Flint Town United 2 (Bratley 32, A Brown 88)
Bala Town 0
Welsh Cup third round
Cymru North underdogs Flint produced one of their greatest results in many a season as they knocked Cymru Premier high-flyers Bala Town out of the Welsh Cup, reports Nigel Sheen.
Just over 12 months ago, the Silkmen had been hammered 6-1 at home by the Lakesiders in the Nathaniel MG Cup, but on Saturday revenge was well and truly sweet as Niall McGuinness’ side advanced to the last 16 of Welsh’ premier national knockout with a tremendous team performance.
Flint started with a strong wind at their backs, and took the game to their opponents. They carved out the first telling chance on 15 minutes, when Alex Titchiner supplied a lovely cross which was met by Andy Brown, but his header was directed just the wrong side of the post.
Titchiner embarked on a surging run down the middle just after the half-hour mark, and played a smart pass into Brown, who then produced a delightful flick into the path of Callum Bratley, who found himself face to face with Bala keeper Josh Tibbets.
Flint striker Bratley coolly placed the ball past Tibbets and through defenders into the back of the net to give his side a deserved lead.
Two minutes before the interval, Bala’s Lassana Mendes lunged into a horrific two-footed challenge on Brandon Burrows, which left the Flint player prone on the ground and earned Mendes a straight red card.
With a large gash in his leg, Burrows was unable to continue, and had to be replaced by Tom Hartley.
Flint now had the advantage of the extra man, and started the second half in much the same manner that they had played most of the first, producing calm and composed football against their higher league opponents.
The Silkmen’s defence were rock solid, with centre halves Tony and John Davies outstanding, helped by full backs Hartley and Tom Kemp. Also Aaron Jones, in the Flint goal, displayed excellent handling ability in the windswept conditions.
On 66 minutes. Andy Brown’s tame effort was cleared off the line by a Bala defender.
Bala’s danger man Henry Jones was being well marshalled by Kemp, but he did get free on 78 minutes, and played a dangerous ball across the face of the Flint goal, but no attacker was able to connect with it. That was to be Bala’s best chance in a game in which their attack was by and large blunted by the Flint rearguard.
On 83 minutes, Andy Brown met a free kick with a fierce header that brought out the best in Tibbets, as he pushed the ball out for a corner.
However, the relief for Bala was short-lived, as from the resulting set piece, Danny Andrews supplied the ball that Andy Brown once again met with his head, and this time there was no mistake, as it thundered into the net.
Flint Town United: Aaron Jones, Tom Kemp, Danny Andrews, John Davies, Tony Davies, Jacques Welsh, Brandon Burrows (Tom Hartley 44), Alex Titchiner, Callum Bratley, Andy Brown (c), Nathan Brown (Richie Foulkes 75). Unused Subs – Johnny Hill, Harvey Tattum.
Bala Town: Josh Tibbets, Andrew Burns (Shaun Kelly 46), Sean Smith, Anthony Stephens, Jonny Spittle, Nathan Burke, Steve Leslie, Lassana Mendes, Louis Robles (Mike Hayes 70), Henry Jones, Chris Venables (c). Unused Subs – Stuart Jones, Lee Molyneaux, Thomas Stephens.