COLWYN BAY Reserves secured a point in a 1-1 draw in their re-arranged league game at Llandudno, but felt unlucky not get all three points.
The Bay went 1-0 down within 26 minutes from a free-kick 30 yards out, but after that they started too get a hold of the game and some neat passing resulted in Sion Noble rounding the keeper to knock the ball into the net, only to be ruled offside in a very tight decision.
Colwyn Bay held onto the ball and played some good passing football in the second half and created the majority of chances before rewarded when Ryan Watson, returning from first team duty, found the bottom corner of the net after 76 minutes for the equaliser,.
In the final 15 minutes Colwyn Bay continued to create chances, with Watson taking the ball past the keeper only to miss an open net from 10 yards under pressure from a defender.
Reserve team assistant manager Matt Sampson, who took charge on the night, said: "For their manager too come up to me at the end of the game and said you were unlucky sums it all up for me. We created chance after chance and just lacked that one yard extra of composure which cost us the three points.
"But considering that's our first competitive game in 3 months we did well, particularly in the last 15 minutes, and I couldn't ask any more from all the lads."
COLWYN BAY went out of the North Wales Coast FA Challenge Cup on penalties after twice coming from behind against Llandudno.
It was a night that did nothing for the Bay with manager Frank Sinclair red carded from the subs bench for dissent, as his frustration mounted at a number of decisions against his side, and his players forced to play 30 minutes extra time ahead of Saturday's massive league game against Hednesford.
Llandudno took an early lead inside four minutes with a great finish by Josh McCauley, but Colwyn Bay equalised on 39 minutes with Hopley's header from a pin point diagonal cross by Anthony Stephens.
Jamie Tolley also had a great chance from a Gareth Evans run and cross, but Llandudno keeper Connor Waring did well to block a shot with his body.
A stalemate of a second half saw neither side come close to scoring although Marc Williams did have a shot on the turn late on which brought a diving save from the keeper.
The Bay dominated much of extra time with Marc Williams clippingg the bar with one shot and the keeper making a great save from a pile-driver by Tom Smyth.
Marc Williams also had the ball in the net, but was flagged offside.
Sean Williams shot narrowly wide and Marc Williams missed a great chance when he volleyed wide from six yards from a Jamie Crowther cross.
Llandudno then took the lead against the run of play with a Lee Thomas penalty after a needless foul by the Bay defence, but two minutes later Marc Williams volleyed the equaliser with a sweetly-hit strike from the edge of the area.
Bay forced three corners in quick succession late on, with Evans having a shot blocked in the goalmouth, but they couldn't force a winner and the tie went to a penalty shoot out.
Jonathan Royle had the first spot kick saved by the keeper and that decided the tie.
Tom Smyth, Sean Williams, Anthony Stephens and Marc Williams all scored for Bay, but Llandudno won the shoot-out 5-4 with Josh McCauley, Eddie Jebb, Lee Thomas, Joel Richardson and Tom Dix all successful with their spot kicks.
Colwyn Bay: Clark, Taylor, Stephens, Pilliner, Royle, Crowther, Evans, Bailey-Jones, Hopley (M Williams 63mins), Tolley (Smyth 45mins), Darkwah (S Williams 45mins). Subs not used: Sinclair, Ellison.
COLWYN BAY are set to give a surprise debut to a 19-year-old Bulgarian defender in Tuesday's North Wales Coast FA Challenge quarter-final at home to Llandudno (7.30pm).
Denislav Pilliner is a student at Llandrillo College who recently signed for Bay's reserve side, but he has taken the eye of Frank Sinclair who has been impressed with his pace at the back and has invited him to train with the first team on a couple of occasions.
Sinclair is set to give him a run out tonight, while second choice keeper Josh Clark will also make his belated debut in goal in place of rested Chris Sanna after being on the bench for the last six games since signing at the end of January.
Jamie Tolley and Cameron Darkwah, are also likely to be given a start and there will be a home debut for new Wrexham loan signing Theo Bailey-Jones who is eligible to play in the competition following a recent change in the rules.
The Bay, however, will be without left back Mike Lea who pulled a thigh muscle in last Saturday's win at Bradford Park Avenue.
"We'll try and rest some legs where we can, but still aim to put out a strong enough side to try and win the game," said Sinclair.
The winners on Tuesday will be away to Caernarfon Town or Glan Conwy in the semi-finals. Rhyl play Bangor City or Prestatyn Town in the other semi-final.
