Seagulls extend unbeaten start to new year

Tim ChannonFirst Team

THE Seagulls extended their unbeaten start to 2018 to three games with a 3-0 home victory over second-bottom Radcliffe Borough.
 That edges them closer to five of the teams above them, who all dropped points , and moves them to within eight  of sixth-placed Trafford with four games in hand.
 The Bay were in front inside the opening seven minutes after Radcliffe keeper Kyle Haslam had made an acrobatic save to tip a shot from Dan Bartle over the bar.

Danny Andrews came off the bench to score Bay’s third.

The visitors struggled to clear the ball from the corner and when the ball was worked back in by an excellent turn and pass from Louis Barnes, Jack Hindle’s astute back heel set up Astley Mulholland to score his 12th goal of the campaign with an angled shot inside the far post.

 There were a number of chances to increase that lead before half-time with Elliot Rokka having a shot cleared off the line and Hindle and Mulholland putting efforts over the bar, while Haslam made a couple more good saves from Bartle and Hindle.
  Radcliffe rarely threatened, with James Hooper shooting wide from their best chance of the game.
  After the break Dan Bartle headed a great opportunity wide from Louis Barnes’ excellent cross and also had a shout for a penalty waved away as he went down trying to take the ball around the keeper in a one-on-one.
 The second goal, however, finally came on 61 minutes when Bartle was hauled down again 20 yards from goal and Louis Barnes stepped up to curl a free kick around the wall and just inside the diving Haslam’s right hand post.
 Six minutes later substitute Danny Andrews, who had come on earlier for the injured Jack Hindle, broke clear onto Kyle Jacobs’ pass to steer a shot past the keeper into the bottom corner for his seventh of the season.
   The keeper saved well from Bartle and Elliot Rokka, before Rokka rifled a shot into the top corner of the net in added time – only for the goal to be chalked off for what the referee deemed a foul by Dan Bartle in the build up – although Dan looked to be the one who was fouled!
  In the end another good team effort with Lassana Mendes having an excellent game in midfield as did Louis Barnes  at left back.
  Unfortunately both Jack Hindle and Luke Horrocks had to go off with muscle injuries and they will need to be assessed, while Dan Collins, Astley Mulholland, Will Booth and Matt Cooper (for time wasting in added time) all picked up rather harsh yellow cards.
  Manager Alan Morgan commented: “It was a good day; you’ve got to be pleased with a 3-0 win at home and particularly another clean sheet.
“If you don’t concede a goal you don’t lose games.
 “Radcliffe are a young side who will run for ever and I don’t think they should be where they are, so it was important we didn’t give them a chance to get their tails up.
  “We are doing okay, but  I’m only looking as far as the next game – and that is a tough one at Tadcaster.  All our focus in the next week now will be on preparing for that.”
 Danny Andrews had to come off the bench on after 30 minutes when Jack Hindle was injured, but the idea was to rest him today and allow Astley Mulholland to return to the starting line-up. The manager explained: “Everybody is giving me so much effort that it is good if I can rotate a little bit and give one or two a rest now and then.”
 Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Kyle Jacobs, Louis Barnes, Luke Horrocks (c) (Will Booth 72 mins), Gaz Grant, Dan Collins, Astley Mulholland (Sam Ilesanmi 75 mins), Lassana Mendes, Jack Hindle (Danny Andrews 30mins), Dan Bartle, Elliot Rokka. Subs not used: Kris Leigh and Sam Barnes.
TOP PICTURE: Astley Mulholland scores his 12th goal of the campaign to set Bay on their way to victory. PHOTO BY DAVID THOMAS

Louis Barnes, who scored one goal and played a big part in another, puts in another good cross against Radcliffe. PHOTO BY DAVID THOMAS

Five-year-old Osian Thorman Jones, representing Ysgol Betws-yn-Rhos, was the match day mascot and is pictured with skipper Luke Horrocks before leading the side out.