LOUIS BARNES hit a peach of a free kick to give the Seagulls a half-time lead after an excellent first half display against League Two Crewe Alexandra in the opening pre-season friendly at the Four Crosses Construction Arena on Tuesday evening.
And although Crewe turned it round to win 2-1 in the second half, when the Bay made ten changes and tried out six trialists, manager Alan Morgan was delighted with the workout.
“Very, very pleased,” he commented afterwards.
“At the end of the day we are playing against a League Two club. The first half was very good and we got ourselves in front at half-time, and although we made 10 changes I thought there were still a lot of pluses in the second half.”
Bay defended well and played some good attacking football in the first half with Danny Shaw impressing in the heart of defence and Craig Pritchard also catching the eye. Crewe keeper Will Jaskalainen had to make a couple of good diving saves and Pritchard put another effort narrowly wide before Bay took the lead on 42 minutes.
Ashley Ruane was fouled just outside the area and Louis Barnes struck the free kick perfectly to beat the wall and the diving keeper.
Crewe hit the bar and Matt Cooper made a double save just before the break to keep Bay in front at half-time.
All the second half changes, including three in the back four, was bound to disrupt things, but Danny Bartle went close to increasing the lead before Crewe broke through to equalise through Callun Ainley on 62 minutes.
Kris Leigh made one flying save to turn a shot for a corner and later did well to save in a one-on-one, but Crewe won the game on 72 minutes when Regan Griffiths stabbed home their second goal. Overall the Bay performance showed a lot of promise.
“It was a very good and pleasing start to our pre-season programme,” added the manager. “No we roll on to the next game against Colchester on Friday (7pm) which will be a different challenge for us.
“Crewe are a good footballing side who like to pass it around, but I think Colchester will be more physical because they are a big side.”
Colwyn Bay’s first half line-up was: Matt Cooper, Kyle Jacobs (c), Louis Barnes, Josh Brizell, Danny Shaw, Lass Mendes, Danny Andrews, Tom McCready, Ashley Ruane, a trialist and Craig Pritchard.
In the second half Kris Leigh, Luke Horrocks, Ethan Devine, Ryan Edwards, Danny Bartle and five more trialists were introduced.
Gaz Grant missed the game due to illness.