Our third game of the season sees us return to south Wales to face Penybont, a side we faced no fewer than five times in the last campaign. Our last meeting saw us edge past them in the Cymru Premier League Play Offs via a penalty shoot out. A much changed Flint side from that encounter will be looking to try and make it three wins on the spin tomorrow, but know they face a massive challenge against a very good ‘Bont side which defeated Bala Town on the opening day before narrowly going down to a 1-0 defeat away at TNS last week, conceding in cruel fashion in stoppage time.
Both sides will be missing key players tomorrow. For Flint, skipper Jay Owen serves his one game suspension following his sending off at Newtown, whilst Penybont will be without Sam Snaith who is in the middle of a three match ban. Available for the Silkmen, though, will be new signing Jack Hindle, whose clearance has now been finalised.
Manager Lee Fowler is well aware of the test his side will face, having watched them last week, as he told us in his preview of the game, along with his thoughts on the start to the season so far :
“It’s been a good two weeks for us as a group/ club. But we won’t have a short term results based approach, we have to keep chasing performance. As good as it is at present, it can easily flip to the opposite.
Complacency and consistency are the messages on repeat with us. With the quality of the teams in this league, we have to maximise everything to be at our best, but the work rate and buy in from the lads has been superb so far.
Many people had us down not to beat Pontypridd never mind Newtown. With a penalty save and then a red card against us, we dug deep to win 2-0 and to have two clean sheets shows that the lads are capable of mixing it with the likes of Newtown.
I went to watch Penybont v TNS on Saturday, and I’m sure they will be in the top 3 or 4 this season. They lost to a last minute goal and the post and crossbar helped them also, but for 35 minutes they looked a threat. They have a very good manager in Rhys (Griffiths). This showed by him changing formations within the game to frustrate TNS in their build up. They have a similar team ethic to ours in terms of work rate. And they are clever on set plays routines, so will have to be on our front foot and be assertive. In football, your next game is always the hardest.
We had a fun session on the new pitch on Thursday, trying to get the lads used to the surface and the roll and bounce of the ball. It really is an impressive facility.
The Old v Young game at the end of the session is getting very one sided at present. It’s 3 games and 3 wins for the Oldies at the moment. The vote for the worst player is being taken very personal by the youngsters !!”