PRIOR to today`s kick-off, a minute`s silence was impeccably observed in memory of former Porthmadog manager Johnny Williams who steered Port to two consecutive Welsh League (North) titles as well as the Cookson and Alves cups between 1972 and 1976, writes TREFLYN JONES.

Today`s report is somewhat late as I had the pleasure last night of attending a superb production of Verdi`s opera Macbeth by the Mid-Wales Opera Company at ‘Pontio’ in Bangor. Those of you who recall the agonizing process of studying Shakespeare`s original drama in school will know that Macbeth is classified by the bard himself as a tragedy. Hmmmm………. this season, that has a very familiar ring to it if you are a Port supporter!

On to the football. Port got off to a dream start. Barely three minutes into the match, a long pass by Josh Banks was back-headed by Cai Jones into the path of Danny Brookwell who managed to squeeze his low shot underneath the diving Ryan Goldston from a very narrow angle to put Port ahead. What a great way to celebrate your birthday and to draw level with the departed Shaun Cavanagh on the summit of the top scorer list.

We were 18 minutes in when Buckley started to worry the Port rearguard as the skilful Max Moore shot just past post after a strong run, and three minutes later, home keeper Farebrother was called upon to save a close range effort with his legs.

Just before the break, Port came close when a dangerous ball to the far post found Gethin Thomas who passed low into the six yard area but the subsequent shot was blocked and the half ended with the hosts 1-0 up.

In the opening minute of the second period, Port could have well extended their lead when Rhys Alun was sent clean through on goal. However, he delayed his shot for what seemed like an age and the chance was gone. Oh dear!

Porthmadog Under 12s pictured with the senior players before the game
Porthmadog Under 12s pictured with the senior players before the game (Teledu Port)

A few minutes later, Buckley equalized when a close range effort from a corner was parried away by Farebrother but the rebound was booted home by Josh Allen. A minute later, the visitors almost took the lead whan a strong header came off the post. Then, the next piece of meaningful action saw a strong run on goal by Port`s Brookwell from a pass by Zac Pike, but, despite rounding the keeper, he inexplicably blazed his shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy and this was a miss that Port would bitterly regret.

Buckley now gained a very convincing foothold in the match and Port were hanging on somewhat. A ‘goal’ by the visitors was ruled out for off-side with the typically over the top protests of the visitors winning them few friends.

Thereafter, Farebrother pulled off a wonderful one-handed save just below his crossbar to thwart a thunderous Buckley effort.

A minute's silence was held before the game to honour former manager Johnny Williams
A minute's silence was held before the game to honour former manager Johnny Williams (Teledu Port)

The turning point arrived on 80 minutes when substitute and player-manager Asa Hamilton won a foot race with Josh Banks before expertly side-footing the ball past the onrushing Farebrother.

In their frantic attempts to draw level, Port set up a few promising attacks but a calamitous pass by a Port defender put Farebrother under huge pressure as the ball was intercepted by Liam Driscoll who did the rest just to underline the afternoon`s ‘tragedy’ (LOL). This, by the way, was in the 96th minute!

It would take a fantasist now to even imagine that we can hold on to our place in Tier Two but we do go again next Saturday when we visit seventh-placed Guilsfield. Let`s hope we can turn tragedy into a mini-victory.