Mountain Bounce Back At Bradley
Bradley Park were no match in a one-sided affair as they were brushed aside by a resurgent Flint Mountain
With Wales playing on Saturday, this week's game was brought forward to Friday, but Flint Mountain did not let the evening kick off up in Wrexham get in the way of a convincing victory. After last week's humiliation at the hands of Offa Athletic, manager Rob Marshall looked for an immediate reaction and the players did not disappoint. With injuries and family commitments, Marshall made some changes, with Alex Millington joining Marshall himself in defence and Mark Hughes, Keiran Farr and David James Jones all returning to midfield.
It did not take long for Flint Mountain to take the lead, as they raced ahead inside three minutes. David James Jones played the ball over the defence, where Jack Aitken beat the defence with his pace, before slotting the ball home. Aitken's pace was proving to be a dangerous asset and he used it to his advantage on the ten minute mark. From the opposite flank, Mark Hughes delivered a ball into the path of Aitken, who made no mistake from close range.
Bradley were really struggling to deal with Flint Mountain as they surged forward at every opportunity. Jack Aitken was unlucky not to have bagged an early hat-trick, but as he lobbed the ball over the out-rushing goalkeeper, he was ruled offside. Bradley then got the better of an offside call, as the striker ran through unchallenged, before rounding Ricky Bennett and tucking the ball home. The Mountain did not let this get to them, as they continued the attack on the Bradley goal. Keiran Farr was unlucky not to have increased the lead, as a similar lob to Aitken's earlier in the game could only hit the crossbar and bounce away from goal.
Shortly afterwards, the third goal did follow, as Sean Wilkes got into the act. It was the turn of Jack Aitken to turn provider, as he prodded the ball through to Wilkes, who then calmly stuck the ball into the bottom corner. Wilkes' second goal was not far behind. Liam Mortimer picked up the ball in an advanced position, before curling a perfect ball into the penalty area, where Wilkes jumped high to thunder his header past the helpless Bradley goalkeeper. The goals were starting to flood in, as Jake Williams then grabbed a goal. From outside the box, Williams hit a hopeful effort, which took a wicked deflection, before nestled into the bottom corner, leaving the goalkeeper stranded.
Frustration was starting to take it's toll on Bradley, who then had a man sent off. Seeing the red mist after feeling aggrieved, the player first berated the referee, before appearing to stick his forehead into the referee. This left the referee with no choice but to issue a red card. Bradley did have a little fight left in them, as they then got their second goal, with the goal of the game. Winning the ball in midfield, the ball was played to the edge of the penalty area, where the Bradley player smashed the ball across goal and into the top corner, leaving Rickey Bennett no chance.
With the first half almost over, Flint Mountain then added a sixth goal, with Sean Wilkes completing a first half hat-trick, his second hat-trick of the season, as he found himself in space in the middle of the area, before hitting an effort which the goalkeeper could not keep out. In the second half, the onslaught continued as Jack Aitken finally grabbed his own hat-trick. David James Jones took a strike at goal which was heading wide, but Aitken was in the right place, as the ball found him and he tapped the ball into the net from just two yards out.
Jones was not to be denied his own goal though, as he then added the eighth goal, with an effort which found the corner of the net. With Mountain in complete control, they added fresh legs to the pitch, as Dylan Roberts replaced Mark Hughes on the wing, before Sam Scott replaced manager Rob Marshall in defence and assistant manager Rob Thelwell made a brief cameo, replacing Jake Williams. With Flint Mountain still pressing in to the final minutes, and forcing a series of corners, there was still time for Sean Wilkes to pick up his fourth goal of the game, as he swivelled in space in the penalty area, striking the ball past the goalkeeper.
Next up for Flint Mountain is the second of the league's seven new clubs, with Wrexham-based side Bellevue making the trip to the Northop Hall Pavilion. Bellevue are a new team consisting of refugees in the local area, but have so far failed to register a point. Flint Mountain will be hoping this form continued for at least another week.