Seagulls bounce back with battling win

Tim ChannonFirst Team

TWO more goals from Astley Mulholland and a top drawer performance by keeper Matt Cooper helped the Seagulls to a 3-1 victory at Clitheroe.

 Manager Phill Hadland had called for a response from his players after Tuesday’s home defeat to Hyde and he certainly got it with a battling performance to bag all three points.
 Matt Cooper had an outstanding match and rescued his side in the opening minutes with a tremendous reflex diving save to tip the ball away for a corner when a low cross from the right was deflected goalwards off Gaz Grant.

Two more goals for Astley Mulholland makes him the Evostik North’s top scorer.

The Seagulls  then scored two goals in the space of three minutes to give themselves a huge early boost.

 Jamie Rainford netted from the penalty spot on five minutes after Will Booth had been tripped, and  just three minutes later Jack Hindle broke clear down the left and drew home keeper Chris Thompson before laying the ball square for Astley Mulholland to sidefoot  into an unguarded net.
 Rainford might have scored again when one-on-one with the keeper, but in trying to curl a shot around Thompson he put his effort wide.
 Will Booth also had a shot saved by the keeper.
 The second half saw Clitheroe come out and have a real go, with Cooper doing well to tip a hot shot from Alex Newby over the bar, but it was Newby who pulled a goal back on 54 minutes with a close range header after Bay had failed to the clear ball from one of nine corners forced by the home side.
 Cooper made a superb block when left one-on-one with Bradley Carroll, dived full length to tip a shot from substitute Ryan Cattermole round the post and made several  other important saved, while Clitheroe also hit the foot of the post with another effort at goal.
But the Seagulls weathered the storm and grabbed a crucial third goal on the break with Jack Hindle’s run and cross finding the unmarked Astley Mulholland to score with a diving header.
 That puts him out on his own as the Evostik North’s top scorer with seven league goals (nine in all)
Cooper had to make several more saves as the Seagulls held on to the three points – despite being reduced to ten men when Anthony Griffith, who had come in for the injured Luke Horrocks, was dismissed for a second yellow card.
 That was a second sending off in two games which won’t please the manager, but otherwise he was happy with the performance.
 “It was a good reaction after Tuesday,” he said afterwards. “I thought we were in control first half, but they threw the kitchen sink at us in the second half and we showed good character to come through it.
 “These are places you have to come and battle hard to get a win because they (Clitheroe) have made it into a bit of fortress, so it was three very good points for us. The worry now is trying to keep players fit because we picked up a few more knocks today and have another tough game right on top of this at Atherton Collieries on Monday.”
  Fortunately Josh Brizell has agreed to return to the club and provides extra defensive cover.
  Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Kyle Jacobs, Josh Brizell, Anthony Griffith, Sam Barnes (Dan Collins 76mins), Gaz Grant, Jack Hindle, Will Booth, Jamie Rainford (Jack Kelleher 80 mins), Astley Mulholland, Danny Andrews (Jamie Menagh 73mins). Subs not used: Kris Leigh and Liam Turner.
 Attendance: 256