Match of the Day North Wales
Conwy Borough 1 (Marshall og 90)
JD Cymru North: September 7, 2019
Report: Tomos Wyn Jones
Photographs: Aled Wyn Jones
Conwy have moved up to fourth in the JD Cymru North after a brilliantly ground-out away win against Llandudno at Maesdu Park.
An Anthony Marshall own goal right at the death was the difference between the sides, although the hosts might feel they should’ve taken something out of the game.
Borough will be thrilled with the victory and yet another clean sheet – and will be very happy with their early season form.
Conwy made five changes to the side beaten in the Nathaniel MG Cup game against Bangor City in midweek, and they got off to a positive start, their first opportunity of the game coming on four minutes.
Craig Whelan drove through Llandudno’s defence powerfully and took a shot on goal from 30 yards out, but his effort was saved by Llandudno’s goalkeeper Shaun Pearson.
Llandudno were struggling to adapt to Conwy’s offside trap tactic as they were caught often in the opening exchanges of the game, much to the disappointment of the hosts.
Tudno had their first attempt on goal in the 14th minute. After good play in midfield, Lee Thomas delightfully played a cute chip into the path of Dean Seager, but the former Conwy man’s effort was well saved by goalkeeper Ben Heald.
Llandudno were causing more problems for Conwy as they had started to nullify the Tangerines’ tactic. Tomos Clarke was caught napping after a ball over the top found Seager on the right, he put in an excellent ball into the danger area, however captain Iolo Hughes made a crucial interception to clear the danger, much to the relief of the visiting side.
The hosts were truly dominating play now and had another opportunity in the 22nd minute. After Aaron Pomeyie won a free kick on the edge of the ‘D’, Lewis Sirrel stepped up. His effort was on target, but deflected off the wall for a corner.
Conwy were struggling to get a grip on the match and were starved of possession for long periods. Llandudno certainly were first to the second ball and Conwy found it difficult to get out of their own half.
However, in the 36th minute the Tangerines had a chance. Sean McCaffery carried the ball well into the Llandudno’s penalty area, laid the ball into the path of danger man Corrig McGonigle, who was in a good scoring position, but he returned possession to McCaffery, whose effort was tame and easily caught by goalkeeper Pearson.
A great goalscoring opportunity for Borough not capitalised on.
A minute later the hosts had an opportunity for themselves. Alfons Fosu-Mensah, brother of Manchester United graduate Timothy Fosu-Mensah, fed an excellent ball into the path of Scott McHarrie who put in a teasing delivery into the box and found the head of Seager, but the number nine could not generate enough power to direct the ball on target.
Both sides were looking threatening when breaking on the counter, however neither goalkeeper was tested greatly in the first half.
Referee Nathan Bartram whistled for half time with the scoresheet blank.
Half-time: Llandudno 0 Conwy Borough 0.
The visitors made a change at half time, Cory Williams coming on to replace Liam Morris.
Both sides started the second period brightly with end to end football on show.
Llandudno broke quickly through Pomeyie, who tried to create an opening, but was well challenged by captain Hughes.
Borough responded and Hughes’ long ball found the feet of substitute Williams. He tried to square the ball to the feet of McGonigle, but Llandudno defender Marshall recovered just in time to clear the danger.
Conwy had another opportunity in the 52nd minute. McGonigle found himself in a lot of space and drove powerfully towards the hosts’ back-line. The defenders took five yards back, acknowledging the danger the number 10 poses, however McGonigle blazed over the bar and would have felt disappointed considering the amount of time he had.
Referee Bartram produced the first booking of the match on 58 minutes. Rob Jones tried to win back the ball, but caught Sirrel late and the man in the middle had little option but show the experienced midfielder a yellow card.
Seconds later Llandudno were screaming for a second yellow for Jones as he caught Sirrel late again, however Bartram only awarded a free kick against the Conwy man.
However, Llandudno’s fortunes looked to have changed in the 63rd minute as Fosu-Mensah’s powerful run took him into the box, he was caught late by Conwy defender Hughes and the referee pointed to the spot. A yellow card was produced for the offender and although the Tangerines protested, the referee stuck by his original decision.
Fosu-Mensah stepped up, but his penalty was excellently saved in the top right corner by man-of-the-match Heald.
Llandudno’s management team were so furious, they substituted Fosu-Mensah for Robbie Parry, much to the latter’s frustration.
And Parry nearly made an immediate impact as he struck the post with his first touch of the game.
The Morfa men were hanging on after sustaining a flurry of attacking phases, and the hosts made their final attacking substitution of the match as Bryan Roberts replaced Seager with 20 minutes to go.
Parry was causing a lot of problems for Conwy’s defence and went close again in the 75th minute, turning the visitors’ defence inside out and his shot went just wide of the post.
A dull last 10 minutes followed and it looked as if a draw would be the likeliest result, however Conwy snatched a 90th minute winner.
Heald launched an excellent 80-yard pass to the feet of substitute Williams and his effort on goal took a wicked deflection off the unfortunate Marshall and the ball looped over the head of Pearson and into the back of the net.
Conwy saw out the rest of the game comfortably and the referee blew for full time in what was a very hard-fought win for the Tangerines.
Full-time: Llandudno 0-1 Conwy Borough.
Llandudno will feel hard done by after dominating large periods and will be disappointed by successive defeats, but will look for a reaction in their next game at Buckley Town on Tuesday.
Conwy Borough will now enter their next game against league leaders Prestatyn Town at the Morfa on Wednesday in a buoyant mood.
Llandudno: Shaun Pearson, Daniel Stephens, Sam Downey, Anthony Marshall, Scott McHarrie, Aaron Pomeyie, Danny Hughes, Dean Seager, Lewis Sirrel, Lee Thomas, Alfons Fosu-Mensah.
Conwy Borough: Ben Heald, Nathan Williams, Sion Hogan, Iolo Hughes, Tomos Clarke, Dafydd Jones, Craig Whelan, Robert Jones, Sean McCaffery, Corrig McGonigle, Liam Morris
Man of the Match – Ben Heald (Conwy Borough).