Lee Fowler’s first competitive game may have ultimately ended in defeat by the odd goal in nine in a penalty shoot out, (the Bay triumphing 5-4 after the scores were tied at 1-1 at the end of normal time), but he will be greatly heartened by the performance of his side. Bearing in mind this team have been assembled virtually from scratch in the space of a few short weeks, and they were up against a well drilled Colwyn Bay side, the majority of which have played together for a while, it was really encouraging the way Flint played the ball around and looked so comfortable in possession. Indeed, the Silkmen were unrecognisable from the side that played here just over a couple of weeks ago, and who on that day were soundly beaten and deservedly so.
From the off, Flint took a grip of the game, and with the experienced duo of Danny Harrison and James Owen holding sway in the middle of the park, they were controlling the game. A nice move after 10 minutes saw Larnell Cole loft a ball into the path of Liam Ellis, but the youngster was beaten to it by ex-Silkman and new Bay keeper Ryan Woods, who came out to claim it in front of the Flint forward.
It was perhaps the only slight blot on the notebook for the evening, that Flint failed to trouble Woods enough, and they were lacking somewhat in the final third of the pitch, In fact, neither keeper had a serious save to make in the opening 45 minutes, of what nevertheless was an absorbing encounter. As the half wore on, the Bay came more into the game, and forced some dangerous looking free kicks around the box, none of which came to anything, thanks partly by some good defending, with Brandon Diau in particular looking rock solid at the back for the Silkmen.
The second half saw a much more even distribution of play, with the home side looking more dangerous as an attacking force. But still both keepers remained relatively untroubled. Cole had a sight of goal just after the hour mark, as he wriggled into some space, but his rising shot cleared the bar.
Colwyn Bay upped the ante around the 70 minute mark, with some dangerous attacks, orchestrated by the lively Dylan Allshorn. From a corner, the Flint defence were for once caught flatfooted, and only a last ditch goaline clearance kept the score goalless.
Flint hit back with a nice move, when Diau lifted a ball through the centre to find Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro, who initially held it up well before laying it off into the path of substitute Ben Hughes, who was running in towards ball. But his connection wasn’t true, and the ball skidded into the arms of Woods, lacking the power to seriously trouble him.
As Flint piled on the pressure, it was the Bay’s turn to clear off the line, following a corner, with the towering Diau causing problems for the home side’s defence.
But Flint were rocked on 84 minutes, from an attacking throw in for Bay. The throw was quickly taken and the ball worked to Allshorn who was situated just inside the 18 yard box on the left side. He instantly cracked a rising shot into the top of the net to put his side ahead.
With the clock ticking down, Flint took a more direct approach, and pushed Diau up top, and he was instrumental in getting his side back into it deep into stoppage time. He played in Akpa-Akpro, who steamed through on goal, and hammered the ball home, to make it 1-1.
Shortly after the final whistle sounded and so we entered the lottery of a penalty shoot out. Flint went first, and Anthony Stephens stepped up to see his shot well saved by Woods who dived down to his right. After that, we were treated to a masterclass of how to take penalties, as each player from both sides netted all their spot kicks, resulting in Colwyn Bay winning the shoot out 5-4.
Line Ups :
Colwyn Bay – R. Woods, S. Edwards (S. Hart 62) , L. Sirrell, T. McCready (c), M. Hill, D. Allshorn, C. Lindfield (T. Creamer 63), G. Williams (S. Downey 67), K. Platt, A. Downes (J. Williams 74). J. Kirby. Unused Sub – C. Darling (GK)
Flint Town United – D. Szczenpaniak (GK), B. Beaumont, O. Ibrahim, A. Stephens, H. Owen, D. Harrison, L. Cole (H. Brindley-Peagram 86) J. Owen (c), J-L Akpa-Akpro, L. Ellis (B. Hughes 71), B. Diau. Unused Subs – J. Hampson, L. Ball, C. Williams
Flint Town United – Stephens (missed), Harrison (scored), Akpa-Akpro (scored), Hughes (scored), Owen (scored)
Colwyn Bay – Kirby (scored), McCready (scored), Allshorn (scored), Creamer (scored), Sirrell (scored)
Flint MOM – Brandon Diau (A composed performance both at the back and up front when he pushed up late on to help his side get back into the game)