Airbus comfortably saw off Flint in the battle of the league’s top two, emerging 3-0 winners, with the Silkmen having been reduced to 10 men at the start of the second half, having trailed 1-0 at the break.
There was a strong, blustery wind blowing down the pitch, and Flint had it at their backs in the first half, but failed to capitalise as they struggled to get any sort of passing game going. Nevertheless, they were presented with the first opportunity of the game on 10 minutes, as Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro flicked on a ball into the path of Luis Lacey, who in turn picked out Josh Jones in space on the edge of the box. Jones sent in a shot that looked as though it might creep into the corner, but instead came back off the post. A follow up effort by Lacey was then cleared off the line as the Wingmakers survived the danger.
Airbus then mounted an attack up the other end, forcing a corner. And from that they took the lead, barely a minute after almost going a goal down. Jordan Evans sent in the delivery, and slack marking by the away side allowed Tyler McManus to connect with a volley, sending the ball into the roof of the Flint net.
With the wind in their faces, Airbus were content to sit in deep, and with Steve Tomassen commanding at the back they easily dealt with the Flint attack, although they were helped by the amount of misplaced passes from the Silkmen’s midfield area. The home side were particularly threatening from set pieces, and following another corner on 25 minutes, Joe Williams had to be alert to clear George Peer’s scudding shot off the line from just inside the post.
The nearest Flint came to threatening the Airbus goal again came in the 40th minute, when Lewis Sirrell his a snapshot from around 20 yards that just cleared the bar.
A failure to get to grips with the conditions had meant an extremely poor first half showing from the Silkmen, and the hope was that they may profit by playing into the wind in the second period, by keeping the ball on the deck more. However, they were undone within two minutes of the restart when they were reduced to 10 men. A ball was lobbed over the top, and Paddy Lacey was deceived by the bounce as he attempted to deal with it. Craig Lindfield seized onto it, and saw a path through on goal, but was checked by Lacey as he tried to get away from him. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and producing a red card. When Lindfield crashed the penalty against the bar, Flint were thrown a faint lifeline, although they still had to mount a comeback with a man less.
Within the space of three minutes around the hour mark, Airbus created several decent chances from which they could have increased their lead. First, some good interplay led to Nick Rushton playing in George Peers, whose shot whistled just wide of the upright. Shortly after, Lindfield beat the offside trap, but his effort was kept out well by Rhys Williams, who produces a fine fingertip save low down to divert the shot wide of the target. Then Tomassen
headed against the bar from close range from a corner.
These let offs spurred a response from the Silkmen, and they at last starting putting some half decent passing moves together, although none of them resulted in home goalkeeper Keighan Jones having to make a save of note, as the final ball was found wanting.
With eleven minutes remaining, Flint paid the price for some sloppy play in trying to bring the ball out from the back. A loose pass meant they lost possession, with Evans picking the ball up and trying his luck from a good 25 yards out. The ball swerved in the wind, completely deceiving Williams and finishing up in the net.
An uphill task now assumed mountainous proportions for the Silkmen, and Airbus put the game well and truly to bed with five minutes remaining, scoring again from a corner. Evans was once again the provider, and Lindfield made a good run across goal to meet it sweetly and produce a flick header to direct it into the net.
Report by Nigel Sheen. Photos by Geoff Quinn (for full gallery go to www.flickr.com/photos/quinnys/albums/ )
Line Ups :
Airbus UK Broughton – K. Jones, T. McManus, K. Evans, S. Tomassen (c), J. Palmer, N. Rushton (K. Cooke 81), C. Lindfield, S. Rickett, J. Evans, O. Lanceley (B. Knight 74), G. Peers (D. Collins 65). Unused Subs – D. Szczepaniak (GK), W. Gordon, S. Baker
Flint Town United – R. Williams, J. Phillips (c), J. Williams (M. Roberts 81), S. Forde, L. Sirrell, P. Lacey, M. Burke (H. Drazdauskas 81), B. Hughes, L. Lacey, J. Jones (G. Maire 81), J-L Akpa-Akpro (H. Peagram 53). Unused Subs – L. Murphy (GK), H. Cartwright
Flint MOM – Lewis Sirrell ( a solid display on a difficult afternoon for his side)