News from the New Stadium

One might have envisaged ‘bad thoughts’ when Holyhead Hotspur manager Campbell Harrison was presented with the August ‘Manager of the Month’ award after Hotspur’s fine start to the 2017/18 season and sure enough the ‘kiss of death’ struck yet again as hosts Guilsfield inflicted the first defeat of the new campaign on the Holy Islanders after three league wins and a Nathanial Cup success in the previous four games.


On the back foot for much of the first half the visitors could have reached the break trailing by more than a one goal deficit via Adam Jenkins while another a minute into the second half by Asa Hamilton made it an even more uphill struggle. However after a change in the system at half time Hotspur stuck to their task and with a little more luck could even have come back home from the mid Wales outfit with something to show for a much better second half showing, only to be thwarted by resolute defending, lack of cutting edge and the Guilsfield goal framework!

Hotspur have the chance to get back on tracks quickly on Wednesday evening 20th September kick off 7.30pm at home to Porthmadog, when they will be anxious to bounce back and also at FC Queens Park on Saturday 23rd kick off 2.30pm.

In the second minute Hotspur keeper Paul Pritchard had to receive treatment after saving bravely from a hard challenge by Louis Irvine. The hosts were making incisive in roads with some skilful moves while at the other end a loose home pass let in Kenleigh Owen but he shot straight at Andrew Wycherly. On 12 Chris Catherall had a half chance but Pritchard gathered at the second attempt. On 16 the home sides Adam Jenkins produced a superb long distance effort which Pritchard equally so tipped over. Two minutes later Guilsfield did take the lead when a long run down the left caught the Hotspur rear guard on the hop and Jenkins did well to retrieve the ball by the bye line, turned inside and from a tight angle rifled the ball into the far corner. Guilsfield were forcing Hotspur back with Holyhead trying to counter at pace and Mel  Mc Ginness almost got in on the half hour (Half Time 1 -0)

Straight from the kick off a ball was sent through the Hotspur rear guard which saw Tomos Clarke’s  back pass fall short of Paul Pritchard letting in Asa Hamilton to strike home a two goal advantage for Guilsfield.

Hotspur upped the tempo and on 55 came close to pulling a goal back when Mel Mc Ginness foraged through the home defence and although well struck his shot rattled the upright. Not long after Hotspur appealed for a spot kick which was turned down while at the other end Jenkins chose to pass instead of shoot with the goal gaping in front of him. Hotspur making much more of a game of it now and after a corner after Mel Mc Ginness’s shot was deflected Alex Jones’s free header was off target. On the hour Pritchard was called into action with some good saves but the visitors were putting everything into salvaging something into what at times was a heated contest. On 73 Chris Jones had a chance but headed over. Alex Jones had an effort close again on 75 and after another goalmouth scramble the hosts somehow kept their goal intact with the post again coming to the rescue. There was no lack of effort from Harrison’s men as the manager put on his subs to try to retrieve the situation but to no avail.

No doubt better time ahead.

Words by Gareth M Davies. Picture by Darren Hyland @D4G5Y on twitter.