Port in battle to hold second
PORTHMADOG face a big battle to hold onto second place in the Huws Gray Alliance this weekend, writes Gareth Williams.
Craig Papirnyk’s side will slip down to fourth if both Bangor City and Rhyl win on Friday night at home to Denbigh Town and away at Penrhyncoch respectively, then Port would need to beat fellow high-flyers Flint Town United at Y Traeth on Saturday to make sure of finishing the weekend in the runners-up berth.
In the meantime, the recent slip-ups of leaders Airbus, defeated 2-1 at home by Prestatyn Town last weekend, have given all the chasing pack a glimmer of hope in the title race.
Port made sure they remained second with a hard-fought 4-2 home triumph against next-tobottom Penrhyncoch last Saturday.
Both sides had chances before in the 21st minute the best move of the game up to then saw Port edge ahead.
The build up down the right involved Gruff John and Iwan Lewis, with Rob Evans driving a quality low ball towards the back post which Julian Williams turned in from close range.
With a minute remaining to the break the equaliser came, inevitably from a set-piece. Antonio Corbisiero’s free kick broke in the box for Sion James, who rifled it into the corner of the net.
From the start of the second half Port looked far more threatening, passing the ball quickly and using the whole width of the pitch, but the Roosters were a real threat on the break and on 57 minutes came close to catching Port out.
A long ball forward brought Paul Pritchard out of his goal but an angled delivery in from the left reached Corbisiero in a scoring position and it needed a timely intervention from the keeper, who had raced back to his territory.
Just past the hour mark Port went ahead again. Young midfielder Ifan Emlyn fired in from the centre of the box for a wellworked, well-taken goal.
Port were now dominating play with good passing and movement. Twice Sion Edwards cre- ated gilt-edged opportunities but both Julian Williams and Rob Evans fired over.
The third goal had to come and, this time it was a Port setpiece that delivered the goods. With the visitors’ defence expecting a high ball into the box, second half substitute Shaun Cavanagh placed a low delivery perfectly into the path of Gruff John, who had stolen up on the blind side of the defence and, unopposed, steered his shot wide of Lee Jenkins to make it 3-1.
Just as home supporters thought they could relax a little, referee Mark James, with time running out, threw the Roosters a lifeline, awarding a penalty against Sion Edwards for a foul just inside the box; a decision which was met with considerable protest.
The kick from the spot was confidently converted by Jonathan Evans.
In added time Port made it 4-2 as Cavanagh got in behind a Penrhyn defence appealing loudly for offside.
The appeals were ignored and when it appeared as though Cavanagh had carried the ball too wide he somehow achieved the impossible, scoring with a shot from virtually the goal-line to bring proceedings to a successful ending for Port with his 10th goal of the season.
● Porthmadog’s Shaun Cavanagh, pictured in a previous fixture, took his tally to 10 for the season