News from the New Stadium

Campbell Harrison’s depleted Hotspur side without four of their most influential players due to injury and suspension and which included 16 year old Harry Lewis who later came off the bench for his debut, defied the odds to give one of their finest displays for many a day against hosts Huws Gray Alliance league leaders Prestatyn Town, taking the Seasiders into extra time only to lose out cruelly with just three minutes left on the clock with penalties looming.

This was nothing like the Hotspur team which has underperformed so far this campaign – this was a performance of true commitment and heart, all hands to the pump by every player and most of all belief in themselves, which hopefully will be taken on for the remainder of the league programme with all the above positives shown here especially the second half showing.

Former Hotspur player Damien Ketley had given the hosts a sixth minute lead in this Welsh Cup third round tie and were looking for more, however the Holy Islanders gradually got into the game and were by the break enjoying much more of the possession, but it was in the second period that they showed true grit  talking the game to the hosts and more than giving them a real fright on putting them on the back foot. With every player working their socks off and Mel McGinness and Dewi Thomas outstanding it looked in vain but come the 90th minute a ball was pumped into the home goalmouth once again where  Alex Jones up with the attack produced an overhead kick and with the help of a deflection beat Carl Jones which sent his team mates and vociferous away support delirious. The extra time period saw chances at both ends Hotspur keeper Paul Pritchard joining in the action at the other end testing Jones but three minutes from the end of extra time Jordan Davies on the left crossed into the box finding sub Ben Maher who flashed the ball home, but even then there was time for Gavin Sharpe  to thunder a shot which was goal bound only for a wicked deflection to put it wide. Out of the Welsh Cup maybe but this should be a huge confidence booster for the long trip to Penrhyncoch this coming Saturday 10th December with a 2.30pm kick off.

After a nip and tuck start Prestatyn Town took the lead on six minutes when after Jordan Davies drove into the box past defenders his shot was cleared out only to Damien Ketley who fired low into the corner. After Mel McGinness shot over for Hotspur from a Jack Griffiths’ pass,  the hosts pressed high and a shot was somehow cleared off the visitors line via a lucky escape. Hosts looking for a second and Ketley scooped over after a smart move. After this Hotspur now much more in the picture and seeing a lot of ball with Keiron Hilditch’s long throws a dangerous weapon as half time approached (H/T 1 – 0)

Straight from the restart a defensive slip let in Jack Kenny for the home side but in the clear shot a great chance wide. Hotspur now confidence increasing all working hard with Paul Pritchard safe in between ‘the sticks’ for Hotspur and on 61 they almost drew level when Martin McClymont through on goal but Carl Jones’s outstretched foot saved the day for Prestatyn. Holyhead looking for the equalizer and after another long throw from Hilditch,  Prestatyn keeper Jones had to tip over. On seventy eight minutes Dewi Thomas’s headed off the line after Pritchard had saved well from Kenny, but Hotspur still creating chances then came Alex Jones with his dramatic overhead kick and the extra time and disappointment, however they had made Holyhead proud.

Gareth M Davies