Canaries Back on Song
Showing the type of grit and determination that is the hallmark of champions, Caernarfon overcame the setback of being reduced to 10 men
On a chilly, wintery, January afternoon, an entertaining match was served up for the hardy fans who braved the elements at Cae-Y-Castell. The League leaders found themselves a man down after half an hour, but stuck resolutely to their task, whilst Flint probably paid the price for being a bit too complacent in the opening period of the second half, something their opponents ruthlessly exploited.
The home side carved out the first opportunity after 6 minutes, when a long throw from Jack Lewis eventually found its way into the path of Joe Palmer, who hit a shot with the outside of his foot that finished just too high and wide.
Caernarfon started to pile on the pressure, but the Flint defence were standing up manfully to everything the visitors could throw at them in the opening 25 minutes or so. However, they needed the woodwork to rescue them on 26 minutes, after Danny Brookwell chipped the ball over the advancing Nik Lee-Bulmer, and as he turned to celebrate what appeared to be the opening goal, the ball struck the post and Flitn cleared the danger.
Jay Gibbs received a straight red card on 30 minutes, for appearing to throw a punch in an off the ball incident, and the advantage in this absorbing contest appeared to switch to the home side.
Obi Anoruo , on his home debut, had a chance a couple of minutes later, when he was played in by Richie Foulkes. But, under pressure, he hit his effort over the bar.
Despite their one man deficit, the Cofis were still to prove a potent attacking force, and Brookwell again went close on 34 minutes, with Lee-Bulmer having to pull off a great save to deny him.
A last ditch tackle by Gareth Evans was required to avert danger for the visitors, when some good interplay between Palmer and Anoruo resulted in the latter player having another good sighting of goal. The final attacking threat of the first half saw Jamie Breese one on one with Lee-Bulmer, but another top drawer save kept the scores goalless at the interval.
All Flint's good work up to that point was undone horribly just three minutes into the second half, when lackadaisical defending gifted Caernarfon the opening goal, as Brookwell waltzed past 3 players before sliding the ball to Breese for a simple tap in.
Then, a couple of minutes later things got even worse, when Foulkes handballed from a corner, with Nathan Craig converting the resulting penalty.
All of a sudden, the game had run away from Flint, as they had not been able to compose themselves after conceding the initial goal. Anoruo broke through the Caernarfon defence on 54 minutes, as they sought a way back into the game, but Cofi's keeper Alex Ramsey dealt with the danger.
The home side did get a goal back on 70 minutes, as Jack Lewis gathered the ball out wide, and hit a low shot through a crowded box that found the bottom corner of the net. Flint then piled on the pressure in search of the equaliser, and thought they had got it as the game ticked into stoppage time. A rare defensive slip by the Canaries rearguard saw Chris Budrys presented with a terrific opportunity, but he slipped at the vital moment and the chance went begging.
This was another encouraging display from this new look Flint side, who always knew that today's game would be a difficult challenge, but they acquitted themselves well, and on another day with a bit more help from lady luck they could have taken something from this game.
Match Report details provided by Will Price
Line Ups :
Flint Town United - N. Lee-Bulmer, I. Hewitt, J. Lewis, J. Palmer, J. Welsh, J. Lever (S. Beck 86), R. Jones (M. Jones 18), R. Foulkes (c), O. Anoruo, C. Budrys, M. Cadwallader (A. Bull 63). Unused Sub - J. Jones
Caernarfon Town - A. Ramsey, J. Williams, N. Craig (c), G. Edwards, R. Roberts, K. Roberts (K. Lloyd 78), G. Evans, J. Gibbs, J. Breese (S. Cavanagh 89), C. Williams, D. Brookwell. Unused Subs - T. Williams, A. Davies-Thomas
Flint Town United - Jack Lewis (70)
Caernarfon Town - Jamie Breese (48), Nathan Craig (pen 50)
Flint Town United - Red Cards : none; Yellow Cards : Richie Foulkes (50), Morgan Jones (61)
Caernarfon Town - Red Cards : Jay Gibbs (30); Yellow Cards : Nathan Craig (67)
Flint MOM - Jack Lewis (calm at the back, and composed going forward making good use of the ball)