MARC WILLIAMS headed a 74th minute winner as Colwyn Bay completed a hat-trick of wins at Bradford Park Avenue with a 2-1 success today.
James Ellison put the Seagulls in front on 27 minutes with his seventh goal in eight games after Sean Williams and pulled the ball back from a Rob Hopley cross, but Bradford equalised seven minutes later when Paul Beesley broke clear to score.
Colwyn Bay then had the better of the second half and had a number of good scoring chances.
Home keeper John Lamb beat away a header from the outstanding Danny Taylor, made a good diving save at the feet of Gaz Evans and dived to his right to beat away a shot from Sean Williams.
But the winning goal finally came on 74 minutes when Hopley broke on the right and from his cross Marc Williams (pictured) got in front of his marker to bury a diving header into the bottom corner of the net.
Marc Williams then had two more great chances to complete a hat-trick, but on both occasions he beat the advancing keeper only for the ball to trickle wide of the target.
Chris Sanna earlier made a crucial one-on-one save from the dangerous Paul Walker.
Everyone played a part, but Taylor got my vote as the man of the match. He put in some fantastic defensive work and bombed forward at every opportunity to help the attacking play and was close to scoring.
The ninth away win of the season lifts Colwyn Bay up to ninth place in the table and within six points of fifth-placed Solihull with two games in hand on them.
Fellow top ten sides Hednesford, Boston, Brackley, Solihull and Barrow were all beaten.
The only negative side was a thigh injury to Mike Lea which forced him out of the game after only 14 minutes. But Tom Smyth did an excellent job as his replacement, despite playing out of position.
Manager Frank Sinclair reported: "We think Mike has pulled a muscle in his thigh so we got him off straight away and will assess him during the week. But we'll make sure he is right and won't rush him back because we have got cover as Anthony Stephens can play left back and Tom Smyth went in there today and never put a foot wrong. He was fantastic."
Sinclair was delighted with another three points and said: "With other results going our way it has put us back amongst it again.
"I've always said if we can get on a good run at the back end of the season we'd be there or there abouts.
"Two wins on the spin is brilliant because we needed that to get back to winning ways after a bit of a sticky patch.
"The bad weather cost us because we lost a bit of momentum, but hopefully we can get that back now.
"I thought it was a great team effort today on a bad surface. We tried to play football in the first half but found it hard to get out and we knew in the second half we'd have to pin them back and play in their half of the pitch.
"The boys ran their socks off again to achieve that, with even the subs coming on and doing their bit.
"Theo (new loan signing Bailey-Jones) has not played much football in a little while, but came on and was straight at it with some good runs and I was pleased with him.
"I was also delighted that Marc Williams got the winner. He has been disappointed with his goal return over the last seven or eight games, but I keep telling him 'keep working as hard as you are and you'll start hitting the back of the net, don't worry about that."
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Taylor, Lea (Smyth 14mins), Stephens, Royle, Tolley (Crowther 76mins), Evans (Bailey-Jones 58mins), S Williams, Hopley, M Williams, Ellison. Subs not used: Clark, Darkwah.
Colwyn Bay: Corners - 2, Throw In - 15, Fouls - 3, Free Kicks - 6, Offside - 1, Goal Kicks - 4, Attempts ON Target - 2 (1 goal), Attempts OFF Target - 4.
Bradford PA: Corners - 2, Throw In - 13, Fouls - 6, Free Kicks - 3, Offside - 0, Goal Kicks - 6, Attempts ON Target - 3 (1 goal), Attempts OFF Target - 1.
Colwyn Bay: Corners - 2, Throw In - 12, Fouls - 3, Free Kicks - 6, Offside - 0, Goal Kicks - 4, Attempts ON Target - 3 (1 goal), Attempts OFF Target - 2.
Bradford PA: Corners - 3, Throw In - 19, Fouls - 3, Free Kicks - 2, Offside - 2, Goal Kicks - 9, Attempts ON Target - 0,Attempts OFF Target - 2.
POSSESSION: Colwyn Bay 56% Bradford PA 44%
MANAGER Frank Sinclair has committed his immediate future to Colwyn Bay and has also secured the signing of 19-year-old attacking midfielder Theo Bailey-Jones from Wrexham on loan ahead of Saturday's big game at Bradford Park Avenue.
