On a difficult, heavy pitch, Lee Fowler got his game plan spot on, and boosted by a couple of well taken early goals, his side always looked in command as they clocked up their tenth successive league win.
The opening goal came after 7 minutes, when a long ball down the centre was met by Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro with the faintest of flicks to nod it on into the path of Josh Jones. Jones accelerated away, and kept up his good form in front of goal by thumping the ball into the top corner of the net, giving Buckley keeper Ryan Goldston no chance.
On 16 minutes the lead was doubled when another long ball picked out an unmarked Elliott Reeves, wide on the right. He made the most of the space afforded to him by controlling it, then setting his sights and thrashing the ball past Goldston.
Debutant Lewis Sirrell almost capped his first appearance for the Silkmen with an excellent goal when, from a corner, as the ball came out to him near the edge of the 18 yard box, he attempted an audacious overhead kick, only to see his effort cleared off the line for another corner. And from that delivery, Anthony Stephens sent in a screamer that was just about blocked, setting up a mad goalmouth scramble that somehow saw the Buckley goal survive intact.
Flint continued to press and on 38 minutes, skipper Jay Owen saw his shot well saved by Goldston.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Silkmen effectively killed the game with their third goal. Reeves was initially fouled out on the right hand side, but retained possession of the ball, and the referee played a good advantage allowing the Flint forward to advance into the area. He looked up and supplied a perfect cross to find his fellow strike partner Jones, who was perfectly placed to sweep the ball home.
As the game wore on, it was difficult to play constructive football on a deteriorating pitch which was cutting up quite badly, but Flint were resilient at the back, with Stephens, in particular, relishing the conditions and the challenges they posed, and he and his fellow defenders continued to snuff out the Buckley attacks and offer solid protection to Rhys Williams in the Flint goal, who barely had a save to make during the entire game.
In the final minute it looked as though Flint may bag a fourth, when Jake Phillips played a long ball into Kavanagh, who got the better of his marker, before spotting Goldston out of position off his line. His attempted chip to beat the keeper just sailed inches over the bar, to deny him what would have been a well improvised goal. But in the end it mattered not, as Flint were already safely home and hosed.
Report by Nigel Sheen. Photos by Steve Parker, All Sports Media. (for full gallery go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/all_sports/albums/ )
Line Ups :
Buckley Town – R. Goldston, A. Boydell, J. Allen, J. Jones, N. Grogan, S. McHarrie (c), A. Smith (J. Rutter 62), S. McCormick (K. Moore 46), C. Littler (J. Reed 71), L. Driscoll, M. Moore (A. Bellis 46). Unused Subs – D. Roberts, C. Roberts
Flint Town United – R. Williams, J. Phillips, J. Williams, A. Stephens, L. Sirrell, P. Lacey, S. Forde, J. Owen (c) (M. Roberts 66), E. Reeves (, J. Jones, J-L Akpa-Akpro (B. Hughes 60) Unused Subs – L. Murphy (GK), G. Maire
Flint MOM – Anthony Stephens (imperious at the back, giving his side a solid foundation from which to build, and ensuring Buckley’s forwards had very few sightings of the Flint goal)