|HOLYHEAD Hotspur suffered a cruel exit from the Welsh Cup as a late winner secured the progress of Welsh Premier outfit Carmarthen Town into the last 16.
Hotspur more than matched their south west Wales opponents throughout, but a late Liam Thomas strike prevented the tie from going into extra time.
The visitors began brightly, with Iestyn Evans forcing Ben Heald into a couple of smart saves, before Hotspur’s Gareth Owen headed over a Mel McGinness free kick.
Town drew first blood on 10 minutes, as Liam McCreech released Liam Thomas, who showed good control to slot past Heald.
Hotspur continued unphased, but were up against a tight-knit defence, and Town nearly hit again on the counter when Craig Hughes shot inches wide from distance.
The harbourmen hit back a minute before the break however, when Mike Edwards’ well-judged cross from the left found Kenleigh Owen, who wasted no time in desptaching a thunderous strike.
Hotspur began the second period on the front foot, and with Edwards causing havoc on the left wing, he supplied Mel McGinness on 55, and the pocket dynamo beat the defence, but couldn’t beat the experienced keeper Steve Cann with a cheeky chip.
Edwards then volleyed over, before Heald was forced into another vital intervention from Casey Thomas.
With both sides vying for the next crucial score, the game became a tense affair, and looked destined to be taken into extra time.
On 87 minutes, the all gold engineered an opportunity for Liam Thomas, whose fine finish was cancalled out by the linesman’s upraised flag.
However, Town immediately went up the other end, and played in Thomas again, who finished with aplomb, and condemend brave Hotspur to a narrow defeat.
Holyhead Hotpur’s attentions turn back to league action this Saturday, as they host Conwy Borough at the New Stadium, kick off is at 2:30pm.