Flashback – five years ago: Gruff the goal seals all three points for Port versus Hotspur

Gruff John Williams scored the winning goal. Picture: Emyr Gareth

CPD Porthmadog 1 (Gruff John Williams 45)
Holyhead Hotspur 0
Cymru Alliance – March 19, 2016

Gruff John Williams settled a close-fought contest played on this date in 2016 with a goal on the stroke of half time.

After a dull opening 40, the game suddenly sparked into life.

Port’s Cai Jones started the move, his pass finding Jamie McDaid on the left who in turn put in a dangerous cross to find Asa Hamilton in the box.

Hamilton, however, will be disappointed that his shot failed to test Carl Jones in the visitors’ goal.

Two minutes later and it was Hotspur’s turn to threaten. A dangerous cross from the left found Jamie Roberts on the edge of the six-yard box but his shot crashed against the post.

The deadlock was finally broken on 45 minutes.

Gruff Williams broke from midfield and his pass found Cai Jones free in the box. Carl Jones could only palm away the striker’s shot and Williams, who had charged into the area, slotted away the rebound from 10 yards.

Half-time: Porthmadog 1 Hotspur 0

The second half started similarly to the last five minutes of the first.

Hamilton was in the thick of things – seconds after the restart a Cai Jones pass put him through on the keeper but he pulled his effort across the face of goal.

A minute later, and the same player took advantage of a mix-up in the Holyhead defence to run in clear on goal only to be stopped by a last ditch tackle – which seemed not to make contact with the ball.

Much to the frustration of Hamilton, the ref disagreed and waved play on. It was soon to be Holyhead’s turn to feel hard done by when again the official signalled no foul despite appeals for a penalty for a push in the box.

The game then deteriorated into a rather bad tempered affair, with a number of niggly incidents and the referee showing a flurry of yellow cards.

At the same time Holyhead forced their way into the game and did create a handful of half chances, but Port’s goal was not really under threat until the 74th minute when a Phil Williams header landed on top of the cross-bar.

Substitute Josh Davies should have made it safe for Port with four minutes left on the clock when he stole in behind defender Rhys Roberts, rounded the keeper but could only manage to find the side-netting.

PORTHMADOG: Paul Whitfield, Stephen Bratt, Josh Banks, Gwydion Ifan (Ceri James 45), Iddon Price, Iwan Lewis, Rob Evans, Gruff Williams, Asa Hamilton (Josh Davies 81) Cai Jones, Jamie McDaid.

HOLYHEAD HOTSPUR: Carl Jones, Mike Kelly (Robert Jones 92), Kenleigh Owen, Corey Jones, Alex Jones, Rhys Roberts, Ryan Jones, Phil Williams (Brendan Hogan), Damien Ketley, Jamie Roberts, Dean Garmey.

Att: 122

Many thanks to Emyr Gareth for the match report

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