Total Network Solutions (Llansanffraid)..........2 Porthmadog..........1
Another basement battle for Porthmadog, this time against improving hosts,
Llansanffraid. But, with a very hard run in, when they will play most of
the top eight, these are the games they must win if they are to stay in the
League of Wales.
Porthmadog started they liveliest and had the most of the early
possession. There was pressure on the TNS goal in the third minute when
Nigel Barry's snap-shot was easily saved by Andy Mulliner. Before the
match, a knee-injury had meant that Barry failed a fitness test, but he had
been forced to start as Richard Hughes had arrived late after coming up
from South Wales with the Cwmbran team bus to Caersws.
Three minutes later Tony Draper made a run down the right before making a
good cross into the box. But Oliver Hall, who was waiting in the box, was
adjudged to have fouled when it seemed that his shirt had been tugged.
Steven Pugh had trouble to adapt to the Llansanffraid surface and slipped
on more than one occasion while making runs into the box.
From the 13th minute of the first half onwards, Llansnffraid started to
take charge. Damien Currier's cross was headed over the line by Andy Taylor
before it could reach Neil Marsh. But two minutes later, TNS took the lead
with the same two players taking part. Neil Marsh made a run down the
right, before passing the ball across the area for Currier to tap the ball
over the line for probably his easiest goal this season. On 21 minutes,
things went from bad to worse for Porthmadog, when Nicky Evans scored after
a goal-mouth scramble that occurred after a LLansanffraid corner.
From this point onwards, the Porthmadog players' heads went down and
Llansanffraid took full control without creating many chances. One of their
best chances to add to their lead came after 37 minutes. Damien Currier's
header was only stopped by a brilliant Kenny Dixon finger-tip save that
pushed the ball onto the bar. The rest of the home team's possession failed
to result in any real chances on goal.
Porthmadog's only other chance of the half came five minutes from time
when Steven Pugh passed the ball back to Paul Howard on the side of the
box, but Howard's shot on the volley was week and was easily saved by
Mulliner. So a great start to Llansanffraid, who this season have had
trouble to convert their chances. But it showed Porthmadog that last week's
emphatic win against Cemaes Bay was more down to the poor quality of their
opposition than to any improvement in their form.
The second half was pretty dire with TNS happy to sit back on their two
goal lead. The surface of the pitch didn't help either of the teams to keep
the ball on the deck and forced both teams to rely on the long ball. There
were no note-worthy chances in the first quarter of an hour of the half.
Porthmadog's first chance on goal came after 16 minutes of the half when
Mike Foster passed the ball from a free kick to Richard Hughes on the
right, but Hughes' shot went just off the target. Three minutes later, Andy
Taylor aimed for the target from around 30 yards and his shot went only
There was bad news for Porthmadog manager, Colin Hawkins, when Steven Pugh
was substituted 20 minutes from time. Pugh looked distinctly unhappy at
being substituted for the second successive game, which probably means that
he'll be off to Caernarfon who, judging from recent events will be
frantically looking for players that will keep them in the league.
Llansanffraid were by now quite happy to sit back in their own half of the
pitch and rely on a few brakes. Just before half hour into the half Ricky
Evans' run down the right was only stopped by a good Mike Foster tackle.
Two minutes later a mistake by Paul Howard in the TNS half of the pitch
resulted in a counter-attack by Garry Evans. He managed to chip the ball
over Kenny Dixon, but it was too high and came off the bar, to keep
Porthmadog in the match.
Five minutes from time, Porthmadog managed to brake through at last when
Oliver Hall headed home from close range for his 7th goal in a season where
he has only had a handful of appearances. From this point onwards,
Porthmadog played with added urgency with Andy Taylor who had started as
defender acting as attacker. Kenny Woods tried a shot from over thirty
yards after a brilliant tackle from Jason Joyce, but the ball went well
wide of the target. One minute into time added on for injures, when
Llansanffraid supporters were calling for the referee's whistle, there was
a Porthmadog goal-scramble but somehow the TNS defence managed to stop the
ball from crossing the line.
An all important victory then for Llansanffraid in their quest to stay in
the League. But this result has made the two encounters Porthmadog have
with fellow strugglers, Welshpool, games they must win if they are to be
sure of their League of Wales future.
