News from the New Stadium

holyhead hotspur v porthmadogCroeso Cynnes Prynhawn Da, A warm welcome and good afternoon to everyone for this Huws Gray Alliance fixture featuring two progressive clubs in the higher echelons of the league.  Porthmadog are always attractive visitors to these parts with their brand of football and history and an added interest in recent times due to the fact that our Manager Campbell Harrison and players Gareth Parry. Rhys Roberts, Phil Williams and Gareth Jones-Evans have been recently associated with the Traeth club in managerial (Campbell and Gareth Parry) and playing capacities while Dean Garmey also had a short spell in black and red.

With Llandudno looking at this moment like making the step up to the Welsh Premier next season and seemingly ready what with their excellent facilities at Maesdy Park, the rest of us are jostling for the highest finish at the end of the campaign.

At the beginning of November Porthmadog were too good for us by the tune of 3-0 via goals from Ceri James, Stuart Rodgers and an own goal.  This after a scoreless first half in what was one of our poorest displays of 2014/15.  However, our recent form has been very encouraging which augers well for today in the effort to turn the tables on the opposition.
This afternoon see’s our 24th Huws Gray Alliance league fixture out of a total of 30, with only trips to Caersws and Buckley Town on the road, while Caernarfon Town, Buckley Town, Denbigh Town and Penycae have still to visit Hotspur after today’s encounter.  However, we have an all-important Huws Gray Alliance League Cup Semi-Final at Guilsfield next Saturday (28th February) when it is hoped we will have a good following in the bid to reach the Final.  Campbell was Hotspur boss in our two previous finals in this competition against Bala Town in 2006/07 and 2008/09 as Runners-up, so how about third time lucky!

Our last home game a fortnight ago against basement club Rhydymwyn was good as far as the end result was concerned in a 3-0 win via a brace from Jay Gibbs and a 25 yarder via Kenleigh Owen all in the first half.  Sadly however, it was ten minutes into the second half that was to be the main talking point with the ludicrous red card for Kenleigh Owen.  I always tend to be objective on these matters but the challenge on this occasion hardly merited a yellow never mind the red variety!  Thankfully it did not affect the result but it means the influential Kenleigh will miss some important games including the Semi-Final with Guilsfield!  (5 match ban).  The aforementioned official is a top guy but tends to court controversy at a certain point in a game while the early season spat of sending offs tends to make Hotspur a target this season even though they have been far too numerous.  When I asked Rhydymwyn’s Manager for a comment his one word ‘harsh’ from a club looking for their first point surely tells you the story!

We have to move on of course and the visit to Mold Alexandra last Saturday saw another three points via an impressive demolition job on the Alyn Park side.  It was a triumph for back in the starting line-up Mel McGinness who notched a hat-trick together with a back in form link all round display up front which will please everyone including the managers following a somewhat indifferent period out of the side what with suspensions etc.  His first two strikes were of the predatory nature in a 0-2 half time lead, while his third was a superbly created effort, Ryan Jones into the box headed down invitingly by Jay Gibbs to Mel who rifled home past the keeper with stunning effect.  He even made the other goal from the spot by Jay Gibbs after being fouled in the box following a great ball from the back by his Brother the ever improving Dan McGinness.  So magical Mel returns to give Campbell Harrison some welcome selection options when all are available as we all fell back in love with the pocket dynamo on St Valentine’s Day Massacre!  However, it was by no means a one man show with all the team producing a great shift from back to front and very encouraging signs for the future.
The result was all the more creditable without Julian Williams (unavailable) and Gareth Jones-Evans who the club offer sincere condolences to on losing his grandfather.

Not to be outdone the Gwynedd League side under Mark Queen also did us proud with a five-nil thrashing of Menai Bridge.  Like Mel, Dewi Thomas was also in hat-trick mood with three goals of his own supported by Tom Roberts and a super strike from Rikki Jones.  Well done to them who are away to Nefyn United today and next Saturday again on their travels against Harlech Town both 2pm kick offs.

Our next home game is due against Penycae on 7th March at 2.30 pm so see you all then, keep the faith. 

