THE Seagulls claimed three precious away points with a 4-3 victory in a seven goal thriller at Skelmersdale United.
Playing fast, exciting football with real pace on the break, which we haven’t seen from the side for a while, they looked really threatening with Cory Williams switched up front with John Marsden and Zac Corbett and new loan signing Joe Newton providing real pace down the flanks.
Two goals each from Marsden and Corbett secured the points – the first time a Bay side have scored four goals in a game for 14 months.
Marsden’s brilliant strike on the run gave the Bay the lead on 29 minutes, only for Skelmersdale to be level two minutes later with Kenny Strickland’s shot from a disputed free kick on the edge of the area.
The Seagulls then started the second half superbly with a quick break from defence ending with Zac Corbett racing onto Robbie Booth’s pass to score off the foot of the post.
Marsden made it 3-1 on 69 minutes when he ran on to Mike Brewster’s pass into the area to beat the keeper, and although Chris Almond got a goal back for Skem from a Jack Phillips cross, Corbett got his second of the game from Shaun Dowling’s cross to make it 4-2 on 73 minutes.
Booth was also narrowly wide with a 30-yarder, but Skem kept going and when Rob McIntosh scored from another disputed free kick, it set up a anxious finale with Tony Rendell heading inches wide from a corner in added time.
Rob Hopley was superb for the Bay having helped take charge of the team with Mike Lea and Dan Nolan, and he was delighted with performance.
“The team selection was a joint effort between myself, Leggy and Dan – and it worked,” he revealed afterwards.
“We haven’t been looking dangerous going forward in the last few weeks, but I thought on the break today we were really good.
“Zac (Corbett) was excellent down the left and got two goals, and I was made up with Joe (Newton) who for an 18-year-old was fantastic on his debut.
“We were disappointed to concede three goals because two of them came from free kicks that should never have been awarded. That gave a false score line in my opinion, but we got the three points and that is what mattered.
“We should also be getting a few bodies back for the weekend and possibly another loan signing from Everton, so things are looking up.”
Everton’s Joe Royle was a spectator at the match and has been fantastic in offering the club help.
Vice-chairman Kurtis Chapman said after the game: “I’m immensely proud of the players tonight. The character and desire they have shown has been tremendous in what has been a difficult couple of days.
“I must thank Hops, Leggy and Dan for their efforts in preparing the team and I’m extremely proud to be part of the club tonight.”
With four players ruled out by injury or suspension, it was also good to see three members of the successful reserve team selected for the bench in Gaz Rees, Aaron Boyle and Sean Sheridan.
Colwyn Bay: Gray, Dowling, Lea, Barnes, Hopley, Brewster, Newton, Booth, Williams (Matthews 89 mins), Marsdedn, Corbett. Subs not used: Rees, Dillon, Boyle, Sheridan.