Photographs by Anthony Ward
LATE DRAMA IN SIX GOAL THRILLER!!!
In a game which the strong wind was to play a prominent part in the outcome both Hotspur and Gresford would probably agree they would settle for a point apiece the way the match turned out.
That often used phrase ‘a game of two halves’ was never more evident as the visitors with the elements in their first half favour took a deserved two goal lead via Simon Smith and Owen Roberts. However, the boot was on the other foot so to speak in the second period with the hosts using the blustery conditions to their advantage as Rhys Roberts and Mike Kelly brought Holyhead level. However, the drama was to unfold at the very end with two stings in the tail via Jamie Price for Gresford forging ahead again with two minutes left on the clock the Wrexham area side thinking they had won all three points, only for Hotspur not to be out done and Dewi Thomas in the first minute of added on time slotting in another equaliser with a point each about right.
Hotspur Manager Campbell Harrison and his team will have had a chance to improve on Saturday’s draw against Porthmadog on Tuesday evening and hope to push up the table at home again to Buckley Town next Saturday 2.30 pm kick off.
The visitors started well with Andrew Stockton and Owen Roberts testing Carl Jones in a lively opening while early sub for Gresford Simon Smith dancing down the left delivered a testing cross into the goalmouth with Roberts barely needing a touch which evaded him. At the other end following Mike Kelly cross from the right Dean Garmey unleashed a fine volley which keeper John Hill Dunt was glad to push for a corner, on 18 the visitors took the lead, Nathan Peate found Simon Smith on the left with a fine ball who made inroads to unleash a strong rising shot over the keeper. On 25 Hotspur had a chance to draw level, Brendun Hogan did well to release Damian Ketley but Hill Dunt was out quickly to deny the striker.
On 28 Jones made a fine save from the lively Smith and one felt the visitors needed another having to face the wind in the second half and it came just before the interval – Smith involved again playing the ball down the middle, Owen Roberts in acres of space running clear of Hotspur’s defence to bury the ball past Jones (HT 0-2).
Hotspur quickly on the offensive with the conditions now in their favour and within 5 minutes Kenleigh Owen had a rasping shot headed off the line by Josh Griffiths but two minutes later (53) the hosts had pulled a goal back, Dewi Thomas deep cross from the left saw central defender Rhys Roberts rise highest to head firmly past the keeper into the bottom left hand corner. Holyhead continued to press and Jamie Roberts and Owen put in good efforts. Hotspur were launching balls into the box and also using Kieron Hilditch’s long throws to cause problems but the visitors were countering well late on. However, on 85 Holyhead drew level a cross from the right bounced awkwardly but Mike Kelly reacted quickly to get enough on his header to send the ball past the keeper. The real drama though was still to come as on 88 a free kick by Gresford’s Corey Smart clipped the crossbar and eventually led to a corner on the right which Smart reached Jamie Price whose header beat Jones low down. However, then came the final sting in the tail in the first minute of added time when Hotspur got back on level terms again – Jamie Roberts testing corner on the left caused problems in the goalmouth and Dewi Thomas to his and teammates delight took full advantage to fire home from close range.
Gareth M Davies