Flashback – five years ago: Crowd of almost 1,250 see Caernarfon Town beat Porthmadog

Danny Brookwell scored Caernarfon’s decisive second goal. Picture: PAUL EVANS

Caernarfon Town 2 (Jamie Breese 10, Danny Brookwell 62)
CPD Porthmadog 0
Huws Gray Alliance – December 27, 2016

Report: Gareth Williams

Five years ago today a magnificent crowd of 1,247 packed into The Oval to see Caernarfon Town take on long-time rivals Porthmadog.

Five years on we have no immediate prospect of any football and even if there was a game today, clubs would not be allowed to admit more that 50 spectators due to Covid restrictions.

Depressing isn’t it?

Well, no point complaining, let’s instead take a look back at a fine game from 2016-17 – a season where both Town and Port rode high in the Cymru Alliance.

Caernarfon edged a keen, competitive and largely even contest, but Porthmadog will have left The Oval disappointed they failed to turn a large amount of possession into clear goal chances.

It was a case of the home team taking their opportunities while, in an otherwise fluent performance, Port lacked conviction in the final third.

Port started strongly and in the first minute Gareth Jones Evans’ shot drifted wide of the post.

Almost immediately a poor kick out allowed in Joe Williams and home keeper Alex Ramsay needed to be off his line quickly to prevent what would have been an embarrassing goal.

Port continued to dominate the early proceedings and on five minutes, when Chris Jones fired from the edge of the box, a fumble by keeper Ramsay caused another moment of anxiety in the home ranks.

Then against the run of play the home side went ahead. Jamie Breese rose unchallenged in the centre of the box to meet Nathan Craig’s free kick and head past Richard Harvey. For the rest of the half, defences were on top.

Port did, however, go close just before the interval when Ramsay performed marvels to tip Julian Williams’ curling 20 yard free kick over his bar.

Half-time: 1-0

Though the second half saw Port enjoy plenty of possession, again they failed to create many openings and it was the home side who looked more likely to find the net.

However, the visitors had a great early opportunity when a good long ball from Gruff Williams put Cai Jones, a half-time substitute, in behind the home defence and though he controlled well before breaking into the box his finish went wide of the upright.

Following this early threat Caernarfon pushed forward looking to extend their lead.

Harvey pulled off a good save to keep out a well struck Craig free kick. Danny Brookwell then broke down the left but his shot was blocked at the near post.

Just after the hour the Canaries went two-up.

With Port chasing an equaliser they found themselves stretched at the back and Brookwell broke at pace down the right. He cut inside, passed one defender and, despite a strong tackle on the edge of the box, did really well to get a shot away and beat Harvey just inside the far post.

A misjudged back pass for Port looked like a certain goal for Caernarfon sub Kevin Lloyd, but Harvey was off his line quickly to make an excellent block.

Into the final 20 minutes, Port’s Josh Banks crossed from the byline and the ball reached Cai Jones, whose well-struck shot from 16 yards required another good save from Ramsey.

The game ran out of steam in the final stages as the home team kept hold of their advantage to secure three important points.

Not for the first time Caernarfon and Port proved real community clubs can attract large support, something the plastic manufactured outfits can never match.

PORTHMADOG: Richard Harvey, Gruff Williams, Josh Banks, Dan Roberts, Tom Clarke, Iddon Price, Gareth Jones Evans, Chris Jones (Jamie McDaid 70), Julian Williams, Josh Davies, Joe Williams (Cai Jones 46).

CAERNARFON: Alex Ramsay, Joe Williams, Nathan Craig, Clive Williams, Gareth Edwards. Kevin Roberts (Rob Jones 72), Jamie Roberts (Leigh Craven 85), Jay Gibbs, Jamie Breese, Darren Thomas, Danny Brookwell (Kevin Lloyd 67).

Attendance: 1,247.

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