TWO goals in six second half minutes turned the game as Colwyn Bay lost 2-1 at promotion hopefuls Guiseley today, after taking the lead with a 57th minute penalty.
The Seagulls were the better side for over an hour and dominated much of the first half in which Guiseley did not manage a single shot on target.
in fact, their only attempt at goal was a 34th minute shot from Danny Forrest which curled wide, Jonathan Royle and Tom Smyth outstanding in the middle of the Bay defence.
Rob Hopley should have scored for the Bay early on when the ball fell nicely for him from a free kick after Royle's shot had been blocked, but his shot was deflected over the bar off the keeper.
Anthony Stephens, Hopley, James Ellison and Cameron Darkwah all had shots saved by the keeper and Gaz Evans and Jamie Crowther were off target with other efforts.
The Bay did take the lead, however, early in the second half when Ellison was brought down in the penalty area and he scored from the spot.
Ellison then curled a shot just wide of the angle and Sean Williams was narrowly off target with another effort.
But the introduction of Guiseley substitute Oli Johnson on 61 minutes changed the game.
He caused problems with his pace and set up the equaliser for Adam Boyes on 66 minutes as he pulled the ball back from bye-line - virtually the only time Guiseley had managed to get round the back of the Bay defence.
Gavin Rothery then added a second six minutes later when a headed clearance from a free kick fell to him just outside the area.
Chris Sanna had to make two fine saves to deny Johnson further success and although Colwyn Bay pressed in the closing minutes they couldn't force an equaliser.
The result means that Bay drop out of the top 10 as Bradford Park Avenue went ahead of them with a 1-0 victory at Barrow.
Manager Frank Sinclair commented: "I'm very disappointed because the boys worked really hard to get themselves in the position they were in (1-0 up with 33 minutes left).
"We played some good football against one of the better sides in the league and we've not let them boss the game in any way for over an hour.
"Then we concede a goal and start going backwards.
"It is something that has been a bit of an Achilles heel for us this season, conceding goals from wide areas, free kicks and corners and it something we have to take on board and work on for next season.
There is no point doing everything else right if you can't defend your goal at set pieces and crosses - that's a very important part of the game at this level."
The manager added that victory in Monday's home game against Stockport County now takes on added importance.
"We've dropped to 11th with today's result and we've got to produce a result on Monday. That is very important because I had set a target of a top 10 finish and it will be really disappointing if we don't achieve that."
There are a couple of knocks from today's game that will need to checked before Monday's team can be finalised, but there is a good chance that Mike Lea could be involved again after injury.
"He trained hard on Thursday and took part in the warm-up today and felt nothing, so there is a good chance he will be involved," reported the manager.
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, D Taylor, Stephens, Royle, Smyth, Crowther (Tolley 78mins), Evans, S Williams, Hopley, Ellison (Pilliner 85mins), Darkwah. Subs not used: Clark, Sinclair, J Taylor.
COLWYN BAY will have an unchanged squad of 16 on duty when they take on fifth-placed Guiseley on Saturday.
Defender Mike Lea is expected to travel and take part in the warm-up, but has still not 100 per cent recovered from a thigh injury.
Manager Frank Sinclair reported: "He trained this week and will probably travel, but I don't think he is quite ready to be involved just yet."
Marc Williams again misses out through suspension.
Having taken points off top seven sides Brackley and Boston recently, the Seagulls will try to dent another play-off challenge, but Guiseley have lost only once in their last 14 games and moved into the play-off places with a 2-0 midweek victory over Harrogate Town.
"They are the form team in the league at the moment and despite a hectic programme to catch up on games in hand they have picked up good points in the last few weeks to put themselves in strong position," said Sinclair.
"They have always been contenders and were unfortunate to miss out on promotion last season (Guiseley finished runners-up but lost out in the play-offs to Halifax who had finished a massive 16 points below them in the final league table).
"But our away form is as good as most in the league (only North Ferriby and Altrincham have won more away games than Colwyn Bay this season) and we'll be looking to put in another good performance," added Sinclair.
