Dream Debuts: Luke McGivern (Amlwch Town 2012/13)

Luke McGivern enjoyed a dream debut for Amlwch with an injury-time winner. All pictures GETH JONES, Amlwch Town FC

Nantlle Vale 2 (Davies 40, Rice 52)
Amlwch Town 3 (Parry 20, Byast pen 89, McGivern 90)
Welsh Alliance League – March 30, 2013

What a debut it was for young Luke McGivern eight years ago this month as he scored the winning goal to lift Amlwch off the bottom of the table.

Town arrived at Maes Dulyn in confident mood after securing their first league win of the season only a few weeks previously against the same opposition.

Stephen Parry opened the scoring in spectacular style after 20 minutes when he let loose from outside the area with the ball flying into the top corner.

Chris Byast came close to doubling the lead from a free kick but the home keeper dived down low to keep the ball out before Ryan McKean was called upon at the other end to save from a Vale set piece.

Parry blazed over after a string of passes had put him through while McKean again came to the rescue with a fantastic one-handed save to tip the ball round the post.

With minutes of the first half remaining Vale finally drew level when Gavin Davies’ header looped over McKean into the net.

The hosts stepped up a gear after the switch around and it took them only seven minutes to take the lead through Aled Rice, which forced Amlwch manager Andrew Wright into a reshuffle soon afterwards, bringing on Dan Jones and handing a senior debut to Luke McGivern.

Nantlle were still the dominant side but when Amlwch did break forward they found Vale had a 12th man in their woodwork with firstly Byast hitting it direct from a corner before Adrian Jones struck it, only to see his effort come down onto the goal-line before being cleared.

With a minute of the game remaining Amlwch were given a lifeline when Byast was awarded a penalty following a blow to the head. And Byast dusted himself down to convert and looked like pinching a draw against the run of play.

Vale pushed for a winner and were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area which was cleared by Jones.

With seconds of injury time remaining veteran Jones surged forward and put McGivern through one on one with the keeper and the youngster showed great composure to score a debut goal and complete a smash and grab 3-2 victory which saw Town climb off the basement, leapfrogging their hosts.

Winning manager Wright said afterwards: “Still trying to get my head round the fact we got anything out of today’s match, never mind taking all three points…but they do say you get what you deserve and maybe all the players’ hard work over the past few weeks got them their just reward.”

Luke McGivern has gone on to become one of Amlwch’s finest players of recent years, establishing himself as a genuine goal scoring midfielder. He now serves in the RAF, having boosted his career prospects with a spell at Mon CF.

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