Big decision brings brilliant away win

Tim ChannonFirst Team

TWO second half goals from Elliot Rokka (pictured above) and Jack Hindle gave the Seagulls a tremendous 2-0 away victory at high-flying Scarborough Athletic.
 That followed a tremendous first half defensive effort after a big decision to play against the strong wind and driving snow and hail showers and doing really well to keep the score to 0-0 at the break.
 With Clitheroe, Tadcaster, Colne, Droylsden and Glossop North End all losing, it proved a very good afternoon in the chase for a play-off spot.
 Unfortunately it came at a price with central defender Gaz Grant substituted at half-time and leaving the ground on crutches with what he fears could be a fractured foot.
 Kyle Jacobs, however, did a fantastic job when he switched to centre back alongside skipper Sam Barnes for the second half.
 After opting to face the elements in the first half after winning the toss, the Seagulls rode their luck at times with Scarborough hitting the bar and a post, having another effort cleared off the line, and missing the target with couple more good chances.
 But overall the Bay showed great commitment, putting their bodies on the line and defending superbly, helped by some excellent handling by keeper Matt Cooper.
  The Bay did have scoring opportunities themselves, with Jack Hindle having one shot saved and another deflected for a corner, while Elliot Rokka had a penalty shout for handball waved away as he had a shot blocked in the area and Astley Mulholland shot across the goal from an impossible when Rokka was unmarked and calling for a pull back.
  It took the Bay only eight minutes with the wind behind them in the second half to open the scoring when Elliot Rokka broke clear onto Jack Hindle’s flicked header following Tom McCready’s long ball from  defence and lofted the ball over the keeper.
  Danny Andrews had a shot turned round the post by the diving keeper and Rokka miscued a shot wide from Jack Hindle’s lay-off before Hindle doubled Bay’s lead from Astley Mulholland’s run and pass, sidefooting a superb shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of the area on 73 minutes.
 Rokka then had a shot beaten away by the keeper and Lassana Mendes fired a shot wide, before Scarborough were handed a chance to get back into the game on 85 minutes with a penalty for a push in the area following a free kick –  but top scorer Michael Coulson fired the spot kick over the bar.
  Louis Barnes then cleared off the line in added time to ensure the Bay kept a clean sheet against a side that had failed to find in the net in only three of their previous 43 league and cup games this season.
  Manager Alan Morgan was delighted with what he described as “a great performance”.
“When I called the lads in after the warm-up I said for them to decide if they wanted to go with the wind or against it first half. I wanted them to be involved  and make a decision amongst themselves and they chose as a group to face the elements first half, and I thought they defended superbly to give us a great platform for the second half.
 “We had a little bit of luck, but generally I thought our defending was top drawer.
 “We’ve then scored two great goals. What a finish by Jack Hindle right into the top corner, and Elliot has shown great composure to score his goal.
 “We’ll enjoy that result tonight and then go again on Tuesday.
“Sadly I think it may be big thing with Gaz Grant’s injury. We’ll have to see how he is, but I thought Kyle (Jacobs) was outstanding when he played in the middle second half and with Bill Sass-Davies still away with Wales,  I’d have no hesitation in playing him there again  if need be.”
 Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Kyle Jacobs, Louis Barnes, Lassana Mendes, Gaz Grant (Luke Horrocks 45mins), Sam Barnes (c). Danny Andrews, Tom McCready, Jack Hindle (Will Booth 87mins), Astley Mulholland (Danny Bartle 83mins), Elliot Rokka. Subs not used: Kris Leigh, Jamie Rainford.
Attendance: 748