Llanelli 2 (Ivan Nofuentes 46 & 70)
CPD Porthmadog 2 (Jason Sadler 13 & 44)
Vauxhall Masterfit Welsh Premier – April 8, 2006
With seven regular players missing the youngest team to represent Porthmadog in the Welsh Premier took the field at Stebonheath Park on a supposed hiding to nothing.
Yet the depleted visitors took a fantastic point off the eventual league runners-up and at one stage had the audacity to lead by two goals to nil.
Before half an hour had gone the Porthmadog walking wounded had increased by another two as Jon Peris Jones and Ian Williams had to be replaced, which meant Rhys Roberts, who was not fit enough to start, was forced into an early appearance.
But the young players who came in played their hearts out and held the full-timers to their first drawn game of the season.
From the outset it was clear the very strong wind, which Porthmadog had at their backs in the first-half, would play a major part in the game.
Early on Les Davies was off target and Ian Williams, making his first start, flashed a shot across the face of the goal.
Despite the elements the home side threatened and in the sixth minute Ivan Nofuentes, such a danger in Llanelli’s recent win at the Traeth, headed a Craig Williams cross against the bar.
Play swung to the other end and Davies tested Duncan Roberts in the home goal with a powerful low shot.
With 13 minutes on the clock the visitors went ahead when Davies headed Lee Webber’s free-kick over the defence and Jason Sadler was quickly on to it, driving past Roberts from eight yards.
More pressure followed and keeper Roberts had to rush out of the area to head clear as Sadler closed in.
The experienced home side worked the Porthmadog defence and Nofuentes nodded over, Webber had to clear off the line and Stuart Jones’ header, from a Gary Lloyd free-kick, was narrowly wide.
Just after the half-hour a goal for Llanelli seemed inevitable when Cortez Belle broke wide left and with a low cross freed Nofuentes in the box, but though the Spaniard connected well Richard Harvey dived to his left to pull off a superb save drawing deserved applause from both sets of supporters.
With half-time approaching Port’s Davies lifted a deep cross to the left of the box where Sadler controlled well and cleverly lobbed over the tall Roberts.
After taking a deflection off the inside of the post the ball was in the net. It was Sadler’s seventh goal in 10 appearances since joining Port.
Half-time: Llanelli 0 Porthmadog 2
Porthmadog knew from the first kick of the second half they would face an Alamo-type battle and that their mettle would be well and truly tested.
Virtually from the first attack, with Peter Nicholas’ words still ringing in their ears, the home side cut the deficit.
Following a Lloyd throw-in the ball was worked across the field, finding the inevitable Nofuentes in space and this time he made no mistake striking a low shot past Harvey from 15 yards.
Llanelli threw on extra attacker introducing Nick Harrhy, but it was Porthmadog who could have restored their two-goal lead with Davies bursting from midfield and holding off Lee Phillips’ challenge, but Roberts concocted an excellent save at his near post.
A minute later and the home side were on level terms when the scourge of Porthmadog, Nofuentes, turned well in the box to take advantage of Craig Williams’ low cross to score.
It was all hands to the pumps for Port now if a point was to be salvaged.
Webber marshalled his troops and the response was terrific with every single player standing firm against the mounting pressure.
Belle (twice) and Williams went close, but the Port defence was not breached again and second-placed Llanelli had to be satisfied with a share of the points.
Llanelli: Roberts, Edwards (Harrhy 59), Lloyd, Stuart Jones, Lee Phillips, Neil Thomas, Nofuentes, Corbisero (Appleby 65), Belle, Mingorance (Harris 80), Craig Williams.
Porthmadog: Richard Harvey, John G Jones, Geraint Mitchell, Lee Webber, Jon P Jones (Rhys Roberts 16), Ywain Gwynedd (Matthew Cooke 80), Iwan Thomas, Gareth Caughter, Ian Williams (Iwan Williams 26), Jason Sadler, Les Davies.