The Seagulls are battling to secure a top 10 finish in the Conference North for the first time, but are only a point ahead of 11th placed Barrow and two ahead of 12th-placed Bradford Park Avenue - who play each other today.
"Its a big weekend with two games in three days so we have to be mindful of that and possibly look to rest a couple of the lads ahead of Monday's game against Stockport County," hinted the manager.
Colwyn Bay: (from) Sanna, D Taylor, Stephens, Royle, Smyth, Crowther, Evans, S Williams, Hopley, Tolley, Darkwah, Ellison, Pilliner, Sinclair, J Taylor, Clark.
Guiseley go into today's game three points clear of sixth-placed Boston United and Lions manager Mark Bower commented: "Seven points from our last three games will guarantee us a place in the play-offs and that is what we are aiming for."
But he added: "Colwyn Bay will be a difficult game, it always is. Like us they like to pass the ball around and play good football and by all accounts were unlucky to lose to Telford last weekend, but if we continue to play the way we have been lately then we will give ourselves a great chance of getting the win we need,"
The Yorkshiremen have injury concerns over former Seagulls striker Kevin Holsgrove (hamstring) as well as dangermen Alex Johnson and Wayne Brooksby, who both suffered ankle knocks in the midweek win. They still, however, l have a big threat up front with Adam Boyes in prolific goal scoring form.
A GOAL from Ashley Seddon earned Colwyn Bay Reserves a 1-1 draw at Llandyrnog United on Wednesday evening.
Player-manager Chris Thompson had 11 players from his squad unavailable due to injury or holidays and the side went behind in the first half with a lob over the keeper.
But they came back strongly in the second half with Seddon scoring with a header from outside the area following a corner.
Colwyn Bay forced a number of saves from the home keeper but couldn't get a winner.
The manager commented: "The pitch was not the best and we had to adapt to a long ball game which goes against everything we have worked on over the last nine months.
"Overall I was happy with a point, but with the amount of chances and possession we had in the second half we should have come away with all three."
The Reserves' next game is at home to Caernarfon Town on Tuesday April 22nd (7.30pm kick off).
TICKETS for the Easter Monday all-ticket game against Stockport County will be on sale on Tuesday April 15 at the Bay View shopping centre from 11am to 1pm (Bill Murray will have a stall in the centre) and on Thursday April 17 in the clubhouse at Llanelian Road from 5pm to 7pm.
The police have ordered this fixture to be an all-ticket match and NO tickets will be available on the day.
COLWYN BAY were undone by two controversial refereeing decisions as they undeservedly lost 1-0 at home to league leaders Telford today.
The visitors won in the end with a very soft first half penalty while Colwyn Bay, who dominated the second half, were refused a huge shout for a spot kick themselves for handball.
The only goal of the game came after 28 minutes when Telford's Adam Farrell had a fresh air kick at the ball inside the area and then appealed for a foul although, any slight contact from Anthony Stephens, if there was any at all, came after he had missed the ball.
But amazingly the referee gave the penalty and Farrell scored from the spot.
"We didn't get the rub of the green with the decisions today and I am disappointed for the boys because they've worked their socks off against a very good side who going for the title and we deserved to get something from the game," said manager Frank Sinclair.
"Their penalty was very, very cheap. Ninety per cent of the people I have spoken to afterwards have said it was never a penalty and we have had two good shouts for penalties ourselves and got neither - even though one looks a blatant hand ball when the lad's hand is up in the air when the ball hits it."
Telford opened a three point lead at the top with this win, but their manager Liam Watson admitted: "We got battered in the second half but fortunately defended well.
On the match-deciding penalty he said: "If it had been given against us I would not have been happy.
"We got battered in the second half but defended well to keep a clean sheet, so I am pleased with that; but it was a very difficult afternoon for us."
Bay keeper Chris Sanna tipped a header from Mike Grogan over the bar in the first half but otherwise was not seriously tested and Anthony Stephens went close to equalising for the Bay before half-time with a shot that just cleared the angle.
The Seagulls then dominated the second half and were furious not to be given a penalty when a Gaz Evans cross was blocked by an outstretched hand inside the area. The Bay players couldn't believe it when the linesman signalled instead for a corner.
