Flashback – 15 years ago: Spanish wonder leaves Porthmadog feeling flat

Jason Sadler (left) scored a late reply for Porthmadog. Picture: Iwan Gareth

Porthmadog 1 (Jason Sadler 85)
Llanelli 2 (Ivan Nofuentes 22, Craig Williams 75)
Vauxhall Masterfit Welsh Premier – March 28, 2006

Spaniard Ivan Nofuentes was largely instrumental in securing the three points for Llanelli in an evenly balanced encounter at Y Traeth played on this date 15 years ago.

He scored one and set up the second goal for the visitors in a game where otherwise a Porthmadog side missing several key players more than matched their high flying opponents.

The home side controlled the play for long periods in the opening half and could have gone one up after only four minutes when a pass was threaded through to Jason Sadler, who found himself one on one with keeper Duncan Roberts, but the Port striker was denied by the first of a string of excellent saves.

Les Davies then rose well to head over the bar from a corner and Sadler was unlucky to see his shot run across the face of goal and narrowly wide.

Llanelli had to rely on counter attacks and from one Craig Williams fired over the bar when well placed.

But when Nofuentes was given too much room in the middle in the 22nd minute, he broke to the edge of the box and punished the home defence with a fine low shot past Richard Harvey to open the scoring.

Senor Nofuentes

Porthmadog continued to ask the questions and twice in quick succession Roberts saved well at the near post to keep out Gareth Caughter.

Roberts pulled off two more fine saves before the interval, thwarting both Richard Hughes and Mike Foster, the latter from a free-kick.

Half time: Porthmadog 0 Llanelli 1

After the interval Llanelli could have gone further ahead when Craig Williams got behind the defence and with appeals for offside being ignored Harvey concocted a fine stop.

Porthmadog also escaped lightly when the tall figure of Cortez Belle rose at a corner but only to head beyond the bar.

The visitors continued a sustained period of pressure with John G Jones having to make a goal-line clearance.

Porthmadog weathered that storm and Lee Webber came near post to a well-flighted Foster free-kick but failed to get a strong enough header and Roberts again saved.

Then just as it looked as though Port might get themselves back into the game Nofuentes struck again, picking up in midfield before freeing Craig Williams, whose well-struck shot found the corner of the net on 75 minutes.

This score could have signalled the contest was over but Port did not capitulate and with the introduction of Ywain Gwynedd threw themselves into attack.

With five minutes left another dangerous Foster free kick was lifted into the box, and Hughes downward header was touched on by Sadler to finally beat keeper Roberts.

Gwynedd went close to an equaliser and Harvey had to pull off a good save from Nick Harrhy on the counter attack.

Without long term casualties Ryan Davies and Gareth Parry, in addition to leading scorer Carl Owen and key players Rhys Roberts and Danny Hughes missing, this must go down as a highly satisfactory performance by Port’s youngsters and none better than Geraint Mitchell – outstanding at the heart of the defence.

Porthmadog: Richard Harvey, John G Jones, Mike Foster Geraint Mitchell, Lee Webber, Iwan Thomas (Tony Williams 76) Paul Friel (Jon P Jones 80), Richard Hughes, Gareth Caughter (Ywain Gwynedd 70), Les Davies, Jason Sadler.

Llanelli: Duncan Roberts, Edwards, Gary Lloyd, Rewberry, Stuart Jones, Lee Phillips, Nofuentes, Corbisiero, Belle (Harris 82), Appleby (Harrhy 72), Craig Williams.

Attendance: 136

Many thanks to Gareth Williams for match report

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