THREE late goals from players coming off the bench saw the Seagulls open the 2017/18 Evo-stik North League campaign with an excellent 3-0 away victory at Ossett Albion (Aug 12).
Substitutes Astley Mulholland, with two, and Jack Kelleher got the goals that gave the club their first opening day league victory in five years.
The Bay did okay, without really threatening goal, in a goalless first half in which neither keeper was unduly troubled.
Bay’s Matt Cooper comfortably collected a couple of long range efforts, while Liam Turner had a header saved at the other end.
But it was the introduction of three Bay subs that changed the game, with Will Booth also doing well when he came on.
Danny Andrews had been denied what looked a clear penalty when he was brought down from behind as he broke clear inside the area with just the keeper to beat, but astonishingly the referee waved away the appeals.
However, minutes later Jack Hindle’s astute return pass played in Mulholland for his first goal on 73 minutes, sliding the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Eight minutes on Hindle broke well through the middle and this time played in Kelleher who beat the home keeper with an angled shot.
In added time the Bay broke quickly again when Sam Barnes headed clear an Albion free kick, and Mulholland beat a defender inside the area before firing in his second goal.
The home side never really threatened a solid looking Bay defence, apart from one shot from their substitute Bradley Dockerty which Cooper did well to touch round the post.
Manager Phill Hadland was delighted to kick off the campaign with a victory, and a clean sheet, and said it showed the value of having a strong bench.
“I didn’t think we were that great first half. We looked a bit lethargic at times and we didn’t get the best out of some of the players, but we were better second half and I thought the substitutes were great when they came on and won us the game,” he said.
“We have got strength in depth in the squad now and it is so important to have a strong bench with players who can come on and change things if Plan A isn’t working.
“I thought Astley Mulholland was different class with his pace when he came on.
“He was unlucky not to start the game and clearly had a point to prove, but all three of the lads who came on did well and that gives me a lot to think about when selecting the team for Tuesday’s game against Ramsottom – but its a nice problem to have!”
Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Liam Turner, Louis Barnes, Anthony Griffith (Will Booth 63mins), Sam Barnes (c), Dan Collins, Luke Horrocks, Danny Andrews (Astley Mulholland 70 mins), Jack Hindle, Jamie Rainford (Jack Kelleher 67 mins), Shaun Holden. Subs not used: Kris Leigh, Gaz Grant.
Click here to see all three Bay goals, courtesy of Ellie Tagaras.