Telford keeper Ryan Young made a brilliant diving save to turn a goalbound header from James Ellison round the post and also made a crucial save at the feet of Gaz Evans from Rob Hopley's cross, while Telford defender Neil Byrne cleared off the line when Evans had clipped the ball over the keeper.
I thought the Bay looked more of a threat when Ellison, who was surprisingly left out of the starting line-up with Sean Williams given a more advanced role, came on in the second half.
They pressed Telford really hard but didn't get a break inside the area and the visitors, although they had a late Dan Preston goal ruled out for offside, will feel very relieved to have held on for a win that takes them a step nearer automatic promotion.
Sinclair added: "I'm disappointed with the refereeing decisions, but I'm very proud of the boys because they have put in a great shift.
"We had to change things around a bit because of losing Marc Williams (suspended) but James Tolley got the most minutes he has had for us so far. Although he is still lacking match fitness he did everything I asked of him, while Jay Ellison made a big difference when he came on so I'm pleased with everyone who was involved."
The Seagulls stay tenth and now look to be in a fight with Barrow, who won at Solihull today to move to within one point of Colwyn Bay, for a top ten finish.
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, D Taylor, Stephens, Royle, Smyth, Crowther, Evans, S Williams, Hopley, Tolley (Ellison 56mins), Darkwah (Pilliner 86mins). Subs not used: Clark, Sinclair, J Taylor.
COLWN BAY manager Frank Sinclair will make a rare appearance on the substitutes bench to help make up the numbers for Saturday's big home clash against league leaders and title-chasing Telford.
The Seagulls have had their small squad depleted by Wrexham recalling Theo Bailey-Jones from his loan spell, while Marc Williams starts a three-match suspension and experienced defender Mike Lea is still ruled out with a thigh injury.
Sinclair has not involved himself as a player in a league game since November, but has decided to back his own vast experience rather than throw in too many youngsters from the reserves.
With Jonathan Royle likely to start after recovering from a sickness bug, the manager already has 22-year-old stand-in Denislav Pilliner on the bench and has again drafted in another inexperienced reserve team player in 21-year-old Jordan Taylor, brother of regular right back Danny.
"we are a bit short on numbers, but it won't affect the starting eleven too much," said Sinclair.
"Theo has gone back to Wrexham because they have got injury problems as well. It is a chance for him to try and cement himself another contract with them for next season and we wish him luck."
James Ellison will come back into the Seagulls starting eleven in place of the suspended Marc Williams up front.
Telford go into the game a point clear at the top, but they suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Oxford City on Tuesday night and second-placed North Ferriby now have a game in hand.
Telford were also thumped 6-1 at Guiseley last week and have failed to win any of their last three away games.
Bucks boss Liam Watson blamed Oxford's pitch for Tuesday's defeat, but has told his players they cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to be crowned champions in two weeks time.
"We are in the last chance saloon in terms of slip ups," he said this week. "For me, we need 12 points from our last four games. It's crunch time."
But there was a warning from Sinclair who said: "We won't be making it easy for them. We're going into the game on the back of a couple of good performances against teams challenging for the play-offs and have goals we still want to achieve ourselves this season, so we'll be giving it 100 per cent."
Telford have an agreement with Southport to take defender James Smith on loan when needed, but are hoping to have former Chester right back Wes Baynes available again today after a knee injury.
The match kicks off at 3.07pm because of the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough.
Colwyn Bay (from) Sanna, D Taylor, Stephens, Royle, Smyth, Crowther, Evans, S Williams, Hopley, Ellison, Darkwah, Sinclair, Tolley, Pilliner, J Taylor, Clark.
COLWYN BAY were denied a victory over play-off chasing Boston United by a goal in added time as a thrilling match at the Red Lion Foods Stadium tonight ended 3-3.
The Seagulls took a 2-0 first half lead, but were put under tremendous pressure by the visitors in the second half.
Anthony Stephens scored a penalty inside two minutes after Marc Williams was pushed in the back as he tried to get to a high ball into the area from Danny Taylor.
