The New Saints FC 667


3 - 0

CPD Porthmadog

The New Saints FC v
CPD Porthmadog

Kick off:14:30 Saturday, 10 Mar 2007
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Attendance: 278

Referee: Andy Harms

Saints' Lamb takes Port to the Slaughter

<1r>At the fifth time of asking the New Saints finally established domination over the team who have proved something of a bogey side for them this season. But behind a comfortable score line lies the story of another tough battle between the patient passing game of the champions and the well organised Porthmadog rearguard. After a goalless first half, when despite their domination territorially, TNS once again struggled to break down a team which closed down quickly and defended from the front.

The turning point in this game came in the early part of the second half when Porthmadog, who had been penned in their own half throughout the opening half, broke down the left after 53 minutes and Carl Jones cut inside past two defenders before squaring the ball to Gareth Caughter whose goal bound shot was tipped on to the bar by Doherty and then cleared for a corner. Only three minutes later TNS broke upfield and forced a corner on the right. King's corner to the far post was touched back into the goal mouth where it was forced past Richard Harvey into the net by Michael Wilde. This quick change round in fortunes meant that the visitors were forced to play a more open game and twice in the last seven minutes Porthmadog were caught stretched on the counter attack and speedy sub Lamb scored twice.

With the wind on their backs TNS looked a set for an early goal as the reorganised Porthmadog defence, minus an injured Ryan Davies, tried to establish understanding. King fired over the bar in the 1st minute and Carter almost capitalised on an error by Richard Hughes but Harvey was down well to keep him out. In the 11th minute Harvey pulled off another good save this time from Wilde following a good build up on the right. Though the full timers continued to pressurise the Port rearguard were getting their act together and looking more comfortable. Carter then switched the direction of attack cleverly but Wood's shot was wide and Carter himself was later foiled by another good Harvey save. The half ended with Porthmadog, despite not troubling Doherty at all, feeling that they had restricted the champions to relatively few clear chances and indeed most of the shots had been from long range.

Once TNS had gone ahead after 57 minutes play became fairly even with neither side creating many chances. Wilde shot well wide from 25 yards and in fact Port were now taking the game to TNS. The introduction of Les Davies brought fresh energy to the Port attack and following a good break he fed Danny Hughes whose shot was well blocked by Baker. But unlike previous encounters Porthmadog on this occasion were unable to take advantage of set piece opportunities. On 83 minutes a good long ball out of defence from King and Carl Lamb, who had been introduced for just such an opportunity, outpaced the Port defence and netted with a low shot from 15 yards. Then in the last minute of the game Wilde broke on the right committed defenders before slipping the ball to the unmarked Lamb who placed his low drive wide of Harvey.

A patient TNS deserved the three points, striking and taking their chances when they came but Port will feel that the two late goals gave the score line a more emphatic look than their efforts over the 90 minutes deserved.