WHAT a fightback it was from Ruthin Town!
With a dozen minutes remaining, there appeared like there was little hope that Chris Williams’ charges were going to pick up anything from their home Huws Gray Alliance meeting with Holywell Town.
The Wellmen were on course for their second success of the season as they held a 4-2 advantage, but the Memorial Park Fields hosts came roaring back in a fantastic finish to secure a share of the spoils from their first home contest of the campaign.
In the end, Tom Roberts was the hero, with his 94th minute free kick making sure that the all-action encounter finished up four-apiece.
Initially, things started well for the Wellmen and they were celebrating when they took the lead after 10 minutes.
Recent signing Mark Winslade headed home to give the away Town a great start.
Winslade was causing problems for the home defence and he had a shot well saved by Ruthin number one Ryan Goldston on 25 minutes.
However, Holywell were able to double their lead from the ensuing corner.
Steve Thomas’ set piece delivery flew straight into the back of the net and Ruthin were left with a mountain to climb.
Ruthin didn’t panic, though, and they were right back in the game with 10 minutes of the first half remaining.
Holywell’s Joe Griffiths was adjudged to have committed a foul in the penalty area and referee James Walker pointed to the spot.
Llyr Morris was given the responsibility of taking the spot kick and he made no mistake to fire his effort home and make it 2-1.
This sparked a good spell for the home outfit and former Holywell player Sam Jones had a shot that was blocked by Steve Thomas close to the goal line.
As they continued to press, Ruthin then won a free kick close to the edge of the area with four minutes of the first half left to play.
Sam Jones stepped up to take the set piece and his fine effort flew into the top corner of the net, leaving keeper Joe Griffiths with no chance.
While Ruthin were on a high, they very nearly went into the break trailing as Steve Lewis’ shot flew just over the bar during the final piece of first half action.
As with the opening period, Holywell made a bright start to the second half.
The first real chance of the half fell to Steve Lewis, who found himself with only keeper Goldston to beat, but his effort flew inches wide of the upright.
Another penalty award soon arrived and this time it benefited Holywell.
From a corner, Gareth Sudlow was adjudged to have been pushed in the back as he attempted to head the ball and the referee pointed to the penalty spot for the second time during the match.
Jamie McDaid stepped up to take it and his spot kick flew in to give Holywell the lead once again.
The away side now had their tails up and when Winslade burst down the wing, his low cross into the box was blocked by Ruthin’s Kevin Evans.
He nearly put the ball into his own net, but it ended up inches wide of Goldston’s post.
Holywell managed to increase their lead after an hour of play.
Steve Thomas’ cross was met by the head of Gareth Sudlow’s head and the ball flew into the net, giving the diving Goldston no chance.
Despite trailing by two goals once more, Ruthin refused to throw in the towel and striker Jordan MacCarter fired over as the hosts looked to get back into the game.
Danny Desormeaux was only inches too high with a shot at the other end, while Ruthin’s Craig Wilkinson saw his effort being saved by Joe Griffiths.
It was game on once more with 12 minutes left to play.
A corner from Ruthin resulted in a goalmouth scramble and with the Wellmen unable to clear, Llyr Morris was on hand to poke the ball home to grab his second goal of the game.
Holywell were determined to wrap up the three points after this and Lewis’ fierce shot was heading for the roof of the net until Goldston tipped it over at the expense of a corner.
Minutes later and Steve Thomas had a shot saved by Goldston.
It looked like Holywell were going to hold on for the three points, but Ruthin were presented with a final opportunity deep in injury time.
From a free kick some 30 yards from the Holywell goal, Tom Roberts’ effort beat everyone and found its way into the back of the net for the most dramatic of levellers.
See full story in the Free Press