Shortly after taking the lead early in the second half, Flint were on the back foot when they were reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Paddy Lacey following a dangerous tackle. it was then backs to the wall stuff for the remainder of the game, and Ruthin finally forced the equaliser deep into added on time, through ex-Silkman Soulayman El Amri, although it was no more than they deserved, based on the balance of play.
The first half served up some good competitive action, and Flint had the first big chance on 4 minutes, after Elliott Reeves was picked out with a nice ball, but his shot was turned around the post by veteran Ruthin keeper Steve Roberts.
The home side hit straight back, and launched a counter attack that saw another ex-Flint player, Jake Hampson, get through on goal, but he dragged his shot wide of the target.
Hampson then turned creator, swinging in a great delivery from the right on 16 minutes, the ball finally landing at the feet of Gwion Owen on the edge of the box, but he blazed his shot over the Flint bar.
Ruthin were now starting to pose Flint real problems down the flanks, with their zip and pace, and on 22 minutes, Llyr Morris squandered another chance when he too lifted his effort over the bar.
Flint responded when a good run by Josh Jones set up Harley Peagram, but the youngster was unable to maintain his goal a game ratio, when he saw his shot saved.
An inswinging corner troubled the Ruthin defence on 27 minutes, but Elliott Reeves was unable to force it over the line as the ball was cleared in the nick of time. Then, 10 minutes before the break, Peagram came sliding in on the far post as an inviting ball was sent flashing across goal. But he failed to get the contact required, and the ball squirmed away from goal instead of over the line.
Back down the other end, Morris was played in with a defence splitting pass, but dragged his shot across goal and just the wrong side of the post.
So it remained goalless at the break.
However, we didn’t have long to wait for a goal when the match resumed. As we entered the 47th minute, Flint struck. Rhys Kavanagh had set off on a mazy run in the middle of the park, and he slipped the ball to Ruthin old boy Josh Jones, who looked up, saw his chance and curled a lovely shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Just as they looked as though they were about to assert control on the game, the Silkmen shot themselves in the foot, when Lacey received a straight red for a lunging tackle near the bye-line. And this was not the first occasion that a Flint player had gone in with a challenge of that nature, but this time the referee decided enough was enough.
The Silkmen were now faced with well over half an hour down to 10 men. Whilst at first they coped reasonably well, they then started falling back deeper and deeper, and had little in the way of an outlet ball. Consequently, they were inviting Ruthin onto them, as the home side started laying siege on the Flint goal.
Rhys Williams did well to save with his legs from Morris as Ruthin pressed. Then a ball across goal took a slight deflection, but somehow no-one was able to force it in. El Amri also smacked a long range effort against the angle of post and bar, as Flint continued to ride their luck.
The woodwork shuddered once more as Osian Davies struck another long ranger, before Williams was called upon once more to produce a good save at full stretch. When Vita Mbolokele sent his shot a yard the wrong side of the post, well into stoppage time, it looked as though Flint might survive. But in the fifth of six added on minutes they finally succumbed when El Amri turned the ball in from close range to give his side a deserved share of the spoils.
Report by Nigel Sheen
Line Ups :
Ruthin Town – S. Roberts, M. Evans (T. Dyer 73), J. Nash (T. Caines 50), V. Mbolokele, J. Clark, O. Davies (c), J. Hampson (K. Mills 73), E. Davies, L. Morris, G. Owen, S. El Amri. Unused Subs – M. Edmunds, H. Martin, L. Molmans
Flint Town United – R. Williams, L. Lacey, S. Forde, A. Stephens (c), P. Lacey, D. Harrison (J. Williams 46), R. Kavanagh (K. Mills 87), J. Jones, H. Peagram (M. Roberts 75), E. Reeves, J. Akpa-Akpro
Flint MOM -Rhys Kavanagh (worked hard for his side and produced a bit of magic to set up the goal)