TIER 3 ARDAL NORTH WEST – SEPTEMBER 7
CPD PORTHMADOG 2 (Nathan Craig 65, Josh Banks 88)
NANTLLE VALE 1 (Dan Evans 32)
Report: Mr Treflyn Jones
Before a ball is kicked this fixture always carries a special aura.
Tradition, Welshness, great players from the past, modern-day dynamos and the mere names of the two clubs alone stand-outs in everything good about North Wales football.
Porthmadog and Nantlle Vale met on Tuesday night in the tier 3 Ardal North West.
Although this is the lowest level Port have operated at for a long time, the fact there is a new Welsh pyramid gives genuine optimism, backed by a strong squad, that they can return where they belong.
To any dewy-eyed Port supporter of a certain age, the fixture surely conjured up memories of the 1960s, when among Nantlle ranks were players such as Idris Pryce (aka “Tarw Nefyn”) and Orig Williams who was better known as “El Bandito” within the wrestling fraternity.
Whenever you were tackled by these macho men, you remained tackled!
Nantlle started Tuesday’s clash well, looking particularly threatening from set-pieces and occasionally on the break.
On 32 minutes, when a Port attack involving captain Josh Banks and the excellent Dewi Thomas broke down, a long ball was chased tenaciously by Daniel Evans who did very well to ward off the attentions of James Morgan and place his shot under the onrushing keeper. 1-0 Nantlle and thus it remained until half time.
At the start of the second period, Port’s Stuart Rogers was replaced by the very promising Marcus Banks and one can only surmise that some very stern words had been delivered during the interval as Port came surging out of the blocks with renewed vigour.
The second period was scarcely a minute old when Nantlle keeper Gethin Roberts was forced into a fine point blank save to Banks, who was clear on goal.
Three minutes later, Roberts excelled again as he blocked a great Julian Williams effort with his feet.
Port were now well on top and the equalizer arrived, albeit in unfortunate fashion, on 65 minutes.
One of many Port corner kicks was headed on target by Julian Williams but Roberts, who seemingly had it well covered, spilt it on to the crossbar and Nathan Craig volleyed the rebound into the net to the delight of the Port faithful in the Bob Havelock Stand.
The remainder of the game settled into a pattern of frequent attacks by Port and a few perilous counter-attacks by the Vale.
However, it wasn`t until the 88th minute that Port nudged their noses in front when a deep left footed free-kick by Ifan Emlyn was headed home at the far post by Banks. And that settled the game.
Porthmadog: Dylan Roberts, Ben Fisher, Josh Banks (c), James Morgan, Stuart Rogers (Marcus Banks 46), Ifan Emlyn, Dewi Thomas, Matty Jones (Cian Pritchard 91),Nathan Craig (Lewys Turner 78) Julian Williams, Paul Lewis (John Littlemore 70).
Nantlle Vale: Gethin Roberts, Aled Williams, Mathew Davies (c), Sion Pollard (Aaron Hughes 70), Cai Morgan, Sion Williams, Jamie Lee Thomas, Dafydd Roberts, Harri Gwyn Hughes, Robert Daniels (M Jones 45), Daniel Evans.
Torf / Attendance: 330