In a bid to stop continuing speculation linking him with the vacant Wrexham job, Sinclair has released a statement ruling himself out of the running.
"I'm very flattered to have my name associated with it (the Wrexham job), but I will NOT be leaving Colwyn Bay," he said.
"I will be focusing fully on improving the already successful season and on having a good finish to the season."
Meanwhile Sinclair has agreed a deal to take Bailey-Jones, who has played 15 first team appearances for Wrexham, on loan until the end of the season.
"He is a lad with a bright future and if we can give him a few games that can only help his development," said Sinclair. "He has got bags of pace, is very direct and offers something a bit different to what we've got at the moment."
He is likely to come straight into the squad for Saturday's game in place of Louis Moss, who has left the club this week in search for more regular football.
"It is a disappointment to lose Louis, because he is a top lad and a good player," said Sinclair. "Unfortunately his chances have been limited mainly because I see his best position as left back and Mike Lea has been so consistent there this season.
"I wanted him to stay, but I have to respect his decision to go and we wish him well."
Sinclair spelt out just how important the game at Bradford is as he looks to build on Tuesday's victory over Harrogate Town.
"It is a crunch time of the season now and if we are to mount any sort of challenge for the play-offs then we have to put a run of results together now," he said.
"Results become more important than performances at this stage of the season, but I am looking for us to start the game like we started the second half against Harrogate on Tuesday and take the game to Bradford. If we do that I am confident we can get a result."
Sinclair will have to make a late check on central defender Tom Smyth who had to come off at half-time against Harrogate with an ankle injury.
"Tom didn't train on Thursday, but believes he will be fit to play and we'll wait and see how he is tomorrow," said Sinclair.
Jonathan Royle will fill in at the back if needed.
Bradford Park Avenue, who are nine points and four places below Colwyn Bay in the table and have won only one of their last six games, currently have a number of key players injured or suspended, including dangerous striker Alex Davidson.
But Avenue manager Jon Deacey is looking for a big response from his players after a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Vauxhall Motors last Monday.
"We've got five big players missing, but the lads who come in for them will respond," he said this week. "We let our fans down on Monday in what was probably the worst game I have ever seen, and we owe it to them to put in a big performance against Colwyn Bay."
Colwyn Bay (from) Sanna, Taylor, Lea, Stephens, Smyth, Royle, Crowther, Evans, S Williams, Hopley, M Williams, Ellison, Darkwah, Bailey-Jones, Tolley, Clark.
COLWYN BAY are through to the semi-finals of the North Wales Coast FA Youth Cup after a 2-1 home victory over Denbigh Town this week.
The Seagulls, made up of under-19 reserve team players and four members of the under-18 squad, were 2-0 up at half-time with goals from Dylan Humphreys and Declan O'Connor and they should have had a penalty when Oliver Mason-Lane was brought down heavily in the area.
Oliver ended up in hospital with damaged knee ligaments following the challenge and the club wish him a speedy recovery.
Denbigh pulled a goal back early in the second half, but Colwyn Bay always looked the better side and with better finishing would have won the game by a bigger margin.
Colwyn Bay now travel to Llangoed in the semi-finals next Sunday (March 9, 2pm kick off).
COLWYN BAY scored two goals in the space of seven second half minutes to turn the match around and beat in-form Harrogate Town 2-1 tonight.
Harrogate had gone nine games unbeaten and got the boost of a gift goal to take the lead 31 minutes.
Bay keeper Chris Sanna came off his line to try and punch clear, but under pressure he failed to get a proper connection and the ball looped back towards the goal for Dominic Rowe to tap in an easy goal.
Apart from a short spell in the middle of the half when Marc Williams and James Ellison had efforts saved by the keeper, the Bay had not really looked like scoring.
But, despite losing Anthony Stephens with an ankle injury at half-time, they came out like a train at the start of the second half and turned the game around inside the opening 13 minutes.
Jonathan Royle equalised with a 30-yard screamer into the far corner of the net on 51 minutes and then James Ellison scored a second seven minutes later with a glancing header from a Mike Lea free kick.
Ellison, who worked hard and did some great tracking back to help win the ball in defence, was unlucky not be awarded a penalty when he was felled after a great turn inside the area.
Harrogate battled hard to try and get back on terms and got the ball in the net on 89 minutes only for a linesman's flag to rule it out for offside.
The Bay held on through five minutes of added time to claim three very welcome points and end a four-match winless run.
