Remembering Rob…Another all-time CPD Gwalchmai classic

Calling all the heroes! Paul Owen leads his players off the field after an epic 4-4 draw at Holywell in 2012-13. Picture: Dai Sinclair

Holywell Town 4 (Orme 8 & 48, Thomas 12 & 31)
Gwalchmai 4 (Allman 27, Griffith 53, M Evans 60, C Evans 90+)
Welsh Alliance League – Wednesday, April 3, 2013

One of the most memorable games of Rob Hughes and Paul Owen’s reign at CPD Gwalchmai came towards the end of the 2009-10 season when the Anglesey side picked up a remarkable draw at Holywell.

Trailing 4-1 early in the second half, Gwalch fought back to take a point, Craig Evans plundering an injury-time equaliser.

The result put a dent into Holywell’s Welsh Alliance title challenge, the Wellmen eventually finishing third that season five points behind champions Caernarfon Town.

Draws ended up costing Johnny Haseldin’s team the championship as five of their last nine league matches ended all-square.

A 4-0 home loss to runners-up Denbigh Town in the closing weeks also hit Holywell’s hopes hard.

This Wednesday night battle with Gwalchmai at Halkyn Road saw the Wellmen start brightest and with barely a minute on the clock, Gwalchmai keeper Kenny Hughes was forced to save well with his legs from Ian Griffiths’ shot.

From an eighth-minute corner, the ball reached Steve Thomas, who guided it back into the box and Mark Orme was first to react, his near post header giving Town a deserved lead.

A few minutes later, it was 2-0. Thomas was given space to run at the away defenders and he beat the challenge of one of them to give himself some space then unleashed a shot which flew into the top corner.

Gwalchmai then got into the game and home keeper David Walsh made an excellent save, tipping the ball over from Marc Evans’ shot.

In the 27th minute the islanders pulled one back when Gareth Allman scored with a header from a quickly-taken corner.

Town restored their two-goal lead on the half-hour as Thomas got his second, slotting the ball past Hughes after being set up by new signing Graham Boylan.

Gwalchmai’s Andrew Sinclair saw a header go over the bar before Ian Griffiths thought he had won a penalty for Town, but the referee waved play on.

Half-time: Holywell 3 Gwalchmai 1

Town came out for the second half and within three minutes were 4-1 up.

A corner from the left was only half-cleared and Orme was on hand to lash into the roof of the net with the keeper well beaten.

Three goals down with less than half of the game left, a long midweek trip to Flintshire against one of the title contenders….it would have been easy for Gwalchmai to give up at this stage. Not a bit of it!

A few minutes later, the Maes Meurig men replied through Mark Griffith.

It was all Gwalch now and they got their third on the hour through Marc Evans.

Barry Calder was brought down in the box but no penalty was given before Boylan very nearly opened his Holywell account but Hughes saved well with his legs.

Tony Roebuck had a shot go over before Griffith fired wide for the visitors.

Town were fortunate a few minutes later as Marc Evans was running in on goal but blasted over with only the keeper to beat.

Calder was really unlucky when his first time volley flew inches wide of Hughes’ left post.

Town thought they had hung on for the three points but Gwlachmai had other ideas.

In injury time, they got the equaliser when Craig Evans fired home a loose ball. The same Craig Evans whose goal clinched the Gwynedd League title in 2009-10.

What a comeback it had been from Rob and Paul’s Anglesey warriors.

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