Seagulls down – despite last day win

Tim ChannonFirst Team

THE Seagulls scored a brave 5-3 away victory over Worcester City in their final game of the season – but it could not save them from finishing in the third relegation position on goal difference.
Brackley won 1-0 with a 76th minute goal to beat Hednesford and Stalybridge drew 4-4 with Gainsborough to finish ahead of the Bay with a superior goal difference.
Rumours were circulating after the game that North Ferriby United could be quitting the league for financial reasons, which would give the Seagulls a reprieve, but the latest news on Humberside is that they will carry on in the Conference North with a much reduced playing budget.
Worcester were reduced to ten men after only eight minutes when Anthony Charles got a straight red card for pulling down Obi Anoruo as he was breaking clear on goal, but they still took the lead with a deflected shot by Tristian Dunckley which wrong-footed Chris Sanna after 23 minutes.
The Seagulls equalised through Mike Lea five minutes later when Jay Ellison’s free kick into the area was played back across goal by Jonathan Royle, and then three goals in eight minutes early in the second half put them 4-1 up.
Rob Hopley’s aerial challenge from a long ball by Royle into the area put he Bay in front on 47 minutes, and Tom Buckley then scored two in three minutes – rifling in a left foot volley from 20 yards and then scoring direct from a corner, the flag kick dropping over the keeper and just inside the far post.
Daniel Nti pulled one back from the penalty spot on 67 minutes when a Wes Baynes challenge was adjudged a foul, before Obi Anoruo, who had earlier hit the post when set up by Sion Noble’s first touch after coming on as a substitute, broke clear from Marc Williams’ pass to make it 5-2 on 73 minutes.
Nti then got a third for Worcester six minutes from the end.
A seventh away win of the season and a fifth victory in the last eight games, however, wasn’t enough.
Immediately after the game, an emotional Gus Williams commented: “It is a sad situation. I’m bitterly disappointed for the supporters, the club, its officials and all the volunteer workers who turn out week in week out; and I’m devastated for the players.
“They took on board everything we said before the game and at half-time and gave everything they had.
“We asked before the game for 11 heroes. In fact we got 13 on the field, with the two lads who came on as substitutes, and another four or five on the bench who supported the team all the way. Even players who were not in the squad were fantastic.
“You can’t ask for anything more, and the supporters today (Bay’s best away following the season) outsung the 500 odd Worcester fans and did Wales proud.”
Nobody, not even champions Barrow, has lost fewer away games in the Conference North this season than Colwyn Bay, and it is just their wretched home record that has cost them.
“The stats speak for themselves, you can’t paint over that,” agreed Gus, who says he has not thought about the future.
“My focus since taking over as been purely to try and keep the club in the Conference North this season,” he said. “We took it to the last game and gave it a go.”
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Baynes, Lea, Noone (Noble 67 mins), Royle, Haywood (Seddon 84mins), Anoruo, Buckley, Hopley, Williams, Ellison. Subs not used: Rees and Bakker.
Attendance: 510

THE Reserves, left with just a bare 11 players due to first team call-ups, drew 1-1 against Llandudno Junction.
That drops them back to third, a point behind Llandyrnog who beat Blaenau Amateurs 6-3, but with games still in hand.