Flint had to dig deep to secure all three points at Y Traeth, but ultimately had enough about them to get the job done, on a windy and cold afternoon. They started off very promisingly, taking the lead early on, before letting the home side get a foothold in the game and draw level. But second half perseverance paid dividends, and a late added time goal by Rhys Kavanagh, his second of the game, gave them a a two goal winning margin, and perhaps a slightly flattering look to the scoreline.
It was Kavanagh who had set the Silkmen on their way on 7 minutes, when he met Jake Phillips’ cross to clip the ball over Port keeper Alex Ward-Jones and put his side in front. A few minutes later the lead could have doubled, but a Sol Forde header from a Phillips corner was cleared off the line by Max Owen.
Porthmadog do have some good attacking options in their side, especially ex-Caernarfon Town duo Danny Brookwell and Telor Williams, and it was Brookwell who tested Rhys Williams with a decent strike on 11 minutes. The Flint stopper was alert and saved well.
The game was now developing into an end to end affair, with Port responding well to having gone a goal down. Midway through the half, Owen, having got himself into a supporting attacking position, received the ball in space and cracked an effort just over the Flint bar. Then, a swift break by the Silkmen saw Josh Jones race free, but he planted his shot the wrong side of the post into the side netting when well placed.
A couple of minutes later Flint survived a goalmouth scramble, when, from a free kick delivery, Williams fluffed his punch, allowing the ball to drop into a crowd of players, but it was eventually smuggled away after bodies blocked efforts on goal. However, Flint were becoming guilty of conceding too many free kicks in and around their box, and Port were looking a threat from such situations.
Just after the half hour mark the ball was cleared off the line once more by the Porthmadog rearguard. This time it was Joe Williams who was denied, as he met Luis Lacey’s delivery at the far post. Ward-Jones took the initial sting out of the effort, before a covering defender was on hand to complete the clearance and prevent the ball crossing the line.
Port equalised shortly after in the 32nd minute. The source, was unsurprisingly, a free kick, which had been awarded wide on the right. The cross was flicked on into the 6 yard area, and Anthony Stephens in attempting to chest the ball back to Williams, only succeeded in putting it into his own net for an unfortunate own goal.
Flint could have retaken the lead on 43 minutes, following a mix up at the back for the home side. Jones latched onto the ball, and with Ward-Jones out of position, looked odds on to score, but the tip of a boot got a vital deflection on the ball that sent it just the wrong side of the post from a Flint point of view.
The second half became a more disjointed affair, and Flint were almost caught cold in the opening minute, but once again Williams reacted well and was able to divert Shaun Cavanagh’s shot around his post. Shortly afterwards, Danny Harrison injured himself in making a tackle and had to be replaced by Paddy Lacey,
It wasn’t until the 60th minute that Flint were able to put together their first flowing move of the second period. But when they did, they were rewarded with a well taken goal. The ball was quickly spread to the right to Elliott Reeves, who sent in a quality delivery and Josh Jones was incoming to meet it and smartly sidefoot home.
From the restart, Port almost made an instant reply, but Williams saved the initial shot, before Paddy Lacey was on hand to clear the loose ball in the nick of time. After that fright, Flint were able to keep the home side pretty much at arms length, and look to threaten on the counter.
With the game entering added on time, Flint finally put the match beyond Port’s reach. Kavanagh just managed to beat Ward-Jones to the ball as it was swung it to the edge of his box. He looped it up and over the Port keeper then followed the ball into the net to make sure it crossed the line as a defender desperately tried to get back to clear.
This result. together with the draw between Airbus and Holywell, leaves all three sides tied on the same number of points at the top of the table, with just goal difference separating them. However, attention switches from the league over the next couple of weeks, as we have a Welsh Cup tie away at Bangor next Saturday (kick off 2pm), followed by a League Cup tie at home to Denbigh (2-30pm) the week after.
Report by Nigel Sheen. Photos by Steve Parker (All Sports Media)
Line Ups :
Flint Town United – R. Williams, L. Lacey, J. Williams (H. Peagram 46), A. Stephens, S. Forde, D. Harrison (P. Lacey 53), B. Hughes, J. Phillips, R. Kavanagh (M. Roberts 90), E. Reeves, J. Jones. Unused subs – N. Collings (GK), H. Cartwright, A. Mather, G. Maire
Porthmadog – A. Ward-Jones, M. Owen, J. Banks, G. Ellis (I. Price 68), C. Evans, T. Mahoney (RA Williams), R. Williams, S. Cavanagh, C. Jones (c), D. Brookwell, T. Williams Unused Subs – M. Ellis (GK), S. Rogers, A. Jones, Z. Pike, C. Papirnyk
Flint MOM – Rhys Kavanagh (Two well taken goals at important times made the difference for his side)