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Sat 27
Flint Town United
2
-
2
Cup
Newtown
R Foulkes (117')
Penalty Heartbreak for Flint

Penalty Heartbreak for Flint

By Nigel Sheen
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Flint pushed their Welsh Premier League opponents all the way in this classic cup tie, only to be denied in a penalty shoot out.


Arguably, the Silkmen created the better chances in regulation time and but for some better finishing and quality goalkeeping could have won the match before it got to the lottery of penalties.
However, they had to overcome the setback of conceding an early goal, when they were guilty of trying to play too much football in a boggy part of the pitch and needlessly gave away possession with just 3 minutes on the clock. Newtown instantly sprang forward, and created a good shooting chance for Luke Boundford, who instead opted to pull the ball back to Alex Fletcher on the edge of the box. Fletcher repaid the faith shown in him by chipping an effort over Nik Lee-Bulmer and into the net, to give the Robins an early lead.
To their credit, Flint shrugged off this disappointment, and with a strong wind at their backs, they began to take the game to their opponents. From a corner on 7 minutes, a defensive header only directed the ball into the path of Alan Bull, who cleared the bar with his shot. Then, on 11 minutes, good foraging work by Kyle Smyth and Morgan Jones resulted in Bull being presented with another opportunity. This time Newtown keeper Dave Jones was forced into the first of several good saves over the course of the afternoon, when he deflected the shot for a corner. Palmer's resulting inswinger took full advantage of the wind and deceived Jones as the ball looped over him towards the far post. Boundford, under pressure from Richie Foulkes, could only succeed in playing the ball over the goal line as he sought to keep it out, bringing the scores level.
A couple of minutes later, the busy Bull raced onto a through ball, but the ball just ran away from him before he could get a clean strike, and Jones did just enough to thwart the Flint striker once again.
On 42 minutes, following another Flint corner, Foulkes headed the ball back into space, and with skipper Carl Rodgers looking to connect with the loose ball. he lost his footing at the vital moment, and couldn't get to the ball.
Newtown threatened just before the break, when Ryan Kershaw hit a wicked shot cum cross that Bulmer just got his fingertips to, to force over the bar.
Flint spurned a glorious opportunity to take the lead on the hour mark, when Ieuan Hewitt fed Jones, who was clear on goal. As his namesake came out to meet him, the Flint forward hesitated when he should have pulled the trigger, and that proved fatal as the Newtown keeper was able to block him. On 69 minutes Jones did manage to get away a shot, but this time saw his effort tipped around the post.
Shortly after, an altercation between Smyth and Newtown's Jamie Reed, which began when Smyth was racing back to try and prevent Reed getting away down the left flank, resulted in the Flint player getting booked for his challenge. The referee failed to spot Reed leading with his arm into Smyth's face, which was in full view of the main stand, and more to the point, the fourth official, who was stationed right in front of the incident. Why he failed to draw the referee's attention to this piece of dangerous play was somewhat mystifying to say the least.
Reed then flashed a shot at the Flint goal on 72 minutes, following some good approach play by his side, but his effort went just wide of the post.
As the game was nearing the end of normal time, Flint sub Rob Jones hit a stinging shot that the Newtown keeper did well to parry.
And so with the heavy pitch taking its toll on both sides, the game headed into extra time.
Flint gave away a cheap free kick, just inside their half on 100 minutes. This was only half cleared to the edge of the box to the lurking Kershaw, who showed great reactions to drill a shot back into the corner of Flint's net and restore Newtown's lead.
But Flint refused to lie down, and rallied again in the second period of extra time. First, Shaun Beck hit a stunning overhead volley that screamed goal all the way, until Jones somehow managed to claw out as he flung himself full stretch across his goal.
But with 3 minutes left, Flint got their deserved equaliser. Hewitt hoisted the ball up to the edge of the box, and for once the bounce deceived
the Newtown defence, with the ball running on into the path of Foulkes, who smashed a half volley over Jones and into the net, to the delight of the home support.
Flint then piled on the pressure in search of the winner, and Beck went close twice in the dying stages. First, he hit a lob, from wide right, that just cleared the bar, and then he swung at a loose ball bouncing in the box, only to see his shot blocked by a covering defender.
So, with the sides being unable to be separated at the end of extra time, we had the drama of a penalty shoot out. With both sides having converted their opening spot kicks, it was advantage Flint after the second round, as Mark Cadwallader scored his but Newtown skipper Craig Williams hit his onto the bar and over.
Rob Jones stepped up next for Flint, and Jones pulled off a terrific save to get his team back into it. Then when Ieuan Hewitt also saw Jones save his kick, the pendulum had swung in the favour of the Robins. The final irony being that Jamie Reed converted the final penalty for the visitors, when in the eyes of many Flint supporters he was extremely lucky to still be on the pitch after his earlier altercation.
At least Flint manager Niall McGuinness can take heart from this tremendous performance from his side, knowing that they were the equals of their Welsh Premier opponents for long periods of the game, and it could so easily have been them whose name went into the hat for the Quarter Final draw.

Line Ups :
Flint Town United - N. Lee-Bulmer, I. Hewitt, A. Brown (R. Jones 67), C. Rodgers (c), J. Welsh, J. Lever, J. Palmer, R. Foulkes, A. Bull (S. Beck 89
), M. Jones (M. Cadwallader 75). Unused Subs - J. Jones, E. Quinlan (GK)
Newtown - D. Jones, R. Sears, K. Mills-Evans, N. Michell (J. Denny 72), L. Boundford (N. Rushton 88), J. Reed, J. Price (J. Kenton 72), C. Williams (c), T. Goodwin, A. Fletcher . Unused Subs - J. Harries, J. Perry (GK)

Goalscorers :
Flint Town United - Luke Boundord (OG 12), Richie Foulkes 117)
Newtown - Alex Fletcher (3), Ryan Kershaw (100)
Penalties :
Flint Town United - R. Foulkes (scored), M. Cadwallader (scored), R. Jones (missed), I. Hewitt (missed), K. Smyth (scored)
Newtown - N. Rushton (scored), C. Williams (missed), R. Kershaw (scored), A. Fletcher (scored), J. Reed (scored)

Bookings :
Flint Town United - Carl Rodgers (67), Kyle Smyth (70), Richie Foulkes (90), Joe Palmer (90)
Newtown - Jamie Price (50), Jay Denny (113)

Flint MOM - Richie Foulkes (so many good Flint performances to choose from, but Foulkes just edges it thanks to his sublime goal crowning his all round play)

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Match details

Match date

Sat 27, Jan 2018

Kickoff

14:30
Richie Foulkes

Player of the match

Richie Foulkes