The result has lifted back to within eight points of the top five.
Manager Frank Sinclair said afterwards: "We weren't at the races in the first half and there were some stern words said at half-time to a few players, but they have reacted in the right way.
"Jonathan's Royle's goal has lifted everyone in the stadium. It was a great strike, and that gave us the momentum to go on and get what was a vital win."
Frank made the decision to pull Anthony Stephens out of the game at half-time although the defender wanted to play on.
"He had gone over on his ankle and when we needed everyone firing on all cylinders at it at the second half I felt having a player carrying an injury wasn't going to help us," said the manager.
"We'll asses the injury tomorrow, but Jonathan Royle did an excellent job at the back and looks back to his best again."
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Taylor, Lea, Stephens, Smyth (Tolley 45mins), Royle, Evans (Darkwah 60mins), S Williams, Hopley, M Williams, Ellison (Moss 77mins). Subs not used: Clark, Crowther.
Colwyn Bay: Corners - 0, Throw In - 11, Fouls - 5, Goal Kicks - 3, Offside - 4, Attempts ON Target -2, Attempts OFF Target - 0.
Harrogate Town: Corners - 4, Throw In - 27, Fouls - 7, Goal Kicks - 1, Offside - 1, Attempts ON Target - 4 (1 goal), Attempts OFF Target - 0.
Colwyn Bay: Corners - 2, Throw In - 24, Fouls - 5, Goal Kicks - 7, Offside - 3, Attempts ON Target - 3 (2 goals), Attempts OFF Target - 0.
Harrogate Town: Corners - 0, Throw In - 20, Fouls - 4, Goal Kicks - 1, Offside - 1, Attempts ON Target - 0, Attempts OFF Target - 0.
Possession: Colwyn Bay 46% Harrogate Town 54%
COLYWN BAY face another big challenge against in-form Harrogate Town in their third home game in eight days on Tuesday (7.45pm).
The Yorkshire side are unbeaten in their last nine games (six wins and three draws), which has put them within three points of the play-off places, and manager Simon Weaver, with everything to play for, has a near full strength squad available with Leigh Franks and Adam Bolder both available again after injury and suspension respectively.
He knows that if Solihull fail to win at Gainsborough, a win at Colwyn Bay will lift his side into the play-off places on goal difference -a huge incentive for his players on the night.
Seagulls boss Frank Sinclair will have been reflecting hard on his side's failure to put away decent chances in recent games and their continuing tendency to give teams an early goal start as he ponders on his starting line-up.
He knows his side's coveted top ten spot could be under threat unless they can bring a four-match winless run to an end.
Colwyn Bay (from): Sanna, Taylor, Lea, Stephens, Smyth. Crowther, Royle, Evans, S Williams, Hopley, M Williams, Ellison, Darkwah, Tolley, Moss, Clarke.
ONCE again Colwyn Bay paid the price for a host of missed chances as they lost 2-1 at home to Barrow today.
The Cumbrians scored two goals from their only two shots on target in the game, while the Seagulls were denied by a string of fine saves from keeper Tony McMillan and some dreadful misses in front of goal.
Exasperated manager Frank Sinclair reflected: "I'm fed up of saying the same things and I've got no words really for that game today to explain how we're going away with nothing.
"We've bossed the game and had enough chances to win two games.
"On a better day, two or three different players will have scored and Marc Williams gets a hat-trick - job done.
"But once again it took us 25 minutes to get going and I've just said to the boys we can't keep giving teams a head start.
"We've allowed them to get an early goal for them to hold onto and they've flooded the midfield to make it hard for us, but we have still had the chances to turn it around and certainly didn't deserve to lose.
"It is a hard pill to swallow and I'm gutted for the fans who deserve better and I'm gutted for the players who worked hard, but if they can't put the ball in the net I can't do it for them."
Niall Cowperthwaite volleyed Barrow into a 10th minute lead from their only shot on target in the first half.
McMillan then made outstanding one-on-one saves to deny Marc Williams and Jamie Crowther. the second a great chance set up by a Gaz Evans run and cross.
The keeper has also smothered another Marc Williams shot round the post when he should have been given no chance, and then dived to his right to beat away a hot shot from Sean Williams.
Tom Smyth also fired the ball across the face of the goal with no Bay player able to get a touch.