K. DIXON, A. TAYLOR, T. DRAPER, J. JOYCE, M. FOSTER, N. BARRY
(R. HUGHES), C. BANKS (J. ASPINALL), K. WOODS, O. HALL, P. HOWARD,
S. PUGH (P. WHELAN).
PORTHMADOG..........7 CEMAES BAY..........0
This was a bottom of the table six-pointer, and Porthmadog new that the
three points would have to be theirs, with Cemaes almost certain to be
demoted at the end of the season. But after two disappointing results
against Flint for the past two weeks Porthmadog new they could take nothing
for granted. There were two new signings making their debut for the Traeth
team this week - Kenny Woods signed from Bangor and Paul Osnagan who was on
the bench in the first half.
Wood made an impression, especially in the opening minutes. After only
three minutes he made a run down the right before making a cross into the
box, but Paul Howard failed to control and the ball went astray. He was
again involved in the action two minutes later, when his pass set off Tony
Draper who made a one-two with Nigel Barry, Draper then found Chris Roberts
in the box, but his week shot was easily saved by Martin Jones in the
Cemaes Bay goal.
Porthmadog took the lead after 10 minutes, but it was more down to luck
than any thing else. Mike Foster's in-swinging corner from the right, left
Martin Jones floundering, and his finger-tip touch was not enough to stop a
ball from crossing the line. This was Mike Foster's first goal of the
But after this goal Porthmadog let Cemaes to come more into the match.
Kenny Dixon managed to put himself under pressure on 15 minutes after he
mis-kicked the ball, but Adam Robins' shot was poor and easily saved by
Dixon to save his blushes. One minute later, there was further pressure by
Cemaes, Gareth Hughes managed to cheat the Porthmadog defence, but his shot
from long-range went way over the bar.
Just after the half-hour Porthmadog went further ahead with a move that
started on the left side. Pugh was the scorer after he was given acres of
space in the area. His clinical finish came after a Chris Roberts cross
that fooled the Cemaes defence. They could have gone further ahead on 35
minutes after a corner from the right by Mike Foster. It was met by Chris
Banks, but his header was pushed on to the bar by the Cemaes goalie. There
followed a goal-mouth scramble that saw Steven Pugh miss from close-range.
The pressure ended when Nigel Barry's shot went miles over the bar.
The last chance of the first half came to Steven Pugh two minutes before
the interval. Pugh was clear after a good pass by Nigel Barry, but Martin
Jones save was good enough to deny a week shot from close range. So
Porthmadog were ahead on the interval after they had enjoyed the lion share
of the possession and chances on goal.
Cemaes started the second half livelier, but the end probably wished they
hadn't bothered turning up. They had the first chance of the half, but
former Port player, Simon Flower's free kick went straight to the hands of
The rest of the half was all Porthmadog. The lead was furthered after 9
minutes. From a corner, John Aspinall flicked the ball up, and Chris Banks
was there to tap in from close range - the goalie should have done more to
save this attempt. John Aspinall was also instrumental in the fourth goal 9
minutes later, his pass found Paul Howard, who's run down the left forced
Martin Jones off his line. Howard then lifted the ball over the out-rushing
Jones, for his first goal in his spell at the Traeth.
Porthmadog were now firmly in charge, and it wasn't long before they had
scored their fifth. The scorer was Cemaes resident, Oliver Hall who had
come on as substitute minutes earlier. He made a brilliant run down the
left, before scoring with a great chip from the left side of the box into
the top corner of the goal.
On 25 minutes Chris Banks thought he had scored his second of the match
and his teams 6th, but the goal was disallowed after he was adjudged to
have pushed his way through the defence. One minute later, there was
another good chance for Porthmadog to add to their lead. Steven Pugh's
cross was headed out, but only as far as Olly Hall, whose volley went
inches past the post.
New signing, Woods was back in the thick of the action on 28 minutes, but
Paul Whelan's shot, that came after Woods' run down the left, was deflected
off a Cemaes defender in the crowded box. The other new signing, Paul
Osnagan, was by now on the pitch, and only minutes after he came on as sub,
he was part of the build-up for a further Porthmadog goal. His cross from
the right was met by Olly Hall's header, which was parried by Cemaes
goalie, Martin Jones. But the ball was forced over the line by Paul Howard,
who was injured in the process.
