Ten Men Deny Hotspur
With the keenly awaited Welsh Cup encounter against Welsh Premier Bala Town coming up this Saturday, Holyhead Hotspur Manager Campbell Harrison looking for a confidence booster ahead of the tie was not a happy man with his team’s second half display against hosts Conwy Borough who had been reduced to ten men a few minutes before the break and will have to show a marked improvement if they are to test the Maes Tegid side. Indeed only for several outstanding saves from Carl Jones they could have returned from Y Morfa empty handed. Despite Jones’ heroics the keeper was guilty of poor communication with a defender when racing out of goal for Conwy’s equaliser after Alex Jones had given the visitors a first half lead. Without offering any excuses this weekend’s cup tie was probably lurking in the background, however the managers will have no problems with motivation and roared on by a big crowd anything could happen in a one off situation, just ask Bangor City! Hotspur are certainly capable of an upset and Bala will not relish coming to the New Stadium.
Hotspur started well and after eight minutes Damian Ketley’s well struck free kick had Conwy keeper Louie Mackin at full stretch to push away. At the other end Joe Chaplin slipped the ball through to Lee Davey whose effort brought a good block by Carl Jones. The hosts then had a good spell and Chaplin fired just wide on sixteen. The game up to this point had been lacking incident but on thirty five Mackin who chose to punch everything although not always to good effect did well to save Rhys Roberts’ header for a corner. From the flag kick by Kenleigh Owen the ball evaded everyone which only needed a touch.
On thirty eight Hotspur took the lead, Kenleigh Owen who had been pumping some telling balls with the wind into the box took a corner on the right which eventually reached Alex Jones in the goalmouth who although falling managed to turn the loose ball home. The visitors were looking to add to their score and their task was seemingly made easier on forty two minutes when Conwy striker Lee Davey was given a straight red after a bad challenge on Rhys Roberts. (HT 0 1)
Two minutes after the break Hotspur wasted a gilt edged chance to go two up against the ten men. Ketley on the left crossed into the goalmouth but unmarked Phil Williams headed the wrong side of the upright. Another chance fell to Williams just after via Kenleigh Owen but he failed to get a good connection and the ball drifted wide. The hosts began to take heart from the missed opportunities coming for more into the game despite being one man down and on sixty five Carl Jones made a remarkable save low down to his right from Ross Howcroft Jones. However, a few minutes later it was hero turned villain when a lack of communication and rush of blood saw Jones charge out to help his defender but only succeeded in losing out to Howcroft Jones who crossed into Joe Chaplin who shot home into the now unguarded net. A minute later Ben Holmes headed just wide for Conwy. Hotspur came back and Mackin had to save well from Ketley but it was Conwy who were calling the tune and it needed two terrific saves from Jones in quick succession to prevent Chaplin getting his brace and sub Ellis Howard Jones. Ketley was just inches with time running out while Moses Barnett for the Musslemen hit the side netting. Not a satisfactory outcome perhaps but with a ‘Damian’ in your side who knows what might happen next Saturday.
Gareth M Davies