Hotspur progress past defending champions Flint
Holyhead Hotspur knocked holders Flint Town United out of this season’s Huws Gray Alliance League Cup at the Silkmen’s own Cae y Castell in the first round, thanks to a 2-1 away victory, writes Holyhead’s Gareth Davies.
Flint, who won the trophy at the end of last season against Gresford Athletic, were sent crashing out of the competition by Dean Garmey’s Holyhead side. Two first half goals, from Jamie McDaid and captain Alex Jones saw the Holy Islanders advance into the quarter finals, despite a consolation goal late on by Flint
Hotspur started well, but it was the hosts who went closest first. With eight minutes on the clock, Rees Brown had to clear the ball from near his own goal line to avert an early chance from Flint.
The home side continued to threaten and with 10 minutes gone, Holyhead keeer Carl Jones failed in his attempt to punch the ball away, but his defence came to his rescue to clear the danger.
The game remained an even encounter for the majority of the first half, but on 31 minutes, Harry Galleotti made progress into the Flint box and crafted out Holyhead’s first effort, but was well tackled when about to get his shot away.
However four minutes later, Hotspur went ahead when Cory Jones threaded a fine ball through into Jamie McDaid’s path, and the striker, when well placed in the Flint area, cleverly drilled his shot into the far corner to fire Holyehad into the lead.
Two minutes later, McDaid again wriggled through but this time shot over the bar.
Flint were in control of proceedings, however were being shut down effectively by the Holyhead defence, as they held out the in-form Huws Gray outfit.
In added time inthe first half, Hotspur made them pay as they doubled their advantage. From a Dean Garmey corner from the left, captain Jones met the delivery and headed the ball home past goalkeeper Arfon Jones to give the visitors a two goal cushion heading into the break.
In the second half, the home side came out with a greater intensity and on 48 minutes former Hotspur striker Damien Ketley made a fine run finding Mark Cadwallader, but Cadwallader fired over the bar when well placed.
With Flint pushing forward just after the hour mark, Mc Daid found Luke McGivern in acres of space but his shot on goal was scuffed, as the away side let the chance go begging to increase their advantage.
Flint begun to make advances through the resolute Hotspur defence, but both Cadwallader and Kyle Smith were to rue poor efforts from promising positions.
On 80 minutes, Flint thought they had reduced the deficit, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Niall McGuiness’ men were piling on the pressure but Hotspur’s defence was unruffled until in the fourth minute of added time when Cadwallader pounced on a loose ball, after Jones mad e a great double save, to fire home.
But, it was merely a consolation goal as Holyhead ran out victors.
FEATURED IMAGE: Flint Town United