Flashback – On this day 14 years ago Porthmadog pulled off a major shock in the Welsh Premier

Goalkeeper Richard Harvey was Porthmadog’s hero on a famous day at Stebonheath Park in November 2007

Llanelli 1 (Mark Jones 86)
Porthmadog 2 (Wyn Thomas OG 27, Marcus Orlik 65)
Principality Building Society Welsh Premier – Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Fourteen years ago today Porthmadog achieved what probably ranks as one of their finest-ever Welsh Premier wins.

Bottom side Port were given little hope of getting anything from a Llanelli outfit which led the table and indeed went on to lift their only top-flight title at the end of the season.

Yet Viv Williams’ heroes sent shock waves through the league by coming away from Stebonheath Park 2-1 winners. It was one of only two home league defeats the South Wales reds would suffer in the 2007/08 campaign.

Here is how GARETH WILLIAMS reported on the match in his usual eloquent way….

Confusion over kick-off time pleased neither side. Llanelli were expecting a 1 pm start while Porthmadog had set out in time for the usual 2.30 pm kick-off.

In the event the game started at 1.55 pm with Port straight from the bus into the changing room and out in time to stretch their legs for only five minutes.

It proved, however, to be a famous victory for the bottom club who gave notice to those who have described them as “hapless Porthmadog” that rumours of the club’s demise have been somewhat exaggerated.

An excellent Port team performance, for once backed by lady luck, provided front runners Llanelli with a frustrating afternoon.

Port defended from the front and behind a stirring back four, goalkeeper Richard Harvey produced a heroic performance.

Though Danny Hughes and Jason Sadler had early opportunities for the visitors it was Llanelli who looked the more likely to open the score.

Twice Rhys Roberts had to clear off the line and Wyn Thomas was only narrowly off target with a header.

Harvey twice in the opening half needed to pull off double saves to keep the opposition at bay. He also performed marvels to keep out Rhys Griffiths’ point blank header – just about the only time the danger-man was on target during the game.

This was truly Richard Harvey’s day for he even had a hand in Port’s opener.

His long kick into the Llanelli half seemed covered by central defender Wyn Thomas but the attempted a clearance was sliced over Gareth Williams in the home goal and ended up in the back of the net.

27 MINUTES: Llanelli 0 Porthmadog 1

Llanelli were again thwarted in the 37th minute when Harvey smothered Mark Pritchard’s effort from five yards when it seemed he must score.

Port were still a danger on the break and when Sadler sent a deep cross from the right Richard Smart shot wide of the target.

HALF-TIME: 0-1

Further outstanding Harvey saves followed in the second period including three from Andrew Mumford one of which looked destined for the top corner and another where he had to pull off a second stop to foil Thomas.

But despite this pressure Llanelli failed to produce any clear cut chances in the box as excellent defensive work reduced them to shots from outside the area.

Port goalscorer Marcus Orlik

Llanelli were left to curse keeper Harvey’s performance as a 65th minute Porthmadog counter-attack saw Marcus Orlik break from midfield to the edge of the home box before firing goalward and it was a mixture of delight and surprise which greeted the sight of the ball slipping through keeper Williams’ hands and into the net.

65 MINUTES: Llanelli 0 Porthmadog 2

A 68th minute counter attack freed Pritchard, but the ex-Swan shot wide.

Harvey then plucked Thomas’s header from under his bar and kept the best save till last as he pulled off an astonishing effort diving to his right hand post to keep out Gary Lloyd’s superbly struck free kick which curled round the wall.

Port came again in the closing stages with subs Carl Jones and Iwan Tomos providing the threat.

Warren Beattie could have scored Port’s third in the 81st minute but in the end the angle proved too narrow and the ball ran tantalisingly across the goal.

The heroic Harvey was finally beaten when sub Mark Jones, four minutes from time, scored with a looping header from 12 yards.

86 MINUTES: Llanelli 1 Porthmadog 2

FULL-TIME: 1-2

EPILOG

While Llanelli went on to celebrate title success that season, Porthmadog were also rejoicing on the final day of the campaign after a 1-0 home win over Rhyl kept them in the Welsh Premier.

TEAMS

Llanelli: Gareth Williams, Lee Phillips (Nick Holland 46), Gary Lloyd, Andrew Mumford, Andy Legg, Wyn Thomas, Antonio Corbisero, Rhys Griffiths, Mark Pritchard (Mark Jones 68), Chris Holloway, Craig Jones (Sam Small 55).

Porthmadog: Richard Harvey: Kyle Jacobs, Adam Docker, Rhys Roberts, Barrie Evans: Marcus Orlik, Danny Hughes, Warren Beattie, Richard Smart (Iwan Tomos 67): Paul Roberts, Jason Sadler (Carl Jones 51).

Attendance:324

PORTHMADOG – WELSH PREMIER LEAGUE RECORD

1992-93: P 38 W 14 D 11 L 13 GF 61 GA 49 PTS 53 POSITION 9/20
1993-94: 38 14 7 17 90 71 49 11/20
1994-95: 38 11 7 20 57 73 40 16/20
1995-96: 40 13 11 16 56 62 50 13/21
1996-97: 40 18 8 14 64 60 62 10/21
1997-98: 38 10 5 23 55 77 35 17/20
2003-04: 32 11 3 18 41 55 36 12/17
2004-05: 34 11 12 11 38 39 45 11/18
2005-06: 34 12 8 14 57 59 44 11/18
2006-07: 32 8 11 13 40 52 35 11/17
2007-08: 34 7 6 21 48 70 27 16/18
2008-09: 34 10 2 22 57 91 32 16/18
2009-10: 34 6 6 22 23 66 24 15/18
Total seasons: 13
Played: 466 Won: 145 Drawn: 97 Lost: 224 Goals For 687 Goals Against 824

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