Holywell Town 1 (Tom Rowlands 29)
CPD Porthmadog 1 (Josh Davies 49)
Huws Gray Alliance – April 27, 2016
Porthmadog made it four points out of six against Holywell in the 2015-16 season with a deserved draw in an entertaining encounter at Halkyn Road on this date five years ago.
A Sion Parry goal had been enough to separate the teams at Y Traeth six months earlier and the return was equally close.
Port started strongly, Ceri James and Iwan Lewis both prominent in midfield winning the ball and setting up moves with Josh Banks making some pacy runs down the left.
However, the visitors’ slow build up lacked an incisive final pass to release Josh Davies and Julian Williams, who were champing at the bit to get in on goal.
After 14 minutes, Williams was put through but home keeper Mike Platt saved well.
An injection of pace from midfield saw McDaid break one on one with the keeper but Platt made himself big to pull off a vital stop with his legs.
As had happened so often this season, Port were punished for their failure to turn pressure and possession into goals.
Just before the half hour Holywell’s Brady McGilloway set up the classic counter-attacking goal.
Receiving the ball midway inside his own half, he broke forward at pace exposing the lack of cover at the back and with the defence overstretched, McGilloway resisted the temptation to have a go himself and his angled pass found Tom Rowlands, who finished in style.
Following this Port continued to enjoy more of the game and McDaid fired a 20 yard shot which again tested Platt.
Towards the end of the half the keeper again saved well when Gruff Williams lashed a free kick from the edge of the box.
Half-time: Holywell Town 1 Porthmadog 0
Port were quickly out of the blocks for the second half and the slow build up of the opening 45 minutes gave way to more urgency and pace.
Four minutes into the half McDaid made a burst down the right and his well judged cross found Josh Davies, who for a moment evaded the attentions of marker Dafydd Griffith to produce a strong header which Platt got a hand to but failed to keep out.
Getting back on level terms was no less than Port deserved and for a time the visitors looked the more likely to go on and win the game as both Davies and Williams kept the home defence at full stretch.
But as the second goal refused to come, Holywell got more and more into the game, especially after the introduction of Graeme Williams in midfield.
Town forced several corners which the Port defence gladly scrambled away.
Pressure mounted further in the final 10 minutes bringing back memories of the Wellmen’s last-minute goal in the Welsh Cup quarter-final two years earlier.
Richard Harvey saved smartly from Connor Littler and a minute later Ceri James brought down Steve Thomas as he burst toward the box but the keeper dealt comfortably with the Tom Rowlands free kick.
All in all a draw was a fair result to both teams.
HOLYWELL TOWN: Mike Platt, Ross Ankers (Graeme Williams 61), John Leonard, Dafydd Griffith, Tom Rowlands (John Haseldin 90), Tony Roebuck, Phil Lloyd (Paul Williams 67), Connor Littler, Paul D Williams, Brady McGilloway, Steve Thomas.
PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Rob Evans, Josh Banks, Steve Bratt (Asa Hamilton 30), Iddon Price, Gruff Williams, Iwan Lewis, Ceri James, Josh Davies Jamie McDaid (Aron Burrough 87), Julian Williams. Unused subs: Craig Papirnyk, Cai Jones.