Emlyn Manley Williams’ side looked well set for victory on Saturday against a Denbigh team they had previously thrashed 6-0 and 5-0 twice this season.
With less than quarter of an hour left, Hotspur were 1-0 up and seemingly comfortable, but then five minutes of madness cost them dear.
The first half was a non-descript affair, Richard Owen and Kenleigh Owen shooting just off target for the visitors, while Denbigh’s finishing was well off-beam.
A minute into the second period Hotspur grabbed the lead when Mike Edwards and Gibbs combined to get into the penalty area. Denbigh defender Mark Orme looked to have things under control, but lost the ball and Mike Edwards lashed home left-footed.
The visitors went close to a second when Kenleigh Owen’s fine strike was well saved by home keeper Gareth Roberts. Eilir Edwards blasted just over for the hosts on 55 minutes but the Harbourmen were generally untroubled. Ben Heald had to concoct a fine stop from a Russ Jones header and the Hotspur glovesman also did very well to deny Orme.
Hotspur were cruising until in the 78th minute Mike Kelly caught Eilir Edwards in the box and a penalty was awarded.
Heald saved Ceri James’ kick, but on his assistant’s advice the referee awarded a retake, claiming the keeper moved off his line.
James scored at the second time of asking and Gibbs and Dan McGinness were sent off for disputing the decision. In the 82nd minute Denbigh’s Edwards was dismissed for a second yellow card, making it nine versus 10 in the closing stages. A draw looked likely until in the second minute of injury time Ian Griffiths headed in a corner at the near post to seal a surprise Denbigh win.
The result leaves Hotspur two points behind Division One leaders Holywell Town with the same number of games played.
Both contenders have seven matches left and the Wellmen still have to visit the New Stadium.