Flashback – 10 years ago: Darren Thomas stars in emphatic Porthmadog victory at Rhos Aelwyd

Graham Boylan (third from left) and Darren Thomas (second left) both featured on the scoresheet for Porthmadog at Rhos Aelwyd on March 10, 2012. Picture: MIKE SMITH

HUWS GRAY ALLIANCE – 10 MARCH 2012

Rhos Aelwyd 1 (Kevin Fitzsimmons 87)
CPD Porthmadog 4 (Ryan Davies 26, Darren Thomas 28, 88 (pen), Graham Boylan 42)

On this date 10 years ago Porthmadog beat Rhos Aelwyd 4-1 for the second time in the 2011-12 season.

Back in August 2011, Gareth Evans’ side had whipped the Wrexham-area team by the same score at Y Traeth, Darren Thomas, Craig Roberts, Marcus Orlik and Marc Evans the net-finders on that day.

Seven months on, it was the same outcome at Ponciau Park, this return game having been postponed twice previously.

Despite the ideal weather conditions an uneven surface made a passing game something of a lottery and much of the opening 20 minutes was rather frantic with the ball being driven long with few chances created.

The deadlock was broken after 26 minutes with a suitably scruffy goal.

A Darren Thomas free kick on the edge of the box was partially blocked but as it bounced dangerously in the goalmouth Graham Boylan got a shot in which struck the foot of the post and then rebounded to the back stick where Ryan Davies found the net.

Visiting supporters did not have long to wait before Port added a second.

Boylan collected inside the centre circle and his perfectly-weighted angled ball into space behind the defence sent Thomas away.

The pacy winger raced forward, netting past advancing keeper Ashley Crossthwaite with a low shot.

Port had the last word of the opening half when a Rhos free kick was cleared long from the away box for Boylan to chase and he used his strength to hold off his marker and beat Crossthwaite from 15 yards.

Half-time: 0-3

Rhos made two changes for the second half which appeared to improve the balance of the team and led to a better second half performance by them.

Good work down the left by sub Rick Wright saw him find James Hussaney at the near post, but the resulting header went narrowly wide.

Port still ruled territorially, forcing a series of corners and Thomas with his probing runs kept the pressure on the home defence for whom Mike Sharples gave a sterling performance.

Neither team created many clear chances but in the final 20 minutes the home side pushed forward, attacking down the flanks without resorting to their more direct approach.

Roy Caradus, Kevin Fitzsimmons and Wright all had good efforts.

With three minutes left Rhos got some reward when a Wright cross from the left was only scrambled away to the edge of the box and home skipper Fitzsimmons lobbed over Richard Harvey to score.

Port responded immediately and Thomas, who had already had a strong appeal for a penalty rejected by referee John Spender, broke into the box only to be brought down.

This time the official did point to the spot. Man of the match Thomas took the kick himself and scored.

Porthmadog

Richard Harvey, Gruff John Williams (Ryan Connolly 70), Chris Williams, Steve Kehoe, Ryan Davies, Grahame Austin, Darren Thomas, Craig Roberts, Graham Boylan (Mark Jones 73), Phil Williams, Jason Harvey (Iwan Williams 48). Subs not used: Mike Foster, Merfyn Williams.

Rhos Aelwyd

Ashley Crossthwaite, Dan Gibbon, Mike Pugh (Rick Wright 46), Kevin Fitzimmons, Drew Wickins (Aled Dodd 81), Mike Sharples, Jordan Smith, Steve Powell, Roy Caradus, James Hussaney, Mike Parry (Robbie Dean 46). Sub not used: Danny Evans.

Match report: http://www.porthmadogfc.com – many thanks

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