Kick off:14:30 Saturday, 9 Sept 2006
at Belle Vue
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Referee: Steve Hames
A valiant second-half rearguard display from Porthmadog finally yielded, allowing sub Gareth Wilson to snatch a winner with only four minutes left. Wilson had come from the bench last week against Aber to snatch the three points and lightning struck twice at Belle Vue on Saturday. An Andy Moran penalty five minutes after the interval enabled the home team to come back after being a goal down at the break.
The visitors started brightly with runs by Carl Owen and Les Davies keeping the home defence on their toes. Owen held off George Horan after 13th minutes but his shot from 18 yards was off target. Gradually Rhyl started to control things in midfield setting up some good passing movements. Port keeper Richard Harvey had to touch a long range free-kick, by Stuart Graves, over the bar and Horan was unfortunate to see his set piece header cannon off the crossbar. But with Ryan Davies, Lee Webber and Rhys Roberts outstanding in defence for Porthmadog, clear-cut chances for the home side were few and far between. Their best move came when Moran split the Port defence with a super ball for Alex Hay to run onto. The forward broke into the box but the ball was cleared by Webber at the near post at the expense of a corner.
Despite the Rhyl pressure, the visitors were never out of the game and as the half wore on, a Les Davies break on the right was a warning with his far post cross to Carl Owen finding the net but was ruled offside. Three minutes later and Porthmadog were ahead when an excellent Chris Evans corner found Richard Hughes in the box and the midfielder placed his header out of Paul Whitfield's reach in the Rhyl goal.
That lead lasted for only 10 minutes as Rhyl drew level in controversial circumstances. Porthmadog skipper Lee Webber appeared to win the ball as Moran fell in the box and much to the Porthmadog protestations, Steve Hames pointed to the spot. The game's outstanding player Andy Moran got up to place his shot past Harvey.
Rhyl now forced Porthmadog to defend for long periods and to their credit the visitors restricted Rhyl, for all their possession, to long range efforts. Mark Connolly fired a good low shot from 25 yards off target and a similar Carl Clampitt effort also failed to trouble Harvey. The nearest Rhyl came to score in this period was a Timmy Edwards header which flew a foot wide of the upright. Harvey was also in action to punch away a dangerous deep corner from Graves. Porthmadog were still not out of the game however and for the second time in the game Carl Owen put the ball in the net, only to see it disallowed for offside.
Rhyl threw everything into attack and spurned a good chance when an excellent Moran layoff created a chance for Connal Murtagh, but his shot went well over the bar. Then with the end in sight, sub Wilson, who had only been on the pitch for 10 minutes showed great skill before feeding Hay and after his shot was parried, it fittingly fell back into Wilson's path and he finished with aplomb. The home side had gained the victory which their pressure and possession deserved but equally the magnificent Porthmadog defence will feel that they deserved better than to see the penalty having such a decisive influence on the game.