News from the New Stadium

Holyhead Hotspur continued their very poor run of results with a sixth successive defeat at home to Rhyl while to add insult to injury had home keeper Paul Pritchard inexplicably shown a red card in trying to block a tight situation with his body on the edge of the penalty area when there was ten minutes left of the match. Off the bench came Reece Brown a central defender who did ever so well to stop one or two good shots on goal by Rhyl and keep a clean sheet.

Campbell Harrison’s team were trailing to an 18th minute goal from Phil Marsh which barely trickled over the line caused by poor communication between keeper and central defender. A keeper is in charge of his box and should command it. Another goal bound effort by Rhyl was cleared miraculously by Dan Mc Ginness just before the break.

Hotspur had much more of the game in the second half and put the ’Lilywhites’ under pressure but without that vital ingredient of a cutting edge together with some strong defending by a well organized Rhyl team who have played together for some time and Hotspur rarely troubled Rhyl keeper Rory Crowther.

With the important Huws Gray Alliance League Cup match at Guilsfield coming up on Easter Monday kick off 2.30pm Hotspur will need to get some confidence into the side and will have a chance this Saturday when they host Airbus UK Broughton again with a 2.30pm kick off at the New Stadium. 

While not wanting to make too many excuses for the poor run of late some of the decisions by the officials leave much to be desired and Saturday’s man in the middle Alex Livesey from Wrexham was no exceptions. Both camps were baffled by much that he did and both will be giving him a low mark out of ten.

Rhyl were first to show and Aaron Pomeyle who was the most skilful player on view tested Paul Pritchard as early as the 2nd minute. Nip and tuck but on 18 minutes took the lead after the penalty box mix up when Hotspur failed to cut out a ball that came through to Phil Marsh in the clear and although Paul Pritchard got a hand to it the ball ever so slowly eventually crossed the goal line. Rhyl were looking strong and just after half an hour Pomeyle got around Pritchard and his effort on goal looked certain to make it 2 – 0 but Dan Mc Ginness somehow hooked the ball clear from under the bar. Hotspur plugging away but not getting a shot in anger as Rhyl comfortably dealt with all Hotspur’s efforts Half Time 0 – 1

On 54 Hotspur had an appeal for a penalty kick turned down while at the other end Alex Jones who was outstanding in the home defence had to concede a yellow which could easily have been a red on 58. Hotspur were now putting more pressure on their opponents but on creating any real openings due to a resolute and well organized Rhyl defence.

The hosts were looking for some inspiration with pacy flankman Ryan Taylor coming off the bench and being throw into the fray with 20 minutes to go, but the tight Rhyl defence prevented any real danger and on 81 came the controversial red card for Paul Pritchard who came out to the edge of his box to prevent a dangerous situation developing, and although seemingly chesting the ball away from danger under pressure but this was not how the ‘man in black’ saw the incident (although his assistant Carl Hagan had a much better view and was not consulted) and he produced the red card as if ther was no tomorrow. Even Rhyl management and spectators who clearly saw the incident said it was a wrong decision made by the referee who was behind the players and not in a good position to see the incident.

Sub Reece Brown took over from Pritchard’s place in goal and to be fair made a couple of good stops to prevent further damage but by then any hopes of snatching a late point had long gone.

Gareth M. Davies