The Silkmen made an early exit from this season’s Nathaniel MG Cup, losing 4-1 on penalties, after the sides had finished all square with one goal apiece at the end of normal time. Prestatyn goalkeeper Mike Jones was the hero for his side in the shootout, as he saved from both Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro and Elliott Reeves.
Flint had raced into an early lead on 5 minutes, when the Seasiders had failed to clear the danger after Rhys Kavanagh’s curling shot was initially blocked. The ball eventually falling to the feet of Harley Peagram, who wasted no time in blasting it into the net, with a nice clean strike, his second goal in as many games. The pace of Peagram and fellow forward Tom Hilditch was giving the centre half pairing of the home side all sorts of problems in the early stages. However, Flint failed to capitalise on this advantage, and Jones remained virtually untroubled in the Prestatyn goal. Rather than trying to play the ball through on the deck to find the forwards, the Silkmen were tending to resort to the long ball over the top, with the height advantage of the centre halves just about coming to their rescue on occasions, or the ball simply being overhit. Maybe the bobbly surface of the pitch meant that this approach was the preferred method of play, but it just didn’t seem to work.
Instead, it was the home side that created the better chances, with some woeful finishing meaning that Flint retained their slender advantage at the interval.
On the half hour mark, a cross from Emmanuel Lawal on the left found Joe White, but he miscued horribly and skied the ball over from 8 yards out. Then, on 41 minutes, Rhys Williams in the Flint goal parried a shot from Mike Burke, resulting in a scramble at the base of the post, before the danger was cleared.
The second half descended into a really scrappy affair, with little constructive play on offer. Prestatyn offered the greater threat though, particularly down their left, where the introduction of substitute Dean Davies was an inspired move. As the half wore on, there was almost an inevitability about an equaliser, as Flint were having more and more trouble clearing their lines, and were offering next to no threat in the attacking third, although Kavanagh did make a nice solo run on 80 minutes, before being forced wide and shooting over from a tight angle.
The equaliser duly arrived on 82 minutes. Davies received the ball from a quick free kick, with his marker having switched off to the danger. He sent over a cross and Prestatyn skipper Jon Cahill rose highest to head home.
Flint could have snatched it at the death, when debutant Luis Lacey fizzed in a shot that just cleared the bar, but instead we went to penalties. The home side went first, and converted all their spot kicks, with Burke slotting home the decisive fourth meaning that the tie was theirs.
Report by Nigel Sheen, Photos by Damon Mead.
Line Ups :
Prestatyn Town – M. Jones, J. White, M. Burke, R. Murphy, A. Mossman ( J. Holden 46), J. Cahill (c), E. Lawal, K. Pearson (D. Davies 46), T. Magee (F. Shelbourne 46), K. Clair, D. Atkins. Unused subs – J. Rimmer
Flint Town United – R. Williams, L. Lacey, J. Jones, A. Stephens (c), P. Lacey, S. Forde, B. Hughes, H. Cartwright (J-L Akpa-Akpro 46), H. Peagram, T. Hilditch (E. Reeves 46), R. Kavanagh. Unused Subs – N. Collings (GK), H. Drazdauskas, A. Mather, D. Harrison, M. Roberts
Flint MOM – Harley Peagram (scored with a class finish, and with his pace looked to be quite a threat, if only he had received better service)