  Gareth M Davies


Welcome to everyone connected with Porthmadog FC for today’s Huws Gray alliance league match. When we went to Porthmadog last November they took the points with a clinical 3 – 0 and were very good on the day.  I hope that is not on the cards today as another three points will help us climb the table to fourth place above Porthmadog although Denbigh Town  are close ‘on our heels’. Our ambition this season is to achieve a top six position.

There is a pre season competition called the ‘Word Cup’ which features the Welsh Premier teams and the top six from our HGA and the south Wales Welsh league. It would be good to be in the 2015 competition. We missed out last year because of our finishing position and couldn’t get in as one of the three ‘wild cards’ that they take into the competition.
Well last weekend was a very pleasant and surprising one for me as the first team took Mold Alex apart with a 4 – 0 win at their place, and the reserves beat a very strong and capable Menai Bridge Tigers 5 – 0 at home. Congratulations to Mel McGinness and Dewi Thomas who got hat-tricks respectively.  Last Saturday was the 4th clean sheet ‘on the trot’ for the first team and is indeed a rare event in this league. The results also went for us last Saturday with Llandudno, Caernarfon and Guilsfield only getting draws in their matches.

Holy Isle FC has withdrawn from the Anglesey League so Mark Queen will be signing some of their better players to strengthen our squad.

Our local boy Trefor Lloyd Hughes who is president of the FAW has been nominated by the FAW for the soon to be vacant FIFA vice presidency and also for UEFA’s executive committee. We wish Trefor well and know that he will do a good job for football with his years of experience at all levels. I started referring in 1959 after National Service, and have known Trefor for many years and appreciated the dedicated service he brought to the various roles in football he undertook especially as secretary of his beloved NWCFA. Good luck Trefor from all connected with Hotspur.

The FAW are obviously keen to improve the standards of clubs so they are introducing a Level 2 (Huws Gray and Welsh League South) set of criteria. The criteria will not be as stringent as the existing Domestic Licence (for example all clubs must have floodlights up to 250lux). The new regulations will make sure that each club’s infrastructure is of a high standard and that the clubs concerned show good administration, legal and financial viability.  There is talk that the Welsh Premier league will be increased to sixteen clubs in season 2016/7. That’s an interesting challenge to clubs at our level!!

Three of the mid Wales clubs and two Wrexham area clubs are struggling in the league at the moment and it looks certain that several will be relegated at the end of the season to be replaced by Llanfair United (Spar League) who we hosted a few seasons ago in the Welsh Cup and Holywell Town who look favourite to be promoted from the Welsh Alliance league. Talk ‘on the street’ is that two clubs will come down from the Welsh Premier and they look very much like North Wales clubs so there will be quite a shake up at the bottom of our league at the end of this season.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by the refurbishment of the stadium. The work has to be completed by 31st March so that the grant the Council got can be spent in due time.

The Huws Gray league and Holyhead Hotspur FC are 25 years old next year. I have written to our vice President Chris Evans of Derby County hoping he can bring someone down here next June to commemorate our 25th but he has not come back to me yet. The league is holding a ‘swish’ affair at the Imperial hotel Llanduno on Saturday 13th June. The Annual General Meeting of the league will be held in the same hotel on the afternoon of the 13th June.

I am sure the forthcoming league fixtures are somewhere in the programme (or on the Web site but a reminder that the first team is away next Saturday the 28th February to Guilsfield in the semi final of the League challenge cup. That will be a tough one but the lads will be ‘up for it’. The reserves are also away next week at Harlech Town.

Mark Blackwell has been able to get us a second hand mobile building which will be on site in April sited where the old portacabin was. It will be used as a store room and a club shop.

The FAW has written to us as a club and said that unless our ‘on field’ first team discipline improves we may well be subjected to a fine at the end of the season. I know we have been at the ‘wrong end’ of some dreadful refereeing decisions but there isn’t much we can do about that. Gareth Davies keeps complaining to the League and gave Martin Williams the referee at the last home match versus Rhydymwn the lowest mark possible. Poor KC Owen is now on a 5 match ban because of that ridiculous decision. Interestingly after the match in Mike Taylor’s presence a linesman disagreed with the decision and said so to the referee. 

As Gareth says ‘Keep the Faith’, and thanks again for you continued support which is much appreciated by the club.

Richard Parry