HOTSPUR SUFFER LEAGUE BACKLASH!
Following their superb Welsh Cup success over Welsh Premier Bangor City when it was Holyhead Yeah and not Bangor Aye it was back to the bread and butter of the Huws Gray Alliance at Gresford which turned out to be a case of after the lord mayors show in suffering a 4-2 defeat against a Clappers Lane outfit which had been on a poor run of results of late. It was even more hard to take in that the hosts had been reduced to ten men not long after the restart when Max Peate was shown a second yellow which was followed by Kenleigh Owen putting Hotspur into a 2-1 lead direct from a corner. However, the resilient hosts seemed to gain strength from their adversity and went on to notch another three goals on what was a gluepot pitch played under deteriorating conditions.
Hotspur boss Campbell Harrison was clearly upset at the manner of the defeat and there will need to be a marked improvement in the next game at Porthmadog on Monday 28th December 2.30 pm kick off. To add insult to injury so to speak, influential midfielder Dewi Thomas suffered a leg ligament injury which could see him side-lined for a spell.
Hotspur started well and Thomas headed wide on six minutes, however the hosts responded and Rhys Lloyds effort was cleared off the line by Kenleigh Owen on seven. A minute later Owen Roberts was fouled in the box by Owen, Carl Jones saved his initial spot kick but Mike Latham followed up to shoot home. Nip & Tuck for a spell but on seventeen Gresford keeper Jon Hill-Dunt had to race out of his area to block off Damian Ketley who had broken clear of his defenders. Jamie Roberts then a good turn and shot but well covered by Hill-Dunt. At the other end Carl Jones did likewise to foil Latham.
Hotspurs Dewi Thomas was then carried off to be replaced by Phil Williams. Hotspur had come much more into the game and on thirty five drew level. A good constructed move saw Roberts switch the ball to Mike Kelly on the right who wasted no time in driving the ball hard and low into the far corner. Hotspur began to boss events as the game became more open but just before the break Gresford had the ball in the net but Carl Jones was clearly obstructed. (HT 1-1)
Hotspur pressure at the start of the second half and Mike Kellys effort was saved by Hill-Dunt on fifty. On Fifty Max Peate was dismissed for a second yellow for kicking out on the edge of the box and from the free kick Ketleys shot looked goal bound but the keeper made a great save for a corner. After Alex Jones denied Roberts with good defending, Corey Jones set up Ketley but the keeper again kept him out again at the expense of a corner.
Owens flag kick was spot on going straight in to put the visitors into the lead for the first time on 55. The lead was short lived as barely a couple of minutes later Gresford drew level through Owen Roberts who rifled home following a quick break. Rhys Lloyd had brought out a fine save from Jones as the game stretched end to end despite the conditions. After Jones was again tested the hosts took the lead again on sixty nine, there appeared no danger as Roberts got the ball near the left touchline, but he showed great awareness to see Jones straying to the edge of the area and chipped the keeper who desperately tried to get back but along with his defenders couldnt prevent the goal.
Campbell Harrison put on Mike Edwards and Ryan Jones to try and remedy the situation going 4-4-2 but worse was to follow when Jack Mountford made it 4-2 after seventy five following a number of opportunities in front of goal as Hotspur failed to clear properly. The final fifteen minutes saw Hotspur pressing but they could not get past the ten men again.
Gareth M Davies.