Victory boost for first league game

Tim ChannonFirst Team

Great finish by Chris Sharp opened the scoring

Great finish by Chris Sharp opened the scoring

THREE goals in the first 27 minutes earned Colwyn Bay a 3-0 victory over Welsh Premier neighbours Rhyl in their final pre-season game and provided the perfect preparation for next weekend’s opening Evostik league fixture at Halesowen Town.
The Seagulls totally over-ran their opponents in the first half and although they took the foot off the gas in the second half, they came away with their second clean sheet in the last three pre-season games and will go into league campaign in good heart.
They were in front inside six minutes with a great finish by Chris Sharp from Cory Williams’ deep cross, and five minutes later Carl Rodgers won the ball just outside the area, beat a defender and rifled a super shot past the Rhyl keeper Mike Askew from 18 yards.
Askew made a fine diving save from Luke Denson’s free kick and Rhyl cleared another effort off the line before Rob Hopley headed the third from a Robbie Booth corner.
A great ball from Wes Baynes could have produced a fourth goal before half-time, but Cory Williams fired the chance over the bar.
Colwyn Bay were never quite the same threat after the break as the manager started to ring the changes and Rhyl upped their game, but Chris Sanna was never really extended, while at the other Hopley and Harry Clayton went close to extending the lead and Jordan Fagbola was unlucky with a header which was deflected wide.
Ash Hoskin said he was “very happy” going into the league campaign.
“When we first started training six weeks ago we were optimistic about the players we were trying to bring in and I think everyone can see from then to the first half performance today, which was exceptional, how we have progressed.
“Rhyl are targeting a top six place in the Welsh Premier, but their manager admitted afterwards we had given them a lesson in that first half.
“I was also very pleased with the clean sheet, which was important.
“The players have set the bar very, very high now and that’s the level of performance I am looking for week in week out.
” But the lads know that. They make my team talk easy because they have set the bar and they themselves don’t want to drop under it.”
The manager again emphasised the spirit in the dressing room when he revealed: “We can only take 16 players next Saturday and I’ve had a word with the two or three lads that probably won’t make it and have offered to put them out on loan as a couple of clubs have come in for them, but they are not interested and want to stay and fight for their place. That is fantastic for me.
“It tells you a great deal about the players we are dealing with that they want to stay and fight – even though they know if they don’t make the match day 16 they won’t get wages.
“I’ve also had to tell lads this week we’ve got to knock their money down, but they all want to stay and are 100 per cent behind want we are trying to do here.”
Sadly Damian Ketley and Ashley Seddon haven’t done enough in pre-season to stay in the manager’s plans for now and have dropped back into the reserves, but Ash Hoskin said the door is certainly not closed.
“I will be going to watch the reserve games whenever I can and monitoring everyone’s progress and we’ll see what happens,” he said.
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Baynes (Lea), Denson, Dillon (Love), Barnes, Fagbola, Rodgers (Corbett), Booth, Sharp (Zibaka), Hopley, Williams (Clayton). Sub not used: Rees.
Attendance: 222.