Top 10 club matches of the decade: Holywell Town

Holywell (red) on the attack in their 2014-15 Welsh Cup tie against Aberystwyth at Halkyn Road

1 Holywell Town 3 Conwy United 2 (FAW Trophy Final 2010/11)

Let’s go crazy: Holywell players rejoice after coming back from the dead to beat Conwy United in the 2010/11 FAW Trophy final. Pic: Tony Mottram

What happened on this day at Rhyl is still difficult to believe.
This all-Welsh Alliance FAW Trophy final saw Conwy lead 2-0 in the 85th minute through Toby Jones and a Tony Hogan own goal.
Entering the 90th minute, it appeared all over, but then Conwy’s Mark Orme handled on the line, was sent off, and Steve Thomas scored from the spot.
The assistant referee displayed there would be five minutes of added time and the Wellmen levelled from a second Thomas penalty.
With four minutes of the five played, Hogan turned from villain to hero by poking home the winner to complete the most amazing of turnarounds.

2 Holywell Town 3 Newtown 2 (Welsh Cup round four 2013/14)

Welsh Alliance beating Welsh Premier – tier three defeating first tier – is a very unusual occurrence. In fact, apart from this occasion in the 2013/14 Welsh Cup, I can’t remember any other instances (my memory is not what it used to be though).
Johnny Haseldin’s history-making heroes knocked out top flight club Newtown on their way to becoming the first level-three side ever to reach the Welsh Cup semi-finals,
Welsh Alliance Town stormed into a three-goal lead through Paul Williams, Sam Jones and Steve Thomas.
Tom Goodwin and Matthew Hearsey hit back for Newtown in the second half, but despite having to ship late pressure the Wellmen held on for a fantastic result.

3 Aberystwyth Town 3 Holywell Town 1 (Welsh Cup semi-final 2013/14)

Holywell line-up before the biggest game in their history

An unforgettable afternoon at Latham Park, Newtown, saw rank outsiders Holywell take a shock lead against Welsh Premier favourites Aber when Tom McElmeel fired them in front.
Craig Williams equalised before the break, but it needed late goals from Chris Venables and Geoff Kellaway to see the Blacks and Greens into the final and end Holywell’s remarkable adventure.

4 Holywell Town 3 Prestatyn Town 3 (Nathaniel MG Cup aet – Holywell 5-4 on pens, 2017/18)

Holywell’s players celebrate an amazing cup win over Prestatyn

Stunning comebacks have been a theme of Johnny Haseldin’s reign as Holywell manager – and this was one of the best.
After a goalless first half, Noah Edwards and Ben Maher put the Welsh Premier visitors two-up and entering the last five minutes Prestatyn looked sure bets to progress.
However, the tables were turned when late strikes from Brady McGilloway and Graeme Williams forced extra time.
Jack Higgins restored the Prestatyn lead, but Jon Jones’ 120th minute leveller led to penalties and Holywell emerged victorious 5-4 on spot-kicks, Joe Griffith producing two saves.

5 Gresford Athletic 1 Holywell Town 5 (FAW Trophy round five 2014/15)

Gresford and Holywell in FAW Trophy combat. The Wellmen won 5-1 at Clappers Lane

Two unbeaten sides came together in the last 16 – and Welsh National League Premier Division outfit Gresford were favourites with home advantage.
Holywell appeared to be really up against it, with leading scorer and captain Sam Jones suspended and a number of other key players absent.
Yet the Wellmen were unstoppable, storming into a 3-0 half time lead through Tony Roebuck, Phil Lloyd and Tom McElmeel (pen).
Sam Richardson pulled one back early in the second half, but Lloyd and Graeme Williams made it 5-1. Truly awesome from Holywell.

6 Holywell Town 5 Llandudno 3 (aet – Welsh Cup round two 2012/13)

Holywell’s 5-3 Welsh Cup win over Llandudno in 2012/13 was one of Johnny Haseldin’s finest as manager

What a fightback by Holywell!
Cymru Alliance visitors Llandudno went three-up through a Dean Seager double and Connor Tierney single, but the Wellmen were back in it by half time through Steve Thomas (penalty) and Marc Gunther.
Paul Williams’ equaliser early in the second half forced extra time where Graeme Williams and Thomas clinched a famous win for Johnny Haseldin’s Welsh Alliance underdogs.

7 Holywell Town 4 Penrhyndeudraeth 2 (FAW Trophy Final 2014/15)

Cecil the Crocodile made his debut at the 2014-15 FAW Trophy final. He was eventually sent (carried) off by referee Nick Pratt. Pic: Richard Birch

The Wellmen clinched their second FAW Trophy success of the decade at Maesdu Park.
Phil Lloyd handed Town a 12th minute lead, but veteran Paul Roberts levelled in first half added time.
Steve Thomas hit Holywell’s second in the 54th minute, but Penrhyn equalised again through Tom Hughes.
Lloyd and the outstanding Sam Jones (pen) sealed a magnificent victory on a day where a legend was born – Holywell fans mascot Cecil the Crocodile, removed from the pitch by referee Nick Pratt in the closing minutes for encroachment.

8 Holywell Town 3 Llanrug United 2 (Mawddach Cup Final 2014/15)

Town completed a marvellous 2014/15 treble with a Mawddach Cup final victory at Bangor over a Llanrug side who beat the Wellmen in the Cookson Cup final a few weeks earlier.
Llanrug took the lead through Jonathan Peris Jones’ shot and it remained 1-0 up to the break.
After an even start to the second half, Holywell levelled when Matty Harvey headed in Steve Thomas’ free kick.
Both sides had close calls before the 90 minutes were up, but keepers Mike Platt and Dylan Roberts were in fine form, ensuring extra time was required.
Early in the first period, Phil Lloyd’s fierce shot hit the underside of the crossbar and the referee ruled the ball had crossed the line when it came down – 2-1 Holywell.
Llanrug were far from finished and made it all-square again through Gethin Phillips before half time.
A penalty shoot-out loomed before Steve Thomas’ cross from the left was bundled over the line by Luke Tyson, who wrote himself into club folklore by clinching the cup.

9 Holywell Town 2 Porthmadog 1 (Welsh Cup quarter-final – 2013-14)

Holywell entered the record books when they became the first third-tier club ever to reach the Welsh Cup semi-finals courtesy of a win over HGA side Porthmadog.
Sam Jones put the Welsh Alliance Wellmen ahead, Leon Newell equalised before the interval, but Dafydd Griffith plundered a late winner for Town. That made it three Huws Gray Alliance sides and one Welsh Premier team eliminated by Holywell in the Welsh Cup.

10 Holywell Town 0 Aberystwyth Town 0 (Aber won 3-2 on pens, Welsh Cup round four – 2014/15)

After pushing Welsh Premier giants Aber so hard in the semis the previous season, the Wellmen drew the blacks and greens in the competition again the following campaign.
This time it was even closer as the Park Avenue visitors needed a penalty shoot-out to see off Holywell’s brave challenge at Halkyn Road.
Unbeaten in 29 matches in all competitions going into the last 16 tie, Johnny Haseldin’s men more than matched their illustrious opponents.
Both goalkeepers produced heroics – Mike Lewis for Aber and Mike Platt for Holywell – while the closest the hosts came was a looping effort from Paul Williams which hit the bar.
The Wellmen went on to win a Welsh Alliance title, FAW Trophy and Mawddach Cup treble.

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