Flashback – five years ago: Druids complete a hard-fought double over Flint

Flint and Druids clash earlier in the season at Cae-y-Castell. Picture: Graham George

Cefn Druids 1 (Pritchard 58)
Flint Town United 0
Cymru Alliance League – March 19, 2016

Earlier in the season, Flint had lost 2-1 at home to Druids, and the return at The Rock was played out in similar fashion.

Just like the game at Cae-y-Castell, the Silkmen conceded a penalty, had a man sent off and generally produced the most attractive football, but were missing the end product.

This Cymru Alliance clash played on March 19 five years ago started off in muted fashion.

The crowd had to wait until the 16th minute for the first real chance, Druids captain Dave Forbes turning John Davies before pulling his shot across the face of the Flint goal and just wide of the far post.

Flint’s first meaningful attack was mounted on 21 minutes when Kyle Smyth broke down the left, beat the defender, but keeper Adam McGee was on hand to block his shot.

Mike Pritchard hit a fierce 22-yard drive for the home side on 25 minutes that thudded against the Flint post before being cleared to safety.

Just after the half hour, a Flint throw in was delivered into the box, Johnny Hill flicked on right into the path of Smyth, who was in on goal at the near post. However, Smyth could not get any meaningful contact on the ball and it ran through into the grateful arms of McGee.

That miss was almost to prove costly, as barely a minute later, a quick free kick was played into Forbes, who had escaped his marker and was in on goal, but horribly missed his kick. The ball instead ran through to his strike partner Craig Whitfield, whose effort was well blocked by Ross Dalton’s legs.

Flint then took control for the remainder of the half. A swift attack released Jack Abraham through the centre. As he released his shot, McGee got a vital block which was enough to divert it just the wrong side of the post.

McGee saved well again from a deflected Davies strike before the break.

Half-time: 0-0

Into the second half, and a well struck free kick from Abe Dobson 20 yards out just cleared the bar.

It was always looking as if one goal might decide this game and Druids were handed the vital breakthrough on a plate after 58 minutes.

They were awarded a throw in on the right, and instead of taking a long one, as had been his forte, Adam Hesp delivered short and received the ball back inside the box.

He delivered a ball across the area and the Flint defence looked to be clearing the danger, but Joe Culshaw had decided to try to tackle Hesp from behind, and his somewhat clumsy challenge, delivered after the ball had gone, resulted in the Cefn man falling to the ground and the referee brought play back to award the penalty.

Mike Pritchard placed the spot kick precisely into the corner.

From here on, it became an increasingly scrappy spectacle.

With 15 to go, Flint’s task got even tougher, when Simon Thelwell received a straight red for an off the ball incident.

A late chance for Abraham went begging, and so too did Flint’s hopes of salvaging a point from a game in which they were more than a match for their hosts, but just lacked that vital cutting edge.

Cefn Druids: A McGee, M Penk, A Hesp, M Holt, D Forbes (c) (S Blenkinsop 61), M Pritchard (M Hurdman 64), C Whitfield (N Arsan 85), R Kershaw, F Hajdar, G Partridge, J Graham.

Flint Town United: R Dalton, J Hill, J Culshaw, C Jones (c), R Courtney, J Davies, A Dobson, J Abraham, S Thelwell, P McManus (J Palmer 70), K Smyth.

Report: Nigel Sheen (Flint Town United)

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