AFTER a harsh early red card for Jordan Fagbola, the Seagulls held out for almost an hour with ten men before conceding two controversial goals in the last 15 minutes in a 2-0 defeat at promotion hopefuls Stourbridge.
The sending off came in the first 20 minutes and quickly wrecked manager Kevin Lynch’s pre-match plans.
Stourbridge’s Chris Lait, after a strong run through the middle, was going away from goal and looked to be already stumbling when Fagbola made contact with him just outside the area, but referee Richard Gardner produced a straight red card.
That forced a reshuffle with skipper Carl Rodgers dropping into the back four, while Carl Lamb, who had started the game well, had to be sacrificed up front so Stephen Wilson could come on to bolster midfield.
The ten men did well, restricting the home side to just a couple of Karl Hawley shots that were off target and a Sean Geddes effort which Kieran Wolland (in goal for the injured Connor Hunt) saved easily.
Antonie Boland’s header was inches away from giving Colwyn Bay the lead from a Liam Gibson free kick early in the second half and the home crowd were becoming increasingly restless as their side struggled to force a breakthrough. When it came on 75 minutes it was with the help of another debatable refereeing decision.
Luke Denson was adamant after the game that he hadn’t touched the ball when he allowed it run out of play near the corner flag for what he was sure was a goal kick…. only for the referee to give a corner from which Dan Scarr scored with a header from 14 yards that found its way through a crowded goalmouth into the net.
That was a hammer blow after the side had done so well and Stourbridge wrapped up the points with a second goal from substitute Ashley Vincent on 89 minutes – although again the Seagulls felt they should have been given a free kick in the build-up for a two-footed tackle.
The early sending off was clearly a key moment in the game and Kevin Lynch commented: “I didn’t think it was a red card. Their player was going away from goal and it was just a coming together and never a malicious foul.
“When that happens so early in the game, your game plan goes out of the window.
“We had to regroup and change things, but I felt we were always in the game.
” We were holding them well, but then it comes down to a poor decision that led to the first goal that hurt us.
“I can’t take anything away from the lads because I thought they were first class and gave us their all after we went down to ten men.
“I think the pleasing point to come out of it was that it shows the squad we are assembling can go to places like Stourbridge, who are chasing promotion, and more than match them
“When we had 11 against 11 we caused them problems.
“Its disappointing that we now lose Jordan (suspension), but Carl (Rodgers) has gone in there and I thought he was outstanding. He showed his leadership qualities, talked a lot to organise players around him, and did exceptionally well.
“The result is disappointing, but there are loads of positives to come out of it and if we show the same effort and commitment in our remaining games we won’t go far wrong.”
Colwyn Bay: Kieran Wolland, Connor Roberts-Nurse, Liam Gibson, Jordan Fagbola, Carfl Rodgers (c), Antonie Boland, Josh Sumner (Luke Denson 72mins), Bradley Bauress, Jack Kelleher (Steve Boothman 78mins), Carl Lamb (Stephen Wilson 31mins), Jordan Harper. Subs not used: Shaun Dowling, Yoann Tsamas.
New signing Johnny Gorman was not involved as his clearance had not come through in time.
THE Reserves beat Llangefni Town 4-0 to stay top of the table thanks to goals from Sean Sheridan, Aaron Boyle, Adam Hodgson and Ashley Seddon.
The Colwyn Bay Youth team also won 4-0 against Betws-y-Coed in the Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League’s REM Jones Cup, to book their place in the semi-finals.