Once again the Silkmen eased to a comfortable victory, and it’s probably no exaggeration to say they could have doubled their tally, but for some brave goalkeeping and their own inability to convert some extremely good chances.
The opening period of the game was fairly even, as the youthful dynamism and determination of Llandudno was causing Flint some problems in maintaining possession, as they chased down and harried the visitors. Slowly, but surely, however, Flint gained the upper hand as they began to find their range of passing and rhythm. Their first glimpse of goal came on the quarter of an hour mark, when confusion in the home defence led to a header from a defender back towards his own goal clearing keeper Joe Angus, but as Josh Jones attempted to force it over the line, a covering defender hacked it clear just ahead of him.
On 28 minutes, Paddy Lacey crashed a header against the bar following a free kick, and the follow up effort as the ball rebounded out was safely claimed by Angus. A minute later, brother Luis Lacey got in on the act, when he hit a rasping shot that was cleared off the line, before looping over the bar.
The opening goal arrived shortly after, on 31 minutes. Flint keeper Josh Tibbetts played a long ball down the left. Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro went up to challenge for it, drawing a defender with him. Neither made contact, and the ball instead fell into the path of Elliott Reeves, who still had plenty to do, but advanced on goal and calmly slotted past Angus.
Four minutes later the lead was doubled. A Jake Phillips long throw was hurled into the box, and although Flint were initially unable to get an effort on target, the ball was played back to Luis Lacey on the left side of the box, who looked up and delivered a lovely curling ball to the back stick, where Sol Forde was on hand to head home.
Jay Owen released Reeves with a good ball down the right on 42 minutes, but this time the striker was unable to find the target as he shot over from a wide angle.
Flint were almost architects of their own downfall a minute later, when they dithered in attempting to clear the ball from the edge of the area. Tibbetts ended up committing a foul just outside the box, as he tried to gain back possession, and from the free kick, Kyle Cooper struck a good effort that deflected just wide of the upright. From the corner, Reeves was gifted the ball and sprang a counter attack for the Silkmen, as three players broke towards the Llandudno goal. He rolled the ball to Paddy Lacey who, when well placed inside the 18 yard box lost his footing at the vital moment, and the ball ran harmlessly out of play.
Flint continued where they left off at the start of the second half, as Forde met a ball played in from Phillips, but his header was just past the foot of the post. The third goal duly arrived on 50 minutes, when a long throw into the box caused confusion. Josh Jones reacted swiftly as the loose ball bounced around, and lashed a shot through a crowd of players and into the back of the net.
To their credit, Llandudno didn’t let their heads drop, and they responded with a goal of their own on 56 minutes from a corner. Rowan Davies was allowed a free run and header, and the centre half planted his effort firmly into the net.
Flint then went back on the offensive, and for a period of time laid siege to the Llandudno goal, On the hour mark, Reeves displayed great skill in beating a defender, before drawing the keeper and looking to square the ball. However, a block prevented the ball reaching it’s target, and Reeves regained possession, striding across goal before seeing his shot deflected around the post. From the corner, Akpa-Akpro had a great effort that was well saved by Angus.
The Llandudno keeper was now in inspired form, and shortly after came out on top in a one on one situation with Reeves, by producing another quality save,
Flint struck their fourth on 70 minutes. Owen sent in a free kick towards the far post where Akpa-Akpro was waiting. He produced a great first touch to control it, before nonchalantly flicking the ball past Angus.
From the restart, an audacious long range attempt from the half-way line tested Tibbetts, but he was alert enough to tip it over the bar.
A few minutes later, Owen slipped in Akpa-Akpro, and Angus produced another good save at full stretch.
A mad scramble on the Llandudno goal-line on 78 minutes led to Harvey Bennett keeping the ball out with his hand. The Seasiders’ forward saw red for his action and Anthony Stephens assumed responsibility from the spot for the Silkmen. He sent Angus the wrong way, but also sent his shot just the wrong side of the post.
The reprieve was brief, however, as Flint did get the fifth a couple of minutes later. A Phillips delivery into a busy penalty area was deftly back heeled into the net by the Flint youngster to cap another good display by him.
The two sides meet again at the Essity Stadium on New Year’s Day (kick off 2-30pm) to complete this festive double header.
Report by Nigel Sheen. Photo courtesy of Llandudno FC
Line Ups :
Llandudno – J. Angus, S. Brown (L. Ellis 82), K. Cooper (A. Banning 74), F. Montgomery, R. Davies, C. Evans (A. Boss 50) , E. Roberts, B. Nicholas, H. Bennett, D. Holland (c), F. Murtas. Unused Subs – T. Guinn (GK), R. Weaver, J. Gee, J. Humphreys
Flint Town United – J. Tibbetts, J. Phillips (G. Maire 82), J. Williams (M. Roberts 76), A. Stephens, S. Forde, P. Lacey, L. Lacey, J. Owen (c), E. Reeves, J. Jones (H. Peagram 69), J-L Akpa-Akpro (B. Hughes 82). Unused Subs – L. Murphy (GK), R. Kavanagh, H. Cartwright
Flint MOM – Elliott Reeves (got the show on the road with a well taken opening goal and posed a constant threat to the opposition defence)