for the rest of the half but towards the end Port forced 4 consecutive corners, but all came to nothing. Sion Edwards had a good shot saved by Hart, the Flint custodian, the latter dropped a Josh Banks centre that Chaplin just could not connect with and on the half time whistle Chaplin forced Hart to a fine save at his near post.
Port had the first chance of the second half when a mix up in the Flint defence gave Sion Edwards the opportunity to run at their defence but when he pulled the trigger his shot was blocked by a defender. On 49 minutes Flint’s Mark Cadwallader found himself unchallenged 8 yards out and planted the ball past Harvey, although the Port keeper did manage to get a hand to it but failed in the attempt to stop it going into the net. This was a poor goal to concede. Flint were now far more positive than they had been in a lacklustre first half. On 67 minutes the home side increased its lead when Tomos Emlyn was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Whether it was intentional or came as a result of the bounce on an uneven pitch is now history as referee Alex Livsley pointed to the spot. The penalty was clinically executed by Richie Foulkes. Sub Ali Sheriff should have put the game to bed for Flint on 75 minutes but missed a golden opportunity with the ball at his feet 4 yards out, a Port defender managing to smother his effort. Port vainly attempted to get back into the game but their free flowing, on the ground football had deserted them, as it had all game. At the death they managed to create three very good chances, all within the space of a 5 minute period. First a Sion Bradley free kick from the left was cleared off the line by a Flint defender, Hart made a magnificent finger tip save from a Josh Banks centre-come-shot at the far post and then Ceri James sent in a 25 yard volley that whistled just past the right hand post.
A disappointing performance and result with, of course, the possibility that Port could well face Flint twice again before the end of the season, once at home in the League on the 7th. May and, if we can beat Holyhead next Wednesday evening at the Traeth in the League Cup Quarter Final, next Saturday would be the semi final of that competition at the Traeth.
Porthmadog : Richard Harvey, Josh Banks, Ceri James, Iddon Price, Joe Chaplin (Cai Jones 57’), Julian Williams, Rob Evans, Sion Edwards (Leon Doran 75’), Tomos Emyn, Sion Bradley, Tom Taylor Subs not used : Jake Jones, Craig Papirnyk, Ifan Emlyn
Yellow cards : Sion Bradley, Tom Taylor
Flint : Josh Hart, Ieuan Hewitt, Jack Lewis, Joe Palmer (Kyle Smyth 45’), Richie Foulkes, Mark Cadwallader, Andy Brown (Rob Jones 45’), Jack Welsh, Carl Rodgers, Jack Stewart, Shaun Beck (Ali Sheriff 75’)
Yellow cards : Jack Lewis, Mark Cadwallader, Ieuan Hewitt, Jack Stewart
Referee: Alex Livesey
Dafydd Wyn Jones
Huws Gray Alliance -Wednesday, April 11
Denbigh Town ..........................1
Craig Pritchard 74’
A single goal by Craig Pritchard, Denbigh’s top performer on the night, gave the home side all three points in a game which could easily have gone either way. It was an entertaining game between two teams set up to play a passing game.The biggest surprise of the evening was that the back of the net was hit just once in a game where goalposts and crossbars were rattled on eight or nine occasions with keepers well beaten.Port will wonder how the points escaped and, how Rob Evans’ thunderbolt especially, failed to find the net. The Central Park goalpost must be still shaking from the impact hours later!!
There were chances at either end from the start and there could have been two or three goals in the first ten minutes, Just 3 minutes into the game Denbigh broke quickly down the right and an angled shot from Craig Pritchard struck Richard Harvey’s back post. Port responded with a series of attacks of their own and Cai Jones came close at the near post with both efforts going narrowly over the bar. This was followed by a Ceri James header thumping against the post when he met a Sion Edwards corner. It was then Denbigh’s turn to burst forward and in attack down the right they were awarded a 11th minute penalty for a foul just inside the area. In keeping with what had gone before that was also missed as Richard Harvey went down to his left to keep out Matt Worrall’s spot kick. The chances continued to flow a good exchange of passes between Tom Taylor and Tomos Emlyn created an opening for the latter, only to see his shot fly narrowly wide of the far post. Denbigh were a threat on the break and a cross from the right was met by Worrall but, his header also rattled the woodwork. A Joe Culshaw free kick was then saved by Richard Harvey. The woodwork continued to have a hard time, Rob Evans received from Cai Jones and from 18 yards struck the post, with the travelling support waiting to see the net bulge. A 20 yard effort from Sion Edwards met the same fate with keeper Keighan Jones pushing the shot on to the post and for a corner. With half-time approaching both sides looked to take a lead into the interval but Ben Nash was off target with a header for Denbigh and theere was a similar result when Julian Williams met a Rob Evans cross. Hard to believe but it remained 0-0 at half-time.
Port started the second-half strongly but when Julian Williams hit a super free kick from wide out on the right the result was the same yet again the ball struck the crossbar. The Denbigh goalposts must surely be fitted with football attracting magnets!! The Denbigh goal continued to be under threat as Sion Bradley fired from 20 yards but narrowly wide and a cross from the same player had to be scrambled off his line by the keeper. Gradually howver Denbigh steadied the ship and posed some threats of their own sub Kristian Pierce flashed a shot across the face of goal and Culshaw pulled back a corner for Gareth Partridge to fire over the bar from 18 yards. Then in the 74th minute the near misses were over and a speedy Denbigh break produced a match winning goal. Good work by Kristian Pierce, whose break and angled pass put in Craig Pritchard on the left of the box, and Pritchard's low shot went into the net -via the upright of course! Having got their noses in front, the home side controlled the game well in the closing stages and could have gone further ahead but Culshaw saw his shot strike the crossbar. There were chances for Port late on, the home keeper did well to push a Sion Bradley shot round the post and Tomos Emlyn meeting Sionn Bradley's corner saw his added time effort go wide.
Manager Craig Papirnyk summed the events of the evening like this: “Great travelling support tonight from the Porthmadog faithful once again. How we haven’t scored I do not know but a very exciting game all the same !! Disappointing result for us. On to Saturday now.”
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Tomos Emlyn, Sion Edwards, Tom Taylor, Iddon Price ( Josh Banks 50’), Ceri James, Rob Evans, Iwan lewis (Leon Doran 68’), Julian Williams, Cai Jones ( Joe Chaplin 58’), Sion Bradley. Unused subs: Ifan Emlyn . Craig Papirnyk.
DENBIGH: Keighan Jones, Liam Smith, Joe Culshaw, Danny Sullivan, Ben Nash,Matt Cook, Rakim Newton, Gareth Prtridge, Matt Worrall, Andrew Swarbrick, Craig Pritchard, Subs: Joel Hewitt, Corey Smart,Kristian Pierce, Warren Duckett, J Hill-Dunt (gk). Yellow: Andrew Swarbrick 44’, Liam Smith 56’, Craig Pritchard 89’.
Referee: Andy Harms