Flint narrowly lose out again to Rhyl
Having been beaten 3-2 by the Lilywhites at Cae-Y-Castell earlier in the season, Flint once again lost by the odd goal in the return fixture.
Although there wasn't much to choose between both sides, in a reasonably entertaining contest, Rhyl made the most of their chances to grab the victory. Compared to their pre-season aspirations, both sides have fallen short of expectations, and on the basis of this showing perhaps it's understandable why,. Although there was plenty of honest endeavour and work rate on display, neither side had that real ruthless quality to take the game by scruff of the neck and to dominate it. Rhyl, though, did possess the pace and trickery of Aaron Pomeyie, and it was he who probably made the difference at the end of the day.
For the opening quarter of an hour, neither keeper was seriously troubled, as the sides were cancelling one another out. Then, from a Flint corner on 16 minutes, Richie Foulkes connected with the ball from around 12 yards out and headed it downwards and goalwards. It looked as though it lacked the necessary power to reach the goal line, but his effort either eluded the home defence or got a slight deflection, and crept towards the line, where Danny Holland was stationed to clear the danger.
From that clearance, Rhyl put together a swift counter attack, which resulted in dangerman Pomeyie cuting in from the right and unleashing a shot that Nik Lee-Bulmer did well keep out. If that save was good, then his next one was even better, when on 20 minutes, James Murphy got on the end of a cross and hit a shot from the edge of the 6 yard box that looked to be a certain goal. But Bulmer spread himself extremely well to block the effort.
Flint then had a sighter through Mark Cadwallader on 33 minutes, as he fired in a 25 yarder that went just wide of the post. Shaun Beck was leading the line for Flint and his intelligent running was posing problems for the Rhyl defence. Just before the break, he ran clear and got on the end of a through ball. Rhyl keeper Rory Crowther was quick off his line in an attempt to close down the Flint striker, and as Beck knocked the ball past him, he was forced wide and ran out of space to get in a shot. Nevertheless, he was able to pull the ball back to Andy Brown who was centrally placed. Unfortunately, Brown miscued his effort, and instead of finding the target the ball looped up in the air and finished in the grateful arms of Crowther, who had recovered his position.
Flint were slow out of the blocks at the start of the second period, and the hosts carved out a couple of decent chances. On 50 minutes, Pomeyei did well to reach the bye-line, despite the best intentions of Jacques Welsh, and he delivered an excellent cross to Danny Holland, whose firm header crashed back off the Flint bar, with Bulmer eventually safely gathering the loose ball. A cross from the left flashed right across the Flint goal during this period, with a Rhyl striker inches away from making the all important connection.
Just as it looked as though they had weathered the storm, Flint were guilty of giving away possession too cheaply, as Welsh was robbed of the ball as he looked to play it our from the back. Pomeyei raced through with the ball, breaking away from the Flint rearguard and coolly slotting it past Bulmer to put his side 1-0 up.
Following this setback, Flint managed to clear their heads, and set about to try and get the equaliser. That duly arrived on the hour mark, when a delightful flick from Beck found Cadwallader in space on the edge of the box. The ex-Rhyl player, deftly lobbed the onrushing Crowther, to get Flint back on terms. Having played such a pivotal part in getting his side back level, it was perhaps something of a surprise that Beck was immediately substituted before the restart. Flint then appeared to lose some of their momentum, with little or no pace up front.
A moment of defensive hesitation proved fatal for the Silkmen on 74 minutes, when a ball was lofted across the 6 yard box from the edge of the 18 yard area on the right. As Flint's backline and goalkeeper all stood rooted to the spot, allowing the ball to pass in between them, Phil Marsh arrived on the scene to poke the ball home.
As the game entered the last frantic five minutes, Flint piled on the pressure, looking to use the height of Saul Henderson and Chris Budrys, in order to get back into the game. A cross from the right looked to be perfect for Budrys, but a great intervention by Rhyl skipper Tony Davies prevented it from reaching its target, just in the nick of time. From the resulting corner, Budrys was to be denied again, this time by Crowther, who pulled off a terrific reaction save to the Flint forward's shot, thereby preserving all 3 points for his side.
Line Ups :
Rhyl - R. Crowther, T. Davies (c), J. Jeffries, W. Bell, L. Langford, S. Downey, S. Carroll, D, Holland, P. Marsh, A. Pomeyie (M. Connolly 75), J. Murphy. Unused Subs - T. Hartley, B. Collins, M. Walsh.
Flint Town United - N. Lee-Bulmer, I. Hewitt, J. Lewis, C. Rodgers (c), M. Cadwallader (R. Jones 82), J. Welsh, J. Palmer, R. Foulkes, S. Beck ( S. Henderson 61), A. Brown (C. Budrys 75), K. Smyth. Unused Subs - A. Sheriff, K. Price
Rhyl - Aaron Pomeyie (52), Phil Marsh (74)
Flint Town United - Mark Cadwallader (60)
Rhyl - none
Flint Town United - Richie Foulkes (59), Ieuan Hewitt (81)
Flint MOM - Shaun Beck (although he was only on the pitch for an hour, his intelligent running and use of the ball was a great asset for his team)