THE Seagulls never recovered from conceding two goals in the opening 12 minutes as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat at struggling Radcliffe Borough (April 11).
Forced to start the game without Sam Barnes (away at a family funeral) and Tom Schofield (knee injury), the gamble to play Gaz Grant after missing last weekend’s win at Mossley with a knee problem, backfired as he struggled from the start and had to be substituted after only 17 minutes – by which time the damage had been done.
Bay were a goal down inside two minutes as Danny Burns raced through a yawning gap in the middle of the defence to round keeper Kieran Wolland and score.
Ten minutes later it was 2-0. Wolland made a hash of an attempted clearance kick and when he then tried to punch the ball away, it fell for Lewis Reilly to lob it back over the stranded keeper into an empty net.
With a further reshuffle needed following Grant’s early departure, the Bay struggled to get any foothold in the gap before half-time, although Jamie Rainford was denied a goal by a flying one-handed save from home keeper Kris Leigh from Astley Mulholland’s lay off.
A goal then might have made a difference and although the Bay fought hard in the second half, playing down the slope, nothing went their way.
Rainford had a goal ruled out for a controversial offside decision (photos suggested he was onside), while a Warren Bellew shot hit the bar, Astley Mulholland had a strong penalty shout waved away and the keeper made a couple more excellent saves to earn himself the Man of the Match award.
Radcliffe then killed the game off with a third goal on 80 minutes with their only shot on target in the second half.
Kieran Wolland got a hand to Lewis Reilly’s 20 yard shot, but couldn’t keep it out.
Manager Phill Hadland admitted it was “a step backwards” after the promising victories of the previous two games.
“It wasn’t good enough. We’re up for a couple of games and then fall down again and we have to be more consistent than that.
“Some players didn’t seem up for it and we certainly need a response from them at the weekend or some of them won’t be here next season,” he warned.
On the gamble to play Grant, the manager said: “Gaz said he wanted to give it a go and we went with that, but it was clearly the wrong decision and although we quickly brought him off, the damage had been done.”
The Seagulls next face table toppers Farsley Celtic, who are chasing a league and cup double after lifting the West Riding FA Cup on Tuesday, in a big game on Saturday.
Colwyn Bay: Kieran Wolland, Will Booth, Louis Corrigan, Warren Bellew, Gaz Grant (Iwan Cartwright 17mins), Dan Collins, Michael Roddy (c), Danny Bartle (Chris Gahgan 82mins), Astley Mulholland, Jamie Rainford, Danny Andrews. Subs not used: Luke Denson, Liam Turner and Michael Pino.
- Top photo: Danny Bartle leads a Bay attack against Radcliffe. Photo by DAVID THOMAS