Top 10 club matches of the decade: Holyhead Hotspur

Welsh Alliance Football Holyhead Hotspurs v Llanrwst Holyhead wins the league title, team picture

All hail the 2011/12 Welsh Alliance League champions Holyhead Hotspur

1 Holyhead Hotspur 2 Bangor City 1 (Welsh Cup R3 – Dec 8, 2015)

Hotspur rejoice after knocking out Bangor City

What a night it was at a weather-beaten New Stadium as underdogs Hotspur struck late to dump eight-time competition winners Bangor out of the Welsh Cup.
City were still a strong Welsh Premier outfit at the time, managed by the legendary Neville Powell, while Holyhead of the Huws Gray Alliance had Campbell Harrison at the helm.
After a goal-less first half, the visitors grabbed the lead through Matty Woodward, but the hosts kept battling and equalised when Rhys Roberts scrambled the ball home from close range.
Extra time was looming before Dean Garmey bagged the winner to send the home fans delirious.

2 Holyhead Hotspur 3 Holywell Town 1 (Welsh Alliance – Apr 28, 2012)

Hotspur did not win the title with this victory but they certainly set themselves up to be crowned champions.
Heading into the game, Hotspur led the table with 67 points from 28 games, but Holywell were breathing down their necks on 66 from 27.
Emlyn Manley Williams’ side really needed to beat their Flintshire visitors to remain in the driving seat and they did so to push four points clear of the Wellmen, who had still played one match less.
Mel McGinness bagged a brace and Mike Edwards was also on the mark for the home side.
Holywell won 3-1 at Glan Conwy in midweek, so heading into the final Saturday, Hotspur had 70 points and Town 69 with one fixture each to play.
It turned out that win over the Wellmen made all the difference for the Holy Islanders.
And what made the victory even more special was the fact Hotspur had three points deducted a few days before the match for inadvertently fielding a suspended player.
A blow like that might have ruined some teams – but not Hotspur.

3 Caernarfon Town 1 Holyhead Hotspur 2 (Huws Gray Alliance – Aug 19, 2017)

Although Caernarfon won the Huws Gray Alliance title at the end of the season, they suffered their only league defeat of the campaign at the hands of visitors Hotspur.
After weathering an early storm at The Oval, the visitors took the lead through a 16th minute Kenleigh Owen penalty.
To earn the spot-kick, Owen was fouled by Danny Brookwell in the box and the Canaries man received a red card, which proved a vital turning point.
With Town still reeling, John Littlemore hit the woodwork before Mel McGinness drilled in number two for the travellers.
After the break, a reshuffled Caernarfon fought hard and cut the deficit with a Nathan Craig penalty.
Hotspur survived a few scares after that but eventually celebrated a famous victory. It was Town’s sole loss in 30 league games that season. Holyhead finished a modest 12th.

4 Holyhead Hotspur 5 Llanrwst United 0 (Welsh Alliance – May 5, 2012)

Still needing a win to make sure of the title, Hotspur made no mistake as they swept aside the Rwsters at the New Stadium.
Mike Edwards struck twice in the first four minutes, and a further brace by Jay Gibbs, plus a Gareth Owen single, ensured the Holy Islanders ended the season with seven straight league wins and finished a point ahead of nearest challengers Holywell, who won their final game 7-0.

5 Holyhead Hotspur 2 Holywell Town 1 (Mawddach Cup Final – May 2012)

Hotspur completed a remarkable treble when they added the Mawddach Cup to their collection with a 2-1 victory over Holywell at Caernarfon Town’s Oval.
With the Welsh Alliance League Division One title and Cookson Cup in the locker, plus an FAW Trophy Final appearance to their credit, Holyhead rounded off the most productive season in their 22-year history with a third piece of silverware.
In just the third minute Mike Edwards found Mel McGinness, whose pinpoint pass released Kenleigh Owen, and he met the ball on the run, crashing home a tremendous shot just under the bar from 15 yards.
In the 33rd minute a misdirected pass was picked up by Edwards, who advanced to the edge of the area and a perfectly placed chip made it 2-0.
The Hotspur back-line kept their opponents at bay until in the 87th minute Sam Jones reduced the arrears.

6 Holyhead Hotspur 7 Bangor City 5 (Huws Gray Cup semi-final – Feb 8, 2019)

Maybe not the Bangor City of old, but still how can a 7-5 victory in a semi-final not make the list!
City went two-up, but Hotspur rallied superbly to lead 3-2 at half time, John Littlemore (2) and Chris Jones with the goals.
Littlemore completed a hat-trick in the second half, but Bangor battled back to make it 4-4 at the end of 90 minutes.
Into extra time, and it was the Holy Islanders who emerged the stronger, goals from Dan McGinness, Tomos Clarke and Mel McGinness sealing a great victory.

7 Holyhead Hotspur 3 Holyhead Town 1 (Welsh Cup – Sep 29, 2019)

It was a magnificent occasion for Holyhead as the town’s two biggest teams met for the first time in a Welsh Cup clash which was watched by more than 700 spectators.
S4C cameras were there to capture the event and Hotspur struck first with an Alex Jones header from a free kick into the box.
Robert Jones applied a lethal right-foot finish at the back post, lashing into the roof of the net for 2-0, but Gary Jo Owen replied from the penalty spot before the break.
In a tense second half, both teams missed good opportunities until Kenleigh Owen settled it with Hotspur’s third.

8 Holyhead Hotspur 3 Llanrwst United 1 (FAW Trophy semi-final – 2011/12)

Mel McGinness was at his magical best against Llanrwst in the 2011/12 FAW Trophy semi-final

This was a day where Hotspur legend Mel McGinness produced one of his greatest performances for the club.
Magic Mel knocked in a tremendous hat-trick to secure the Holy Islanders a place in the FAW Trophy final at the expense of fellow Welsh Alliance side Llanrwst at Nantporth, Bangor City.

9 Holyhead Hotspur 2 Gwalchmai 0 (Cookson Cup final – Mar 21, 2012)

The first trophy lifted by Hotspur in a treble-winning season.
It was also the first major piece of silverware the club had landed in 14 years.
Who was the hero of this final? The man who scored both goals for Emlyn Manley Williams’ side?
Chris Saxon was the name, the midfielder grabbing two of the seven goals he scored for the team during that campaign.

10 Holyhead Hotspur Reserves 4 Bangor City Reserves 1 (Welsh Alliance Reserves Division Lock Stock Fireworks Challenge Cup – May 2017)

Great night for Hotspur Reserves as they won the biggest trophy in their history

Important to give the reserves a mention as they have been such a big part of the club’s progress in the past two to three years.
Mel McGinness banged in a hat-trick on a night where Hotspur whipped league champions Bangor at Maes Eilian, Llanfairpwll.
City edged ahead within 90 seconds of the start through Guto Williams.
The equaliser came when following a quick throw-in, McGinness turned on a sixpence and drove home low.
A minute before the break Holyhead were in front when a Mel McGinness shot was flying off target, but his brother Dan McGinness managed to lay the ball back into Mel’s path and the prolific striker blasted home with glee.
The final could have swung either way before on 76 minutes Mike Kelly latched onto a superb through ball on the right and perfectly placed his effort past the keeper for 3-1.
McGinness completed a treble before the end with his 27th club goal of the campaign.

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