Wednesday football: Heroic Spartans bow out of Trophy, Hotspur up to second after narrow win

Mynydd Isa Spartans have punched above their weight in cups this season

Wednesday football reports

Holyhead Hotspur 2 (Kenleigh Owen, Sam Ashworth)
Nantlle Vale 1 (Sion Williams)
Welsh Alliance Division One

Hotspur edged up to second in Division One with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over a stubborn Nantlle Vale at the New Stadium on Wednesday night.

Darren Garmey’s side maintained their 100% home record and moved to within three points of leaders Denbigh Town with three games in hand.

All the goals arrived in the first half of Wednesday’s tussle at Holyhead.

Kenleigh Owen broke the deadlock in the 13th minute with a fine drive from the edge of the area.

Nantlle levelled on 21 minutes when Sion Williams found the net, but in no time it was 2-1 to the hosts when after a driving run by Dewi Thomas, a sharp finish was applied by Sam Ashworth.

Still beaten just once in the league this season, Hotspur will aim to keep the heat on the table-toppers when they visit an in-form Llanrwst United this Saturday.

Llandudno Albion 3 (Dan Evans, Dave Maddock, Joe Morgan)
Mynydd Isa Spartans 2 (Ross Walker, Sam Reilly)
FAW Trophy round three

Albion grabbed a dramatic victory over Mynydd Isa courtesy of a 120th minute winner from Joe Morgan to clinch a visit to Carno in round four of the FAW Trophy.

Dan Evans gave the Welsh Alliance Division One hosts an early lead from a corner, but Spartans, who had already shown what they were capable of by knocking Denbigh Town out of the Welsh Cup 2-1 away this season, stormed back to lead through Ross Walker and Sam Reilly.

Walker applied a back-post finish following a short corner move, then Reilly fired in from 15 yards after a long throw was flicked on.

Albion played a fast tempo game, moving the ball well, but were kept at bay by a committed Spartans side for most of the match.

However, the Welsh National League Division One underdogs could not prevent Dave Maddock making it 2-2 by half time with an angled finish.

No further goals in the second period, so into extra time they went.

In that added half-hour, Spartans blasted a penalty over the bar and then pressure in the final minutes via several free kicks from dangerous areas and corners helped Albion find a way through via Morgan to put them into the next round.

Spartans had some great chances too in extra time but the Albion keeper saved well from Kal Pierce and Harvey Hammersley efforts.

Losing manager James Hollyoak said: “We are tremendously proud of all the players who once again have proven they are a match for teams from higher divisions and the focus is now on getting ourselves there, where we can compete in games like this week in week out.

“On current form we feel it really is where we belong. In some ways this season hasn’t even begun yet as the league campaign has months remaining which is a reminder to the team who we know wanted the cup run more than anything to continue.”

Dane Shorrock was Mynydd’s man of the match for relentless play down the left, while Callum Bennett, who has recently stepped up to the first team, was solid in the middle of the park.

Revised FAW Amateur Trophy round four draw – North/Mid

Bodedern Athletic v Holyhead Hotspur
Carno v Llandudno Albion
Cefn Mawr Rangers v Welshpool Town
Lex XI v Berriew
Llay Welfare v Llanrwst United
Llanuwchllyn/Llanrug United (playing Nov 16) v Brymbo
Nantlle Vale v Barmouth and Dyffryn
Nefyn United/Llannefydd (playing Nov 16) v Denbigh Town
Radnor Valley v Mold Alexandra
Rhos Aelwyd v Gaerwen
(to be played Saturday, November 23)

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