Mountain Edge Scrappy Battle
A Dylan Roberts strike in the last minute settles the game for Flint Mountain in a perfect game for the neutrals
After the disappointing performance last weekend against Sychdyn, in which Flint Mountain were eliminated from the Premier Cup, Flint Mountain looked to make an immediate response with a trip to face Caerwys, in the North East Wales League. The teams met in cup competition in early January, with Flint Mountain earning a win in extra time. Manager Rob Thelwell was able to welcome Lee Messham, Shane Owens and Christian Davis to the starting line up, with Alex Millington unavailable and Rob Rush and Dylan Roberts dropping to the substitutes bench.
The game started in lightning fashion, as Flint Mountain took the lead inside the first minute of the game. From the Caerwys kick off, both Jimmy McGlone and Lee Messham looking to win the ball back. With the defence under pressure, McGlone closed down an attempted clearance, which flew past a stranded Caerwys goalkeeper and into the net. Despite this early lead, Flint Mountain could not put Caerwys under any sustained pressure, with their goalkeeper not required to make any saves. The closest effort fell to Shane Owens, who shot just wide inside the area, from a corner. The side were also forced into a substitution, as Ryan Worrall picked up an injury from a late tackle, with Dylan Roberts replacing him.
With Flint Mountain struggling to find any rhythm, Caerwys were able to capitalise on poor marking and found an equaliser just after the half hour mark. A through ball found the Caerwys player inside the area, who then beat Ryan Roberts in the Mountain goal. Another through ball also found it's target, Caerwys scored again in quick succession to take the lead. With the clock ticking towards half time, Flint Mountain struck back to take a level score into the break. Christian Davis, who was unlucky not to score in the previous meeting between the sides, unleashed a shot from the corner of the penalty area which flew into the far corner, for his first goal for the club.
In the second half, Flint Mountain started the better side and should have taken the lead early in the half. Lee Messham found the ball on the right, and delivered a cross to strike partner Jimmy McGlone, who somehow missed the target from only a few yards out. On the hour mark, Caerwys re-took the lead. The Caerwys striker beat the offside trap and then beat Roberts.
The ebb and flow of the game continued, with Flint Mountain then putting Caerwys under pressure and found another equaliser. Lee Messham found McGlone in the area from a cross, whose first time effort beat the Caerwys goalkeeper. Just two minutes later, the roles were reveresed as McGlone turned provider for Messham. McGlone found himself in a similar position to Messham. His cross was initially cut out by the goalkeeper, but Messham did well to get in front of the goalkeeper, before turning and slotting the ball into the net.
With time beginning to run out, Caerwys pushing for yet another equaliser and found it from a free kick. As the player stepped up, the Flint Mountain wall did not stay together, allowing the ball to fly through and into the bottom corner. The final few minutes saw a frantic attempt by both sides to grab a winning goal, and Flint Mountain found it just a minute before the end of the game. After a succession of corners, the ball was cleared to the edge of the area, where Dylan Roberts picked up the ball and fired a speculative effort towards goal. The ball somehow was missed the players in the area and the goalkeeper's outstretched hand to nestle in the bottom corner. Flint Mountain then held on through some nervous moments in the final minute to secure the win.
Next up for Flint Mountain is another cup quarter final, where Aston Park Rangers provide the opponents in the Horace Wynne Cup. Flint Mountain were beaten finalists in 2015 and will be looking to go one step further this year.