THE Seagulls squad will be depleted to the bare bones again after a disappointing 3-0 FA Trophy defeat at Ramsbottom, and manager Phill Hadland has breathed a sigh relief that Tuesday’s home game against Droylsden has been postponed.
Droylsden will now be involved in a replay after a 1-1 draw at Ossett Albion, leaving the Seagulls with a free week to lick their wounds after a poor performance saw the club fall at the first hurdle of the FA Trophy for the fifth time in the last six seasons – and again missing out on precious prizemoney.
Of more concern to the manager is that Dan Collins will now miss the next four games as he is flying back to Australia due to family issues, and Lassana Mendes is having to go back to Spain for the same reasons and will be unavailable for at least the next two weeks.
On top of that Gaz Grant had to come off with a knee injury which will need to be assessed and Sam Barnes again felt his hamstring tighten up when he came on for Grant in the second half.
With Jamie Menagh still suspended and Kyle Jacobs and Dan Bartle out injured, it means SEVEN players are currently unavailable – and the manager said that impacted on his team selection for the Ramsbottom game.
“I felt I had to play Lass Mendes and Dan Collins before they fly out, because if I’d played two other regular players and they had got injured I would have really been struggling to field a side on Tuesday night,” said the manager.
“As it is happens that game is now off, but the situation is still serious and we can’t sign up quick fix replacements because international clearance takes so long. We have signed George Hughes on loan, but again we just don’t know how long his clearance is going to take and the rules are having a huge impact on us at the moment and means my hands are tied as to what I can do.”
Having said that the manager was making no excuses for what was probably the side’s worst performance of the season at Ramsbottom, where the home team were 2-0 up inside 12 minutes.
“The players trained really well all week, but they let themselves down badly on the day,” admitted the manager afterwards.
“The damage was done in the opening 15 minutes and apart from one or two exceptions I don’t think anybody did themselves any favours. There were players there who were given a chance to show what they can do and didn’t take it.”
The team struggled badly on a heavy pitch, unable to string passes together, posing little threat up front and conceding those two early goals from which they never really recovered.
Greg Daniels headed the first at the near post from a free kick in the first 10 minutes and two minutes later full back Kyle Brownhill hit a second past the diving Matt Cooper.
It took Bay 33 minutes to get in a shot at goal, with the returning Louis Barnes’ effort deflected for a corner, and although they improved slightly in the second half, with Jack Hindle and Will Boooth introduced from the bench, they rarely looked like scoring and Ramsbottom made the game safe with a sharp finish from substitute Grant Spencer on 72 minutes, after great play by Jerome Wright to set up the opening.
Home keeper Daniel Taberner made saves from Louis Barnes and a couple from Jamie Rainford in the second half, but the Bay were a well beaten side in the end.
Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Liam Turner, Louis Barnes, Luke Horrocks (c) (Will Booth 58mins), Dan Collins, Gaz Grant (Sam Barnes 69 mins), Lassana Mendes (Jack Hindle 45 mins), Jack Kelleher, Jamie Rainford, Astley Mulholland, Danny Andrews. Subs not used: Kris Leigh and Anthony Griffith.