Rhyl 0 Colwyn Bay 3 (Ketley 3, Edwards 53, Bryant 81)
Missed chances were key in Rhyl ending up pointless from today’s home Cymru North clash with Colwyn Bay, says Lilywhites manager Eddie Maurice-Jones.
Despite dominating the first half, the hosts trailed 1-0 at the break after conceding early and the Seagulls ensured they moved up to second by clinching victory with two goals in the second period.
Maurice-Jones said: “We paid the price for not taking our chances. We created a lot of chances, on another day it could have been a different story.
“We’ve got to learn to capitalise on these chances when we’re on top. We have to punish teams.”
He added: “It’s disappointing, the lads dug deep and they have played well, it’s just the scoreline doesn’t reflect that. Credit to Bay, they didn’t create that many chances, but those they created they’ve put away neatly.”
Bay’s assistant-manager Mark Orme said: “Rhyl are a good side and were obviously above us in the table before today, and even though we got the early goal, they were arguably the better team in the first half.
“They put us under pressure and Andy (Coughlin), who was excellent today, has made some good saves to keep us in front.
“After a chat at half-time we were much better in the second half and got the other two goals to kill the game off.”
In the only game to survive the torrential downpours of the last 24 hours in the Cymru North, the 470-strong crowd were able to witness an entertaining encounter at Belle Vue.
The spectators barely had time to settle inside the ground when the visitors took the lead. Rhyl lost possession in midfield and Mitch Bryant was able to evade the challenges and lay the ball through to Damien Ketley, who made no mistake to put Colwyn ahead in the third minute.
The goal put Rhyl on to the back foot and they almost conceded a second a minute later when Alex Downes headed wide from a corner.
However, the Lilies began to settle and Arek Piskorski’s shot was denied by a great challenge.
A Dave MacIntyre attempt was cleared for a corner and from the resultant play the ball was knocked through for Sam Molyneux who finished smartly, but the assistant was of the view the Rhyl attacker was in an offside position and the goal was disallowed.
Two minutes later Molyneux once again had a chance to score but this time Coughlin was able to make the save.
Rhyl continued to bombard the Bay defence, but the visitors created some chances with a six-yard scramble eventually seeing Keighan Jones claim the ball after a shot from Sion Edwards.
The last 15 minutes saw Rhyl camp in the away half but somehow not manage to get an equaliser. A Ben Nash header was cleared and fell to Molyneux but his shot from close range was blocked by Coughlin on the line.
The home side created numerous chances, but were unable to score with on two occasions last-ditch clearances on the line rescuing the visitors.
Piskorski saw a header saved by Coughlin whilst Gethin Maxwell lashed narrowly over.
With the Colwyn defence living a charmed life in the first half it was ironic that the next goal would fall to the visitors.
This time Ketley was the provider when he squared the ball to former Lilywhite Edwards, who made no mistake to put the Seagulls 2-0 ahead.
The second goal appeared to take the fight from Rhyl momentarily and the visitors looked certain to go ahead further ahead in the 62nd minute.
Keeper Keighan Jones sought to claim a loose ball but only succeeded in bringing down Julian Williams and the referee pointed to the spot. Skipper Tom McCready’s shot crashed against the crossbar and was cleared.
This good fortune gave Rhyl spirit and renewed hope, but further home attacks brought no joy.
With the Lilies stretched the visitors looked to hit on the break. Bryant was twice unable to apply the finish but in the 81st minute he made no mistake as he headed home past Jones.
Rhyl had strong claims for a penalty, but the referee awarded the free kick inches outside the box and Murphy saw his effort go just wide.
For the hosts, it was their first home league defeat of the season and they will be left to rue their missed chances in the first half.