PROMOTION chasing Rhyl ended their pre-season campaign with a 3-3 draw with nearby rivals St Asaph City.
The Lilywhites begin their Huws Gray Alliance campaign on Saturday when they host Guilsfield at the Corbett Sports Stadium (2.30pm), where they will be looking to make an immediate return to the Welsh Premier League following their recent relegation.
Niall McGuinness’ side started well against the Welsh Alliance Division One outfit, with Jack Hoult going close on eight minutes when his effort rattled the crossbar.
Defender Tony Davies was the next to go close when his point-blank header someone missed the target, but they were finally rewarded on 40 missed when Tom Rowlands took advantage of a scuffed clearance to chip over the advancing Jordan Owen.
The Saints came out with a renewed sense of purpose after the interval and they levelled matters on 54 minutes when John Terry headed home from a corner and things got even better soon after when the impressive Jake Walker gave the visitors a shock lead when he headed home a set piece.
Walker, who was one of the standout performers on the afternoon, doubled City’s advantage on 59 minutes by unleashing a 25-yard thunderbolt into the net following a good period of pressure.
The shell-shocked Lilies gradually found their way back into the friendly contest after a flurry of goals, and they reduced the arrears on 70 minutes when Sam Downey finished of a well-executed move with a close range finish.
With the game nearing its conclusion it was left to veteran defender Jamie Brewerton to claim a share of the spoils for the home side on 87 minutes thanks to a sensational strike from long range which left the keeper with no chance.
St Asaph will take plenty of positives from the clash as they gear up for a tilt at the Division One championship this season, and they begin with a trip to Pwllheli on Saturday.