Seagulls fail to defend half-time lead

Tim ChannonFirst Team

THE Seagulls were unable to build on a half-time lead as they dropped two home points in a 1-1 draw against Skelmersdale United.

They bossed much of the first half and after missing two or three early chances, they took the lead on 27 minutes when Danny Bartle, making his first start after recovering from injury, neatly beat a defender on the edge of the area and fired a shot past the keeper for his eighth goal of the season.

Before that a poor clearance kick by the Skem keeper went straight to Jack Hindle, but his shot from distance dropped narrowly wide of the gaping goal.

Astley Mulholland and Danny Andrews then both scuffed first time shots wide from promising positions and later Louis Barnes fired a free kick over the bar and Bartle, who did well first half,  had a chance to double the lead from a good Bay attacking move, but mishit his first time shot straight at the keeper.

The Seagulls, however, failed to continue their momentum after the break and their sluggish start to the second half saw them a concede a goal from a corner on 52 minutes.

The flag kick was lofted deep beyond the far post and Skelmersdale skipper Phil Mooney was totally unmarked to score with angled shot.

As Colwyn Bay struggled to get their game together, Skelmersdale became more and more threatening, especially when the pace of Tunde Owolobi was introduced from the bench.

He smacked one shot against the bar, went close with another and Matt Cooper did well to save at his feet, while Scott Bakkor also broke clear on goal only to put his shot wide.

Bay failed to test Skem keeper Chris Cheetham in that second half, but almost won it in added time when Jamie Rainford’s shot on the turn hit the foot of the post and was hacked clear by a defender.

The second half also saw a worrying injury to Tom McCready. He had to be helped from the field and is a major doubt for Tuesday’s game at Ramsbottom.  Luke Horrocks will be back for that game after attending a wedding today, but Lass Mendes doesn’t back from Spain until Thursday.

Manager Alan Morgan said McCready’s injury is the same that forced Gaz Grant to miss the game at Colne, and will be hoping he recovers just as quickly –  providing an x-ray shows no serious damage.

The manager admitted afterwards he was disappointed with the second half performance.

“I thought we did well first half and were in command, then second half we give an early goal away again. You can’t leave people free in the box –  and it cost us.

“There was still loads and loads of time left after they scored, yet we kind of panicked when we needed to keep playing like we had been and pushing forward.

“We should have done better, but its a point in the bag and  we go again Tuesday.

“On the plus side we got 90 minutes out of Danny Bartle and we’ll see how he is after that. I thought he was bright first half, but with so little football he was always going to fade as the game progressed. The plan was to take him off after an hour or so, but we couldn’t with the way the game went.”

Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Kyle Jacobs, Louis Barnes, Will Booth, Gaz Grant, Sam Barnes (c), Danny Andrews, Tom McCready (Liam Dawson 59), Danny Bartle, Astley Mulholland, Jack Hindle (Jamie Rainford 85). Subs not used: Kris Leigh, Billy Sass-Davies, Neil Coverley.

Attendance: 225