Flashback – 5 years ago: McDowell stunner seals Mold derby victory

Flint (stripes) and Mold clash earlier in the season at Cae-y-Castell

Mold Alex 2 (Laird 46, McDowell 84)
Flint Town United 1 (Courtney 78)
Cymru Alliance – February 27, 2016

Five years ago today Mold took the honours in the Flintshire derby, thanks to a stunning strike by substitute Ross McDowell six minutes from time.

Flint were left to rue their lack of cutting edge in a first half which they dominated in terms of possession, but could not find their way past Mike Jones in the home side’s goal.

With both full backs pushing up on the flanks, Flint took the game to the hosts, but a combination of poor quality crosses and good defending meant they did not seriously threaten the goal until the 18th minute. Then a Stewart Carroll cross from the right picked out Kyle Smyth, whose header just cleared the bar.

On 24 minutes, Phil Clarke put in a terrific delivery that Simon Thelwell met from 6 yards out, but Jones pulled off a great reaction save to deny the Flint striker a goal.

Mold’s first real threat on the Flint goal came in the 36th minute. A rare attack by the home side looked to have been repelled, but a hopeful ball played back into a crowded area at the edge of the box, rebounded into the path of Dan Drazdauskas, who found himself in space with only Ross Dalton to beat, but he hit a rising shot over the bar.

With four minutes to go to the break, a Carroll corner picked out Johnny Hill, who placed his header agonisingly wide of the post, with Jones beaten.

Half-time: Mold 0 Flint 0

Within 30 seconds of the restart, Flint were caught cold, and conceded a goal.

After losing possession in the middle of the park, the Silkmen were punished when a ball was played down the centre of the pitch into Jack Laird on the edge of the box.

Laird twisted and turned Flint’s centre halves before creating the space to allow himself to get off a shot which nestled into the corner of the net.

An equaliser looked to be on the cards following a good run from Paul McManus seven minutes later. Having jinked his way into the box, he played a cute one-two with Smyth, before hitting a shot that was heading into the net, before Jones at full stretch, palmed it around the post for a corner.

After that scare, the Mold defence were not seriously troubled again until the 70th minute, when a Carroll ball teed up Hill some 18 yards out, but his well struck effort flew just wide of the target.

Flint eventually got back into the game on 78 minutes, when following a throw in down the left side, a ball was whipped into the box, that Smyth headed goalwards, and with Jones floundering, and a defender desperately trying to get back and clear it off the line, Russ Courtney was on hand to force home.

With just over 10 minutes to go, there looked to be only one winner as Flint scented victory.

However, a change in formation, when they were trailing, meant that they were a bit light at the back, and so were somewhat vulnerable to the counter attack.

The winner came in the 84th minute, when a long ball was played up to substitute McDowell on the edge of the area.

As the ball bounced, he swivelled and hit an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net, much to the delight of the home support.

It could have got worse for Flint two minutes later, when McDowell raced through and was one on one with Dalton, but this time the Flint keeper gained the upper hand, when he saved with his legs.

On a day when too many Flint players were below par, Mold took full advantage to gain a precious 3 points in their survival fight, courtesy of a brilliant strike, that was more than a worthy match-winner.

Mold Alex – M. Jones, M. Girvan, S. McCartney, D. Dalton (c), D. Torpey, D. Bryan, T. Murray (C. Ready 83), H. Cooper, J. Laird, D. Drazdauskas (R. McDowell 71), A. Ahmed (J. McCauliffe 46).

Flint Town United – R. Dalton, J. Hill, P. Clarke (A. Dobson 74), R. Courtney, J. Davies, C. Jones (c), S. Carroll, S. Cunningham. S. Thelwell, P. McManus, K. Smyth.

Match report: Nigel Sheen (Flint)

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