On 37 minutes came a rare Cemaes chance when Martin Gallagher made a good
run down the left, but Dewi Parry's shot curled away from the goal for a
goal-kick. There was still enough time after this for Porthmadog to score
their seventh of the match. Paul Whelan's cross was met by Olly Hall who
headed home from outside the box - his amazing looping header went over the
inexperienced Martin Jones, who had a game to forget, even after his
promising first half display.
Cemaes must now know that their attempts to stay in the league are futile.
In fact, their youngsters will benefit from a drop to the Cymru Alliance.
Despite today's emphatic win, Porthmadog are also in grate danger, after
their two defeats against lowly Flint.
Iwan ac Emyr.
K. Dixon, C. Roberts (O. Hall), M. Foster, J. Aspinall, J. Joyce, T. Draper
(P. Osnagan), K. Woods, C. Banks, N. Barry (P. Whelan), P. Howard, S. Pugh.
PORTHMADOG..........0 FLINT TOWN UNITED..........1
There was a feeling of 'Deja Vu' at the Traeth as both teams met for the
second time in eight days. Flint were the victors eight days earlier, a
victory that gave them much needed points in their quest to stay in the
league to fight another season. The victory also gave them confidence to
win another six-pointer against Porthmadog. Things hadn't started well for
Porthmadog, with goalie Kenny Dixon only arriving a quarter-hour before the
kick off after being held up in traffic on the A55 Expressway.
Porthmadog, just like last week, were the ones who started the liveliest
and had the lion-share of the possession through the first half. Their
first real chance came when a Mike Foster through-ball found Nigel Barry
who hesitated before shooting and was easily dispossessed by a Flint
defender. Flint meanwhile managed to put some brakes together, after 12
minutes of the match, there was a good run down the left by Andy Evans, but
his cross was poor and ended up hitting the trees behind the goal.
Pugh, who was recovering from an injury which he sustained a week
previously at Cae y Castell, was influential for the home team. He made a
run down the left, but after passing two defenders he fell in the box, his
appeal, as ever, was ignored as he was judged to be diving. There was a
scare for Porthmadog in the Flint attack that stemmed from this incident.
Mike Foster was the savior, with his last minute header off the line. Half
way through the half, there was nearly an embarrassing moment for
Porthmadog assistant-manager, John Aspinall when his backward header
towards the goal was only stopped from being an own-goal by Kenny Dixon's
Porthmadog's best spell in the game came around the half-hour mark. On 26
minutes Steven Pugh went passed two Flint defenders, only to see his shot
being saved brilliantly by Flint's Danny Embleton. There was a goal-mouth
scramble after the resulting corner, Richard Hughes and Paul Howard both
missed from close range. Richard Hughes again came close four minutes
later, with a header after Mike Foster's cross that went inches past the
post. One minute later Paul Howard missed another opportunity with a weak
shot after a pass from Steven Pugh who had made a good break, this time
down the middle of the pitch. Pugh again came close on the stroke of half
time, but his shot went against the bar.
Just like the previous encounter, this was again a game of two halves,
with Flint definitely at the wheel for the remaining 45 minutes. Only two
minutes after the restart Flint came close through James Pierce. His wide
shot came Tony Draper, amongst others, had failed to make a clearance.
Steve Gibson was the next to have a dig for Flint, but his shot from
outside the box went miles over the bar. This again came after a Tony
But it was a long range shot that finally gave Flint the break-through.
Steve Jones was the scorer, with a shot on the half-volley from around 25
yards after a pass from Jimmy Carberry. To be fair, Kenny Dixon had no
chance of stopping this brilliant goal.
Porthmadog's chances by now were few and far between. On 23 minutes there
was a cross from Steven Pugh from the right, but Danny Embleton in the
Flint goal managed to get to the ball before Paul Whelan who was in the box
for Porthmadog. Most other chances in the match for Porthmadog came through
Steven Pugh runs, but Flint managed to deal with this with comparative
ease. Chris Banks' optimistic shot from long range went a way over the bar
after 26 minutes. The only other notable Porthmadog chance came in the last
minute of the match, but Richard Hughes failed to reach a cross from Paul
So another great three points for Flint, who only two weeks ago looked be
beyond help and certain candidates for the League of Wales trap-door.
