News from the New Stadium
- Published: 26 March 2017
A point at high riding Gresford Athletic before the game would have no doubt have been taken by Hotspur managers Campbell Harrison and Darren Garmey. However such was the way the game panned out that it felt more like a defeat than a well earned share of the spoils!
Hotspur had taken the lead after 10 minutes through Dewi Thomas only for captain Mike Kelly to be given a harsh straight red on 21 for an over zealous tackle which to be fair put striker Owen Roberts out of the game. Despite the one man disadvantage Thomas increased Hotspur’s lead just before half time with a second from the penalty spot. The second half was very much almost one way traffic on Hotspur’s goal but Man of the Match keeper Paul Pritchard excelled with some brilliant stops aided by a superbly resolute defence which held out until 7 minutes from the end when Jack Chaloner reduced the arrears and in the last minute notched his second to give his side a point and break Hotspur hearts.
The Hotspur managers will have been delighted with the total commitment of the players who battled manfully with 10 men for most of the game and only just failed to hold on for a win.
This coming weekend sees Hotspur host mid Wales side Penrhyncoch for the final Huws Gray league fixture of the season kick off 2.30pm with just one league fixture to fulfill away at Caersws on April 15th. In between on April 8th Caernarfon Town come calling to the New Stadium in the semi final of the Huws Gray Alliance League cup.
Gresford first to show and on from a cross on the right Tom Freeman’s header brought out a fine save to his left by Paul Pritchard. However on 10 Jack Griffiths on the right broke free into the box, keeper Mike Platt was out quick to block and it came back to Griffiths whose second effort was cleared only to the lurking Dewi Thomas who first time rifled high into the net. Hotspur continued to look lively and Thomas linked Mel McGinness through but his effort from an angle drifted wide of the goal. Nip and tuck but on 21 Gresford striker Owen Roberts bought a heavy tackle from Mike Kelly who was shown red. Hotspur up against it but on 31 Pritchard saved low down from Jack Chaloner while Joe Newton shot wide on 35. Hotspur were still coping well despite their reduction in numbers and on 40 Tom Wells shot just over for Gresford. Hotspur were delighted to go two up on 44 and the goal owed much to Dean Garmey who found Gavin Sharpe on the left, took a return pass and set up Thomas inside the area who was fouled. Dewi Thomas himself took the spot kick and found the corner of the net. Half time 0 – 2.
On 52 the impressive Freeman on the left broke at pace but his was struck shot saw Pritchard make a fine save with his legs. The same player again broke free but Pritchard made a fine stop at his near post, while the keeper also made a superb save to deny Chaloner at point blank range after an hour. On 63 a goal looked certain but Keiron Hilditch somehow cleared after the ball had hit the underside of the bar. A rare sortie at the other end saw Thomas make Platt bring off a good save to his left. Pritchard was in an inspired mood saving again from Chaloner. However on 83 the hosts reduced the arrears with a cross from Josh Griffiths headed home by Jack Chaloner. The home team continued to press and on 90 Max Peate passed to Chaloner who stabbed home.
Gareth M Davies