Having achieved our overall goal of a top six finish, Flint’s season appears to be rapidly running out of steam as injuries and suspensions continue to take their toll, and a below par performance at home to Caerrnarfon resulted in an ignominious defeat.
Maybe things might have turned out differently if the Silkmen had been able to convert one of several good chances they created in the opening ten minutes, but as soon as Caernarfon struck the opening goal just before the half hour mark, there only looked as though there was going to be one outcome.
Flint had started briskly, and with just two minutes on the clock, Mark Cadwallader supplied a nice cross into Ben Nash, who had remained in a forward position, following a long throw routine. He made the most of the space afforded to him by getting away a shot that just cleared the bar. Then, a few minutes later a good one touch passing move unlocked the visitors defence, and Conor Harwood squared to Callum Bratley, whose shot skidded just the wrong side of the upright.
On six minutes, Harwood found himself through on goal, but a slightly heavy touch allowed Cofi’s keeper Jakub Ojrzynski the opportunity to race out and close him down, and he managed to get a telling block on the shot. But Cadwallader was following up, and his effort was thwarted by Gruff Williams who managed to get back and make a decisive goal line block.
After that early flurry, the game settled down into more of a sedate affair, and Caernarfon started to look more dangerous with their probing into Flint territory. The opening goal came in the 27th minute, as Rob Hughes hit a shot from the edge of the area. Jon Rushton got down to it, but was unable to hold, and Sion Bradley was handily placed to tap home the rebound.
Rushton did much better seven minutes later, when Hughes made a good run down the middle, before letting fly, and the Flint keeper pulled off a fine one handed save to deny him.
A defensive mix up led to the second goal on 40 minutes. A lofted back pass held up in the wind, forcing Rushton to charge out of his area in an attempt to clear. He reached the ball just ahead of Mike Hayes, but in beating the striker to the ball, then had little chance to try and continue his run and get the ball back under control. Instead it fell into the path of another Caernarfon player, and some quick passing resulted in the ball played back to Hayes, who flicked the ball into the roof of the net, with Rushton still stranded a long way from his goal.
Flint attempted to rally at the start of the second half, and they almost forced an opening on 54 minutes, following good work by Bratley. But as he tried to pick out a strike partner, Ojrzynski dived on the ball.
But within the space of 4 minutes the game was over as a contest, as Caernarfon struck twice more. In the 66th minute, they survived several handball shouts against them, the last one seemingly most conspicuous, as an arm arched high over a players head and made contact with the ball. Play carried on, and a foul was conceded in a central position a good 25 yards out from goal. Cofi’s captain Dion Donohue stepped up and stuck a sublime effort into the Flint goal, to give his side a three goal advantage.
Salt was rubbed into the home side’s wounds when Rob Hughes made a dart into the box, tumbled over in a theatrical manner, and to the surprise of just about everyone in the stadium won himself a penalty, which he then converted.
Flint’s miserable night was compounded when their injury woes deepened. Danny Harrison, on his return after a long lay-off, broke down early in the second half, and had to be replaced by Sam Duffy, who in turn sustained an ankle injury later in the game and had to be substituted.
Line Ups :
Flint Town United – J. Rushton, J. Phillips, S. Hart, B. Maher (c), B. Nash, K. Edwards, D. Roberts, D. Harrison (S. Duffy 51 (O. Nugent 76)), C. Harwood (L. Ellis 74), M. Cadwallader, C. Bratley. Unused Subs – R, Woods (GK), J. Williams, J. Davis, H. Brindley-Peagram
Caernarfon Town – J. Ojrzynski, I. Cartwright, A. Simson, G. Williams, N. Edwards, D. Donohue (c) (J. Bailey 87), S. Bradley (R. Williams 82), D. Gosset, M. Hayes (G. Dafydd 87), J. Faux (B. Beaumont 82), R. Hughes (C. Jones 72). Unused Sub – L. Bell
Flint MOM – Sam Hart (kept going on a night when things weren’t going his team’s way)