Two cracking 3-2 wins in a week have kept Flint Town United flying high in second spot in the JD Cymru Premier.
Neil Gibson’s side pipped Barry Town United last Saturday thanks to a late Ben Maher strike, and it was a last-gasp Mike Wilde header on Tuesday that accounted for Caernarfon Town at The Oval.
While The New Saints are in command at the summit, seven points clear after big wins over champions Connah’s Quay Nomads and potential title rivals Bala Town four days apart, it is Flint who are raising most eyebrows.
Reports: Nigel Sheen
Flint Town United 3 (Mark Cadwallader 29, Jack Kenny 45+3, Ben Maher 88)
Barry Town United 2 (Jordan Cotterill 2, Kayne McLaggon 48)
Ben Maher’s 88th minute wonder strike settled a thrilling encounter in Flint’s favour.
Both sides served up a treat in front of another 400 plus crowd at the Essity.
Barry were first out of the blocks, Jordan Cotterill smartly on the end of a through ball in only the second minute, coolly lifting his effort over Ryan Woods to put his side in front.
Flint hit back strongly and almost equalised straight away, but Mike Lewis was alert enough to deny Michael Wilde.
Then on 12 minutes, a Jake Phillips long throw was met by a Barry defender, who directed it towards his own goal, but fortunately for the away side, it struck the bar rather than the back of the net.
In the 25th minute a Sam Hart corner caused mayhem in the Barry area. The ball eventually landed at the feet of Alex Jones whose rocket thundered against the crossbar, before coming down onto the goal-line and being scrambled away.
Lewis then spread himself well to thwart Mark Cadwallader from close range.
However, in the 29th minute, Cadwallader equalised after good build-up involving Wilde and Kenny.
A stunning Lewis stop kept out a Wilde header before on the stroke of half time, Flint took the lead.
Kai Edwards produced an amazing 40-yard defence-splitting pass along the ground to find Kenny, who advanced in on goal and rifled into the roof of the net.
Half-time: 2-1 Flint.
The Silkmen took their foot off the pedal at the start of the second half and Kayne McLaggon made it 2-2 on 48 minutes.
Both sides now created chances and only the woodwork and goalkeeping heroics from Lewis and Woods prevented further goals.
Flint were awarded a corner in the 87th minute that some of the Barry players hotly disputed.
This time Sam Hart varied it, and played a shorter corner to Callum Bratley, who in turn squared it into the path of Maher, and he hit an absolute pearler into the top corner to make it 3-2 to the Silkmen.
Caernarfon Town 2 (Rob Hughes 12, Michael Hayes 83)
Flint Town United 3 (Mike Wilde 72 & 89, Conor Harwood 76)
For the second game in succession, a late goal in favour of the Silkmen clinched them all three points and a 3-2 win which returned them to second spot in the Cymru Premier.
Flint had a great early chance when Mark Cadwallader rounded keeper Tyler French, only to blast his shot into the side-netting.
Caernarfon’s game plan was to use the pace and trickery of Rob Hughes as their main attacking outlet, and this worked perfectly in the 11th minute as he scored an excellent solo goal against his former club.
The rest of the first half was a dour affair and the interval arrived with Caernarfon still one-up.
After the break the hosts became more of an attacking threat, fierce efforts from Darren Thomas and Hughes going close to doubling the lead.
The visitors brought on Callum Bratley after 62 minutes, and his presence was instrumental in Flint becoming a more potent attacking force.
In the 72nd minute a Ben Maher corner was headed in by a leaping Wilde to make it all-square.
Just a few minutes later, Flint edged ahead when Bratley’s shot bounced off a prone Steve Evans into the path of Conor Harwood, who despite not making the cleanest of connections, did enough to force the ball under the body of French and it crept over the line.
Caernarfon fought back. Hughes this time was the provider as his cross was headed in by substitute Mike Hayes on 82 minutes.
A Grandstand finish was in store and in the last minute of normal time, Maher delivered a lofted ball onto the head of Wilde, who got his effort on target, but it looked for all the world to be a routine save for French. Instead, the ball squirmed through his grasp and dropped behind the goal line, to the delight of the travelling Flint support.
Ryan Woods produced a fine save from a Sion Bradley free kick deep into stoppage time to ensure Neil Gibson’s side took the honours.
LATEST JD CYMRU PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS
Wednesday, October 13
Cefn Druids 0 Aberystwyth Town 1 (Lee Jenkins 34)
Tuesday, October 12
Barry Town United 0 Cardiff Met University 1 (Eliot Evans pen 86)
Caernarfon Town 2 (Rob Hughes 12, Michael Hayes 83) Flint Town United 3 (Mike Wilde 72 & 89, Conor Harwood 76)
Connah’s Quay Nomads 0 Newtown 2 (Shane Sutton 25, Danny Holmes 45)
Penybont 2 (Nathan Wood 54, Billy Borge 74) Haverfordwest County 1 (Touray Sisay 90+3)
The New Saints 2 (Ryan Brobbel 81 & 90+4) Bala Town 1 (Chris Venables 17 pen)
Saturday, October 9
Aberystwyth Town 0 Caernarfon Town 1 (Darren Thomas 16)
Bala Town 1 (Dave Edwards 23) Cefn Druids 1 (Charley Edge 52)
Cardiff Met University 0 Haverfordwest County 2 (Ben Fawcett 71. Kieran Lewis 86)
Connah’s Quay Nomads 0 The New Saints 1 (Declan McManus 58 pen)
Flint Town United 3 (Jack Kenny 45, Mark Cadwallader 45 +3, Ben Maher 88) Barry Town United 2 (Jordan Cotterill 2, Kayne McLaggon 48)
Newtown 3 (Aaron Williams 18 pen, Nick Rushton 39 & 74) Penybont 1 (Keane Watts 68)