PROMOTION chasing Rhyl began their Huws Gray Alliance campaign by sharing the spoils with Guilsfield at the Corbett Sports Stadium.
The Lilywhites drew 1-1 with the established second tier outfit in an all-action clash, and Niall McGuinness’ side face a difficult test this Saturday when they travel to Holywell Town (2.30pm), who started their campaign with a resounding 5-1 win at Denbigh Town.
The home side had the chance to get off to the perfect start on four minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Alex Jones was felled in the box, but MARK Connolly’s spot kick was expertly saved by former England U18 International Andy Wycherley, who is on loan from champions The New Saints.
Wycherley was on hand to palm away a firm Jones shot shortly after, with Alex Tichiner and Tom Hartley also forcing the talented young stopper into a pair of smart stops.
The Lilies were punished for their inability to find the net after the break when the Guils took a shock lead on 55 minutes when they were awarded a penalty of their own, which Asa Hamilton despatched past Rory Crowther.
Referee Ashley Jones was in the spotlight again on 66 minutes when the home side were given their second penalty of the afternoon when Jones was tripped by Robbie James, who was shown a second yellow card for his robust challenge.
Former Bala Town star Connolly showed tremendous character to step up and fire home after missing his first spot kick.
This spurred the hosts into life but they found Wycherley in stunning form once again to deny Tichiner and Connolly, while the impressive Jones had a close-range effort ruled out for offside.
There was still time for further drama as the visitors were handed yet another penalty on 87 minutes thanks to a foul by skipper James Brewerton, but Crowther was on hand to produce a superb save to ensure both sides went home with a point.