Flashback – 5 years ago: Thelwell hat-trick guides Flint to emphatic away win

9-9-9 ! Simon Thelwell (9) puts away one of his hat-trick for Flint. Picture: Flint Town United FC website

Caersws 2 (Harris 56, Griffiths pen 60)
Flint Town United 5 (Thelwell 11, 30 & 55, Carroll 49, Smyth 71)
Cymru Alliance – February 13, 2016

Simon Thelwell was a hat-trick hero for a Flint side which secured a trio of victories over Caersws for the 2015/16 season on this date five years ago.

Having already triumphed here in the League Cup, and won at Cae-y-Castell in the league, the Silkmen took their season’s tally of goals to 12 against their mid-Wales opponents, with just three being conceded at the other end.

The midfield four of Flint were a class apart for most of the match, with skipper Craig Jones providing the perfect anchor to allow the attack-minded trio of Stewart Carroll, Paul McManus and Jack Abraham to instigate some devastating forward moves.

With barely a minute on the clock, Abraham hit a shot from the edge of the box that swerved wickedly in front of keeper Phil Draper, who just about held onto it and prevented it creeping over the line.

The home side responded in the fourth minute when an unmarked Joleon Harris could not direct his free header on target.

On eight minutes, McManus played a dangerous ball in from the right and home skipper Graham Jones was grateful to deflect it over his own crossbar for a corner, flirting dangerously with a potential own goal.

The breakthrough Flint merited came after 11 minutes, when another fine flowing move ended with McManus sweeping the ball out to Abraham, who had made a run to the right.

He carried the ball into the box, and could have shot from an acute angle, but instead showed great presence of mind to square across the face of the goal and find Simon Thelwell at the far post, who gratefully tapped home.

Flint doubled their lead on the half hour when McManus played a lovely ball into the path of Thelwell, who just about beat the offside trap, ran in on goal and planted a firm shot past the despairing Draper.

Half-time: 0-2

Flint extended their lead with four minutes gone in the second half. Thelwell was bundled over right on the edge of the box and Carroll hit his free kick straight through the wall and into the chest of Draper, who somehow fumbled it and let it cross the line.

In the 55th minute Thelwell completed his hat-trick, getting on the end of a through ball wide to the right, giving Draper no chance with a well struck shot.

Kyle Smith hammered home the fifth for Flint. Picture: Flint Town FC website

Flint now allowed a bit of complacency to creep into their game. Barely a minute after adding their fourth, they allowed Caersws to grab a goal back, Harris bundling the ball over the line.

This triggered a wobble by the visitors, as for the next 10 minutes, they lost their shape and started to needlessly panic.

The home side took advantage, scoring again on the hour mark via a Mark Griffiths penalty to make it 4-2.

However, Craig Jones gradually reasserted his influence in the midfield, and Flint once again became the dominant force.

They scored their fifth goal after 71 minutes, when Abraham released Kyle Smyth, who found himself through on the centre of goal and hit a shot from 15 yards that rose into the top of the net.

It could – and should – have been six, but the normally impeccable McManus was guilty of a bad penalty miss.

Flint Town United: Ross Dalton, Phil Clarke (Dobson 83), John Hill, Craig Jones (c), Russ Courtney, John Davies, Stewart Carroll, Jack Abraham, Simon Thelwell (Antony Dunleavey 68), Paul McManus, Kyle Smyth (P Djan 86).

Many thanks to the Flint Town United FC website for report and photos

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