News from the New Stadium

HHFCA warm welcome to all Hotspur supporters for this the third of five home games on the bounce and likewise to the players, officials and supporters of Buckley Town who visit our New Stadium venue this afternoon for a Huws Gray Alliance fixture. At the time of writing the Bucks prop up the league table, an unusual position for a club who have always been regarded as one of the most consistent in the top half over many years and always looking to improve their ground facilities. 


However, the Flintshire side should never be taken lightly and are no doubt like wounded animal also as the saying goes it is a marathon not a sprint!

Manager Campbell Harrison and Assistant Darren Garmey will be well aware of this and no doubt expect a keen contest between the two teams.  Last season towards the end of the campaign we played each other twice within two weeks.  In the home game we shared the spoils 202, Rhys Roberts giving us the lead only for Phil Molyneux to draw his side level before the break.  Dan Sullivan put the Globe way team ahead on 53 but Mel McGinness put us level with 3 minutes and that is how it stayed.

In the final game of the season in early April Hotspur were on the receiving end of a 3-1 score line at Buckley, Lee Reynolds was on target for the hosts after only 3 minutes and Corey smart added to their tally before the break, Julian Williams reduced the arrears from the penalty spot on the hour but the home side’s star man Adam Eden added a third for Buckley with ten minutes remaining.

We had to share the spoils with visitors Porthmadog here on Tuesday evening despite taking the lead after only 3 minutes from Damian Ketley’s clinical finish.  Damian almost made it two after 36 minutes when he clipped the bar with a fine header while a defensive header from Dewi Thomas ensured we kept our lead at the break.  The visitors upped their game in the second period and were more of a threat going forward and five minutes into the second period drew level after former Hotspur loanee Julian Williams was impended in the box and Josh Davies made no mistake with the spot kick.  It was nip+tuc now but Dean Garmey who had been booked for the penalty incident took a second yellow leaving Hotspur to face the final 25 minutes with ten men.  Despite this we restricted Porthmadog to very few opportunities with the whole team playing for the badge and the central defensive partnership of captain Rhys Roberts and Dewi Thomas particularly outstanding holding out for a well-deserved share of the points.

The next home game on the list is a very attractive ‘Word Cup’ fixture against newly promoted to the Welsh Premier League Llandudno Town this coming Tuesday evening 7.30 pm kick off.  This is the first time we have qualified for entry into this FAW competition and will be a very good test for Campbell’s men especially since the Seasiders have made a good start in their new surroundings which will hopefully draw a good crowd.

We invariably produce a good performance against top sides and there is no reason to believe that it will be anything different this time.

Hotspur complete their run of five successive home games next Saturday when Guilsfield come calling in the Huws Gray Alliance League Cup.  The Guils who are one of the most consistent and better teams in the league knocked us out of the same League Cup last season in the semi-finals so hopefully the lads can get revenge early on in the competition this campaign.

I am sure you will have noticed the new shop/office on the left after entering through the turnstile, so have a browse and see if you may like any of the items on offer.  Mike Taylor our Chairman ‘excels’ in things like this so thanks to him for his great efforts in ensuring this is another important part of the wheel – so to speak in the development of this football club and a credit to Mike himself.

Hotspur have been without our influential centre back Alex Jones for the last few games due to his arm injury and following an operation it seems we could lose him for another month, so we all wish him a speedy recovery in his road back to full fitness.  See you all Tuesday, keep the faith.

Gareth M Davies

Welcome everyone to the Stadium for today’s Huws Gray Alliance league fixture, and a special welcome to everyone connected with Buckley Town FC. I hope we have an enjoyable feast of football.

We know that every match against Buckley is a difficult one and points are hard to come by. I am sure today will be no different but I do think we are a stronger team this season and that may just tip the scales in our favour, you just never know with football so much can happen in 90 minutes.

