CPD Tref Caernarfon V Flint Town United
Dydd Gwener 14 Hydref, 19:45
Late Double Earns Points For Cofis.
Caernarfon 2 – 0 Flint Town United.
In his match day programme notes, Town manager Huw Griffiths had made it clear that this fixture with Flint was a crucial one for both sides. The Cofis last week had halted a run of four consecutive defeats when they comfortably won their Welsh Cup tie with Flint Mountain but Caernarfon’s manager knew how important it was for his charges to get back to winning ways in the Cymru Premier League. Three points would keep them within touching distance of the top three whilst defeat would see them join the bottom half of the league. Likewise Flint, who were level on points with the hosts before ethe match but had not won in the top tier since August.
It would be safe to say that the action dd not get off to the best of starts and, if anything, both sides seemed nervous, and initially lacked the forward impetus required to create much by way of goalscoring opportunities.
The Silkmen have this season created for themselves a reputation for being a good counter attacking side, and certainly they were looking to get their pacey front men involved at every opportunity when breaking upfield. Jean-Louis Akpa-Akro was frustrated for the visitors in the eleventh minute after being set up by Simmonds but was unable to connect with the ball at close range.
After an opening half of the period which saw Flint looking the more dangerous outside without really creating clean cut chances, Caernarfon began to settle and gained momentum, as they started to play the ball on the floor. Captain Dion Donohue was instrumental in much of what was good about the Cofis’ play and he saw his twenty first minute effort from outside the box clear over the woodwork by two feet.
Donohue’s cross into the box four minutes later was half cleared by the visitors, and Iwan Cartwright picked the ball up twenty yards out only to see his low effort saved comfortably by Flint stopper Harry Allen.
Town’s number one, Josh Tibbetts, came to his side’s rescue twice in as many minutes when he first raced off his line to thwart Simmonds and then dived full stretch to keep out a Diau header at the far post.
Town were denied two strong penalties shouts in the thirtieth and forty first minutes as Fidel O’Rourke and Lloyd Marsh-Hughes respectively seemed to be brought down in the penalty area but referee Aaron Wyn Jones dismissed the appeals on both occasion, much to the dismay of the home support.
A late flurry of attacks saw the Cofis go close to breaking the deadlock on three occasions, as Marsh-Hughes, Danny Gosset and Joe Faux all threatened but ultimately failed to find the target and the sides walked off for their half-time refreshments goalless and in need of some fresh attacking options from their respective managers.
Caernarfon began the second period strongly and when Donohue found Faux with the striker twenty five yards from goal and wide on the left flank, there seemed little danger until he turned his man, cut inside and struck an exquisite curler that seemed destined for the top corner until a deflection took it away from goal and for a corner.
Marsh-Hughes hit an effort over the bar from twelve yards in the fifty first minute and Tibbetts again came to the Cofis’ rescue on the hour mark, when he raced off his line and pulled off an impressive save to deny Simmonds for a second time. From the resulting corner, the ball ended at the feet of Diau, who somehow missed the ball completely with the goal in front of him, and Town managed to keep their net untouched.
With the match approaching its final fifteen minutes, Caernarfon upped the tempo and began dominating, as Flint began to get deeper into their own half. Faux forced Allen into a save, and O’Rourke saw his goalbound effort blocked.
Then, with six minutes remaining, the Cofis finally went ahead. The industrious Gosset got on the end of an excellent pass from Gruff John on the right flank, and his low cross was parried out by the diving Allen, and O’Rourke was quick to reach the ball and thunder it into the roof of the net from six yards. It was the Liverpool loanee’s third goal this season, and there will surely be more to come from him over the coming months.
The host looked confident as they began striking the ball around the field and they doubled their lead three minutes later as Dion Donohue broke up a Flint attack on the edge of his own penalty area before striding upfield, passed four opponents and finding Ben Wynne with an excellent pass. The recent signing from Aberystwyth made no mistake as he placed the ball beyond Allen and into the bottom left-hand corner of his net.
The on-field celebrations were matched by the roar of the Cofi Army and Town comfortably saw out the remaining few minutes. The victory saw Huw Griffiths’ men back in fifth position in the league and the Cofis will now look forward to another home match as they welcome Aberystwyth Town to the Oval next Friday. If they can reproduce the final twenty minutes against Flint from the start next week, they will have every chance of another positive evening under the floodlights.
Tyn Lon Volvo Garage Man of the Match: Josh Tibbetts.
Team; Josh Tibbetts, Gruff John, Lauire Bell, Aaron Simpson, Dion Donohue, Iwan Cartwright, Danny Gosset, Noah Edwards, Fidel O’Rourke, Lloyd Marsh-Hughes, Joe Faux.
Subs (used): Sion Bradley, Ben Wynne. Not used: Tom Pritchard, Harold Essien, Osian Evans, Ryan Williams, Alec Mudimu.