News from the New Stadium

Holyhead Hotspur produced a stunning and dramatic final ten minutes to turn a   0 -1 deficit to visitors Penrhyncoch into a 3 – 1 triumph.

The mid Wales side had lead at the interval through Jon Evans and missed a number of other good opportunities on the break which they would come to rue given what happened at the end of the game!

Hotspur piled on the pressure in the second half but without looking convincing in front of goal in carving out clear cut chances, faced by a resolute defence. However with ten minutes left on the clock Pen’s left back Sion Meredith suffered a bad dislocation of the elbow and the game was held up for 12 minutes while he had treatment on the field and eventually taken to hospital. This changed  everything as the visitors struggled to reorganize ad Campbell Harrison’s men took full advantage with Mel McGinness 84, subs Kenleigh Owen 86 and Martin McClymont 90 plus 2 making it a 3 -1  score line which in truth looked highly unlikely prior to Meredith’s injury and ten minutes previous. However full marks to the hosts for grasping the opportunity no doubt motivated by manager Cambpell Harrison’s stirring team-talk when the game was held up. The air might have been ‘blue’ but the response was superb and put Hotspur in good heart for next Saturday’s (April 8th kick off 2.30pm) Huws Gray League Cup semi final versus old rivals Caernarfon Town at the New Stadium, fresh from their Welsh Cup semi final disappointment against Bala Town.

In the third minute Pen’s Dafydd Carruthers was put in the clear but Hotspur’s deputy keeper Connor Hughes was able to block the striker’s unconvincing strike in a one on one situation. Hotspur put on the pressure and on 15 minutes Dan McGinness’s good run and cross from the right was begging to be put away as it flashed across the goalmouth. On 20 minutes Mark Gornal’s cross was cleared near the line by Keiron Hilditch. On 24 this time Pen’s Jon Evans was one on one with Hughes as Hotspur pushed up but produced a lamentable finish. The long balls were troubling Hotspur’s back line as they pressed high and on 34 Carruthers had a good effort just wide. On 37 it was Carruthers’s turn to be one on one with Hughes but the keeper who did well to put him off and put his shot wide. The visitors eventually did take the lead on 42. Another long ball found Jon Evans on the right who cut in and shot into the far corner beating the advancing Connor Hughes. (Half Time 0 – 1).

The Hotspur managers put on Kenleigh Owen and Brendun Hogan on at the start of the second half in a reshuffle and Hogan shot over on 48. Hotspur much more purposeful now and Hogan clipped the top of the net of 52. On 62 the Pen keeper did well to save from Mel McGinness who was going away from goal and produced a good effort. On the hour Hilditch to Owen who skimmed the crossbar with a screamer. Hotspur at a good tempo pressing hard but still having to watch the visitor’s occasional breaks. Pen’s keeper Leigh Jenkins who had caught everything to date then  dropped the ball at the expense of a corner but nothing came of it. On 83 Mel McGinness’s ball from the right was met by Alex Jones who put his header just wide. Time running out then came the injury to Meredith.

After resuming play Pen had a great chance to go two up when Elian Evans broke on the right, but after beating his defender dragged his shot just wide on 82 which was perhaps the defining moment of the game! Two minutes later the visitors were made to pay. From a corner on the left the ball ping-ponged in the goal mouth and Mel McGinness pounced to fire home on 84. Hotspur’s sensed the kill and after Alex Jones’s effort hit the top of the bar the ball came to Kenleigh Owen who superbly headed home. The vociferous home support had come to life and had more to roar about just before full mtime when sub Martin McClymont was put through and finished with a cracker into the top far corner – match over.

Better late than never one might say!

Gareth M Davies