Wing-back Cai Owen scored Rhyl’s winner in their 1-0 Huws Gray Alliance match against Holywell Town home.
The 20-year-old defender scored the only goal of the match when he produced a touch of class after 50 minutes.
Bangor-born Owen, a former Llandudno player, took possession on the Rhyl right and he set off on a run which took him into the Holywell penalty area after swapping passes with Mike Pritchard.
He was able to guide his shot past goalkeeper Tyler French to put the Lilywhites.
Overall, Rhyl probably shaded the game against opponents battling for survival and in a close-fought clash and it was fitting that a moment of individual skill from Owen settled the game.
The goal gave Rhyl their first win in six weeks to bring an end to a disappointing run of results.
The opening exchanges were cagey, while Rhyl’s first chance came when a corner on the Rhyl left was headed down, but Reece Fairhurst was unable to keep his shot down and it went over the bar.
Goalkeeper French saved well from Sam Molyneux, while Liam Smith had a shot blocked. Molyneux reacted first when the ball ran loose and French turned the shot away for a corner.
Holywell’s best chance fell to Sam Jones after 85 minutes and goalkeeper Rory Crowther saved.
Rhyl: Rory Crowther, Reece Fairhurst, Cai Owen, Max Peate, Liam Smith, Matthew Cook, Dave McIntyre, Joe Sullivan (Jack Parry-Jones 83), Sam Molyneux (Kai Wallis 74), Mike Pritchard, James Murphy (Barry Torrence 66). Subs not used: Jonathan Hill-Dunt, Ben Lockley.
Alliance leaders Airbus Broughton led 2-0 at half-time against Penrhyncoch away. Nathan Wolfe and Lewis Buckley were the scorers and the scoreline stayed the same until the final whistle.
Connah’s Quay loanee Woolfe was the hero for Airbus, although he arrived late for the match at Cae Baker.
Man-of-the-match Woolfe, a 30-year-old Manchester-born former Bolton Wanderers and Wrexham striker, fired the Wingmakers ahead on 16 minutes with a clinical finish from inside the box after some neat build-up play.
That advantage was doubled just after the half hour mark when Asa Hamilton’s neat chip into the Penrhyncoch box was headed home Buckley from from six yards.
The weather deteriorated in the second half, and Airbus were happy to sit deep and preserve their two-goal lead with goalkeeper Dave Roberts rarely troubled by the home attack.
Assistant manager Andy Thomas said: “We dominated the first half and could have been three or four up at the break if we’d been more clinical.
“We won our battles all over the pitch and kept another clean sheet. That’s 15 for the season now.
“With six games left we’re in a really healthy position and focused on the run-in.”
The three points lifted Airbus nine points clear at the top with six games to play. They are chasing a trophy double after qualifying for the Alliance Cup final against Holywell Town.
Flint Town United and Bangor fought out a goalless draw, while a Iian Ap Gareth goal separated the Porthmadog v Conwy Borough game at half-time.
That was enough to earn Porthmadog the victory.
Gresford Athletic’s Jordon MacCarter missed a first half penalty at Prestatyn Town, who had Ian Griffiths sent off as the players were leaving the pitch at half-time.
An own goal put Prestatyn ahead 10 minutes into the second half with Jack Chaloner equalising to earn Gresford a point two minutes from time
A goal in each half from Chris Roberts and Keiron Moore gave Buckley Town a 2-0 win at home against bottom team Holyhead Hotspur.
Llanrhaeadr YM won by 3-2 at home against Ruthin Town.
Tom Evans put Llan ahead with a Llyr Morris penalty making it all square at the break.
Kyham Wytton’s spot-kick restored Llanrhaeadr’s lead after 52 minutes and player-manager Marc Griffiths added a third goal 14 minutes later.
Will Owen netted Ruthin’s second four minutes from time.
After a delayed kick-off at Guilsfield, Denbigh Town returned home with three points thanks to a 1-0 win earned by a second half goal from Kristian Pierce.
Alliance results: Buckley Town 2, Holyhead Hotspur 0; Flint Town United 0, Bangor City 0; Guilsfield 0, Denbigh Town 1; Llanrhaeadr YM 3, Ruthin Town 2; Penrhyncoch 0, Airbus Broughton 2; Porthmadog 1, Conway Borough 0; Prestatyn Town 1, Gresford Athletic 1; Rhyl 1, Holywell Town 0.
Friday, March 8: Conwy Borough v Prestatyn Town (7.30pm), Holyhead Hotspur v Rhyl (7.30pm).
Saturday, March 9: Airbus Broughton v Buckey Town (2.30pm), Bangor City v Penrhyncoch (2.30pm), Denbigh Town v Llanrhaeadr YM (2.30pm), Gresford Athletic v Flint Town United (2.30pm), Guilsfield Town v Holywell Town (2.30pm), Ruthin Town v Porthmadog (2.30pm).
Tuesday, March 12: Bangor City v Airbus Broughton, Denbigh Town v Holywell Town, Guilsfield v Ruthin Town (all 7.45pm).
HUWS GRAY ALLIANCE 2018-19
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