Hopley goal beats Brackley

Tim ChannonFirst Team

ROB HOPLEY won three more crucial points with the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory over bottom of the table rivals Brackley Town.
It was a victory well deserved as the Seagulls hit the frame of the goal three times and were refused a penalty in the opening minutes for a clear handball in the area.
Unlucky James Ellison twice hit the post with free kicks, and Chris Noone struck the underside of the bar with a follow up shot after the Brackley keeper had beaten out a shot from Wes Baynes.
The Bay, however, did find the net on 66 minutes when a Marc Williams shot was blocked by a defender and Hopley hooked in a shot from the rebound which the keeper got a hand to, but couldn’t prevent crossing the line.
The team again showed great spirit and character after losing keeper Chris Sanna through injury after he had been clattered by Brackley’s David Moyo as he jumped to catch a ball in the goalmouth.
Defender Mike Wilson also played for 85 minutes with a broken wrist after another hefty first half challenge, but he bravely saw out the end of the game before going to hospital.
He played his part in the Bay keeping a third successive clean sheet in league games for the first time since January 2012 and this result lifts the Bay two places up the table – although five teams are still separated by just two points in the battle to stay out of the bottom three.
The victory, however, was soured somewhat by a melee between the two sets of players after the final whistle, which resulted in Kevin Holsgrove getting a controversial red card, along with Brackley’s Dwayne Samuels.
Colwyn Bay will lodge an appeal over Holsgrove’s card, apparently issued for violent conduct.
Manager Gus Williams reported: “I haven’t had clarification or an explanation from the referee on what he has allegedly seen, but from our perspective, it was an initial stamp by their player and Kev has just tried to get himself out of the situation.
“The referee could have handled the situation much better in my opinion, but the stall was set early in the game.
“Their number nine has gone right through Mike Wilson and has then gone right Chris Sanna and the referee has done nothing – and for me he has never had control of the game from that point. That is sad in a game that had so much riding on it.”
Gus, however, was again delighted with the character showed by the side.
“There is a good Espirit de Corps (loyalty, enthusiasm and devotion to a group) among the players out there on the pitch and in training now,” he said. “They work hard; and they work hard to keep what they have achieved as a result of that – and that is something we perhaps haven’t seen previously.”
He also had a word for 20-year-old Gaz Rees who came on for Sanna for his home senior debut in a tense, nervy atmosphere.
“He could have folded, but has done really well to insure we took the points,” added the manager.
Colwyn Bay: Sanna (Rees 25mins), Baynes, Lea, Royle, Holsgrove, Anoruo (Buckley 74mins), Noone, Hopley, Williams (c), Ellison. Subs not used: Haywood, Saiel, Taylor.
Attendance: 358

BEFORE the game club Patron Roger Speed made presentations to Mike Lea (top) and Rob Hopley to mark their recent 200th and 250th appearances for the club.