THE Seagulls have signed 6ft 5ins striker Vinnie Mukendi following today’s 1-0 home defeat to Barrow, as manager Frank Sinclair prepares for a crucial month ahead.
The manager said: “I see our next five games as very winnable against teams below us in the table and if we can capitalise on those it can put us up and around the top six.
“Its a crucial month and the players know that. We could do with getting some bodies back from injury to help us, but I’m very pleased to have signed Vinnie because he is very experienced and gives us something a bit extra.”
The 22-year-old Mukendi, who was a Congolese Under-19 international, came through the youth academy at Macclesfield and has had spells at Barrow, Tamworth, Southport and Stalybridge. He joins the Seagulls from Nantwich Town in the Evostik Premier and will come into the squad for next Saturday’s game at Brackley.
Today he watched from the stands as his new team-mates lost to a 47th minute Andy Cook goal against strong title contenders Barrow.
The Seagulls, already without three players through injury, suffered a double pre-match blow, with the club getting late notification from the FA that Chris Noone had to serve a one match ban for accumulation of bookings and Adam Hodgson had to cry off after being injured in a trial for the North Wales Coast FA squad.
“We were down to the bare bone and I am very disappointed at how late the FA have notified us that Chris Noone couldn’t play,” said the manager.
“The letter was only posted on Wednesday and I didn’t find out until I got to the ground this morning. Whoever is at fault, that is just not acceptable from my point of view.
“We had to play Prince (Haywood) in Chris’s place at the last minute and to be fair he has been fantastic in a difficult role doing all the dirty stuff in front of the back four. It was tough role for him and he was brilliant – I was really pleased with him.
“I thought we defended really well in the first half, but again one slip in concentration has cost us.
“Considering we had four players injured and one suspended (Tom Buckledy and Moustapha Saeil were on the bench to make up the numbers but had no chance of being involved), I was really proud of the effort and character we showed against a side tipped to win the league and with three times the budget that we have.
“If we can play like that in the coming weeks I believe we can go on a really good run. ”
Josh Ollerenshaw had an excellent game for the Bay with a number of fine saves and Barrow were unlucky when they hit the bar with a Jason Walker free kick in the first half.
Obi Anoruo had Bay’s best chance from a Marc Williams pass, but his shot was blocked as a defender threw himself in the way and the ball then rebounded off Obi and narrowly wide of the post.
Barrow, however, made the break through 90 seconds into the second half when Wes Baynes had a shot blocked in a promising Bay attack and Barrow broke quickly upfield for Cook to score with a cracking shot into the far top corner of the net.
Three fine saves from Ollerenshaw and goal line clearance by Louis Moss kept Bay in the game, but they ended it strongly with Rob Hopley unlucky to have a goal ruled out by a late linesman’s flag for offside after Barrow keeper Tony McMillan had parried a shot from Williams.
Right at the death Williams had a chance to rescue a point when the ball fell to him side the area, but instead of shooting first time, he tried to take a touch as the ball bobbled in front of him and was crowded out as three defenders converged on him.
Colwyn Bay drop to 12th place, but are still only four points off the top five.
Colwyn Bay: Ollerenshaw, Bembo-Leta, Moss, Stephens, Royle, Haywood, Mendes (Sinclair 73mins), Anoruo, Hopley, Williams, Baynes. Subs not used: Sharpe, Buckley, Pilliner, Saiel.
A HAT-TRICK from Damien Ketley helped the Reserves to a 4-1 win at Blaenau Amateurs Reserves after going a goal down following a goalless first half.
Matt Sampson got the other goal, with substitutes Sean Sheridan and Declan O’Connor changing the game when they came on in the second half.
The Reserves, with four wins out of four, stay third in the table, three points behind leaders Llandyrnog with three games in hand.
Colwyn Bay: Wright, Fabien Ellis, Dan Connolly (David Algeiri 78mins), Josh Graham, Matt Sampson, Lewis Sirrell, Dewi Algeiri, George Griffiths (Declan O’Connor 55mins), Josh Grant, Aaron Rickards (Sean Sheridan 55mins), Damian Ketley. Subs but used: Rees, Jos Bakker