THE Seagulls led for 50 minutes at Evo-stik Premier side Stalybridge Celtic in their latest pre-season game, but lost 2-1 to two second half goals scored in the space of a minute by substitute Tom Brown.
The Bay were unlucky, however, not to rescue a point when Danny Bartle hit the underside of the bar and in the following goal area scramble trialist Callum Hassan saw an effort cleared off the line.
With two trialists in the starting line-up and a couple of players forced to play out of position, Colwyn Bay took the lead after nine minutes when Danny Bartle seized on a defensive mix-up to score, and the side then defended well for the most part to hold that lead to half-time.
Matt Cooper made a couple of excellent saves and Stalybridge hit the post with a free kick from former Bay player John Marsden, but the Bay played some good football at times and James Barrigan headed wide after one good attacking move started by Lassa Mendes.
Another excellent passing move from deep in their own half opened up a chance for Bartle early in the second half, but he sliced his shot high and wide from the edge of the area.
Celtic then made three substitutions and one of them, Tom Brown, made an instant impact – scoring two goals in 60 seconds from his first three touches.
He equalised on 59 minutes after Matt Cooper had done well to block his initial shot, and a minute later Bay’s defence was opened up for Brown to add his second.
Colwyn Bay’s new goalkeeper signing Paddy Rutter replaced Cooper and made a good stop from another home substitute Lee Knight, but the Bay finished the game strongly and Danny Bartle nicely worked himself an opening only to see his shot blocked.
He was then really unlucky to see his angled drive come back off the bar and in the following scramble Hassan saw his shot cleared off the line by a defender, while another of the Bay trialists curled a shot narrowly wide.
Manager Alan Morgan admits it has been a stressful week, having to ask players to take a drop in wages due to the playing budget being cut to keep the finances on an even keel following Dave Titchiner’s departure, but he was pleased with the effort put into the game by his depleted side and said: “After what has been a horrible week, I thought this was a very positive day for Colwyn Bay Football Club.
“I wanted the players who were here today to get their heads up and play for the shirt and I thought they did that with a pleasing performance.
“I don’t want players moping around. The situation is what it is and there are far worse things happening in the world. I said to the players if they are happy to stay, great, and if they don’t want to stay then go.
“We have to work with the new budget we’ve been given, which is still a good budget for the league we are in.
“I know players will go, although I believe in a couple of weeks or so they will feel they have made a mistake.”
Danny Shaw, Louis Barnes (possibly to Nantwich) , Ryan Edwards (to Aberystwyth) and Kris Leigh look to be among those who have left.
” I’ve still got five players away on holiday who I haven’t spoken to yet and some undecided,” added the manager.
“I’ve got 16 days to try and sort it out which isn’t ideal and I probably won’t know what our final squad is going to be until the Kendal game.
“We are working hard trying to bring players in, although our location makes it difficult to entice players here. Because of that we are trying to arrange training premises that are in the middle of everyone to make things easier.
“What will be will be, but I was really pleased with the attitude of all the lads today and hopefully we can build on that.”
Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Ethan Devine, Josh Brizell, Luke Horrocks (c), Will Bell, Trialist, Danny Andrews, Lass Mendes, Danny Bartle, James Barrigan, Trialist. In the second half Lewis Moynes, three trialists and goalkeeper Paddy Rutter were introduced.
- Alan Morgan is still trying to arrange another friendly for next Saturday (August 11) and we will publish details of that as soon as it is confirmed.
THE Reserves lost 2-1 at Rhos United in their second pre-season game.