NATHAN Leonard has warned his players to expect a battle as Holywell Town visit Clos Mytton a week after Guilsfield knocked the Deesiders out of the JD Welsh Cup.
Both sides ended with 10 men in a heated end to last week’s cup tie as the Guils hit back to prevail 3-2 winners and Leonard expected the Wellmen to be gunning for revenge.
“Holywell are out of all the cups and with the budget they have they need a high finish so all the pressure is on them,” said Leonard. “It will be a battle.”
“We have shown over the last three games that when we work hard for 90 minutes we can match anyone and played some great football despite a difficult pitch last week.”
Leonard felt Holywell were fortunate to even end last week’s tie with 10 men and hit out at veteran Holywell striker Steve Lewis.
“If the referee had witnessed what he did in our dugout he wouldn’t have been on the pitch to score. To spit in someone’s face is absolutely disgraceful but he made my half-time team talk very easy.”
Leonard also defended match winner Asa Hamilton who saw red after his match winner at Halkyn Road along with Holywell defender Gareth Sudlow.
“Asa was targeted with an unsavoury comment about his personal life. He’s a proud man and I know how hard it was for him not to take it any further. He did not deserve the abuse he also got from a small section of fans when he got his marching orders.
“We’re proud to have Asa at the club, he’s been superb on the pitch and in the dressing room since he joined.”
Hamilton is joined on the sidelines by defender Sam Litchfield as the Guils target back to back victories over the Wellmen.
Penrhyncoch hit the road as Gari Lewis leads his side to Porthmadog with the aim of maintaining their climb up the table.
Goalkeeper Lee Jenkins returns from suspension with midfielder Owain James also back in contention while Rob Murfet is a doubt with a knock sustained on Welsh Cup duty last week.
Caersws travel to Ruthin Town with manager Graham Evans demanding a reaction after last week’s Welsh Cup humbling at the hands of Llanrhaeadr.
“I was very disappointed, particular as the complacency we warned against set in following a great start,” said Evans.
“The lads now have to stand up and be counted.
“Going forward we are a threat but we are not working hard enough or showing enough heart to work off the ball to defend as a unit.
“Ruthin will be a big test as they are a hard working side and I’m looking for a massive reaction from our lads following the disappointment of last week.”
Veteran defender Graham Jones returns to contention while Tom Bethell and Jack Hughes remain sidelined.