THERE were mixed emotions as Gresford Athletic grabbed a late winner to beat Holywell Town 2-1 in the North East Wales Challenge Cup.

Gresford director of football Steve Halliwell was relieved as his side held firm under pressure to triumph, while Holywell boss John Haseldin was left wondering how his team lost.

Jordan MacCarter's opener for Gresford was cancelled out by Mark Connolly, but Harley Steel scored a fine solo effort to win it late on for the Cymru North visitors.

"You don't always get what you deserve in football and I'm not really one for hard luck stories but our performance deserved more," tweeted Haseldin. "Dust ourselves down and look forward to Saturday."

In the opposition camp, Halliwell was simply glad to progress as Gresford look to repeat last season's journey to the final.

"It was a brilliant game," said Halliwell. "We got off to a good start and it was an even first-half, but we had to take Josh Griffiths off at the break.

"It was backs to the wall in the second-half and Ben Jones has had to make some great saves.

"But what a great goal to win a game. Harley is only a kid, but he's got ability and it was great to see him score.

"It was pleasing to progress and good to see the defence stand up to the pressure."

Mold Alex came out on top in their own all-action cup tie, beating Coedpoeth United 5-3.

Adam Renshaw (2), Lewis George, Mike Woodward and Danny Wynne helped Mold progress, with Matty Thomas, Oliver Lewis and Kevin Breeze making a game of it for Coedpoeth.