IT was a game that Rhyl may have lost a few short weeks ago, but there seems to be a different mindset around the club since the appointment of Mark Connolly as caretaker boss.
Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Flint Town United is the latest positive result for the talented group, who seem to have come on a great deal since the resignation of former Lilies boss Niall McGuinness.
Since their humbling defeat at Llandudno Albion in the JD Welsh Cup which led to McGuinness leaving his post, interim manager Connolly has guided them to three wins from four contests and their seems to be a determination and confidence operating within the squad that was sorely missing under their former boss.
Perhaps some fresh ideas and a change of playing style were what was required at the Corbett Sports Stadium to enable them to regroup and get their season back on track, even though McGuinness’ coaching credentials match up with anyone in the region.
There is no doubt that on their day the Lilywhites are one of the most talented units operating outside of the top flight, and although they are currently some way off leaders Caernarfon Town it is still relatively early in what has been another season of unpredictability in the Huws Gray Alliance.
Any team is capable of beating anyone on any given day due to the quality throughout the division, and their run up to the end of the year is littered with difficult games, but also ones they can make further statements in as they look to get their promotion push back on track.
Ties against Caersws and Holyhead Hotspur close out the month, while December sees Connolly’s men face talented teams such as Denbigh Town, Guilsfield and Holywell Town in addition to struggling FC Queens Park.
This run of fixtures represents a significant test of just how far Rhyl have come under Connolly, who will be hoping that a successful run of form will see him get the job on a full-time basis.
There is still work to do without question but with the likes of goalkeeper Rory Crowther, Tom Walsh and Alec Tichiner all thriving under the leadership of the vastly experienced caretaker, the atmosphere around the club has improved significantly and it visibly looks like they are enjoying their football again, which is also going to help them going forward.
They are a very dangerous outfit who can start harbouring the same ambitions that were set out for themselves during the summer, but they must keep their positive momentum into the new year if they are to stand any chance of making it back to the WPL at the first opportunity.