They had Jack Kenny’s clinical finishing and some top drawer saves from Jon Rushton to thank for the win.
Flint started in brisk fashion, and with just a minute on the clock, Sam Hart and Conor Harwood combined well down the left, with Hart fizzing in a cross to the near post area, that Lee Jenkins did well to cut out at the expense of a corner. Aber then gradually felt their way into the game, and started to become more confident in possession. On 18 minutes, Harry Franklyn tested Jon Rushton with a 25 yard effort, which Rushton did well to parry.
But just as it looked like they were getting comfortable, Flint hit them with a quick break and goal on 29 minutes. Ben Nash sent a long ball down the right channel, which Kenny seized upon, controlled and got a vital half yard ahead of his marker Louis Bradford, before finding the net with an unerring shot from a narrow angle.
That rocked the home side back on their heels, and Flint were able to comfortably see out the remainder of the half.
Flint started the second period brightly, and on 49 minutes, Jake Phillips whipped an excellent ball into the danger area from the right, only for Mike Wilde to just fail to connect with it by inches from around 6 yards out. But to their credit, Aber then regrouped, and started to take the game to Flint, and as the half wore on, the Silkmen’s lead looked more and more fragile.
On 54 minutes, Jamie Veale put in a good delivery, finding the head of Owain Jones, but his looping header finished well over the target. A few minutes later, a free kick for the home side was cleared to Veale, who from 25 yards out hit a shot that took a slight deflection but was still heading on goal, until Rushton managed to tip it over the bar to safety. Rushton topped that with a spectacular save on 59 minutes, as he reacted quickly to deny Jones who had hit a fierce volley from 18 yards out.
After all his good work, the Flint keeper had a blot on his copybook on 64 minutes though, when he was guilty of coming to try and claim a ball that he should have left well alone, and let his defence deal with. Instead he came about 12 yards out, missed his punch, and Wilde tried to head clear, but only found Bradford, who improvised superbly on the edge of the area to lob the ball into the back of the net, with Rushton stranded out of position.
Having worked so hard to get themselves back into the match, Aber paid the price for complacency, when Flint restored their advantage barely four minutes later. Wilde did well to direct a header into Kenny’s path, and he burst past his defender. The striker let the ball bounce a couple of times before smashing it on the half volley past the helpless Gregor Zabret in the Aber goal.
Having recovered from a one goal deficit once, only to let it slip, the question now was, could the home side find an equaliser for a second time ? Well, they certainly gave it their best shot.
On 72 minutes, an Owain Jones delivery from the right picked out Bradford, who was well placed in the middle of the goal. But he headed it into the ground, and the ball bounced up comfortably into the arms of Rushton. Then, Franklyn hit another long range screamer, that was heading into the top corner, until Rushton redeemed himself superbly from his earlier error by springing across his goal to claw out the effort in the nick of time.
With 2 minutes of normal time left, the Flint defence switched off from a throw in, and Franklyn, from an acute angle smashed a shot against the bar, before the defenders rallied to clear the danger.
Then, with almost the last kick of the game, Aber thought they had at last found the equaliser, only to be denied by an offside flag for the player who had turned the ball into the net.
It was certainly rough justice on Aber for the second time this season in the meetings between us, and just goes to show how close the margins are between sides at the top and bottom of the table, and what a difference taking your chances makes when they come your way.