Why Paul Pritchard is one of North Wales’ finest spot-kick savers

Paul Pritchard makes an amazing reaction save for Caernarfon Town against Prestatyn

When it comes to saving penalties on the big occasion few in North Wales football can match the feats of Paul Pritchard.

The 35-year-old goalkeeper, currently with Cymru North club Porthmadog, has an uncanny knack of keeping out crucial spot-kicks.

Here are just a few examples….

Ynys Môn 2 Guernsey 1 (2019 Inter-Island Games Final)

Captain Paul Pritchard lifts the Inter-Island Games Trophy for Ynys Môn

Môn were 1-0 down to Guernsey at the New Stadium, Holyhead, when the visitors were awarded a 28th minute penalty.
Had they scored the hosts may have been left with too steep a mountain to climb, but Pritchard produced a fantastic save, diving full length to his left to deny Matt Loaring.
That proved a major turning point as Ynys Môn scored twice in the second half to win the final and the tournament.

Connah’s Quay Nomads 0 The New Saints 0 (Nomads won 3-2 on pens – Welsh Cup second round 2007/08)

When this tie finished 0-0 after extra time, Nomads goalkeeper Pritchard was the hero with three penalty saves as the Deesiders won the shoot-out 3-2.

Paul Pritchard celebrates a trophy success with Caernarfon Town. Picture: Paul Evans

Bangor City 0 Glantraeth 0 (Glantraeth won 7-6 on pens – Welsh Cup second round 2003/04)

After holding firm favourites Bangor City to 0-0 at the end of extra time in this Welsh Cup clash at Farrar Road, Cymru Alliance underdogs Glantraeth then had the audacity to go on and win the tie on penalties.
The shoot-out stood at 6-6 when the 19-year-old Pritchard palmed Rae Ingram’s kick onto the post. Rob Williams then converted to send Glan through.

Rhyl 2 Carmarthen Town 1 (Welsh Premier League 2009-10)

Greg Strong’s first match in charge of Rhyl ended in victory at Belle Vue, largely down to the fact goalkeeper Pritchard saved a last-minute penalty from Sasha Walters.
Strong had a double-reason to heap praise on his keeper as the player-manager himself conceded that late spot-kick.

Connah’s Quay Nomads 1 Caernarfon Town 0 (Welsh Premier League 2007/08)

A sensational double save by Paul Pritchard ensured Nomads took three priceless points from this relegation battle against fellow strugglers Caernarfon.
When James Thomas was upended by Nomads skipper Gary Pinch in the 70th minute, Layton Maxwell’s spot kick was beaten out by Pritchard, who flung himself at Maxwell’s follow-up effort to save the day.

With more than 100 Welsh Premier appearances to his credit for Caernarfon Town, Connah’s Quay Nomads and Rhyl, Pritchard has also kept goal for numerous sides in the Cymru Alliance, including Holyhead Hotspur, Glantraeth, Llangefni Town and Llanfairpwll.

He has also represented AFC Blackpool and Warrington Town, as well as being an Island Games veteran with Ynys Môn.

When it comes to saving penalties, Pritch is one of the very finest on the North Wales scene – right up there with the likes of Jon Hill-Dunt.

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