Prestatyn Town 2 (Jordan Davies 29 pen, Zebb Edwards 84)
Porthmadog 2 (Shaun Cavanagh 64, 82)
Cymru North – February 8, 2020
If ever a game looked like a home banker it was this one.
Prestatyn Town, 12 points clear at the Cymru North summit and seven straight league wins, against Porthmadog, third from bottom, no victory in six attempts and coming off the back of a 7-1 hammering at Gresford Athletic the previous weekend.
The Seasiders also had a spotless home league record, 11 starts, 11 wins at the Motion Finance Stadium. By contrast, Port had managed just two away league victories in 12 attempts.
However, not only did Craig Papirnyk’s team become the first to take an away point off Prestatyn this term, they so nearly grabbed all three.
It needed an 84th minute stunning free kick from Zebb Edwards to salvage a draw for Neil Gibson’s side.
A performance of character was called for from the Eifionydd visitors, and that is exactly what they delivered all over the pitch.
With regular keeper Paul Pritchard unable to play through injury, there was a recall for Traeth legend Richard Harvey. Despite not having played since his retirement in May 2018, his experience and quality made him the perfect choice in such testing conditions.
Port were also without suspended duo Gareth Jones Evans and Jay Gibbs, while John Owen was absent too having suffered a nasty injury at Gresford.
Town enjoyed the early possession 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 Jon Rushton.
The hosts went close when Alex Jones struck the post with an angled shot.
Then on 29 minutes keeper Harvey came well off his 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 saved Jordan Davies’ shot from 12 yards but the spot-kicker followed up to net the rebound.
GOAL: Jordan Davies 29 mins. Prestatyn 1 Porthmadog 0
Just before the interval Harvey performed marvels to keep out a wind-assisted free kick from Zebb Edwards.
Half-time: Prestatyn 1 Porthmadog 0
The second half was a fairly scrappy affair, Kai Edwards threatening first for Town with a cracking header.
Then on 64 minutes Port got themselves well and truly back into the contest. Cavanagh received wide on the right, cut inside and unleashed a powerfully struck angled shot past the despairing hands of Rushton to level the score.
GOAL: Shaun Cavanagh 64 mins. Prestatyn 1 Porthmadog 1.
Following the goal defences and the wind remained in charge with Alex Jones flicking a free kick narrowly wide and Cai Jones for Port lifting his shot over the bar.
Then on 82 minutes Cavanagh threatened 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 before deflecting off the beaten Rushton into the net.
GOAL: Shaun Cavanagh 82 mins, Prestatyn 1 Porthmadog 2.
Unfortunately for the visitors, their dreams of victory were scuppered when Zebb Edwards’ wonder free kick made it two-all.
GOAL: Zebb Edwards 85 mins. Prestatyn 2 Porthmadog 2.
Full-time: Prestatyn 2 Porthmadog 2
Neil Gibson (Prestatyn)
“Disappointed with the result. We got our noses in front, we had chances in the first half where we should have increased our lead and if we’d have come in 2 or 3-0 up then the game’s probably put to bed. There were some below par performances, it’s something we’ve got to address, so moving forward there’s a lot of hard work to do on the training ground Tuesday and Thursday to make sure we’re right for Bangor on Saturday.”
Craig Papirnyk (Porthmadog)
“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.”
Prestatyn: Jon 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).
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.