Offa Breach The Dyke
Flint Mountain's unbeaten run at Wat's Dyke Way is over as Offa Athletic deservedly claim all three points
Following on from the President's Cup first round last weekend, in which Flint Mountain progressed thanks to a 3-1 victory over local rivals CPD Sychdyn, attention returned to league matters as the club welcomed Offa Athletic to Wat's Dyke Way. The absence of Shane Owens in defence meant a recall for Kieran Farr after his recent injury woes, whilst Ricky Bennett continued in goal after replacing Ryan Roberts during the second half last weekend.
Flint Mountain got off to the worst possible start, as Offa Athletic struck within the first two minutes. Without too much effort, the Offa striker managed to get past the Mountain defence before firing past Bennett. The defence did not seem to have learned from their mistakes, as Offa Atheltic doubled their lead after fifteen minutes. A long ball forward was not missed and with no sweeper to mop up the ball, the Offa striker run through one on one to beat Bennett again.
Things went from bad to worse on the half hour mark, as stand in captain Rob Rush was forced off the pitch due to an injury, with Ryan Worrall replacing him. Kieran Farr moved into central defence with Worrall moving into the left back spot. Five minutes later, Flint Mountain pulled themselves back into the game with a goal. With Lee Messham running through on goal, he was pulled back by his marker, with the Offa man receiving a dubious yellow card. From the resulting free kick, fellow striker Jimmy McGlone stepped up, planting the ball into the back of the Offa net.
With the score remaining the same for the remainder of the first half, the outlook looked good, but once again, Flint Mountain shot themselves in the foot with Offa regaining their two goal advantage. After a clearance from Ryan Worrall fell straight to the Offa striker, he managed to beat George Jones in defence and beat Bennett again, claiming his hat trick in the process.
After Lee Messham had missed a golden opportunity to get another goal back from six yards out, Offa extended their lead yet further. Breaking down the left, the Offa winger beat the Mountain defence again and made it 4-1. With the odds stacked firmly against them, Mountain manager Rob Thelwell threw caution to the wind, replacing George Jones and Tom Heppleston with Dylan Roberts and Lewis Evans, as they looked for a way back into the game.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, Flint Mountain caught a break as Offa were reduced to ten men. Despite several incidents earlier in the game, which could have seen the player shown his marching orders, he was deservedly shown a red card after stamping on Jimmy McGlone. Just a minute later, Lee Messham got a goal back after tapping in a cross. Messham seemed to find his goalscoring form, as another four minutes afterwards, he bagged his second of the game. After a through ball beat the Offa defence, Messham used his pace to get through and beat the Offa goalkeeper. Despite several last chances to grab a point, Offa held on to deservedly claim all the points.
Next up for Flint Mountain is the first of five away games in a row, as the club look to bounce back immediately. Firstly, the club will visit the impressive facilities of GAP Connah's Quay Academy, with the game due to be played on the 3G artificial pitch. The under 18's academy side have scored an impressive 33 goals in the last two games alone against the bottom sides Hawkesbury Bell and Tanyfron United, so the Mountain will have to be on their guard.