Kick off:14:30 Saturday, 20 Jan 2007
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Referee: Dean John
<1>When Saturday comes after the horror week imposed on Porthmadog by the FAW, the league leaders Rhyl are hardly the opposition you want to see visiting the Traeth. In the circumstances Porthmadog gave their usual, hard to break down, performance and were disappointed to be defeated by the odd goal for the third time in the six meetings between the two clubs this season. In fact the home team held the lead for over an hour but the turning point came with the introduction of Lee Hunt who scored within 4 minutes of coming on the field.
Porthmadog had the strong wind on their backs in the first half and with the first real threat on either goal went ahead after 9 minutes. Les Davies found Clayton Blackmore on the edge of the box and the former Welsh international lifted the ball cleverly over the Rhyl defence for Gareth Caughter to hammer the ball past John Gann from 10 yards. Though playing into the strong wind Rhyl could have drawn level after 15 minutes when Dave Cameron took advantage of a momentary hesitation in the home defence but his shot was off target. A good Port build up followed but Carl Owen fired Danny Hughes' cross narrowly over the bar. Despite the wind the visitors enjoyed a fair share of the play and Graves fired wide after Harvey had failed to get a clean punch in the swirling wind. Carl Owen and Danny Hughes combined again but the striker's header went straight to Gann in the Rhyl goal. Porthmadog had a couple of chances with free kicks from the edge of the box which came to nothing. At half time Porthmadog held on to their narrow lead.
<2r>The visitors dominated the possession in the second period putting the home defence under considerable pressure but it was Gareth Caughter with a good turn in the box who threatened the Rhyl goal after 51' but failed to get sufficient power into his shot to really test Gann. Almost immediately Richard Harvey, for Porthmadog, had to pull off a fine save to keep out Mark Powell's powerful 25 yard volley. Following a couple of off target efforts by Cameron and Connall Murtagh Rhyl laid siege to the Port goal with a series of corners which tested the home defence in the strong wind. They survived and with 69 minutes gone Hulse introduced Lee Hunt who turned out to be the match winner. Five minutes after coming on the sub striker broke on the left and though his 15 yard shot was partially saved by Harvey the linesman, much to Rhyl's relief, signalled that the ball had crossed the line. Six minutes later Alex Hay who was on hand to put the league leaders ahead for the first time. He had an easy tap in when Harvey failed to hold on to Ross Stephens' low 15 yard shot in a move set up by Lee Hunt. Though Aled Rowlands and Carl Jones, making his debut, were introduced late on this time there was no last gasp goal for Porthmadog and when Clayton Blackmore shot over the bar it proved to be the home side's last opportunity
Considering the off the field circumstances this was yet another brave Porthmadog performance against strong opposition. However few will question that the final score was a fair reflection of the play. This result gives next Saturday's visit to Newtown added importance.