IT is the mark of a quality team when they can still produce the goods despite not being at their best, reports Gareth Davies.
That was the case on Saturday for Holyhead Hotspur who kept their winning run going with a 2-0 triumph at Llandudno Junction in the FAW Welsh Trophy even though they were not firing on all cylinders.
Hotspur had to withstand plenty of pressure from the fired-up Railwaymen, but the Harbourmen were rock solid at the back, with centre-halves Gareth Owen and Alex Jones excelling.
It was fitting that Owen put the seal on things in the second half with his teams clinching goal which followed Jay Gibbs superb free-kick in the opening session.
The islanders have yet to lose in eight league starts this season and are just three points behind leaders Holywell Town with two games in hand.
Hosts Junction threatened early in the Trophy tie at the Flyover Ground, Hotspur keeper Ben Heald foiling Nathan Jones before Tom Nathan Edwards did well to take the ball from Danny Jones in the danger area.
Somewhat against the run of play, however, the Harbourmen took a 13th minute lead.
A free-kick was awarded some 20 yards out and Gibbs struck a brilliant shot which flew just inside keeper Joe Welshs right hand post.
At the other end Chris Saxon did well to clear Oran Cassidys header off the line and Heald pulled off another good stop, while Hotspur also remained a threat with Asa Thomas having two decent attempts.
With Jamie Jones a menace down the left flank for Junction there was all to play for in the second half.
And it was end-to-end action at the start of the second stanza, John Blundell firing straight at Heald from a good position while Mike Edwards tested Welsh.
On 57 minutes Hotspur went two-up when following a game of ping-pong in the Junction box, Owen showed typical strength and determination to force the ball home.
The Railwaymen continued to give out danger signals and a free-kick from dead-ball specialist Dwyfor Williams was not too far away.
Jamie Jones header was goalbound, but Alex Jones cleared the threat from right under the crossbar.
Thomas rippled the side-netting for the Anglesey side and Kenleigh Owen almost pounced for a third after Welsh spilled the ball.
Late on Junction could have claimed a consolation when Rob Williams was through one-on-one, but Heald would not be beaten and produced a fine block.