Once again there was a man of the match display by Bay keeper Matt Cooper who pulled off some outstanding saves to back up his Player of the Season award, but the big gamble to play Astley Mulholland from the start didn’t pay off as his suspect hamstring lasted only 36 minutes before he had to be replaced by Dan Bartle.
THE Seagulls staged a storming finish from 1-4 down and were the width of a post away from snatching a point in a 4-3 defeat in their final game of the season at promoted Hyde.
Two goals in two minutes from Danny Andrews and Will Booth made it 4-3 in the closing minutes and in added time Danny Bartle’s shot hit the foot of the post – but as it turned out even a point would not have been enough as Tadcaster, who took the final play-off spot, would still have qualified on goal difference.
In the end we finished two points short of making the play-offs and look back in frustration at that abandoned game against Trafford when 2-0 up and looked to have those two points in the bag.
There have been several other games, however, where victory has been thrown away by individual errors and manager Alan Morgan (top picture) admitted: “Over the 42 games we haven’t quite been good enough; but we will rebuild and come back stronger next season.”
Once again refereeing decisions did not go the Bay’s way at Hyde. Jack Hindle was clattered to the floor by Hyde’s keeper well outside the area but the referee didn’t even give a free kick, and minutes later Hyde were awarded a soft penalty, for the slightest of touches by Josh Brizell, which the official at first waved away – but was then persuaded to change his mind by his assistant on the line.
“I didn’t think it was a penalty and that gave them a big lift,” said Bay manager. “We got back in it at 1-1, but four minutes either side of half-time when we hit the bar and they scored twice killed us.
“We made a fight of it at the end, but had too much to do.”
In that time, however, it was Astley’s lay off, after good work by Danny Andrews, that set up Jack Hindle’s sixth goal in four games on 31 minutes to equalise the earlier Tom Pratt penalty.
Bay then almost took the lead when Gaz Grant hit the bar from a corner and Dan Bartle shot wide from the rebound.
Instead of Bay being 2-1 up, Hyde immediately broke down the other end for Pratt to volley home his second of the game from six yards to edge the home in front at the break.
Two minutes into the second half Karl Jones hit the Bay bar from a corner and Tyrone Gay stabbed in the rebound to make it 3-1.
The Bay pushed Gaz Grant up front in a four man attack and he had a great chance to make it 3-2 when he broke clear inside the area, but put his shot wide.
A couple more outstanding saves by Cooper denied Hyde, but he was given no chance when substitute Marcus Haydock broke clear to steer home Hyde’s fourth on 84 minutes.
Then came the late Bay fightback and a big push at the end, wkith Gaz Grant playing in Danny Andrews for his goal and Will Booth scoring from Jack Hindle’s set up, but they ran out of time as Hyde held on for the win.
Tadcaster Albion took the final play-off spot thanks to a home win over Mossley, while Colne’s defeat at South Shields meant they also missed out.
Alan Morgan confirmed afterwards he wants to stay on as manager and will be having talks with the club in the next week
“I’m happy and I would love to stay here for a while to build something and progress,” he said.
“I know what I need to do and what I have to do in the summer and can’t wait; I only wish pre-season started next Saturday!”
He added: “Some players have played their last game for Colwyn Bay and some others may decide they want to move on. If they do I’ll shake their hands and thank them for all they have done for me. I’ll be talking to everyone over the next couple of weeks, then we will regroup, rebuild and be ready to go again pre-season.”
The manager also added: “I want to say a big thank you to all the fans who have supported us so well and travelled to Hyde today. Hopefully we can fill more coaches in the future.”
Colwyn Bay: Matt Cooper, Kyle Jacobs, Josh Brizell, Will Booth, Gaz Grant (c), Billy Sass-Davies, Danny Andrews, Tom McCready (Sam Barnes 62 mins), Jack Hindle, Astley Mulholland (Dan Bartle 36mins), Lass Mendes. Subs not used: Kris Leigh, Luke Horrocks and Jamie Rainford.