The theme continued in the second half with Evans guilty of the biggest miss of all when he headed wide from six yards after Rob Hopley' run and cross had set him up perfectly.
Hopley, who was dropped from the starting line-up but did well when he came on in the second half, shot high and wide from an Evans lay off and Sean Williams volleyed high over the bar from another lay off inside the area, while Smyth headed a chance straight at the keeper from six yards from Ellison's free kick and Marc Williams had a shot cleared off the line.
Barrow made the most of those escapes when they broke away on 77 minutes and Alex-Ray Harvey's defence-splitting pass sent Nick Rushton racing clear to beat the advancing Sanna.
Barrow's luck continued when Cameron Darkwah's dipping cross hit the inside of the far post and stayed out, but eventually Rob Hopley broke clear to scored his 10th goal of the season on 90 minutes - but too late to give any real chance of saving the game.
Barrow boss Darren Edmondson said: "We rode our luck today. Colwyn Bay had a game plan, stuck to it and at times were better than us. We were a bit flat and second to too many first and second balls, but you have to give the opposition credit for that and Colwyn played well."
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Taylor, Lea, Stephens, Smyth, Crowther (Tolley 73mins), Evans, S Williams, Royle, Hopley 55mins), M Williams, Ellison (Darkwah 71 mins). Subs not used: Clarke, Moss.
COLWYN BAY: Corners - 4, Free Kicks - 7, Throw In - 20, Fouls - 2, Goal Kicks - 3; Offside - 3, Attempts ON Target - 6, Attempts OFF Target - 0.
BARROW: Corners - 1, Free Kicks - 9, Attempts ON Target - 1 (1 goal), Attempts OFF Target - 1.
COLWYN BAY: Corners - 3, Free Kicks - 6, Throw In - 21, Fouls - 2,, Goal Kicks - 2, Offside - 0, Attempts ON Target - 5 (1 goal), Attempts OFF Target - 8.
BARROW: Corners - 1, Free Kicks - 5, Throw In - 7, Fouls - 1, Goal Kicks - 4, Offside - 1, Attempts ON Target - 1 (1 goal), Attempts OFF Target - 1.
POSSESSION Colwyn Bay 51% Barrow 49%
COLWYN BAY are offering a St David's Day special for Saturday's home game against close rivals Barrow (3pm).
All spectators with the name David, or the Welsh equivalent, will get FREE admission on production of ID and everyone entering the ground will be handed a free raffle ticket which will go into a draw for two tickets to see the Tom Jones concert at Eirias Park on July 25th.
That is a fantastic offer for local people and a chance to win tickets to see one of the world's big entertainers.
Saturday's game shouldn't be bad either as Barrow, who Colwyn Bay currently lead on goal difference with a game in hand, are on an impressive 12-match unbeaten run (nine wins and three draws), since Darren Edmondson took over as manager in December. That has lifted the Cumbrians out of the bottom four and to the fringe of the play-offs.
Bay boss Frank Sinclair admitted: "Their manager has done an incredible job since coming in and their form over the last couple of months has been as good as anybody in the division.
"The lad Rushton they have got on loan from Wrexham is scoring for fun, but they have other dangerous players and of course we know all about (ex-Seagull) Robbie Williams who left our club shortly after I took over as manager but who is a strong centre back who can be a threat in both boxes so we will have to watch him.
"It will be a good test for us on a difficult surface, but we've only lost twice in our last 14 games and we'll be looking to keep that form going."
Jamie Crowther has recovered from heavy bruising after being hurt in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Gloucester City and he takes his place in a full strength 16-man squad.
Barrow's management team of Edmondson and former Colwyn Bay striker Alex Meechan, says today's game and their next match against Stockport county (all three teams currently separated by just two points) could be crucial in their bid to challenge for a play-off place, but Meechan said this week: "If the players keep their drive and composure, with they way have been playing, we should be able to take points from both these big games."
Colwyn Bay (from) Sanna, Taylor, Lea, Stephens, Smyth, Royle, Crowther, Evans, S Williams, Hopley, M Williams, Ellison, Darwkah, Tolley, Moss, Clarke.
RUMOURS have been rife this week about Frank becoming the new Wrexham manager after he was installed as favourite following Andy Morrell's resignation.
But he said today: "I am not commenting on what is speculation. I have not heard anything regarding the Wrexham job and until I hear otherwise from chairman David Messom I am focusing fully on the job at Colwyn Bay."