Nick Pratt the Welsh Premier referee had a good match when he refereed our ‘tussle’ with Gresford last Saturday, and the difference with last Tuesday’s referee was striking. You can tell the difference when these WPL referees officiate you get far more sensible decision making and handling of the players. I believe that if you hand out cautions and a sending off (last Tuesday v Porthmadog) this reflects on the way a referee has allowed the game to develop. I was taught that you control a match in the first TEN minutes, and if Gareth had done that we would have seen and appreciated a better spectacle of football, other than the constant free kicks and stoppages we witnessed, and it would have been a more enjoyable night for us all.

Our reserves played their first match in the new Welsh Alliance reserve league last Thursday and went down 1 -2 to Llanrug United reserves. They have three matches this month, away at Blaenau Ffestiniog on the 12th, home to Llanberis on the 19th and away at Porthmadog on the 24th.

The ‘big match’ next Tuesday night 8th September 7.30pm kick off when we play Llandudno Town in the FAW ‘Word Cup’. We tried to get into this competition last year but failed. By getting 5th position last season in the HGA league we automatically were entered into this very prestigious Cup competition which has decent prize money. For a club like ours every penny helps, so let’s see if we can get a win and move on to the next round. I hope we get a big crowd to support and encourage the lads.

Campbell is looking to strengthen the squad as we have lost Mel, Dan and Chris Saxon from the team recently, and brought in Keiran Hilditch. With so many new players in the squad I think to be fair it will take a little time for there to be a better understanding amongst the players. You can learn only so much in pre-seasons and training, match days is so different. Well we will wait and see how things work out in this very competitive league. Points this season are going to be hard earned and every match will be a stern test as we have already found out in the first four matches.

This is a stronger league than last season as two Welsh Premier clubs were relegated to us, Prestatyn Town and Cefn Druids, and we have the addition too of Llanfair United (Llanfair Caereinion near Welshpool) , Gresford Athletic and Welsh Alliance league winners Holywell Town who were always  tough opposition and have rightly earned their place in the league. Its an interesting start to the season as clubs are taking points from each other and no one (except perhaps Cefn Druids) is getting the best results. Hard to believe that Llanfair United took the three points at Prestatyn last Saturday with a 4 – 1 win, after Prestatyn took Caernarfon ‘to the cleaners’ in the first match of the season. Well we will have to see how things settle down but very interesting times are ahead of that we can all be sure.

We wish Llandudno FC well as champions and their first season in the Welsh Premier. They have a great set up there, with their 3g pitch and a hugely ambitious management and committee and a highly regarded Academy structure. Welsh Premier clubs get many thousands of pounds from UEFA to support their Academies, so they have a great advantage over clubs like us at the lower level. We do well to be honest to support the eleven junior/youth teams we have, starting at aged 6. It’s hard work but we all value the commitment of the Youth Development committee, the coaches and the parents who work so hard for the club and community.

Gareth Davies and daughter Sarah a teacher at the local High school, organized a competition for the Club’s recent 25th Anniversary. A new Club Anniversary badge has been made and they and many other ‘goodies’ are on  sale in the new Club shop. Gareth is there before the match and the Club shop is also open at half time. Why not give it a visit.

We have a new management team for the reserves. Manager is Andy Batsford and his assistant John Batson. The team is in the new Welsh Alliance Reserve League and will be an interesting new venture for us having spent so many years in the Gwynedd League. The team will be composed very much of younger players with some ‘old heads’.

Thanks to DU Construction for getting us the new building which will house the Club Shop/Match Day office and the Club Store/Fitness Room. Some hard work by Mike Taylor and others has transformed it to what you now see, thanks to them for their hard work. I have put an advert board up for Mark as a thank you. Also a board for ‘Linksair’ who have sponsored the first team away kit. If you are interested in an advert board around the ground please contact me Richard Parry 01407 762904, it’s a great way of showing your support for the club and the community we all serve.

The FAW are concerned about the level of ‘betting’ there is on matches (not on ours - £600,000 per week on WPL) They have instructed all Level 1 and 2 clubs to attend a session at Bangor FC on Tuesday 29th September. This is compulsory for all first team players, managers and club officials.

Well let’s hope we continue to get the season off to a reasonable start, and the lads will need all the encouragement you can give them. It’s going to be one hell of a season with some difficult matches ahead, not least today.

Richard Parry