News from the New Stadium

llandudno fc v holyhead hotspurHOTSPUR COMPETE WELL BUT SELF-DESTRUCT AGAIN - The scoreline looks emphatic enough, however it does not tell the whole story! Holyhead were well in the game at 2-1 down just after the break Tom Dix putting the hosts ahead on 20 but Kenleigh Owen levelled for Hotspur a few minutes later, only for Lee Thomas to put Tudno in front again on 38.

The second period was only six minutes old when Holyhead captain Dean Garmey was shown a straight red card for an over-zealous tackle which seemed harsh to many but unfortunately another episode that has been all too familiar this season which has something of the self-destruct about it! Campbell Harrison’s men battled bravely against the league leaders but with one man down it was even more difficult and a mistake at the back saw former Hotspur striker Marc Evans taking advantage to net a third for Llandudno. Julian Williams notched a second for the never say die Hotspur which gave his team hope Harrison going three at the back late on in an effort to draw level, but two late goals via Peter Jones and Tom Dix rubbed salt in the wound.

Holyhead Hotspur will rue a tenth red card of the campaign as they face another tough task this weekend when visiting old rivals Carenarfon Town KO 2.30pm.

Llandudno set the early pace in a match that was played at a good tempo, but Hotspur adjusting to the unfamiliar 3G surface were beginning to get into the game. However, on 20 mins Gareth Evans on the right found Toby Jones inside who in turn released Tom Dix who had joined in the attack to strike a fierce drive past Carl Jones just inside his left hand upright. The visitors responded well and within six minutes were level again – a fine run right to left by Myles Jones found Owen on the left who made ground and although at a tight angle slotted in expertly at the far bottom corner. Evans for the hosts then clipped the post after a fine move just after.

The home team regained the lead on 38 – Evans had a shot blocked by Mike Edwards but Lee Thomas followed up to fire home the loose ball past Jones. (H/T 2-1)

The Hotspur keeper Carl Jones went on to make a number of important stops and no more so than on 46 from Toby Jones who had broken into the area.

Then came the red card incident which changed the course of the game despite strong protests from the Holyhead contingent. On 65 a misplaced pass saw Toby Jones square to Marc Evans whose simple finish found the bottom corner. Although disadvantaged the Harbourmen continued to make the hosts work and on 75 mins were rewarded when Julian Williams’ 20 yard effort  beat Connor Wearing hit the base of the post and rolled in. At the other end Carl Jones fine saves denied Evans twice. Hotspur manager Campbell Harrison then made the decision to go to three at the back in an attempt to salvage something out of the game but of course also open to the counter and sub Peter Jones and Tom Dix for his brace made it 5-2 on 88 and 90+3 to put a flattering look to the final score.

It was Hotspur’s first experience on a 3G pitch and one gets the impression that only needs one incisive pass to create something while two on normal grass, but at the back one poor touch can prove costly. Having said that and only my opinion) the jury must be out whether it is the way forward but Hotspur performed well despite the scoreline against a good Llandudno side who are quick and penetrating up front, however a full side for the 90 minutes could well have got a result and stretched the home side more in the second half.

However it was an excellent encounter watched by perhaps Tudno’s best crowd of the season with a good turn out from Holyhead.

Gareth M Davies

Photograph by Caroline Thomas