News from the New Stadium

In the end Holywell Town manager John Haseldin and his counterpart Holyhead Hotspur’s Campbell Harrison would probably agree that in this battle of the ‘Holy’s’ both their charges deserved to get something out of a well contested game which towards the final stages could have gone either way, although the Holy Islanders finished the stronger of the two teams and Mel McGinness almost notched all three points deep into added time.

Both the games goals had a sense of ‘away from the norm’ about them most notably Hotspur’s 8th minute effort which arrived in bizarre fashion!  Holywell central defender Matty Harvey 25 yards away from his goal and under no pressure struck a back pass to his keeper Jon Rushton but he over hit the ball which although initially appeared to be covered by the custodian veered away from him and landed in the net (talk about a back bender!). Hotspur could not believe their luck and held the lead until the 71st minute when from a corner on the left Holyhead Hotspur keeper Paul Pritchard impeded sub Wayne Edwards before making a catch. The referee spotted the infringement and pointed to the penalty spot from where Edwards duly obliged past Pritchard. That was the end of the scoring as both sets of front payers came up against resolute defences.

It was a valuable point for Harrison’s men as they pull away from the relegation zone and will look for the maximum points when struggling Buckley Town come calling at the New Stadium next Saturday (21st January) with a 2pm kick off.

Holywell were the first to show looking lively up front before the own goal of the season arrived on eight. The hosts responded and Phil Lloyd found Sam Jones who shot weakly past the upright from a good position followed by Matty Herdman shooting over the bar. On 20 Paul Pritchard did well to tip over from Steve Thomas who was energetic throughout for the hosts. They Wellmen continued to hold sway without the finish to date as was the case again re the Lloyd and Jones combination the latter clipping the near post from a tight angle on 28.  Hotspur had not had a shot in anger (of their own!) until Brendan Hogan shot wide on the half hour. At last a promising move eventually led Hogan find Mel McGinness who shot narrowly wide on 33 while at the other end Thomas’s run and shot drifted wide.

The hosts were guilty of some poor finishing as Hotspur defended stoutly in numbers, however just before the break Hotspur’s  Alex Jones received a yellow card for what looked like a last man situation when it could have been worse. (Half Time 0 – 1).

Nip and tuck start to the second half but on 71 came the home team leveler. A Matty Herdman corner saw Pritchard foul Wayne Edwards who shot home the penalty spot kick. Back came the visitors and sub Robert Llewelyn Jones found McGinness who shot inches wide of the post. A good tussle now with Hotspur enjoying more of the play using full back Keiran Hilditch for long throws into the danger area. Both sides going for it and Mike Kelly passed to Corey Jones who fired wide, while Kelly himself flicked just over from one of Hilditch’s long throws on 88. Hotspur pushing up more and more and the hosts responding on the break. In added time McGinness broke swiftly down the right touchline past a defender and produced a fine effort which just curled away from the target.

Gareth M Davies