MATCH REPORT: Llandudno Albion 3-2 Rhyl – Lilywhites suffer defeat to lower-league opposition

A last-minute goal from Ricky Jones helped seal the fate of Niall McGuinness, as Albion secured a historic win against the Huws Gray Alliance side.

The young-manager resigned not long after the defeat after losing to a side that are a division below them, with Mark Connolly taking charge, after getting himself onto the score sheet on Saturday.

Rhyl started the game off positively: keeping Albion keeper Hoyle busy, without causing a serious threat. But at 16 minutes, Dave Maddock collected the ball some 25 yards out, and without a Rhyl player challenging, struck a sweet shot over the stranded Crowther to sneak under the bar and give the home side a surprise lead.

The lead didn’t last long and within five minutes Rhyl received a free kick, which Connolly coolly slotted home with a curling shot to the left of Hoyle. Albion had the chance to re-take the lead just before the half hour mark, when Davies broke through the visitor’s defence.

But instead of taking the shot himself, he attempted to play in Maddock, misplacing his pass and leaving the ball to trickle out for a goal kick. The remainder of the half, had Rhyl keep control of the game without putting too much pressure on the Albion goal, and twice in a matter of minutes the home side caused a scare with some good opportunities to re-take the lead.

Plenty of thought for both teams at the break, Albion the happier of the two teams with the score.
After the break Rhyl picked up the pace and took the game to Albion. Eager to put the tie to bed, they sought to pressurise the men in red.

Two changes brought more zest to Rhyl’s stumbling attack and – with a multitude of corners while camped in Llandudno’s half – their efforts finally paid off when Buckley managed to pop the ball in from close range and give Rhyl a deserved 2-1 lead.

It would be fair to suggest that Albion may have let the game go at that point. The might of a team like Rhyl could have been enough to see Albion concede the game. But completely the opposite happened. Almost immediately from the kick off, Llandudno descended on the Rhyl goal, and within minutes Al Davies had equalised for the home side.

The Albion centre forward undid all the pressure Rhyl applied. A jubilant Maesdu Park sensed they could win this. Once again Rhyl dominated but couldn’t break Albion down. Chances were few and far between – a testimony to Llandudno’s resilience in not letting Rhyl take full control of the game.

Twelve minutes from time, Rhyl’s best chance since their second goal came: when Tichiner unleashed a rifling shot which had Hoyle stranded. But the shot hit both the crossbar and post before bouncing out and finally being cleared up-field.

A mass of corners for Rhyl came to nothing and the game seemed destined for extra time. But right at the death, like so many times, Llandudno broke quickly and, with almost the last kick of the game, Ricky Jones found himself in front of goal.

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With the keeper nowhere to be seen, and time on his hands to control the ball, Jones firmly slotted it home and give Albion an unlikely but nonetheless deserved victory for the Welsh Alliance outfit.

Albion’s reward for beating Rhyl is an away trip to Welsh National Premier Division side Buckley Town and Rhyl are now left with the task of finding someone who can turn round, what has been a disappointing to start to the season.

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