Mountain on Cloud Nine
Sean Wilkes and Marc Gunther score hat tricks apiece as Flint Mountain stroll to victory against Aston Park Rangers
After securing an immediate reaction with the win over Mold Town United in midweek, Flint Mountain looked to build upon the result with another away win, with Aston Park Rangers the hosts. Aston have endured a slow start to the season, with only a point so far from their three league games. Manager Rob Marshall was forced into some necessary changes with players missing from midweek, so Ryan Roberts replaced Ricky Bennett in goal, whilst Mark Hughes, Alex Millington, Dylan Roberts and Sean Wilkes all returned to the starting line up.
After an indifferent start to the game, in which no team really took control, Sean Wilkes opened the scoring with twelve minutes gone. With the ball played through to Wilkes in space, he deftly lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Wilkes was alert again shortly afterwards, and again unmarked he was able to easily beat the goalkeeper.
Flint Mountain continued to attack throughout the half, but after Dylan Roberts had blazed over from close range, he did then find the net after half an hour. Captain Damon Griffiths won the ball on the half way line, before a long ball forward found Roberts, who controlled the ball and fired the ball across goal and into the bottom corner of the net. With just moments of the half remaining, Flint Mountain were then awarded a penalty. Damon Griffiths, still forward after a corner, was clumsily brought down from behind. Sean Wilkes then stepped up with a chance for his hat trick, but his effort was crashed back off the crossbar.
The second half started off in quick fashion, as it took only another minute to increase their lead. From a corner, Aston could not clear their lines, and Alex Millington was on hand to hit the ball high into the net from close range. It was then the turn of Marc Gunther to get involved, as he took advantage of some poor defending in the six yard box, as he swivelled and found the back of the net.
Aston's poor defending continued, as Gunther added his second in superb style, finding the back of the net from 25 yards, leaving the goalkeeper stranded. Gunther then completed his hat trick as Flint Mountain turned on the style. Mikey Scott and Sam Scott both entered the field as Flint Mountain added fresh legs. As time run out, Mark Hughes, who had seen several efforts saved throughout the second half, then grabbed his first goal for the club. In acres of space, Hughes dribbled into the area before firing past the goalkeeper.
Sean Wilkes was not to be denied his own hat trick, and with a minute remaining, Jack Aitken delivered a teasing ball to the back post, where Wilkes rose high to head home.
Next up for Flint Mountain is a return to the Northop Hall Pavilion, where Offa Athletic will be the visitors. The Mountain suffered two defeats in the league last season and will be looking for a better result this time around. Kick off next Saturday is 14:30.