It was heartening to see a merely slightly below average crowd of 205 at Y Traeth at mid-day of all times for this entertaining clash between old rivals, writes Treflyn Jones.
Porthmadog 1 Caersws 1, JD Cymru North
For the record, the kick-off was brought forward due to Wales’ all-important qualifier in Armenia in which the away team could only manage a 1-1 draw when they were badly in need of a win to qualify for the 2024 Euros in Germany.
By a rather unhappy coincidence, Port could only manage a similar scoreline but with just a little more luck, could well have claimed all three points.
After a cagey opening five minutes, Port got their noses in front in the sixth minute through an excellent right foot drive from 20 yards by the combative Morgan Owen past the diving Steffan Harri after good work and a lay-off by Telor Williams.
Port then created further chances. Rhys Alun’s fine run culminated in a shot which was rather too tame to test the keeper and then Steffan Harri in the Caersws goal had to be at his very best to divert a strong free kick from Shaun Cavanagh round the post.
Then….. would you believe it! Just when we were seemingly on top, Caersws achieved a thoroughly undeserved equalizer with their very first attempt on goal.
Ashley Harries got the better of a challenge on the edge of the Port box before unselfishly rolling the ball into the path of Sam Philips who guided the ball past Nathan Williams on the goal-line. It was frustratingly against the run of play and a bad goal from a defensive perspective.
Port continued to attack and the Caersws keeper again did well to block a point-blank effort by Morgan Owen. A few minutes later, however, an ill-judged attempted back pass by Shaun Cavanagh to Alex in the Port goal was easily intercepted by Caersws’ Neil Mitchell but, fortunately for the anxious home supporters, his chip over Alex Ward-Jones landed on the roof of the net and the first half ended all square at one-apiece.
Caersws upped their game somewhat in the second period and were often producing moves which were just as attractive as their counterparts.
The half, however, was becoming a dour midfield struggle rather than a flurry of thrills and spills in the respective goalmouths.
Both teams managed to fling some dangerous looking crosses into the box but neither goalkeeper was seriously troubled.
Caersws centre-forward Rhys Hesden perhaps came closest as his drive 10 minutes from the end, flew past the upright with Port’s keeper seemingly well-beaten.
Port’s next league match will be at Caersws on 2 December with a 2.30pm kick-off.
Porthmadog: Alex Ward-Jones (GK), Morgan Owen, Josh Banks (Gruff Ellis 66`), Nathan Williams, Caio Evans, Tom Mahoney, Ryan Williams, Shaun Cavanagh, Cai Jones, Telor Williams (Iddon Price 83`), Rhys Alun ( Zak Pike 77`) . Unused subs: Gareth Jones-Evans, Craig Papyrnik. Yellow card :- Tom Mahoney (44`)