Rhyl FC 704


2 - 0

Gap Connah's Quay

Rhyl FC v
Gap Connah's Quay

Kick off:19:30 Friday, 10 Oct 2008
at Belle Vue
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Attendance: 569

Referee: Carmelo Lo Faro

Defenders strike as Rhyl go to the Top

LATE goals from central defenders George Horan and Paul O'Neill clinched the win which put Rhyl back top of the Welsh Premier.

But a Friday night crowd of 563 at Belle Vue had a nervous wait before the home side finally made the breakthrough. It certainly was not a case of a visiting team defending with 10 men behind the ball as has been the case so often this season at Belle Vue. Nomads came to have a real go.
Neither goal was threatened until the 16th minute when a Mark Connolly free-kick from 25 yards just missed the target. Fast counter-attackers Quay looked set to score on 20 minutes when Tommy Mutton raced clear on goal but Greg Stones produced a fantastic challenge in the box to deny him.
Danny Forde lashed over for the visitors before Rhyl's clearest opening to date on 26 minutes saw Chris Roberts' header fall nicely for Jamie Reed who chipped advancing keeper Chris Maxwell but missed the goal.

Home keeper Lee Kendall showed great reflexes to keep out an Adam Dickinson shot in the 28th minute and it was end-to-end, with Craig Jones beating two men down the right and hoisting a cross-cum-shot on to the roof of the net before Maxwell denied Carl Owen from 15 yards with his feet.
Good work from Liam Loughlin set up Keiran Quinn 22 yards out but the Nomads midfielder's right foot effort dipped inches over. Half-time: 0-0.
With the wind in their favour in the second half, Rhyl started to dominate more and within seconds of the kick-off Kendall's long kick fell invitingly for Carl Owen whose right foot volley was pushed behind for a corner.

In the 64th minute Horan struck an absolute missile from 20 yards which Maxwell beat away and was almost blasted into the net for his trouble.
Then came a key moment. Nomads countered rapidly, Mutton squared across the box and Loughlin looked certain to score but Kendall produced one of his magic moments by brilliantly blocking at his feet. Incidents such as this turn seasons and decide championships.

The introduction of Josh Johnson and Matty Williams gave Allan Bickerstaff's side added zip up front and Rhyl piled on the pressure with Carl Owen having two goalbound shots blocked before 10 minutes from time the hosts won a corner.

Quay had defended set pieces well all night, but this time Jones' flag-kick was headed up in the air by Carl Owen, O'Neill's shot looped up off Maxwell and ex-Connah's Quay centre-half Horan rose highest to head home.

In the 84th minute O'Neill met another corner at full pelt but the ball was somehow kept out, however the Lilies were relentless in their search for a second goal. O'Neill was absolutely determined to score and he succeeded in the 86th minute when his bullet header from a pinpoint Jones corner gave Maxwell no chance. Rhyl have now kept seven clean sheets in their last eight matches in all