TWO half-time substitutions and some strong words from manager Alan Morgan changed the game as the Seagulls came from behind to claim three massive points in 2-1 home win over Kendal Town, on a day when six of the teams above them dropped points.
The boss described Bay’s poor first half performance as “the worst we’ve played since I’ve been here” as The Bay went a goal down in 13 minutes and were lucky not to concede a second when Kendal hit the bar.
But the introduction of Will Booth, who made a big impact in midfield, and Luke Horrocks, plus the boss’s pep talk at the break, sparked a second half revival to secure what could prove a very important win.
A really sloppy start saw Matt Cooper make a great block with his feet after Sam Barnes’ slipped and left Steve Yewson one on one, but Yewson made no mistake a few minutes later when he again broke free inside the area to put the visitors in front.
Yewson, on loan from Morecambe and a threat throughout the game, should have made it 2-0 when he was left completely free inside the area but slammed his first time shot against the bar when it seemed he must score.
Colwyn Bay had a big shout for a penalty waved away when Astley Mulholland looked to be tripped in the area, but they struggled to test Everton loanee keeper Matt Johnson who was one of six new signings in the team.
The Bay’s two best chances saw Jack Hindle shoot wide and Astley Mulholland head over the bar from Tom McCready’s great cross.
McCready, making his debut, gradually grew into the game and had a big influence in the second half as the Bay, after those half-time changes, looked like a different team.
McCready and Elliot Rokka, who switched into the centre in place of Jack Hindle, had shots saved and McCready curled a free kick narrowly wide.
The equaliser came on 71 minutes with good work down the left by Louis Barnes and from his pass Elliot Rokka’s deflected shot came back off the post for Danny Andrews, making his 70th appearance for the Bay, to stab into the net.
Nine minutes later Astley Mulholland was again felled in the box as he ran onto a Louis Barnes pass. This time the penalty was given and Astley picked himself up to ram home the winner.
The manager reflected: “It was a game of two halves that’s for sure.
“First half Kendal outworked us, outfought us, were quicker and stronger than us, and I told the lads at half-time they can’t just turn up and expect to win games.
“You have to work hard, you’ve got win your battles and win the second balls – if we do that then we’ve got good players in the team who can make things happen for us.
“We made the changes and the second half was much better. We got on the front foot, won the second balls, and turned it around.
“I thought Tom (McCready) was quality second half and Elliot (Rokka) did much better down the middle, but we have to take that second half performance into training now ahead of the trip to Mossley next Saturday which will be a very hard game.”
With Droylsden, Trafford, Clitheroe, Prescot Cables and Hyde all losing, and Glossop held to a draw, tenth-placed Seagulls have made ground on all of them in the chase for a top six play-off place and are now five points behind sixth-placed Clitheroe with games in hand on all the five teams immediately above them.
“The other results were the icing on the cake, but at the end of the day we have to make sure we win our games.” said the manager “If we get our own house in order and win our games it doesn’t matter what everyone else does.”
Danny Bartle, who was a late replacement on the bench when Josh Brizell was called into work, is nursing an injury that could keep him out for a couple of weeks, while the manager added there are “one or two issues” surrounding Sam Ilesanmi, who was absent today, but he hopes they can be cleared up in time for the Mossley game.
Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Kyle Jacobs, Louis Barnes, Tom McCready, Gaz Grant, Sam Barnes (c), Danny Andrews, Lassana Mendes (Will Booth 45mins), Jack Hindle (Luke Horrocks 45 mins), Astley Mulholland (Dan Collins 86 mins), Elliot Rokka. Subs not used: Kris Leigh and Danny Bartle.