Caernarfon Town 2 (Darren Thomas 11, Kevin Roberts 74)
CPD Porthmadog 1 (Julian Williams 77)
Cymru Alliance League – January 30, 2016
Five years ago today Caernarfon edged a close contest at The Oval against their long-time rivals Porthmadog.
The opening half probably belonged to the home side on the back of the number of chances they created, particularly from set pieces orchestrated by Nathan Craig.
Port enjoyed plenty of possession throughout, but in the second period the pressure was very much on the Canaries goal.
However, the visitors failed to turn that into real goal chances. Overall Port will feel their play on the afternoon deserved a share of the points.
The first real threat came before 10 minutes had elapsed when the influential Craig hit a powerful free kick from the right. Richard Harvey failed to hold the shot and the ball ran free to Gareth Edwards who scooped over the bar from close range.
Port struck back and forced a corner on the left, but this proved their undoing as the ball was cleared to Darren Thomas who broke from inside his own half and raced on at pace, outstripping an undermanned defence and placing a low shot wide of Harvey from 15 yards.
After this setback, Port enjoyed a good period. Julian Williams was a threat down the left and his cross to the back post was only a whisker away from Asa Hamilton’s forehead.
Soon after a neat flick from Cai Jones on the edge of the box put through Josh Banks whose shot was unluckily deflected to safety.
Back came the Cofis, and again it was Craig with a thunderous free kick which thumped the crossbar but Harvey saved well as Rob Jones followed up.
Harvey then kept out a well struck effort from Jay Gibbs following a corner.
Towards the end of the half yet another Craig free kick tested Harvey and the keeper saved again from Gibbs on the rebound.
The closest Caernarfon came to doubling their advantage was when tall defender Gareth Edwards rose well to meet a corner but again the crossbar came to Port’s rescue.
Half-time: Caernarfon Town 1 Porthmadog 0
The second half was controlled by Port territorially but the strong Caernarfon defence reduced their chances to a minimum.
Town were first to threaten with a Gibbs volley against the run of play going narrowly wide.
On 59 minutes Eilir Edwards’ cross created a good opportunity for Hamilton, but in the swirling wind the forward’s header lacked power.
Port continued to build up the pressure and Cai Jones controlled a quick throw-in on his chest and let fly on the turn to work keeper Pritchard at his near post.
On 70 minutes Port could have drawn level when Eilir Edwards put Banks in behind the defence on the left. Banks cut inside and his shot across the keeper was narrowly the wrong side of the post.
Four minutes later calamity struck for Port as they were punished for failing to turn pressure into goals.
Rob Jones picked up a loose ball wide on the left and struck a great cross to the near post where sub Kevin Roberts was allowed to nip in and head past Harvey from close-in.
Port heads did not go down and following a further rally, Josh Davies forced his way into the box and the ball ran free to Julian Williams who struck unhesitatingly an super shot across the keeper into the top corner of the net.
Port pushed in search of the equaliser which allowed the Canaries to hit on the break again and both Toby Jones and Darren Thomas missed chances to make the game safe.
Close to the end Pritchard had to make a good save diving to his right to keep out a well-struck Eilir Edwards effort from 25 yards. This proved to be Port’s last hurrah.
The game provided yet another great boost for the Huws Gray Alliance image. A good entertaining contest was watched by a crowd of 567, beating the previous night’s gate of 505 at Nantporth for the WPL derby between Bangor and Rhyl.
CAERNARFON: Paul Pritchard, Clive Williams, Nathan Craig, Gareth Edwards, Grahame Austin, Gareth Jones Evans (Toby Jones 87), Jay Gibbs (Kevin Roberts 66), Rob Jones, Jamie Breeze (Kevin Lloyd 76), Darren Thomas, Danny Brockwell. Unused subs: Zyaac Edwards, Chris Williams.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Gruff J Williams, Josh Banks, Ceri James (Eilir Edwards 55), Steve Bratt, Iddon Price, Iwan Lewis (Stuart Rogers 88), Rob Evans, Julian Williams, Asa Hamilton (Josh Davies 73), Cai Jones. Unused subs: Gwydion Ifan, Craig Papirnyk.
Referee: Gareth Wyn Jones.