Flint suffer big Derby Day Defeat
The final scoreline may have slightly flattered Holywell, but make no mistake they were worthy winners of this Boxing Day derby.
After an evenly contested first half, in which goal scoring chances were at a premium, the Wellmen showed the greater hunger and desire in the second period, and powered on to victory, with two late goals underlining their superiority and sealing Flint's fate.
The first chance of the match fell to the visitors on 6 minutes, when Steve Lewis flicked the ball into Mark Winslade's path. The Holywell striker was clear of any defenders and just had Nik Lee-Bulmer to beat, but the Flint keeper was quick off his line to close down the space and smother the shot. Then, just a minute later, Flint carved out an opportunity, when Richie Foulkes found himself in space some 22 yards out and let fly with an effort that Shaun Pearson tipped over the bar.
The rest of the half was a competitive contest that at times threatened to boil over, in the best traditions of local derbies, but neither side really created any decent goalscoring chances. Joe Palmer, returning for Flint after an injury lay off, was prominent in their midfield and showed great composure on the ball, but was unable to find the all important ball to release young Charlie Hughes, who all too often found himself out muscled by Holywell's sturdy rearguard.
On 50 minutes, Foulkes cracked another long range effort on goal, when the ball was played into his path following some good work from Hughes. Once again, however, Pearson was equal to it.
The visitors took the lead on 54 minutes, when a Sam Jones free kick from on the left was played towards the far post, and ex-Flint player Matty Harvey rose unchallenged and headed the ball back across goal and into the net.
Unfortunately, Flint's midfield allowed Holywell the upper hand in the second period, and all too often were dropping far too deep, and were sitting on top of their own back four, giving the Wellmen the initiative, and stifling any attacking intent of their own. For a home side in a local derby match, this was almost unforgivable, and they were architects of their own downfall.
Holywell almost doubled their advantage on 56 minutes, when the impressive Steve Thomas darted into the Flint box, and tried to scoop the ball over Bulmer, but the Flint keeper reacted well to deny him.
As the game wore on, Flint's lack of pace and penetration became increasingly worrying, with only Kyle Smyth seemingly able to burst forward and cause any trouble. It was therefore something of a mystery when he was taken off ahead of several other players, as the Silkmen looked to get back on terms.
Another telling burst from Thomas on 74 minutes created a golden opportunity for the visitors to put the game to bed. After getting into the Flint box, he squared the ball to the unmarked Lewis about 8 yards out, but he screwed his shot horribly wide of the target when he should have done a lot better.
Following that let off, Flint tried to exert a bit more pressure. And when Chris Budrys was shoved in the back when challenging for the ball in the Holywell box, they looked to have a legitimate penalty claim, but the referee was unmoved and played on.
The points were secured on 85 minutes when Holywell sprung forward on the counter, with an incisive move that resulted in Lewis squaring the ball to his strike partner Winslade, who slotted home from 8 yards.
With the home side now very much in disarray, Lewis again turned provider in the 89th minute, this time playing in Sam Jones, who applied a composed finish to put the seal on a comprehensive win for the visitors.
Line Ups :
Flint Town United - N. Lee-Bulmer, J. Jones, B. Scott (L. Tyson 79), C. Rodgers (c), I. Hewitt, J. Palmer, R. Jones (M. Cadwallader 79), R. Foulkes, C. Hughes, C. Budrys, K. Smyth (S. Beck 66). Unused Subs - K. Price, J. Hooper
Holywell Town - S. Pearson, P. Lloyd, S. Thomas (c), J. Jones, M. Harvey, D. Griffiths (B. McGilloway 87), S. Jones, P. Williams, M. Winslade, S. Lewis (M. Gunther 90), G. Williams (M. Jones 90). Unused Subs - J. Pennington, J. Haseldin
Holywell Town - Matty Harvey (54), Mark Winslade (85), Sam Jones (89)
Flint Town United - Ieuan Hewitt (27), Richie Foulkes (80)
Holywell Town - Steve Lewis (10), Steve Thomas (29), Shaun Pearson (80), Dafydd Griffiths (80)
Flint MOM - Joe Palmer (was Flint's most influential player in the first half which earned him the MOM award, means as his side failed to turn up, by and large, for the second half)