A DISAPPOINTING second half collapse saw a youthful Rhyl side beaten 5-3 at home by Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant.

The Lilywhites’ looked in complete command after racing out to a three-goal advantage, but inexperience in the second period saw them emerge with nothing to show for their efforts.

Eddie Maurice-Jones’ side now have the weekend off to lick their wounds before aiming to halt their recent slide at Ruthin Town on January 11.

The Lilies’ manager, said: “We were tremendous in the first half.

“I thought we played with passion, they expressed themselves and played with a smile on their face, which is what we want.

“We spoke at half time about the Llanrhaeadr reaction and that we had to ride the storm, but we were a bit naïve to concede so early on and the collapse after wasn’t good enough.

“I cannot fault any of the academy lads who have been asked to do a lot and been put on the spot at times, but they’ve all played a part and they are good kids that will be part of the squad now.

“There will be some fresh faces coming in over January that will bring some competition back, and hopefully get some of the injured lads returning too for some stability that will hopefully make us kick on again.”

U19 goalkeeper Luke Jones was drafted in for his senior debut after both Keighan Jones and Rory Crowther were ruled out for the home side, and academy player Oliver Staveley also made his first Rhyl appearance after coming on for the injured Ben Burrows early on.

The hosts managed to take the lead on 25 minutes when a looping effort from Cai Owen found the net, and the same player doubled their advantage after good work by Staveley in the build up with 38 on the clock.

Midfielder Tommy Creamer rounded off a strong end to the first period by notching a third on 40 minutes with a deft finish, but things took a different turn after the break as a Mattie Williams brace on 53 and 56 cut the lead to a solitary goal.

This visibly shifted momentum and the away side took full advantage for the remainder of the clash, with Gary Meredith-Thompson, Williams and Iwan Matthews all hitting the target to condemn the Lilies’ to their tenth JD Cymru North loss of the campaign.