Penmaenmawr Phoenix Reserves 0
Llysfaen 2 (Connor Morris 18, 69)
Ninety minutes in the bank for Llysfaen after waiting 161 days to play a football match again.
And it turned out well for Emlyn Robert Jones’ side as a Connor Morris double secured them a win at Penmaenmawr.
Despite starting brightly, in the first 10 minutes the visitors struggled to keep possession, continually giving the ball away, especially when the easy option was on.
It was the home side who had the first chance on goal, pulling a shot wide following a corner.
Jake Reynolds almost found the net after a free kick saw the Pen keeper scramble to keep the ball out, injuring his wrist in the process, although thankfully he was able to continue.
But a goal came soon enough and it was in the 18th minute. Charlie Dykes with some lovely skill on the right hand side played in Tom Collier, who fired off a pass disguised as a shot from just outside the box which landed at the feet of Morris, whose predatory instincts ensured he slotted past the keeper’s right hand side to make it 1-0.
Pen had opportunities to get the ball into the danger area from free kicks, but either the centre half pairing of Jonathan Jones and Callum Ellis would repel the threat, or keeper James Roberts gobbled any balls into the box.
Half-time: Penmaenmawr Phoenix Reserves 0 Llysfaen 1
Jake Twist came off after a solid 45 minutes and was replaced by 2019-20 regular right back Joshua Smith.
The main message was to tighten up the lines, which was apparent when just after one minute Collier fired just wide.
The midfield three of Shaun Davies, Collier and Reynolds, with Brandon Luffman filling in there from time to time, were working hard recovering balls, intercepting passes and thwarting any incoming attacks.
Jones was replaced just before the hour by Jordan Reynolds who slotted in next to Ellis, reviving their partnership from junior football.
Matt Keeley also came on for his (second) debut at the hour and replaced Dan Ashton on the left side of defence. Craig Bond also came on to add some attacking threat for another debutant in Luffman, playing his first game for a number of years.
It took until the 69th minute for Llysfaen to score their second.
Reynolds smartly fed Morris, who in turn caressed the ball across the face of the keeper, inch-perfect into the bottom corner.
Llysfaen manager Jones said after the game: “The main objective today was minutes in the bank for the lads. With a number of last season’s regulars missing it was good to see the rest of the squad attempt to put themselves forward for a game.
“We have a number of lads that haven’t played for a couple of seasons so it’s nice to see them get a run out and shake off a bit of rust.
“We were a little disjointed at times and we gave away far to many free kicks, but that was kind of expected. There was some problems the lads had to solve as the game progressed and over time during the game we did just that.
“I am looking forward to having a full squad available over the next few weeks. I have banged the drum to anyone that will listen that I have a really good group here, a rough diamond, a team with potential if we can iron out one or two things and I think that we have some depth in the squad now.
“The lads know that once an opportunity presents itself now they can either play themselves into a match-day squad, or play themselves out of a match-day squad, but we have six weeks or so to get ready for our league opener and I look forward to seeing this group of lads progress and develop.”