North Wales Match of the Day: Wellmen beat Alex in battle of undefeated sides

Mark Connolly heads in the opener for Holywell. Picture: Lee Douglas

Holywell Town 3 (Connolly 14, Tuck 75, Edwards 84)
Mold Alexandra 1 (Howarth 83)
Welsh National League Premier Division – Oct 12, 2019

Victorious Holywell manager Johnny Haseldin felt his team were worthy winners of North Wales’ match of the day, but was also quick to acknowledge how hard previously unbeaten Mold made it for the Wellmen at Halkyn Road.

These former League of Wales clubs both came into Saturday’s WNL Premier Division tussle unbeaten, but it was the hosts who finished up with three well-deserved points thanks to goals from Mark Connolly, Shaun Tuck and Luke Edwards.

Haseldin said after the game: “I thought we thoroughly deserved the win today.

“Our performance was what pleased me the most. Defensively we were excellent again and when we went forward we looked like scoring on every occasion.

“We were superb for long periods of the game.

“My players’ mentality, their work-rate and everybody working together was key to us getting the result we wanted.

“Make no mistake, Mold are a very good side and they helped bring the best out of us today.”

Town put on the early pressure, Sam Jones having an effort which flashed inches past Elliott Quinlan’s left-hand post.

Goalscorer Mark Connolly auditions for a new musical. “The hills are alivvvvvvvvvvvvve to the Sound of Music”. Pic: Lee Douglas

The opening goal came on 14 minutes. The hosts broke well, with Tuck pressing forward, and his clever lob from the byline across the face of goal found Connolly at the far post to head home.

Haseldin’s men looked for a second with Tony Roebuck and Sam Jones both testing the keeper, but he saved well. Quinlan then pulled off a great save to deny Tuck, and kept out a Jake Cooke attempt from outside the area.

Holywell very nearly grabbed a second on 40 minutes, Edwards with a great corner in and the giant Jacob Wise rose well to head the ball towards goal but it was cleared off the line.

Half time arrived with a 1-0 home lead which could have been wider.

Red card for Mold’s Ryan Coney. Picture: Lee Douglas

Three minutes into the second half the visitors were reduced to 10 men as Ryan Coney was shown a red card for a foul on Edwards.

Ironically, 10-man Mold now started to get back in the game, and burst forward with Conner Kendrick, whose cross into the box saw Mike Platt palm the ball away from the onrushing Daniel Warren, and the danger was cleared.

Back came the red and whites, and another good ball into the box saw Connolly rise to challenge, but the keeper was on hand to gather. James Graham very nearly grabbed Town’s second, but his low shot was saved well by Quinlan at his near post.

Captain Tony Roebuck tried a deft chip which fell inches wide before Mold almost grabbed an equaliser, as Warren beat his marker and his low shot across the face of goal ran inches wide of Platt’s post.

However, in the 75th minute Holywell made it 2-0. Tuck controlled well, ran and beat two defenders before pulling the trigger and his shot flew into the back of the net.

He knows how to ‘tuck’ ’em away: Holywell’s second goalscorer Shaun Tuck rises with the Mold keeper. Pic: Lee Douglas

Alex pulled one back soon after, Matty Lewis setting up Rhys Nash to stab past Platt.

Any fear of Mold getting an equaliser ended a minute later. Edwards picked up the ball close to the halfway line, burst forward and unleashed a fierce drive from outside the area which arrowed into the top corner, giving the keeper no chance.

A great individual effort and Edwards ran over to the joyous home supporters behind the goal. That settled the argument.

Luke Edwards (furthest right) leaps with joy after making it 3-1. Pic: Lee Douglas

The win moves Town up to fifth in the Premier, and with three weeks of cup matches to come, it was an important three points picked up by the Wellmen.

Holywell squad: Mike Platt, Lee Butterworth, Daniel Dobbins, James Graham, Jacob Wise, Jake Cooke, Luke Edwards, Tony Roebuck, Shaun Tuck, Mark Connolly, Sam Jones. Subs: Kieran Price, Ben Brierly, Jason Renshaw, Dylan Allshorn, Josh Robertson.

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