Spirited 2nd Half Performance earns Flint the points
2nd half goals from Mark Cadwallader and Richie Foulkes gave Flint the win, following a laboured 1st half display
Flint started brightly, forcing a couple of free kicks down either flank adjacent to the penalty area, and a corner, but nothing came of these, and visiting keeper Richard Harvey remained untroubled. Then, after this opening flurry, the visitors started to get on top, and dominated possession for the remainder of the half. It looked as though the three weeks of inactivity had taken their toll on the Flint side, as they lacked energy and inventiveness, especially up front, and in midfield, where Porthmadog were being given far too much space to operate.
The most effective part of the Flint side during the first half was the defence, with the rearguard doing a good job in protecting the goal of debutant keeper Josh Hart, and they kept the goalscoring chances of the visitors to a minimum, considering the vast amounts of possession they were enjoying. When Hart was called into action, mainly in dealing with crosses, he displayed good handling and commanded his 6 yard area well.
Port's first real chance came on 35 minutes, when Julian Williams hit a shot from 20 yards that looked to be on target, but was deflected into the side netting. Then, on 41 minutes, Joe Chaplin got free for the visitors and hit a shot at Hart's near post, that he got down to, and turned it around and into the side netting once more.
Two substitutions at the start of the second half enlivened Flint when Kyle Smyth and Rob Jones came on to replace Andy Brown and the off colour Joe Palmer. Immediately, the home side had much more energy and purpose about them, and it wasn't long before they broke the deadlock.
On 49 minutes, Richie Foulkes received the ball in central midfield, turned and played a ball through to Mark Cadwallader, who beat the offside trap and found himself one on one with Harvey. The Porthmadog keeper got half a block on Cadwallader's shot, but was unable to stop the ball from creeping over the line.
Then, on 65 minutes, Tomos Emlyn controlled the ball with his hand just inside the box, gifting Flint the chance to double their advantage, which they duly took, when Foulkes scored from the penalty spot.
Flint were now the dominant side, and spurned a great opportunity to put the game to bed on 75 minutes. Kyle Smyth made a great run to the bye line, and delivered an inch perfect cross to Alieu Sheriff, inside the Porthmadog 6 yard box. The Flint player, who had only just been introduced into the action, got the ball caught up in between his feet, and when he did manage to get his shot away from about 3 yards out, he found his effort was blocked on the goal line by a covering defender. The rebound came out to Jack Stewart, whose effort was sent over the bar.
A few minutes later, Sheriff's persistence paid off when he won the ball, before slipping it into the path of Cadwallader, whose 22 yard shot was just over the Porthmadog bar.
As the game entered the last 10 minutes, Port tried to exert some pressure on the Flint goal, and created a couple of chances. On 83 minutes, they were awarded a free kick just outside the box, on the left. Sion Bradley delivered a low, dangerous cross, but Foulkes was on hand to clear the danger from in front of his goal. Then, with a couple of minutes of regulation time remaining, Banks tried, what first appeared to be a speculative effort, from wide on the left. However, as the ball got nearer the Flint goal, it suddenly looked destined for the top corner of the net, and needed Hart's intervention to palm it over the crossbar, just in the nick of time. The Flint keeper collided heavily with the post, in completing the save, and required treatment, but his intervention was enough to preserve Flint's clean sheet, on what ultimately turned out to be a very satisfying performance from the Silkmen.
Line Ups :
Flint Town United - Josh Hart, Ieuan Hewitt, Jack Lewis, Joe Palmer (Rob Jones 46), Jacques Welsh, Carl Rodgers (c), Jack Stewart, Richie Foulkes, Shaun Beck (Alieu Sheriff 74), Mark Cadwallader, Andy Brown (Kyle Smyth 46). Unused Subs - Keiron Price, Charlie Hughes.
Porthmadog - Richard Harvey, Tomos Emlyn, Josh Banks, Ceri James (c), Iddon Price, Tom Taylor, Sion Edwards (Leon Doran 72), Rob Evans, Joe Chaplin (Cai Jones 55), Julian Williams, Sion Bradley . Unused Subs - Jake Jones, Craig Papirnyk, Ifan Emlyn
Flint Town United - Mark Cadwallader (49), Richie Foulkes (65 pen)
Flint Town United - Mark Cadwallader (26), Jack Lewis (30), Richie Foulkes (70), Ieuan Hewitt (82)
Porthmadog - Sion Bradley (7), Tom Taylor (68)
Flint MOM - Jacques Welsh (was a calm and composed presence at the heart of the Flint defence)