Gresford Athletic 2 (Swarbrick 43, Smart 88)
Porthmadog 1 (Williams 56)
Cymru Alliance League – September 26, 2015
Five years ago this weekend a late goal from Corey Smart secured Gresford a hard-fought 2-1 home win over Porthmadog.
The visitors threatened first on 15 minutes when Leon Newell broke down the left before crossing into Julian Williams, who was very unlucky to see his effort on the half-volley crashing against the bar.
It was again these two players who combined for Port’s next best chance on 32 minutes, Newell again delivering from the left and Williams’ header grasped by Gresford custodian Jon Hill-Dunt at the second attempt.
Four minutes later, Hill-Dunt was again less than convincing, this time from a shot by Gruff John Williams, initially dropping the ball goalwards before somehow managing to clear off the line.
Gresford’s first serious chance of the half came three minutes before the break.
Owen Roberts dispossessed Iolo Hughes on the halfway line before darting forward and should have probably done better with only keeper Richard Harvey to beat.
Then, right on the stroke of half time came the sucker punch.
Some sloppy play in the Port midfield gave Andrew Swarbrick half an opportunity to turn his marker and unleash a shot from 25 yards for a well taken goal.
Half time: Gresford 1 Porthmadog 0
The second half followed a very similar pattern to the first, with Port dominating possession but failing to be clinical enough in front of goal.
However, on 56 minutes, the Llyn side did manage to get back on level terms.
Stuart Rogers put an excellent through ball into the path of Julian Williams who coolly finished through the legs of the advancing Hill-Dunt.
Gresford responded with some lively attacks before on 71 minutes came one of Port’s best chances to take the lead.
A Cai Jones miss-kick reached Gruff John from a Julian Williams cross, but his shot at the near post was saved.
Moments later, Julian Williams tried to chip the keeper, but Hill-Dunt managed to get his fingers to it.
Williams then hit a shot that went inches wide.
As in the first half, Gresford applied some late pressure.
On 82 minutes there seemed to be a foul on Gruff John, but the ref allowed Athletic to play on. The ball was launched forward and picked up by Owen Roberts, but Harvey did well to smother his effort.
Substitute Eddie Maurice-Jones then had an opportunity, but his strike was wayward.
Then, with just two minutes of the 90 still to play, Smart fired home to give Gresford victory.
Owen Roberts’ initial shot was cleared by Harvey, but only as far as Smart who lashed an excellent shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Gresford: Jon Hill-Dunt, Jamie Price, Jack Mountford, Nathan Peate, Mike Latham, Josh Griffiths, Tom Wells, Corey Smart, Owen Roberts, Andrew Swarbrick, Lee Phelan. Subs: Joe Garner, Eddie Maurice-Jones, Dean Bryan, Rhys Lloyd.
Porthmadog: Richard Harvey, Gwydion Ifan, Josh Banks, Iolo Hughes, Iddon Price, Iwan Lewis, Stuart Rogers, Gruff John Williams, Cai Jones, Leon Newell (Sion Parry 85), Julian Williams.