For the third time this season, Bala came out on top against Flint, having previously won at the Essity in the league cup and our initial league game.
This turned out to be a relatively comfortable victory for the home side, with former Welsh international Dave Edwards netting his third goal in as many games against the Silkmen. They were two goals to the good from a couple of corner routines, where the Flint defence were guilty of switching off, and concentrating their resources on blocking out the threat of Nathan Peate, and instead left themselves wide open to a couple of short corner routines. Following the second goal, a quickfire third, effectively put the game to bed, although Flint did manage a consolation through Jack Kenny with just over ten minutes remaining.
The Lakesiders were quickly into their stride and started stroking the ball around well. Their skipper Anthony Kay was being afforded the freedom of the midfield, as Flint’s set up appeared to be leaving large gaps in the middle of the park, which the home side duly exploited. Jon Rushton was called upon to make a good save with his feet on 15 minutes, from a flowing Bala move down the left ended with full back Calum Woods cutting in and firing a low shot at the Flint goal.
The visitors replied in kind, when Conor Harwood made a good run down the right, penetrating the home defence and getting off a shot that Alex Ramsey did well to parry.
But as the half wore on, Bala were looking the more threatening, and time and again, Edwards was dropping off into midfield in space to receive balls and was not being picked up. An off balance Kieran Smith hit an effort just over the Flint bar, as the pressure grew. In the 40th minute, the deadlock was broken, when a Brad Bauress corner was played into the near post area, and a sprinting Edwards met it and directed it under the bar to put the hosts in front. All the attention from the Flint defence had been directed at the back post area to nullify the threat of Peate, and Edwards had been gifted with a free run onto the ball.
The second half started in pretty much the same vein as the first half had ended, with Bala in the ascendency, although their final ball was lacking. A break by the Silkmen just before the hour mark, almost brought a goal, however. Callum Bratley broke through and let fly but his goalbound effort was stopped by a defender, with Ramsey looking beaten. The Flint players furiously claimed the block was made with the player’s arm, but the referee was unmoved and waved play on.
Shortly after, Bala went 2-0 up following another corner routine that deceived the Flint defence. Despite pulling all ten outfield players back to defend the set piece, Ollie Shannon was criminally left unmarked on the edge of the box, and received the ball before drilling it goalwards. The ball appeared to deceive Rushton, and ended up in the back of the net. Within the space of five minutes, it was 3-0, with Shannon again on target. Edwards knocked the ball into his path inside the box, and he jinked around a couple of defenders before burying his effort past Rushton, and effectively ending the contest.
Flint did manage to rally, and Michael Wilde headed into Kenny’s path, and he shrugged off the attentions of a defender and rounded Ramsey to net a consolation goal, but despite a bit of late pressure, the Silkmen were unable to fashion any other clear cut chances.