THE Seagulls twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with league leaders Farsley Celtic and deny them a win that would have put them four points clear at the top of the table.
Bay have now taken points off both the top two sides in the past five weeks, but with Lancaster City losing at Droylsden, the draw keeps the Yorkshire side in the box seat for the title with a two point lead and two games to play.
Bay boss Phil Hadland was disappointed to concede two soft goals from set pieces, but was delighted with the side’s second half peformance.
Mindful of Celtic’s attacking threat, with 93 league goals scored this season, the Bay started with a fairly defensive formation in the first half, playing virtually a back five, and although they restricted Farsley to just two shots on target, they posed little threat themselves going forward.
In fact, the only shot at goal was a Luke Denson free kick which went narrowly wide.
Conceding a goal just two minutes before the break from a corner, headed in by Aiden Savory, forced a change in formation at half-time with Danny Bartle coming on – and the improvement was immediate.
Danny Andrews and Astley Mulholland both got in early shots and then Jamie Rainford had an effort beaten away by Farsley keeper Graeme McKibben before Danny Andrews equalised on 58 minutes, taking Danny Bartle’s pass and rifling a shot into the roof of the net from 16 yards.
The Seagulls were looking strong at that point, but gifted the visitors a second goal on 63 minutes when Kieran Wolland’s weak punch out from a free kick was turned back into the net by Adam Clayton, after a first effort was blocked on the line.
That deflated the home side for a spell, but they gradually came back into it and equalised again on 76 minutes from a corner when Will Booth’s shot hit the bar and produced a goalmouth scramble in which Danny Bartle had a shot blocked before Jamie Rainford fired home (see top picture by DAVID THOMAS).
In a frantic last few minutes Kieran Wolland redeemed himself with a crucial one-on-one save from Savory and Farsley’s Lewis Nightingale blasted a good chance over the bar, while at the other end Danny Bartle, Tom Schofield and Jamie Rainford all hit shots wide and Jamie lobbed the keeper only to see the ball drop just over the bar.
Phill Hadland commented: “The plan at the start was to keep it tight because they are not top of the table for nothing. They do the basics well and don’t give you anything.
“But although we were pretty solid and were only two minutes away from keeping a clean sheet to half-time, we didn’t ask any questions going forward and didn’t look like scoring.
“We changed it half-time and I was delighted with the way the lads responded second half, which we actually won 2-1.
“It was a big step up from Tuesday and in the end I am really disappointed with the two soft goals we’ve conceded because I felt we could have won the game on our second half performance.”
The point moves the Bay up a place to 13th – four points off a place in the top half of the table.
COLWYN BAY: Kieran Wolland, Will Booth, Louis Corrigan, Dan Collins, Luke Denson (Danny Bartle 45mins), Sam Barnes (c), Mike Roddy (Tom Schofield 55mins), Warren Bellew, Astley Mulholland, Jamie Rainford, Danny Andrews. Subs not used: Mike Pino, Iwan Cartwright and Chris Gahgan.
THE Reserves lost 3-0 away to League leaders Bangor City on Friday night (April 14).