Port Refuse to let wet weather put a damper on their season
Keith Evans, Cambrian News 21/6/01
PORTHMADOG's great expectations in the Huws Gray Fitlock Cymru Alliance, for the season just ended, were ruined by that soggy autumn when points were in short supply.
Viv Williams's team paid a price, in that their final league placing was sixth - one lower than a year earlier.
"On that score, it is a disappointment," said Traeth club secretary Gerallt Owen, "but there were so many plus-points to come from the season.
"We are convinced the club are heading in the right direction, and that Viv did a fine job." There was an exciting spell, of course, after the turn of the year, when Porthmadog were virtually invincible, performing like champions, piling up wins after win.
Between January and mid-April, the team turned out in 15 matches to secure 11 wins, two draws and only two defeats - and at one stage they had booked 33 points out of 39.
But the real damage had been sustained between mid-September and Christmas, when only one win was scraped in a dozen attempts.
Cruelly, as the side failed to score on six occasions, there were as many as five 0-1 defeats, as well as a nil-nil frustration.
It became significant right at the tail-end of the campaign that Porthmadog faltered again, going through the last four games for only one success.
Yet, several players emerged from the campaign with reputations enhanced, among them Kenny Dixon, Danny Hughes, Martin Jones, Carl Owen and Emyr Jones.
Ex-Wrexham professional Dixon again justified his rating as one of the best in the Alliance, but Porthmadog were deprived of his services for several weeks late on through injury.
Danny Hughes, another with a Football League background, was an influential figure in mid-field, along with Martin Jones, who later switched to a right-back role.
Carl Owen's arrival from Bangor City shortly before Christmas helped to turn the tap in the goals' department, and the 20-year-old proved his talent with 16 strikes in as many games.
Traeth fans also appreciated the endeavors, and potential, of another young raider, Emyr Jones, a 19-year-old from Porthmadog itself, who has been nurtured through the system.
After slamming goals on a regular basis for the club's reserves, Emyr was given his chance among the seniors and took it with great enthusiasm, collecting 10 goals as just desserts.
Porthmadog's final statistics in the Alliance show 31 matches played, instead of 32 - the visit to Glantraeth did not happen, because of foot-and-mouth considerations.
Viv Williams's team won 16, drew six and lost nine, while the goals' totals were respectable at 62 scored and 37 conceded.
Not much joy was experienced in cup action and the club's involvement in the Welsh Cup, Alliance League Cup and Coast Challenge Cup ended prematurely, with the six ties producing two wins, a draw and three knockouts.
All-told, Porthmadog were caught up in 37 matches, for eight wins, seven draws and 12 defeats, and the combined goals' figures were 71-43.
The team are credited with keeping 11 clean-sheets, including six matches in a row, whereas they did fail to score on seven occasions.
Leading goal scorers: Carl Owen, 16; Gareth Caughter, 11; Emyr Jones 10; Kevin Roberts, five; David Evans, Danny Hughes and Steve Pugh, four each; and 14 others also got on the list.
(Ed: Mention should also be given to Steve Pughís season. Was it a coincidence that Portís run of form in early 2001 coincided with the return of Pugh to fitness and his inclusion in mid-field rather then up front?)