Caernarfon Town 4 (Chris Williams 13, Gibbs 30, Craig 37 pen, Breese 55)
Flint Town United 2 (McManus pen 33, Dobson 50)
Cymru Alliance League – April 9, 2016
Champions-elect Caernarfon edged ever closer to the Cymru Alliance title with a ruthless display against a struggling and depleted Flint on this day five years ago.
The hosts served notice of their intent on 13 minutes, when Chris Williams ran unchallenged to the edge of the area and drilled a shot into the back of the net to give the home side the lead.
On 25 minutes, Danny Brookwell found himself in a bit of space and hit a curling effort from 20 yards that just flashed past the far post.
Flint’s first real sight of goal came on 29 minutes, when Kyle Smyth broke down the left and then pulled the ball back across the face of the 18 yard box into the path of Paul McManus, who hit a rising shot that just cleared the bar.
Barely a minute later, the Silkmen’s task got that much more difficult, when they fell two goals behind.
Russ Courtney picked up a yellow card after fouling Darren Thomas some 22 yards out.
Dead ball specialist Jay Gibbs stepped up and struck a sweet shot past Ross Dalton into the net.
Flint were offered a way back into the game on 33 minutes, when they were awarded a somewhat contentious penalty.
New signing Aaron Rey gained possession of the ball in the box and invited a challenge from the Caernarfon defender, only to go down after what seemed like minimal contact to earn his side the penalty. McManus made no mistake from 12 yards to pull a goal back for the Silkmen.
Five minutes later, Flint found themselves on the back foot again, as they conceded another dubious penalty.
A failure to decisively clear from an earlier attack down the right was to prove costly, as the ball was eventually played back just inside a crowded box.
As Jack Abraham swung to clear, he lost his footing on the slippery surface and connected with Thomas as the ball ran loose.
Nathan Craig sent Dalton the wrong way to give the Canaries a 3-1 lead at the break.
Half-time: Caernarfon Town 3 Flint Town United 1
Flint had a let off two minutes into the second half, when once again their defensive midfielders failed to prevent a runner from attacking their goal.
This time it was Brookwell who burst through. As he approached the box he was forced slightly wide, but still managed to get his shot away, which beat Dalton but struck the post.
On 50 minutes, Flint were awarded a free kick from 22 yards out, and whilst Abe Dobson’s effort was not struck as sweetly as Gibbs’ shot in the first half, it still found its way into the goal.
Dobson’s shot was straight at Paul Pritchard, who initially looked to have comfortably dealt with it, but then fumbled and dropped it over the line. Caernarfon 3 Flint 2. Game on?
The Silkmen sensed that maybe they could get something out of the game after all, and attempted to put pressure on the home side, but always looked vulnerable to the counter attack from the Cofis’ pacy forward line.
And so it proved on 55 minutes, when Caernarfon broke to claim their killer fourth goal.
A Flint attack down the right broke down, when a poor cross by Steve Cunningham was easily blocked and quickly cleared.
The ball was swiftly played up to Jamie Breese, who outpaced Courtney, Flint’s last line of defence, before dispatching his shot past Dalton and into the net.
Pritchard saved well from Rey before the hosts’ Thomas produced a cheeky lob that clipped the bar.
For the rest of the game, Caernarfon were content to sit back and soak up everything that Flint could throw at them.
To their credit, the visitors kept plugging away, but lacked that vital penetration in the final third, as the home defence comfortably kept them at bay.
Despite playing some nice football that was easy on the eye, Flint came up short due to a lack of cutting edge.
Caernarfon Town: Paul Pritchard, Joe Williams, Chris Williams, Clive Williams, Grahame Austin (c), Nathan Craig, Rob Jones (C Hall 69), Jay Gibbs, Jamie Breese (Toby Jones 66), Darren Thomas, Danny Brookwell (Gareth Jones-Evans 84). Unused subs: Tom Taylor, Kevin Lloyd.
Flint Town United: Ross Dalton, Steve Cunningham, Joe Culshaw, Craig Jones (c), Russ Courtney, Johnny Hill, Jack Abraham, Abe Dobson (P. Djan 86), Aaron Rey (Joe Palmer 74), Paul McManus, Kyle Smyth. Unused sub: Aden Shannon.