Spurs let two-goal lead slip


Bangor Mail - - SPORT -

HOLY­HEAD Hot­spur will have felt it was two points dropped af­ter let­ting a two-goal lead slip in an en­ter­tain­ing 2-2 draw with FC Queens Park in the Huws Gray Al­liance, writes Gareth Davies.

Fol­low­ing their ex­cel­lent show­ing against Porth­madog last week it was a case of af­ter the Lord Mayor’s Show at Stansty Park as Camp­bell Har­ri­son’s men were pegged back from 2-0 in the sec­ond half – and by the end could have left Wrex­ham with noth­ing.

Hot­spur will need to get back on track this com­ing Satur­day when they host Gres­ford Ath­letic (2.30pm), while they face Caernar­fon Town in the next round of the Natha­nial MG Cup the fol­low­ing Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 3 (7.30pm).

Against Queens Park, Hot­spur had a num­ber of in­flu­en­cial play­ers miss­ing, but Har­ri­son and as­sis­tant Dar­ren Garmey would not use that as an ex­cuse for not be­ing able to keep up the pres­sure at the top of the di­vi­sion, as the hosts them­selves were de­pleted.

John Lit­tle­more put Hot­spur into an early lead which re­mained un­til half-time and in­creased 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half with a header from Reece Brown.

How­ever, Queens Park, who had not picked up a point in their pre­vi­ous five matches, ral­lied to re­duce the ar­rears via a de­flected free-kick from Mike Latham four min­utes later, and drew level on 64 from a headed goal by Barry Tor­rence di­rect from a long throw-in.

The Holy Is­lan­ders spurned a num­ber of chances af­ter that but lacked a cut­ting edge and could well have been pun­ished fur­ther.

Af­ter a nip-and-tuck start, the vis­i­tors took the lead on 11 min- utes, Lit­tle­more em­bark­ing on a mazy run from deep be­fore try­ing his luck with a spec­u­la­tive ef­fort from 20 yards that de­ceived home keeper Joel Thomp­son, the ball bounc­ing wickedly just in front and loop­ing into the net. Shortly af­ter­wards Thomp­son made a good stop from Tom Clarke. The hosts had a lot of pos­ses­sion with­out pen­e­tra­tion as Hot­spur de­fended solidly. Corey Short-Smart al­ways looked threat­en­ing on the left with crosses and long throws, but Paul Pritchard was com­fort­able with all that came his way. The sec­ond half started briskly with the hosts push­ing for­ward, and Smart on the left blazed wildly over on 47 min­utes, while Pritchard made a good stop on 52 from the same player.

And on 55 min­utes the vis­i­tors in­creased their lead as Chris Jones found Dan McGin­ness on the right and his de­light­ful cross was de­flected for a cor­ner.

From the well-di­rected flag kick on the left by Ken­leigh Owen, Reece Brown rose above every­one to head home.

At this stage Hot­spur looked good for all three points but it seemed to kick-start the home side into ac­tion, and just be­fore the hour mark Mike Latham’s free kick 15 yards out can­noned off a Hot­spur de­fender and past a hap­less Pritchard.

Five min­utes later they were on level terms as a long throw on the left reached the goal­mouth, and Barry Tor­rence re­acted quick­est to glance his header to the far cor­ner.

It was game on now, and on 68 Chris Jones’ loop­ing header hit the top of the bar, while on 76 it FC Queens Park’s turn to test the frame­work through Tor­rence.

Chris Jones and Gavin Sharpe should have done bet­ter with great op­por­tu­ni­ties as both sides went for the jugu­lar and on 86 min­utes the hosts wasted a glo­ri­ous op­por­tu­nity to win it, when Helder Ramos put his shot wide.

Lit­tle­more came close to scor­ing, as did Chris Jones in the lat­ter few min­utes, but Hot­spur had to set­tle for a point.

Holy­head Hot­spur went 2-0 up against Queens Park but had to set­tle for a draw

John Lit­tle­more

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