What we learned after Rhyl and Caernarfon Town play to six-goal thriller
The biggest game of the Huws Gray Alliance season so far provided entertainment from start to finish as six goals were scored and the game was almost had an injury-time winner as Caernarfon and Rhyl played to a six-goal thriller.
As Rhyl fought back from going behind in the second half. They took a share of the spoils against title favourites Caernarfon.
The game will provide great education for both sides as a potential yard stick for the season ahead, with both sides having ambitions of being at the top and taking that Cymru Alliance crown come the end of the season.
Caernarfon are a side built with a high intensity, free-scoring attack and their three goals today echoed this. Strikers Danny Brookwell and Darren Thomas both with incisive finishes which capitalised on defensive mistakes by the home side, and a fiery half volley from midfielder Jay Gibbs pushed the Canaries goal tally up to 16 this season, before last season’s top scorer Jamie Breese had stepped onto the pitch.
This side will face tougher defensive tests this season and will have to grind out results, but the pieces are there for Caernarfon to score big in games from all areas of the pitch. Iwan Williams’ side will certainly bring entertainment and are well set to get results.
Rhyl Fight Back
Rhyl have been criticized in the early stages of the season after taking six points from the opening four games, drawing three of those from winning positions.
The Lilywhites were up against it from the 2nd minute as Danny Brookwell opened the scoring for Caernarfon, and when the lead was doubled after 25 minutes, the home side will have been fearing the worst.
Great work from Tom Rowlands forced an Alex Ramsay own goal before half time, but it was soon 3-1 and Rhyl were in trouble.
The response from the home side in the final 20 minutes may well be a turning point in what has been a slow start for Niall McGuinness’ men, after Gerwyn Jones found the net from a free header, Rhyl started to believe and upped the pressure.
They could’ve had a 3rd with 10 minutes to go as Alex Ramsay made a goal line save which the home side believe was over. But it was Jamie Whitehouse whose burst into the box was rewarded as he was brought down and a penalty was awarded. The effort was saved but Mark Connolly was able to nod in the equaliser and win his side a point.
Connolly’s Penalty Woes
When Mark Connolly was announced as a Rhyl player ahead of the new season, it brought a buzz of excitement due to his experience and history with the Lilywhites. He’s made a strong start to the Cymru Alliance season with three goals, but his record from the spot is a concern for Rhyl.
He’s taken three penalties in the five league games he’s played, scoring once, hitting the post and having one saved. Luckily today’s miss still resulted in a goal, but it’s something for Rhyl to assess as these chances can be a difference maker.
Tom Rowlands – Rhyl
In a game where Rhyl needed some star quality to come from behind, they were given a wonderful performance from winger Tom Rowlands. His desire and superb cross created Rhyl’s first goal. He continued his performance into the second half, making the right hand side his own, linking up with Alex Titchener and Mark Connolly as the Lilywhites forced a result from the game.
Jay Gibbs – Caernarfon
Central midfielder Jay Gibbs was at the heart of everything for Caernarfon today. His dominating display in the middle of the park shown he could be one of the best midfielders in the league. His goal was a very well taken half volley from 12 yards out and should’ve put the game to bed. Gibbs was unfortunately sent off for dissent as the Canaries had a goal ruled out after a foul during the move.
(Featured Image: Jamie Thomas)