Cymru Premier: Josh Tibbetts stars as Canaries rise to fourth after draw

Josh Tibbetts was Caernarfon’s hero. Picture: Paul Evans CTFC

Caernarfon Town 1 (Bradley 33)
Newtown 1 (Rushton 83)
Cymru Premier – December 18, 2020

Caernarfon edged up to fourth in the Cymru Premier after earning a hard-fought point in atrocious conditions at The Oval.

Town led until the 83rd minute, when heroic keeper Josh Tibbetts was finally beaten by a Nick Rushton volley.

The visitors began on the front foot, Rushton forcing Canaries keeper Tibbetts to beat away an early piledriver before James Davies sent over a magnificent cross from the left but Neil Mitchell volleyed wide.

Robins keeper Dave Jones’ poor kick-out on seven minutes presented the hosts with a chance.

Sion Bradley’s effort across goal was blocked by Kieran Mills-Evans and from the loose ball Jones made amends as he smothered at Jack Kenny’s feet.

Davies should have done better via a Jamie Breese cross, then Kenny’s flick header from a Joe Williams delivery missed by inches.

In the 15th minute Tibbetts made weak contact with a free kick and Davies shot goalwards, but the ball hit his own team-mate Mills-Evans on the back and the keeper was luckily able to gather in the mayhem.

Moments later a Telor Williams missile brought the best out of keeper Jones.

From a corner scramble in the 20th minute, the ball went in off Kenny, but referee Dean John ruled there had been an infringement.

Davies missed Newtown’s best chance of the half when he slotted wide after Tibbetts pushed out a Rushton strike.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 33rd minute.

Jamie Crowther’s ball from the left ran into the path of Bradley, who superbly committed defender Jordan Evans and rolled the ball home elegantly with his left foot.

Darren Thomas’ screamer was palmed over by Jones before Michael Parker produced a marvellous header off the line from a neat Sean McAllister chip.

In the final minute of the half, Tibbetts parried a Rushton attempt and George Hughes’ effort from the rebound was cleared from near the goal-line.

Despite the difficult conditions, a thrilling first half of football with Newtown surely wondering how they had failed to score.

Half-time: Caernarfon Town 1 Newtown 0

The second half saw keeper Tibbetts produce an heroic display for the home side, who were now playing into the strong wind and rain.

The former Bala Town custodian blocked at the feet of Davies before coming up with an even better stop to deny Breese an equaliser at the back post.

In worsening conditions, Caernarfon looked set to hang on until in the 83rd minute a Jake Phillips throw in from the left was flicked on and Rushton volleyed in to level it – a deserved goal for Newtown it has to be said.

Caernarfon: Josh Tibbetts, Joe Williams, Gareth Edwards, Telor Williams, Michael Parker (Louis Augustin 70), Paulo Mendes, Sion Bradley, Jamie Crowther, Michael Hayes, Darren Thomas, Jack Kenny.

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