Flint Town United V CPD Tref Caernarfon
Dydd Mercher 19 Ebrill, 14:52
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Thrilling Victory for Cofis Secures Place in Top Tier.
Flint Town United 2 – 3 Caernarfon.
Caernarfon travelled to the Essity Stadium on Wednesday evening knowing that victory in the re-arranged fixture with Flint Town United would secure their place in the Cymru Premier League for another season.
Manager Richard Davies had the rare luxury of having a full complement of outfield players to choose from and, with just goalkeeper Josh Tibbetts unavailable due to injury, he rang the changes after Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Pontypridd. Into the team came Laurie Bell, Danny Gosset, Darren Thomas and Rob Jones, with Ryan Woods making his third appearance between the sticks since joining the Cofis in January.
The changes certainly had an effect on the side’s attacking play, and Town began well, looking confident as they passed the ball around. Hughes very nearly celebrated his return to the side with an early goal after he sped past Harrison on the way into the box and he saw his goalbound effort diverted for a corner by home stopper Allen. From the resulting corner, the visitors thought they had a legitimate penalty shout after Harrison seemed to block Darren Thomas’ effort with his arm, but referee Mr Pratt waved play on.
Two minutes later, Okera Simmonds saw his effort fly over the bar and, in a sign of things to come in an end to end encounter, Sion Bradley went on a typical jinking run on the left flank before finding Darren Thomas, who was brought down twenty five yards out. Danny Gosset’s strike from the free-kick flashed a meter past Allen’s left hand upright.
Caernarfon’s frailties from crosses was something Flint had obviously pinpointed and they went ahead in the seventeenth minute when a headed clearance from a corner landed perfectly for former Town player Bobby Beaumont, and he struck a sweet volley that gave Woods no chance in goal.
Gosset was unlucky not to get the Cofis back on level terms a minute later when his deflected shot beat Allen, but Anthony Stephens was on hand to hook the ball off the goal-line.
Sion Bradley was giving Beaumont a torrid time on the left flank, and when he was brought down by his former team mate in the twenty fifth minute, Caernarfon were frustrated that the referee decided the infringement had occurred a foot outside the area. Bradley picked himself up and tested Allen with a decent effort that the keeper did well to keep out of his net.
The Cofis were back on level terms on the half hour mark after Bradley had cut the ball back from the byline to Rob Hughes, who was brought down by Stephens, and Dion Donohue scored from the spot kick.
Flint were back in the lead four minutes later after Garratt did superbly to cross from an acute angle and Brandon Diau headed in from six yards at the far post. It was a sickening blow for Caernarfon, who had enjoyed the lions’ share of possession throughout the half.
The message from Caernarfon’s management team to the players must have been ‘more of the same’ as they were straight at it after the break, pinning Flint into their own half. Allen pulled off a decent save to deny Gosset, whilst Hughes saw his effort from long range sail over the bar.
Their efforts were rewarded five minutes into the half when Hughes set up Noah Edwards on the edge of the box and the midfielder somehow threaded the ball and into the far corner of the net to level the score at two apiece.
It was thrilling, end to end stuff, and the contrasting styles of the sides added to the action, as Caernarfon looked to play the ball on the ground whilst the hosts took a more direct approach, which was causing the visitors plenty of problems.
Woods was forced into action to deny Jordan Carroll on the hour mark whilst a minute later Allen pulled off another smart save to get his hands to a curling Rob Hughes free kick.
It was Flint’s turn to see their penalty shout turned down by Mr Pratt in the sixty third minute and from this moment onwards, the Cofis seemed to up their game and started to pressurise their hosts, Allen saving the Silkmen with point blank saves to deny Gruff John and Ben Wynne, although they could thank the woodwork for coming to their rescue in the eighty second minute, as Harry Owen hit the bar with his effort from close range.
Caernarfon got the winner with just three minutes left of the ninety and it was a cracker! Gruff John played the ball upfield and Osian Evans did well to muscle his marker off the ball before proceeding to the edge of the Flint box, where he squared the ball to Joe Faux. The Australian who has made himself a huge favourite with the Cofi Army since joining the club, controlled the ball and curled it just inside Allen’s left hand post.
It was a goal befitting of securing Town’s place in the top tier and the Cofis can travel to Aberystwyth on Saturday knowing that, after a difficult season, they can plan another crack at the top six next year.
Tyn Lon Volvo Garage Man of the Match: Noah Edwards.
Team: Ryan Woods, Iwan Cartwright, Gruff John, Laurie Bell, Dion Donohue, Danny Gosset, Noah Edwards, Sion Bradley, Rob Hughes, Darren Thomas, Ben Wynne.
Subs (used): Cai Powell-Roberts, Osian Evans, Joe Faux. Not used: Tom Pritchard, Lloyd Marsh-Hughes, Aaron Simpson, Rhys Alun Williams.