Jay’s Sting in the tail completes double
Holyhead Hotspur completed their final home game of the Huws Gray Alliance season with a very important 3 points against Denbigh Town who like Campbell Harrison’s side are pressing hard for a fourth place finish with just a visit to Buckley Town to come in Hotspur’s 2014/15 campaign. However, the hosts left it late to gain the maximum points (just as they did at Denbigh at the end of October and same score 2-1) with Jay Gibbs the match winning hero in the first minute of added on time. Mel McGinness given Hotspur a Gibbs assisted lead after 25 minutes which remained the score until 4 minutes from the end of normal time when Peter Hoy drew his side level. By this time the home side were down to ten men Captain Dean Garmey taking a second yellow with a quarter of an hour to go but Holyhead showed character and in particular Jay Gibbs skill to pull the game out of the fire and a hard earned win against a resilient outfit who must have thought they had grabbed a late point!
So Hotspur trilogy of 3 home games in nine days ends in a win after a draw with Buckley Town and a defeat to Caernarfon Town which will please the managers who will want to end the season this coming Easter Saturday on a positive note in Flintshire.
Denbigh had the elements in their favour in the first half and quickly had the hosts on the back foot when the visitors claimed an infringement when keeper Carl Jones struggled with a wind assisted awkward bounce, while on 5 minutes Jones got down quickly to cover Ryan Jones effort. At the other end Kenleigh Owen was not far over with a volley on 9 minutes. Two minutes later the hosts put together an incisive move ending with Gibbs lay off to Phil Williams who struck the ball well but the upright took the full force and cleared. Alex Jones close with a header but Denbigh’s Mark Roberts broke through on the right only for Carl Jones to again save low down as Garmey completed the clearance. On 25 Hotspur went ahead – Gibbs on the right slipped his marker and broke at pace to the by-line crossing hard and low across the goalmouth where Mel McGinness although tightly marked instinctively shot home on one movement. Just on the ½ hour Holyhead were close to adding a second as Denbigh’s rear-guard defended a barrage of shots in quick succession. Denbigh’s Peter Hoy was causing problems with his long throws but Hotspur’s defenders were coping well as half time approached (HT 1-0).
On 48 Gibbs who was prominent throughout crossed from the right into Mel McGinness whose goal bound shot was deflected past the upright while that man Gibbs saw his free kick drift past the far post on 59. A couple of offences by both sides saw the referee make a meal out of a situation but on 74 Dean Garmey who had been booked in the above received a second yellow! Despite this Hotspur continued to make chances and 4 minutes later Mike Kelly’s shot was cleared off the line. The visitors went three at the back to try and put pressure on Holyhead but first Gibbs brought Denbigh keeper into action saving with his feet and then the custodian tipped a well struck Mike Edwards effort over the bar on 84. The home side needed that second goal but minutes later 86 Denbigh got back level. A free kick into the goalmouth saw a poor defensive header fall to Peter Hoy who in turn gratefully nodded the chance into the far corner. It could have and should have got worse only a minute later when Kristian Pierce nipped in-between keeper and defender and took the ball towards goal but somehow contrived to put a golden opportunity wide with the goal at his mercy. The visitors were to really rue this as a possible three points turned into nothing as Hotspur took full (90+1) advantage. The ball was played into Gibbs from the right who turned and with his left foot struck his shot wide of the keeper and in off the post. In these last few minutes a number of results could have occurred but as they say it’s never over until it’s over!