Prestatyn Town 1 Conwy Borough 0
Nine-man Prestatyn Town earned high praise from manager Neil Gibson for the resilience and adaptability they showed in edging a 1-0 home victory over Conwy Borough at the Motion Finance Stadium on Saturday.
Cymru North leaders Town maintained their nine-point lead at the summit after making it five straight wins at the expense of the Tangerines.
Having whipped Boro 7-0 at Y Morfa earlier in the season, it was a different sort of return encounter.
Prestatyn had to overcome the difficulty of Alex Jones and Jack Higgins being sent off in the closing 20 minutes for second yellow cards to see out the win.
Danny Davies grabbed the all-important winner with a 66th minute rocket for the table-toppers, who had missed a few opportunities in the first half.
Both keepers had shone in that opening 45 minutes, Conwy’s Ben Heald and Town custodian Jon Rushton producing great saves.
Winning manager Gibson said: “At this time of the season you take any three points, however they come.
“The way that the conditions were today made it almost impossible to play the game the way we’d liked to have played it.
“We were into a gale force wind first half, the pitch was a little bit difficult to play on. We still tried to play, we still tried to do the right things and I thought we had two, three, maybe four good opportunities in spite of playing into the wind to score.
“We didn’t quite take our chances, but felt if we got in at 0-0 half time we’d come on second half with the wind behind us and we’d have a better opportunity to push on and win the game.”
Gibson added: “The circumstances in which the second half were played just makes me immensely proud of my players.
“Going down to nine men, every free kick going against us, 11 v 9 for a large portion of the game, and we found a way of grinding it out and getting the three points.
“We have more than one way to play. We’ve seen that when we get tested and the odds are against us in difficult conditions and on a difficult pitch and the wind the way it was, we can still find a way of winning the game.
“And when pitches are nice as it was the last time against Colwyn Bay (won 2-1) we can play football and try and win the game that way.
“I was really pleased with our resilience and adaptability today.”
Flint Town United 1 Bangor City 0
The second-place Silkmen overcame both the challenge posed by Bangor and the elements to record a win courtesy of Dom McHugh’s first half goal, reports Nigel Sheen.
Flint had the wind at their backs in the first half, and sought to make the best of it, especially through the long throws of new signing Jordan Barrow, making his debut.
It was from such a throw that they claimed the only goal of the game. Barrow hurled the ball into the box from the left, and as it bounced around in the six-yard box, McHugh stuck out a leg and prodded it across the line, to score in the 16th minute.
The ball was in the Bangor net again in the 24th minute, but on this occasion offside was the call.
As the half progressed, the game became a feisty and niggly affair, with some of the play acting from the opposition infuriating the home supporters and coaching staff. Fortunately, the referee was generally unmoved and kept his demeanour, as all around him were in danger of losing their heads.
At half time, Flint’s lead looked extremely slender, especially given the fact Bangor would enjoy the benefit of the wind after the break, and the drop off in form the Silkmen have experienced in the second period of games over recent weeks.
But to their credit, the home side dug in, stuck to their task, and even fashioned the best chances.
Just before the hour, Flint’s Callum Bratley galloped down the left. His cross-cum-shot struck the angle of post and bar, as Bangor keeper Gabriele Brino was beaten. The ball rebounded into open play and was picked up by Brandon Burrows, who lobbed it goalwards, out of reach of the keeper. Fortunately for the Citizens, Luca Suber headed clear off the goal-line.
Flint Town United: John Danby, Tom Kemp, Dom McHugh, Jordan Barrow (Andrew Brown 77), John Davies, Tony Davies, Brandon Burrows, Richie Foulkes (c), Alex Titchiner, Mark Cadwallader (Nathan Brown 69), Callum Bratley (Jacques Welsh 90).
Bangor City: Gabriele Brino, Eugenio Dalia, Piero Caterlucci, Lucas Surber, Simone Rea, Massimo De Maria (Lorenzo Castaldo 61), Facundo Busto, Salvatore Pascarella (Francesco Leghissa 83), Francesco Serafino (c), Enzo Zicarelli (Alex Boss 46), Emmanuel Agyemang.
Rest of the Cymru North
Rhyl enjoyed a welcome 2-1 victory at Ruthin Town, first half goals from Danny Sullivan and Mason Blackwell-Jones sealing the points.
Tom Dyer replied for the hosts in the 80th minute with a brilliant free kick.
A rare missed penalty from Llyr Morris in the eighth minute and a Garmon Hafal red card after 25 did not help Ruthin’s cause as they found themselves two-down at the interval.
Josh Jones grabbed the only goal in the 44th minute as Buckley Town edged a 1-0 success at Llandudno.
Jake Eyre, new signing Dan Holland and Jordan MacCarter all scored in the second half of Gresford Athletic’s 3-0 triumph at Llanfair United.
Penrhyncoch took the spoils 3-1 at Corwen, Jonathan Evans, Steff Davies and Guto Huws for the travellers, Eilir Edwards responding at three-down.
Postponed: Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant v Colwyn Bay.