Football: Hotspur Reserves win Holyhead derby in tough conditions

Hotspur’s Tom Scott (stripes) in action against Town’s Jenson Rowlands and Charlie Diamond. Picture: JWO

Holyhead Hotspur Reserves 4 (Batsford OG 49, Scott 53, Eaton 85, Jones 90)
Holyhead Town 0
Pre-season friendly – Nov 17, 2020

Town paid the price for not making the most of wind advantage in the first half as Hotspur Reserves scored four times without reply after the break.

In very windy conditions at the New Oval, Hotspur won the opening corner in spite of the elements being against them and Town goalkeeper Nick Murphy was forced to tip over.

In the seventh minute, Town launched a quick counter attack down the left with Kaine Bentley playing in Dale Murphy, whose shot was well saved by Connor Hughes.

Dale Murphy found himself shooting from long range but was well wide.

Forward Robert Thomas was able to pounce on the resulting short goal kick and play in Bentley.

It was the best chance of the half, but Bentley lashed into the side-netting.

With the game becoming scrappy and conditions worsening, Bentley showed his quality with a long range half volley which was well held by the keeper.

Hotspur’s Tom Scott (blue) comes up against Jordan Rowlands of Town Pictures: JWO

Hotspur still looked a threat on the counter and were defending stoically against the wind.

After 35 minutes, Town were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box with full back Aidan Batsford forcing a save from Hughes.

Half-time: 0-0

Town made one change at the break with Justin Williams, who suffered a rib injury during the first half, replaced by Charlie Diamond.

In the 49th minute Hotspur fired in a long range effort which was deflected wide for a corner.

The flag kick was swung in and headed clear by Batsford at the near post, but caught the wind and flew into the goal off the back stick.

It was 2-0 in the 53rd minute when a lofted ball into the Town box was headed in by Tom Scott from about 15 yards.

Town remained positive and pushed to get back in the game with Thomas shooting wide of the post.

In the 78th minute, Thomas found himself one-on-one with the Hotspur keeper after some good work from Dale Murphy, but his shot was well saved.

Dan Lewis on the ball for Holyhead Town (yellow and green). Picture: JWO

The visitors then advanced down the left hand side resulting in a free kick with keeper Hughes handling outside the box.

The ball was crossed in with the resulting shot blocked as the Hotspur defence stood firm.

With the game drawing to a close Hotspur were awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal after a soft foul in the 85th minute.

Cameron Eaton stepped up and curled his effort into the top corner past a fully stretched Murphy.

Scott then drew a foul from Justin Lewis and the referee awarded a penalty which Cameron Jones converted.

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