Porthmadog on the other hand are right in there once again, and with a
tough run in, things don't look too good for the Traeth club. It is, most
definitely, going to be an up-hill struggle for them.
FFLINT TOWN UNITED.......3 PORTHMADOG.......1
This was an all-important match for both teams who are languishing near
the danger zone in the League of Wales. It was also the first of two
encounters between both teams in eight days.
Porthmadog were the ones who started liveliest in the first ten minutes of
this match. Their first chance fell to Tony Draper after only three
minutes of the match, but his shot after a Paul Howard cross weak, and
didn't pose much of a problem for Danny Embleton. Most of the play for the
rest of the opening ten minutes was in the Flint half of the field, but
there was little pressure on the home teams goal. On eleven minutes
Porthmadog took what was a deserved lead, Tony Draper's cross from the left
was met by a Paul Whelan header which was deflected into the net. At the
time it seemed to most Porthmadog fans that this goal would be the first of
many in the match.
But on the quarter hour, Flit were back on level terms, with a goal that
came against the run of play. Porthmadog defender, Andy Taylor tried to
clear the ball, but found himself giving the ball away to Richard McNeil
who had no trouble in converting from close range. This goal was enough to
kick-start Flints game and give them confidence that was previously
lacking. McNeil again came close to give his team the lead after 23
minutes, but Kenny Dixon was brave enough to come off his line and snatch
the ball from McNeil's feet.
But, Porthmadog also had their chances. On 23 minutes Paul Howard's pass
split the Flint defence to set Steven Pugh on goal, but Danny Embleton's
finger-tip save was enough to push the ball behind the line for a corner.
The same paring came close once again, just after the half-hour. Steven
Pugh was this time the supplier, but Paul Howard hesitated too long before
shooting and this chance again went begging.
The last quarter of the first half all went in Flint's favour. Porthmadog
were very luck to stay on level terms after a goal-mouth scramble five
minutes before the interval. During this spell of pressure there were many
shots on Kenny Dixon's goal, one of the most notable was Steve Gibson's
shot that was deflected off a Porthmadog defender. So at half time, both
teams had had their chances, and a draw was the fair scoreline.
Things started badly for Porthmadog in the second half, with Steven Pugh
being stretchered off after only four minutes of the half after injuring
his leg. Two minutes later we saw clearly what a loss Mike Davies'
departure to Cymru Alliance club, Glantraeth was when the Porthmadog attack
failed to rise for a Mike Foster cross that Mike surely would have converted.
Flint then started to take control of thing once again. Steve Gibson's
shot went way over the bar on nine minutes. Four minutes later Richard
McNeil's shot was only stooped by a brilliant save by Kenny Dixon. One
minute later Steve Gibson made a good run down the left, but his
long-range shot was deflected off Kenny Dixon, who managed to get to the
ball before McNeil who was in pursuit of the deflection.
Andy Taylor then featured in the action on both sides of the pitch. Fitst,
on 21 minutes, he came close to giving the lead back to Porthmadog but his
shot was deflected and went over the bar after a free kick by Tony Draper.
But two minutes later Andy Taylor gave the lead to Flint when his header
reached Flint's Andy Davies who passed across the face of the goal for
Richard McNeil to score into the open goal from close range. On the half
hour Flint should have extended their lead further when Stuart Kerr had two
shots on goal, the first was stopped by Kenny Dixon, and the second was
deflected off Jason Joyce who was being watched by Bangor assistant
manager, John Hulse.
Porthmadog's passing was appalling, which meant that their chances were
few and far between. One of the most notable came on 34 minutes when Nigel
Barry's through in was met by a forward header by Chris Banks, but Olly
Hall's header on goal was week and easily saved. The bad passing by
Porthmadog then resulted in a third goal for Flint when the defence failed
to clear the ball leaving Steve Gibson clear in the box to hit home.
So a brilliant three points from Flint, which makes their points total in
the last three matches 5. For Porthmadog this must rate as one of the worst
performances all season. Their main failing was that they couldn't put more
than two passes together which made it nearly impossible to score and put
great pressure on the defence. Flint must now be looking forward for the
return fixture next week on the Traeth in Porthmadog.
