Derby day draw for Flintshire rivals
A spirited comeback by Flint, having trailed 3-1 with 20 minutes left, earned them a draw, but Holywell must be ruing how they let all 3 points slip
For the second game in succession, Flint got out of the blocks early courtesy of an own goal. With barely 30 seconds on the clock, Joe Palmer delivered a precise ball into the box from a free kick wide on the left, and a Holywell head steered the ball into the net. It appeared that it was Danny Desormaux who got the decisive touch.
The Wellman soon hit back, from the penalty spot. Steve Lewis broke into the box, and Nik Bulmer brought him down. Jamie McDaid sent Bulmer the wrong way to bring the score lines back level.
The rest of the half was end to end, with it has to be said, Holywell playing the more fluent football and putting some nice moves together. The impressive McDaid broke down the right on 21 minutes, and crossed across the face of goal for Shaun Tuck, but his effort was blocked on the line. The rebound ran to the incoming Steve thomas, who hit a thumping shot that Bulmer did well to keep out.
Flint then fashioned a couple of chances in the space of a minute or so, both of which fell to Andy Brown. The first came when Brown won a challenge on the edge of the box, then he attempted to lob Holywell keeper Joe Griffith, but his effort went just over. The next chance came when Joel Haack won a header from a free kick, and set up Brown whose half volley was well held by Griffith.
Just after the half hour mark, a Palmer inswinging corner caused chaos in the Holywell box. The ball ended up at the far post, and amidst a scramble, Brown couldn't force the ball over the line as it stuck the post, before bouncing around the six yard area and then finally being headed over the bar.
On 39 minutes, Holywell scored their second. Following an attack down the right, a close range shot was initially cleared off the line, before finding its way to Desormaux, who made amends for his earlier faux pas by finding the net via a couple of deflections.
Flint manager Andy Holden introduced Shaun Beck and Mark Cadwallader at the start of the second half, as his side sought to get back on terms, and both would play key roles as the half progressed, together with third substitute Luke Tyson, who put in a lively performance when he came on later.
With Beck taking the central striker role, Flint looked much more potent as an attacking threat, as he continually won possession for his side, and held the ball up well.
However, Holywell always looked dangerous going forward, especially through McDaid and Brady McGilloway down either flank. The Silkmen were fortunate on a couple of occasions as balls were flashed across the Flint goal, but no-one in red and white could apply the vital touch. But Flint's luck appeared to run out on 66 minutes, when Matty Woodward broke down in the right back position, with what looked like a tight hamstring, and Tuck stole in behind him to present the ball on a plate to Steve Lewis, who slotted home to send the home fans into ecstasy.
It appeared that it may be game over at this point, as the Wellman had their tails well and truly up. But Flint hung in, and as the game reached the final quarter of an hour the home side started to tire, and Flint found a second wind.
On 78 minutes, a free kick was floated in from the left, and the ball was headed back across goal into a crowded goalmouth. Beck was quickest to react, seizing on the loose ball and blasting it into the net to give his side some hope.
Flint had to throw caution to the wind now, and were pushing players upfield and leaving spaces at the back. They were indebted to keeper Bulmer in the 80th minute, as he pulled off a fantastic double save to prevent Holywell restoring their two goal advantage.
Then with six minutes to go, Holywell's Matty Kendrick inexplicably stuck up his arm to block a cross played into the box, to concede a penalty. Richie Foulkes took the responsibility for the Silkmen, and calmly dispatched the spot kick. By now, Flint were much the stronger side, and fancied their chances of grabbing what would have seemed an extremely unlikely winner just 15 minutes earlier.
But there was to be no more goals, and at the end of a pulsating game, a draw was probably a fair result, although Flint will no doubt be more pleased with the point than their opponents, having trailed by two goals with 12 minutes to go.
Line Ups :
Holywell Town - J. Griffith, P. Lloyd, S. Thomas (c), D. Desormaux, M. Kendrick, G. Sudlow, B. McGilloway (G. Williams 77), P. Williams, S. Tuck (D. Gowans 70), S. Lewis, J. McDaid. Unused Subs - J. Robertson, J. Jones
Flint Town United - N. Bulmer, M. Woodward (L. Tyson 67), I. Hewitt, S. Halewood, J. Haack, R. Foulkes, J. Palmer, C. Rodgers (c), J. Hooper (S. Beck 46), K. Smyth (M. Cadwallader 46), A. Brown. Unused Subs - I. Rogers, B. Jones (GK)
Holywell Town - Jamie McDaid (7), Danny Desormaux (39), Steve Lewis (66)
Flint Town United - OG (1), Shaun Beck (78), R. Foulkes (84 pen)
Holywell Town - Matty Kendrick (84)
Flint Town United - Nik Bulmer (7), Shaun Beck (68), Richie Foulkes (80), Joel Haack (90)
Flint MOM - Carl Rodgers (put in a lung bursting performance for 90 minutes, and made telling interceptions and tackles to halt Holywell attacks as well as delivering some incisive passes)