Astley’s last gasp goal rescues a point

Tim ChannonFirst Team

ASTLEY MULHOLLAND scored a 90th minute equaliser to rescue the Seagulls’ unbeaten record against ten-man Bamber Bridge.
 They went behind  to a 30 yard screamer from Matthew Dudley on 19 minutes and struggled with a defensive looking starting line-up for much of the first half with a Will Booth header, beaten away by home keeper Lloyd Rigby, their only effort on target.
 But Bamber Bridge  then had full back Adam Dodd sent off just before half-time, apparently for saying something to the referee after the award of a Bay free kick, and the Seagulls made three half-time substitutions to bring on attacking players  Jamie Rainford, Jack Hindle and Danny Andrews from the bench.

Astley Mulholland is league’s joint top scorer after heading his 90th minute equaliser.

After a lucky escape when Bamber Bridge hit the post with a header, the Bay equalised on 52 minutes with Will Booth climbing high at the far post to head in from a corner and they looked to be on their way.

 But within a minute a bad error by Bay keeper Matt Cooper  gifted the home side the lead again when he allowed Matt Lawlor’s header to slip through his hands.
 Colwyn Bay had plenty of possession after that but there was a lack of quality and intensity in the final third.
  The ten men looked like holding on, but in the 90th minute Booth was found on the right by Jamie Rainford’s good pass and his first time cross was  cleverly headed past the keeper by Bay’s man of the match Mulholland, with a defender on the line only able to help the ball into the net.
 Few showed the same desire and hunger of Boothy and Astley, who chased and harried and won ball after ball in midfield, and it was fitting that those two should produce the point-saver.
 That is five games unbeaten for the Bay now,  the best start to a campaign by any Bay side for nine seasons, but this was a distinctly off colour performance.
 Manager Phill Hadland admitted afterwards: “We’ve had a long and frank discussion in the dressing room afterwards because from minute one that simply wasn’t good enough.
“With the squad we have we should be producing consistently good performance levels and we are not doing that – but we are still unbeaten and we WILL get it right.”
 He also backed keeper Matt Cooper who had a poor game. “I have no worries about Coop. He is a good, solid keeper. He didn’t have the best of days today, but he won’t have too many like that,” said the boss.
 Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Will Booth, Shaun Holden, Dan Collins (Danny Andrews 45 mins), Sam Barnes (c), Gareth Grant, Jamie Menagh, Luke Horrocks (Jamie Rainford 45mins), Jack Kelleher, SAstley Mulholland, Anthony Griffith (Jack Hindle 45mins). Subs not used: Kris Leigh and Josh Brizell.
Attendance: 319

Will Booth’s header finds the net for Bay’s first goal at Bamber Bridge. PHOTO BY DAVID THOMAS