A HOST of ex-players came back to haunt Rhyl as their unbeaten streak ended with a thrilling 4-3 defeat at Cefn Druids.
The defeat ends a streak of positive results for Niall McGuinness’ side, and they will look to get back to winning ways a week on Friday when they travel to Aberystwyth Town (7.45pm).
Former Lilies striker Aaron Bowen got the home side off to a good start when he smashed a sensational effort into the net on six minutes.
Bowen went close to doubling his tally for the evening soon after but spurned his chance, but a second did arrive on 23 minutes courtesy of another ex-Rhyl star Ashley Ruane, who capitalised on a poor kick by visiting custodian Owen Evans to fire home.
The Ancients went further clear midway through the half when Mike Phillips added to McGuinness’ woes by scoring against his old club on 34 minutes after fine approach play from Jake Phillips.
A stunning fightback from the away side began instantly when Alex Jones headed home from close range shortly after the restart, but they missed a great chance to reduce the deficit on 50 minutes when Rio Ahmadi’s penalty was saved superbly by Michael Jones.
From the resulting corner, Aaron Simpson found the net to cut the gap to one, and the Lilies were rewarded further on 67 minutes when substitute Carl Lamb headed them level after meeting an Ahmadi cross well.
Despite the heroic comeback the visitors had nothing to show for their efforts on the day when Ruane fired home from the spot on 76 minutes to give Druids just their second win of the Welsh Premier League season.
In addition to Friday’s game, the Lilywhites travel to WPL rivals Llandudno in the Nathaniel MG Cup on Tuesday night.