CONNAHS QUAY......2 PORTHMADOG......2
Connahs Quay's desire for a farwell victory on their final match at the
Half Way Ground was thwarted by a plucky Porthmadog display. There were
emotional scenes for the Quay faithfull at the end of the game, and you
almost felt sorry for spoiling their party ...... almost.
The game was only 4 minutes old when Port - playing up the steep slope -
took the lead. Steven Pugh in the box layed the ball off to Nigel Barry for
him to cross the ball dangerously back into the danger zone. Richard
Hughes' sharp shot nearly beat Phil Collister in goal, and his half save
deflected off the desparing Andy Thomas into the back of the net. Quay
imediatley tried to rectify this early setback. After 5 minutes Chris
Davies' shot went wide after a field-long move.
It was end to end stuff at this point; Nigel Barry's through ball found
Pugh after 10 minutes, but his strong shot went narowly over the bar. Then
just a minute later Kenny Dixon for Port, had to clear his lines after
another shot from Chris Davies, and then a follow up by Darren Wynne went
way over the bar. With Connahs Quay coming more and more into the game
their attacks came more and more. Mike Carroll's run was curtailed by a
deffensive tackle and Andy Thomas's shot was off target. This was followed
by sustained pressure, and on 24 minutes the brake through came. Paul
Jones' cross was headed out, but it only reached Darren Wynne who hit a
sweet volley into the right hand corner of the net.
Port battled well for the rest of the half - considering they were playing
up the considerable slope. A fantastic cross-field ball by midfielder Chris
Banks found Steven Pugh after 30 minutes, but his cross just failed to find
Paul Howard. 5 minutes later Banks was in the thick of things again - this
time his header, from a Richard Hughes cross, went just past the post. But
for the remainder of the half it was Connahs Quay who had most of the
posession. Jon Kenworthy had the best chance from Chris Davies' low cross,
but his shot went wide when it seemed easier to score. There was another
scare on the half time whistle but Kenny Dixon made a fine save to thwart
Vernon Keep's powerfull header.
The second half began with the expectation that Port would rule - now that
they were playing downhill. This looked to be the case after 5 minutes when
Phil Collister was forced into a fine save from Steven Pugh, after a
through ball by Paul Howard. Just when things were looking up for Port they
gave away a silly goal. After a defensive blunder the ball came loose to
Andy Thomas on the edge of the Port box, and he made no mistake, chipping
the ball over the stranded Kenny Dixon.
Port were out to rectify this mistake, and just a minute later on 56
minutes, Nigel Barry hit a fine volley from a Tony Draper cross, but it was
an easy height for Collister who saved well. The goalie was forced into
another good save on 58 minutes when Pugh struck a shot from long distance.
But then just two minutes later, disaster struck for Port. The hot headed
Andy Tayor, who had already been booked, was given his marching orders for
a clumbsy chalenge.
From this point on Quay began to dominate the second half - forcing Collin
Hawkins to bring on left sided defender Chris Robers (just back from South
Affrica) in place of attacker Olly Hall. Mike Carrol's good run down the
left nearly put Quay two in the lead, but his strong shot went just wide.
They must have rued missing this chance when, on 75 minutes after Chris
Banks had battled well in the box, the ball came out to Chris Roberts to
blast in from at least 30 yards. This was an amazing way to mark his debut!
The final 10 minutes or so was backs to the wall time for Port, with Quay
determied to mark th final game with a win. Kenny Dixon made two impressive
stops from players who were clear of the defence. First he blocked at the
feet of Chris Davies, and then 3 minutes later he thwarted Darrn Wynne in
the same mannor. The final scare came in the final minute of the final game
at the Half Way. First the ball came off the post, and then after a
goalmouth scramble, it was planted firmly in the back of the Port net -
sending the home support into celebrations. The cheering came too soon
though, when it was seen that the linesman had long been flagging for an
All in all this was a good away point earned the hard way for Port. It
remains to be seen if they can continue their recent improved form after
the transfer of leading striker Mike Davies to Glantraeth. The had to relly
on an own goal, and a one off strike from a defender to share the points
here - this won't happen every week. Good news is that Colin Hawkins is
confident of signing Connahs Quay striker Neil Davies.