Holyhead Hotspur 1 (A Owen 15)
Porthmadog 1 (C Owen 1)
(Hotspur won 4-1 on pens)
North Wales Coast Challenge Cup – April 11, 2001
With Porthmadog forced to field striker Steve Pugh in goal it was always going to favour Hotspur when this Coast Challenge Cup quarter-final at the New Oval went to penalties.
But although Holyhead did eventually win the tie they were pushed hard by a visiting team which gave it everything.
It was 20 years ago today that these two Cymru Alliance sides met for a place in the semis.
Port faced a problem after regular keeper Kenny Dixon had not regained full fitness from his shoulder injury.
Their second-choice keepers were all cup tied, so Pugh had to give up his outfield duties to fill the gap between the posts.
This seemed to spur Port onwards in the early stages, and it took the visitors only 30 seconds to go racing into the lead.
Lewis Coady broke down the left before crossing in for Carl Owen to head home.
After Port had dominated the first 10 minutes, they found themselves with exactly the same margin, having failed to capitalize on further opportunities.
Holyhead started to claw their way into the match, and it was no surprise when they levelled after 15 minutes.
Ex-Port striker Adrian Owen netted after a good cross by Casey Jones that left Pugh wrong-footed following a move started by the travellers giving possession away cheaply in midfield.
Gareth Caughter had a great opportunity to restore Port’s lead on 25 minutes, when his attempted shot from the side of the box was tIpped just over by Dylan Pritchard.
Port’s other chances in the half fell to Caughter and Campbell Harrison, with Kevin Roberts firing wide twice after finding himself in good positions.
There were two scares on the other side of the pitch when Adrian Owen shot well over twice when it seemed a goal for the hosts was inevitable.
Half-time: Holyhead 1 Porthmadog 1
Port took greater control of proceedings in the second 45.
Dafydd Evans made a good run into the Holyhead danger-zone on five minutes, his pass to Owen was prevented by a suspected handball in the box, but all the appeals fell on deaf ears.
Minutes later a second penalty call received the same response as Coady went down heavily in the box.
For Holyhead, Adrian Owen came close again on 75 minutes, but was kept at bay by a good save from Pugh.
At the other end, Caughter’s shot went only inches wide, and Coady forced Pritchard to make a fine save.
Because of the lack of light it was decided to do without extra time and go straight for the penalty shoot-out.
It was always going to be an uphill struggle for Port with an outfield player in goal.
Adrian Owen, Colin Tatlock, Dave Williams and Jason Joyce all netted with few problems for the hosts, but after Carl Owen converted Port’s first, Dafydd Evans and Danny Hughes both missed to give Holyhead the win and the key to the next round.
Hotspur: Dylan Pritchard, Neil Jatt, Alan Doutch, Martin Bohana, Jonathan Parry, Jody McEachern, Casey Jones, Dave Williams, Adrian Owen, Jason Joyce, Terry Williams. Subs: Kyle Hazelaar, Colin Tatlock, Andy Cooke.
Porthmadog: Steve Pugh, Martin Jones, Campbell Harrison (Neil Roberts), Richard Hughes, Mike Foster, Emyr Jones, David Evans, Danny Hughes, Lewis Coady, Kevin Roberts, Carl Owen. Subs not used: Warren Gibbs, Kenny Dixon.