Holywell Town 2-0 Porthmadog
Wellmen move to third after hard fought win.
5th placed Holywell faced 3rd placed Porthmadog today in what had been billed by many as the game of the day in the Cymru Alliance League and both sides did not dissapoint in an absorbing game played in tricky wet conditions.
The game started and the visitors suffered an early blow when Porthmadog danger man Cai Jones was forced to leave the pitch with an injury in the 4th minute following an innocuous challenge. Both sides then settled in to the game and were evenly matched in the early stages with both teams trying to play good football on the heavy pitch in torrential rain. The first chance of the game fell to Porthmadog and Holywell keeper Joe Griffith did well to tackle the advancing Porth striker with his feet when through one on one. Holywell weathered some early pressure from the visitors inckuding a succession of corners and in the 18th minute Holywell midfielder Graeme Williams forced a good save from Richard Harvey when put through one on one following a good home side counter attack.
A key moment for the game occurred after half an hour when Porthmadog striker Julian Williams received a straight red card following a dangerous looking foul on Holywell defender Matty Kendrick. The referee appeared to have no choice other then to issue the red card and the incident seemed to galvanise the home side who smelt blood started to put the visiting defence under constant pressure. In the 35th minute ex Porthmadog player Jamie McDaid let fly with a great shot from 25 yards which was deflected over by a Porthmadog defender. 3 minutes later Holywell deservedly took the lead and following good work by Steve Lewis, who led the line well up from, he earned a corner and the corner, taken by Mcdaid, found Matty Kendrik who rose well to head home, giving visiting keeper Harvey no chance. It was no more than the home side deserved although the celebrations were dampened when it became apparent that scorer Kendrick had injured himself in the process of scoring and his injury was bad enough for him to be substituted. At half time the Wellmen went in a goal u but releasing that Porthmadog would remain dangerous opposition.
The second half started in a similar vein to how the first half ended with the home side on the attack. In the first 10 minutes of the half good chances fell to Paul Williams and Matty Harvey as Holywell went all out for the second killer goal. Porthmadog were by now getting frustrated and a series of heavy fouls saw several yellow cards being issued to the visitors who were playing a dangerous game of potentially being reduced to 9 men.
The Wellmen scored a second goal in the 62nd minute of the half and what a goal it was. Jamie McDaid, who was having a great game against his former club, got the ball just inside the Porthmadog half, beat two players and cut inside before unleashing an unstoppable shot with his left foot from 25 yards into the top corner with a goal of the season contender. It was no more than the home side deserved and the visitors, with both main strikers off the pitch, we're finding it hard to break down the resolute home defence. Ceri James had a good chance to reduce the arrears when the ball fell to him on the edge of the area but his shot flew over the bar.
In the latter stages of the game the home side worked hard to preserve their lead and in the last few minutes Graeme Williams had a good chance to head home a Darren Gowans free kick but he headed wide at the far post.
The game ended and the home side had claimed a great victory against a Porthmadog side who showed why they will contend at the top end of this league this season. Holywell received a great ovation from their supporters who supported the team well throughout the game and in fairness to the Porthmadog fans they too clapped their side off the pitch, in recognition of the efforts they had made in difficult conditions.
Holywell moved up to third position in the league and will go to Newtown on Tuesday full of confidence.
Hard to pick a man of the match when the whole squad played well from the back (well marshalled by keeper Joe Griffith) to the midfielders who battled hard and the attackers who never stopped working, but match sponsor Dewi Jones, who was enjoying his stag do at the ground, voted for home defender Matty Harvey.