Away | 11 February 2017 | Attendance: 155
At a wet Latham Park Rhyl ended up on the wrong end of a 5 goal thriller following a late Newtown goal which sealed all three points for the hosts.
Following a lively opening spell of play, Newtown took the lead in the 11th minute. A Neil Mitchell shot was saved by Lavercombe in the Rhyl goal and the quickest to react was ex Lilywhite Jason Oswell who finished from close range to put the Robins 1-0 up. Minutes later Rhyl equalised with a goal that all the loyal vocal travelling support will remember for a long time. Skipper Stefan Halewood came forward with the ball and with the goal opening up let fly from around 35 yards with an unstoppable shot which left Jack Perry in the Newtown stranded as the ball flew into the back of the net.
As the half continued both sides created chances, Rushton posing a threat down the Newtown right whilst Josh Davies was unable to connect with a shot from close range which allowed the keeper to save. As the half finished Toby Jones had a chance from close range on the Rhyl right and Perry reacted well to prevent the goal.
The second half started as the first half finished with the Lilywhites on the attack. Early in the second half came arguably the talking point of the match. Good work by Kristian Pierce down the right saw his cross cleared and then as he drove back into the box contact was made by the Newtown defender which saw Pierce go down injured. However much to the amazement of the Rhyl faithful Referee Dean John waved play on with Pierce stranded on the floor.
Rhyl continued to press and the dangerous Toby Jones had a solid long range shot saved by Perry and minutes later Jones will be disappointed not to have put the visitors in the lead. In a one on one chance Perry managed to save the ball and with both sides expecting a corner a goal kick was awarded. Moments later the hosts were back in the lead. The break down the right saw a Rushton shot hit the post and the rebound fell to the incoming Oswell who was able to finish to score his 6th goal in 3 matches against his former club in the 75th minute.
Manager Niall McGuinness reacted to this by making a double substitution with Steve Lewis and Christian Langos coming on and they made an immediate impact with a Lewis shot saved by Perry who was proving to be the busier keeper. Minutes later Lewis was adjudged by referee Dean John to have been pushed and Kristian Pierce was on hand to convert the spot kick to bring the visitors level in the 80th minute.
The visitors pushed on for a winner and again Steve Lewis creating an opening and his shot was saved by Perry and Langos was unable to control the rebound. The winner however came for the hosts. A break down their right saw Oswell play in Rushton who calmly slotted the ball past Lavercombe to put the hosts into the lead again in the 88th minute. In injury time Rhyl pressed for a third equaliser with Chris Rimmer having a headed opportunity but the hosts held on to go 4 points clear of Rhyl and the relegation places.