Flint were missing a host of players through suspension and injury, but those that featured all stepped up to the mark and performed their roles well, stifling their opponents for long periods of the game. In particular, Ben Maher, Dan Roberts and the excellent Bratley, who was filling in as an emergency right back, all stood out.
Flint’s first bout of pressure came after Jack Kenny won a corner on 10 minutes. and as the ball was played into the box, he won it with his back to goal, then turned from close range, but saw his effort blocked. Then Maher made a good surging run into the area, before shooting from an acute angle, his shot skidding just wide of the target.
Nomads gave notice of their threat just before the half hour mark, when Connor Simpson cut in from the right, before unleashing a shot that fizzed just wide of the upright. On 37 minutes, he did find the net though. A seemingly innocuous ball was lofted into the area, and the striker reached the ball just before Ryan Woods, who had come to claim it, and he glanced it past the Flint keeper and into the goal to put the visitors ahead. It was a bitter blow for Flint to swallow, having more then held their own up that point.
Woods was more decisive in the 53rd minute, when he pulled off an excellent stop to deny Simpson’s powerful header from a Kris Owen’s corner. A stray back pass almost put Woods in trouble just after the hour mark, as Simpson latched onto it and tried to round the keeper, but the Flint stopper stood up and managed to get a block on the ball, to snuff out the danger.
At this stage in the match, the Silkmen were finding it hard to break out and play the decisive final ball. But they dug in, and waited for their opportunities. Eventually, in the final ten minutes, they started to look more threatening again. First, the busy Bratley played in Kenny down the channel, who then cut in across the edge of the 18 yard box shot, before hitting a shot just wide of the mark. Then, some good work by Mark Cadwallader, again played in Kenny, who this time looked to square the ball from close in on the bye line, but it was smuggled out for a corner.
With time running out, Maher swung in a dangerous ball, that saw the incoming Sam Hart connect with, about 6 yards out, but the defender put his effort wide. This looked to have been the final opportunity for the Silkmen. But with the game deep into stoppage time, they rallied once more, and forced a corner, which Woods went up for, to add his physical presence in the box. The Nomads defence had dealt with the majority of Flint corners fairly comfortably all night, and once again they looked to have cleared the danger. But Flint regained possession from the clearance, and Maher found Bratley on the edge of the box, who looked up and expertly curling a shot into the corner of the net beyond Oliver Byrne in the Nomads goal. There was barely time for the game to restart before the final whistle blew, after yet another late, late show from Neil Gibson’s side.
Line Ups :
Flint Town United – R. Woods, C. Bratley, S. Hart, B. Maher (c), B. Nash, D. Roberts, J. Kenny, R. Weaver, C. Harwood, M. Cadwallader, O. Nugent (J. Higgins 74′). Unused Subs – J. Rushton (GK), L. Ellis, S. Duffy, B. Hughes, J. Davis
Connah’s Quay Nomads – O. Byrne, J. Disney, D. Holmes, R. Harrington, G. Horan (c), P. Mendes, J. Mullen (A. Edwards 72), C. Morris, A. Williams (J. Insall 59), C. Simson, K. Owens. Unused Subs – M. Price-Griffiths (GK), B. Harrison, J. Owen, J. Ufuah, H. Owen
Flint MOM – Callum Bratley (had an excellent game in an unfamiliar role, and even popped up to secure a point with a well taken equaliser)