Not for the first time this season despite indifferent league form which finds them propping up the other fifteen teams in the Huws Gray Alliance league at present. Darren Garmey’s team come alive in cup competitions and once again rose to the occasion in disposing of north east Wales side Ruthin Town in this second round Welsh Cup tie at the new stadium and look forward to the next round when Welsh Premier clubs make an appearance.
It was the second time that Ruthin town have been on the losing side at the same venue this season as Hotspur had already beaten them in the League Cup competition.
It was a deserved success for the hosts in a well contested cracking encounter with the home manager encouraged by the character in his players and hoping that their league form can now improve on the back of these cup successes starting this coming weekend when making the long trip t mid Wales opponents Penrhyncoch.
After a goalless first half when both teams came close Hotspur took the lead through John Littlemore following superb build up play on the right only for Lllyr Morris to draw his side level on 71 minutes. However like a wounded animal Hotspur responded straight down the other end almost immediately when Marc Evans from an acute angle put he hosts back in front and although the visitors threatened to come back again it was captain for the day Tomos Clark who made the game safe for Hotspur.
Ruthin Town were out of the block quickly and in the second minute Matthew Evans on the left was clear but could only hit hi effort straight at Carl Jones as the keeper came out, while just after the visitors broke again on the left but as the ball came into the goalmouth again failed to take advantage. Hotspur responded and a free kick by Kenleigh Owen struck the bar as the hosts began to put on the pressure. It was becoming a good contest and on 27 Ryan Jones’s effort was cleared off the line by Dean Garmey. Nip and tuck and on the half hour a free kick from Kenleigh Owen was met by Marc Evans but Ruthin keeper Ryan Goldston produced a stunning save deflecting the ball over the bar. Hotspur getting on top and again Goldston denied Evans on 39 while at the other end Carl Jones was almost punished when he let in Cai Davies when the ball stuck under his feet. Just before the break John Littlemore had an effort well saved by Goldston.
Half time 0 – 0
In the first ten minutes both teams going after the elusive goal but on 55 Hotspur had a break through and it was a goal to savour. Both Caio Hywel and Cory Jones played their part in finding Dean Garmey and Dan McGInniss on the right who combined superbly to set up John Littlemore with a slide rule pass and Littlemore produced a fine finish to leave Goldston stranded. The visitors responded and substitute Llyr Morris showed the predator he is by striking home on 70 to draw the teams level. Back came Hotspur straight down the other end the ball finding Marc Evans on the left who beat his defender for pace and strength and forced his way into the penalty area and showed great composure as he fired a sublime effort into the far corner beating a couple of visiting defenders. Now 2 -1 but Hotspur continued to press and needing a third to make the match safe with the visitors still in the tie. Dan Mc Ginness coming close in a great move on the right but the advancing keeper deflected the ball for a corner. The vital third goal came on 80 minutes from Hotspur’s captain for the day Tomos Clark who as the home team advanced on goal he struck a 20 yard beauty from outside the box to beat Goldston.
On 82 after a second yellow for a foul tackle Ruthin’s Lewys Turner was sent off but Hotspur were worthy winners by this time.
Gareth M Davies