THE Seagulls fought back from 0-2 down to earn a 2-2 draw with ten men at Brighouse Town and move up to seventh in the Evo-stik North table.
It could have been even better but for the referee refusing two big Bay penalty shouts.
In the first half Astley Mulholland headed narrowly over the bar from Jack Hindle’s cross and Jack Kelleher shot inches wide from the edge of the area, while the home keeper made an excellent diving save to keep out a Danny Andrews free kick.
There also looked a clear case for a penalty when Astley Mulholland was brought down from behind as he broke clear on goal inside the area, yet astonishingly the referee waved away the appeals.
To compound the disappointment, Brighouse were awarded a free kick on the right of the Bay area just before half-time and Robert Worrall rifled an angled shot into the far top corner of the net to put the home side ahead.
Early in the second half Jack Hindle clipped the bar with a shot from Kelleher’s return pass, but after Matt Cooper had made a good diving save to keep out a Worrall free kick, Brighouse doubled their lead on 50 minutes through Adam Field’s header from a corner.
Colwyn Bay pulled a goal back two minutes later when Gaz Grant slid in at the far post to score from a corner, with the help of a deflection off a defender and the foot of the post, before Josh Brizell was red carded on the hour for bringing down Shaw on the edge of the area as the Brighouse striker was breaking clear.
Matt Cooper made a diving save from the free kick and Brighouse went on to hit the bar, but the ten men showed some character and had yet another penalty shout ignored when Dan Collins was clearly pushed in the back as he jumped for a header at a free kick.
But the Bay equalised on 80 minutes after the home keeper had made a flying save to keep out an Astley Mulholland header. Brighouse struggled to clear and new signing Lassana Mendes, who was introduced from the bench for his debut, did well to rob a defender and from his cross the ball fell for Danny Andrews to score.
Cooper made a couple more good saves, but right at the end Bay pressed hard for a winner and had another big penalty shot refused when Jamie Rainford went down in the area as he was lining himself up a shot.
“We should have had two penalties, but decisions are not going our way at the moment, ” said manager Phill Hadland afterwards.
“Astley in the first half was a stonewall penalty and (going from Josh Brizell’s dismissal) a red card and that could have changed the whole complex of the game.
“In the end I was happy with a point because of the way the game turned out with us going 2-0 down and then down to ten men, but having said that there is a tinge of disappointment that we didn’t win. If we are going to challenge at the top then we know we need to be winning at places like Brighouse.
“I didn’t think we played that well first half to be honest, but we showed a bit of character when we went down to ten men and finished the stronger side. With so many players unavailable I can’t ask for any more – just for one or two big decisions to go our way!
“Again, like the game before, the opposition could have had a man sent off before we did and didn’t. That, plus the two penalties that we didn’t get, suggests we are not having the best of luck with decisions at the moment. Hopefully that will change and even itself out over the season”
Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Liam Turner, Josh Brizell (red card), Anthony Griffith (c) (Jamie Rainford 58mins), Dan Collins, Gaz Grant, Jack Kelleher (Lassana Mendes 58mins), Will Booth, Jack Hindle (Tom Rutter 85mins), Astley Mulholland, Danny Andrews. Subs not used: Kris Leigh and Sam Barnes.
TOP PICTURE: Danny Andrews is congratulated by Astley Mulholland and Jack Hindle after scoring Bay’s late equaliser.