At last, CPD Porthmadog halted a long and depressing run of 10 consecutive league defeats as they somewhat unexpectedly took all three points off a good Caersws outfit in a nerve-shredding match staged at Newtown’s impressive Latham Park, thus beginning the long and arduous trek to survival (maybe!) within the second tier of Welsh domestic football, writes Treflyn Jones.

Caersws 1 Porthmadog 2, JD Cymru North

It was the hosts who started the brighter of the two sides as a firm left-footed shot from inside the box went straight into Ollie Farebrother’s grateful arms after eight minutes, whereas it took all of 15 minutes before Port produced their first meaningful threat when a low and dangerous cross by Telor Williams was headed away with urgency for a corner.

A few minutes later, however, Caersws presented the Port rearguard with two very anxious moments.

Firstly, a shot from just outside the box took an awkwardly high deflection which was expertly tipped over by the alert Farebrother and then the busy Port custodian did very well to dive low to his left to parry a worthy effort by Cws’ marauding left-winger.

Then, a firm header had Ollie well-beaten before cannoning off the crossbar.

At this stage, Caersws were playing very well with slick and accurate passing movements, and, shortly before the half hour mark, a teasing corner kick to Port’s far post was headed into the side-netting.

Had Port weathered the storm for once?

Bang on the half hour mark, Port, who were often building patiently from the back, produced a promising run by Danny Brookwell down the right but his dangerous low pass into the box was not converted.

There were all of 48 minutes on the clock when Caersws keeper Steffan Harri Jones was given his very first test of the match when the excellent right back Jamie Jones carelessly gave the ball away to the hitherto subdued Brookwell.

However, the Anglesey hot-shot took full advantage as he glided past two defenders before unleashing a tremendous left foot drive which burst through both Steffan Harri’s hands as he dived full-length to his left and the ball bulged the corner of the net.

After all the anxiety and pressure, Port ended the half 1-0 up to the unbridled joy of the visiting bench and the Port faithful.

If the first half was tense (from a Port point of view), then the second period gave some of us older chaps rather horrible teenage memories of watching The Exorcist at the Coliseum!

Port are not traditionally regarded as counter-attackers, but this they achieved as they successfully repulsed wave after wave of Caersws pressure.

The hosts had already hit the woodwork in the first half and they were to reproduce this ‘feat’ twice in the second period.

Moreover, Farebrother made several excellent last-ditch saves and dealt admirably with crosses to keep Port in the game.

Port’s second breakthrough arrived shortly before the hour mark.

The ever-improving Gethin Thomas broke quickly in midfield before releasing the mercurial Brookwell down the right flank.

He was driven wide by three defenders but still found space to angle his low shot past the erstwhile West End tenor, Steffan Harri, to the tune of wild celebrations by the Port players. Would you believe it? 0-2!

It was now Caersws’ turn to truly test the visitors’ defence and they duly reduced the arrears on the hour mark as yet another scary cross was headed against the post.

This time Rhys Hesden was on hand to bundle a left-footed volley past Farebrother and all Port fans had to endure flashbacks of last week’s extraordinary comeback by Llandudno. Oh, no!

During the last six minutes or so, the Port defence was under sustained pressure but Farebrother came to the rescue with a superb point-blank save.

Port held out this time and the hard-working visitors went home with all three points and their first league victory since 21 October when they edged 3-1 against Prestatyn at Y Traeth!

Everybody on that pitch had played their part and had given their all.

Next Saturday, they must do it all again as they visit fellow strugglers Llanidloes with a 2pm kick-off.