Flint brought the curtain down on their home fixtures for 2023 by seeing off a youthful Porthmadog team in comfortable fashion, with goals from Joe Williams, Josh Jones and Harley Peagram.
From the off, the visitors had adopted a policy of containment, and were happy to let the hosts have plenty of possession, especially in their own half. Flint responded by knocking the ball around with confidence, and trying to pressure the Port defence into making mistakes. They forced several early corners, abd from one of them carved out the first real chance on 11 minutes, when corner taker Jake Phillips received the ball back inside the box, rounded a defender before hitting a fierce shot from an acute angle, that Port keeper Alex Ward-Jones did well to keep out by sticking out a hand to push it over the bar. A minute later Luis Lacey was played through for the Silkmen, but lobbed the ball just over the crossbar.
Flint continued to press, and Sol Forde was gifted a free header, but was unable to direct it down on the target, and another good opportunity went begging.
the breakthrough came on 24 minutes from a free kick awarded on the left about 20 yards into the Port half. Anthony Stephens sent his delivery curling to the far post area, and Joe Williams came in unmarked to connect with it and send the ball back across goal and into the net.
A fine run down the right by Josh Jones led to him laying the ball back to Elliott Reeves, who from a wide angle hit a shot that had Ward-Jones beaten, but it smashed against the bar.
On the half hour mark, a nice passing move led to Rhys Kavanagh hitting a shot on target from the edge of the box, but Ward-Jones was able to parry it, before recovering just in time to stop Reeves from following up.
Port put together a brief spell of pressure shortly after, and this resulted in their first clear strike at the Flint goal. Morgan Owen, who had orchestrated the initial move, was on hand to receive the ball back when that had broken down, and hit a rising shot from wide on the right that just cleared Josh Tibbetts’ bar.
Flint should have gone into the break two goals up, but Jones spurned a golden opportunity just before the half time whistle. A defender missed his clearing header, and the ball fell nicely to Jones, who almost had too much time to pick his spot. He attempted to place it past ward-Jones, but only succeeded in pulling it wide of the goal.
Port had the first sight of goal in the second half when Owen was in a forward position to receive the ball, before shooting just wide of the target. Flint responded by setting Reeves away on the left of the area. Ward-Jones raced out to meet him, and Reeves sidestepped him, before sending his shot across the face of goal from a wide angle.
From a corner, Telor Williams got up just in time to beat Danny Harrison to the ball and made a good defensive header to send the ball out for another corner. The next delivery founf the head of Stephens, but his goalbound effort was cleared off the line.
The vital second goal for the home side arrived shortly after in the 52nd minute. Reeves managed to muscle his way through, following a bit of a mix up in the home defence. He poked the ball past Ward-Jones, but the ball struck the base of the post and rolled along the line. Fortunately for Flint, Jones had shown determination to get the loose ball first and prod it over the line.
Going two goals behind was the spur Port needed to open up their game and become more of an attacking force themselves. Owen was their catalyst and was at the centre of almost all their good play.
Telor Williams made a surging run down the left on 58 minutes, getting past a couple of challenges before cutting inside and getting into a good goalscoring position, but his final shot lacked the power to really trouble Tibbetts who collected comfortably. Two minutes later, Shaun Cavanagh was slipped in by a deft ball inside the area, but Tibbetts stuck out his hand to turn the shot out for a corner to deny the forward.
The game was now becoming something of an end to end affair, and Flint responded when Jones hared down the right, before picking out Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro with a good ball, but Ward-Jones pulled off a great reaction save to deny the Flint substitute.
Back down the other end, Owen cracked a fine shot that struck the Flint bar. Flint responded once more, as Akpa-Akpro sent Phillips away down the left, and he produced an inch perfect delivery to find Jones, who somehow contrived to put his effort the wrong side of the post from close range,
Port were offered a potential way back into the game on 71 minutes, when from a Cavanagh cross, Rhys Williams was pulled back as he went for a header and they were awarded a penalty. Cavanagh took responsibility, but Tibbetts dived low to his left to produce an excellent save.
Cavanagh stung the hands of Tibbetts a short while later after being set up by Owen, but Port were still unable to find the net.
Flint put the game to bed on 78 minutes, when Williams played a ball in from the right to the near post area. A retreating defender played it back towards his own goal, and as it bounced back out from a combination of Ward-Jones and post, Harley Peagram was on hand to thump it over the line. With two minutes remaining, Peagram could have doubled his tally, when he stole the ball and weaved his way into the area and into a shooting position, but Ward-Jones capped off a good display with an excellent block to thwart the Flint forward.
Report by Nigel Sheen. Photos by Steve Parker (All Sports Media)
Flint Town United – J. Tibbetts, J. Phillips, J. Williams (M. Roberts 78), A. Stephens, S. Forde, D. Harrison, L. Lacey, J. Owen (c) (B. Hughes 78), R. Kavanagh (J-L Akpa-Akpro), E. Reeves (H. Peagram 74), J. Jones. Unused Subs – L. Murphy (GK), P. Lacey, G. Maire
CPD Porthmadog – A. Ward-Jones, M. Owen, T. Williams, N. Williams (c), J. Banks (Mabon Owen 80), C. Evans, S. Rogers, Z. Pike, S, Cavanagh, E. Puw, R. Williams. Unused Subs -A. Wyn-Jones, M. Lloyd, A. Roberts. D. Brookwell, G. Jones-Evans, C. Papirnyk
Flint MOM – Jake Phillips (was clean and tidy in everything he did and covered a lot of ground for his team)