HOLYHEAD Hotspur have boosted their squad for the 2012/13 season by signing Wales Under-18 international Jamie McDaid from Caernarfon Town, reports Gareth Davies.
Attacker McDaid, 18, who has also played for Porthmadog and represented Welsh Colleges, is sure to be an asset for Hotspur when they embark on their first campaign back in the Huws Gray Alliance after two years' absence.
The Harbourmen have kicked off their pre-season campaign with a pair of 2-1 victories, beating fellow islanders Trearddur Bay United last week and Caernarfon Town at the New Stadium on Friday night. Tonight (Wednesday), Hotspur are home to Llanrug United (7.30pm), then travel to Welsh Alliance side Pwllheli on Saturday (2.30pm) before hosting Welsh Premier giants Bangor City next Tuesday, August 7.
There was a familiar hero in the win over Caernarfon – last season's 50-goal star Mel McGinness, who grabbed a last minute winner for the hosts. It was a good, competitive encounter at the New Stadium, which would have left both managers, Holyhead's Emlyn Manley Williams and new Canaries chief Lee Dixon, satisfied with the workout.
Caernarfon looked pretty impressive, suggesting they are going to be major players in the battle for the Welsh Alliance title this season. Hotspur had the better of the first period with McGinness, Curt Williams and Mike Edwards all keeping former team-mate Liam Shanahan busy in the Town goal. However, the Cofis also had their moments with Neil Thomas, their recent signing from Bangor City, and Darren Gowans both going close as home keeper Ben Heald was also called into action on a couple of occasions.
In the second half, there was more pressure from Caernarfon and despite a couple of near misses from Williams, it was somewhat against the run of play when the Harbourmen took a 72nd minute lead. Mike Edwards, who finished last season on fire, did well on the left before threading the perfect ball to Jay Gibbs, who applied a cool finish. Town deservedly pulled level in the 79th minute, when a poor headed clearance fell to Gowans, who made no mistake from 15 yards.
It looked to be heading for a draw until some important touches from Hotspur players enabled McGinness to race towards goal and show his pursuers a clean pair of heels before lifting the ball smartly over the keeper for the winner. A minute's silence was held before the game in honour of Des Morgan, the former Holyhead Town player of the 1960s who passed away recently.
Two goals in the opening 10 minutes set up Hotspur for a 2-1 win over Trearddur Bay United.
Mike Edwards broke the deadlock with a rasping drive on eight and then Kenleigh Owen went on a fine run down the middle of the park before chipping keeper Mike Doutch.
To their credit Gwynedd League outfit Bay provided Holyhead with a good workout, and halved the deficit on 65 minutes when ex-Hotspur player Ian Williams headed in at the far post following a potent run and cross via the left from Anthony Parry. Richard Owen thundered a superb strike against the upright for Hotspur in a second half where chances fell for both sides.
Story by Dave Jones, reproduced from Holyhead and Anglesey Mail
Barritt Cup ChangesChanges to the Barritt Cup Competition this season mean that only Welsh Alliance League division 1 and 2 teams are invited. It has also been confirmed, the newly renamed Mawddach Challenge Cup, will now count towards any player suspensions following FAW intervention. A ruling Hotspur fell foul of last season which resulted in a 3 point deduction.
First Team and Reserves goal-scorers(updated 16th November)
11 - Jay Gibbs8 - Dale Murphy8 - Dan McGinness8 - Danny Connolly5 - Deion Evans5 - Curt Williams3 - Mel McGinness3 - Myles Jones3 - Rich Williams3 - Rory Courlander2 - Rees Brown2 - Mike Kelly2 - Gareth Owen1 - Kris Dunne1 - Mike Edwards1 - Carl Hagan1 - Kenleigh Owen1 - Jason Owen1 - Tom Roberts1 - Tom Scott1 - Dewi Thomas1 - Dean Garmey1 - Robyn Hodgkinson1 - Dave Webb1 - Darren Gowans