Port in bat­tle to hold sec­ond

Caernarfon Herald - - SPORT -

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

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