HOLYHEAD HOTSPUR will be determined to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season when they entertain fellow title hopefuls Caernarfon Town at the New Stadium this Saturday (2.30pm), writes Gareth Davies.
Emlyn Manley Williams sides 10-match unbeaten run in Welsh Alliance Division One was ended on Saturday after a 2-0 reverse at leaders Holywell Town.
The Harbourmen will have little time to dwell on that result as next up are the in-form Canaries, who are up to second place and were on a seven-match winning run going into tonights home clash with Gwalchmai (7.30pm).
While the loss at Halkyn Road may serve as only a glancing blow to Hotspurs title hopes – they are now 10 points behind the Wellmen but have five games in hand – the Anglesey aces will want to return to winning ways as soon as possible.
Saturdays defeat saw Holyhead fail to score for only the second time this season – the first occasion being their opening night 0-0 draw with Bodedern – and ironically Holywell had been the last team to beat Hotspur in the league on the final day of last term.
Indecision at the back allowed Holywell to grab a sixth minute lead when Wayne Edwards latched on to a wayward back-pass and set up Steve Thomas to score.
Hotspur, who were without key men Tom Nathan Edwards and Chris Saxon, tried to respond but the hosts defended well, Jon Peris Jones having a chance when keeper Paul Turner fluffed a Mike Kelly cross, but a weak shot was easily cleared.
Peris Jones charged down an attempted clearance and the ball fell to top scorer Mel McGinness who blasted off target.
Turner produced a fine low save off Peris Jones after the break, but on the hour Holywell went two-up when Sam Jones was allowed to surge down the middle and confidently beat keeper Ben Heald.
Not even the introduction of gifted subs Asa Thomas, Dion Donohue and Kenleigh Owen could inspire a Hotspur comeback.