Then Williams, who had an outstanding game, scored a second on 20 minutes after an excellent run and cross by Cameron Darkwah, whose pace caused the Boston defence real problems in the first half.
A diving save by Chris Sanna from Ben Milnes kept the 2-0 lead intact at half-time, but Boston got a goal back on 48 minutes when Liam Agnew's shot hit the bar and rebounded into the net off Tom Smyth.
The Seagulls dropped too deep at times and were put under huge pressure before Boston equalised on 79 minutes through Ricky Miller's sharp finish.
the visitors were then pressing for a winner, but it was the Bay who looked to have won it on 88 minutes when a deflected volley from Sean Williams looped over the keeper into the net to put the Seagulls 3-2 ahead.
But as the game went into four minutes of added time, Bay's tiring defence failed to close down Boston fullback Zak Mills as he ran to edge of the area and shot low into the bottom corner of the net to rescue a point for the visitors.
Manager Frank Sinclair said afterwards: "I'm disappointed but at the same time satisfied with the effort put in by the players.
"They worked their socks off again and matched a team that is up there challenging for the play-offs.
"We've taken a point off two sides chasing the play-offs in the last four days and it shows if I'd been able to put this team together a little bit earlier then we could have been up there ourselves.
"It was an exciting match and I can't remember us being so much on top in a game as we were in the first half. But they obviously had some strong words from their manager at half-time and came out fighting for their lives, got a lot of people forward and we struggled to cope with it.
"But we've shown loads of character after losing a two goal lead to come back and get another goal which I thought would be the winner - only for them score again right at the death."
The points means the Seagulls have now achieved their highest points total in the Conference North and the manager added: "That is one goal achieved. The next is to finish higher than the club has ever done before. Seventh or eighth would reflect how far the football club has come since last season."
Colwyn Bay stay 10th and have gone four points clear of 11th placed Barrow who lost at Worcester
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Taylor, Stephens, Pilliner (Royle 59mins), Smyth, Crowther, Evans (Bailey-Jones 84mins), S Williams, Hopley, M Williams, Darkwah (Ellison 66mins). Subs not used: Clark, Tolley.
More to follow
THE Seagulls will make a late decision on the fitness of Jonathan Royle ahead of Tuesday's home game against play-off contenders Boston United (7.45pm).
The 19-year-old defender missed Saturday's game at Brackley with a stomach bug, but was able to train at Wrexham this morning (Monday).
"It looks as though he is a lot better and he is back in the squad, but we'll leave it as late as possible before making a decision," said manager Frank Sinclair.
With another big game against league leaders Telford to come on Saturday, the manager said he may consider making a couple of changes.
"The games are coming thick and fast at the moment and we may decide to refresh things a little bit with the game against Telford on Saturday in mind - but we want to finish in the top ten so there is no question of us easing up in these last five games," he said.
Sixth-placed Boston are only a point off the top five play-off places and are unbeaten in their last five games since suffering a surprise 1-0 defeat at Workington.
Their manager Dennis Greene says Tuesday's game is massive for his side.
"It is our game in hand over Hednesford and if we win we are only two points behind them and puts them under pressure," he said.
He has Ricky Miller in good form as he has scored seven goals in the last five games, although five of them have been from the penalty spot, but there is a doubt over top scorer Marc Newsham who missed Saturday's win at Solihull Moors with a muscle strain.
Despite an excellent home record, Boston have the worst away record of the top ten clubs in the Conference North and Sinclair commented: "We played very well against them at their place and would have won but for two controversial red cards (Danny Taylor and Tom Smyth) in the second half. We can take encouragement from that."
Colwyn Bay will also be hoping to take advantage of Boston having to make a long four-hour journey in midweek."
For Colwyn Bay Marc Williams plays his last game before starting a three match suspension following his red card against Altrincham.
Colwyn Bay (from): Sanna, D Taylor, Stephens, Pilliner, Smyth, Royle, Crowther, Evans, S Williams, Hopley, M Williams, Darkwah, Ellison, Tolley, Bailey-Jones, J Taylor, Clark.
JAMES ELLISON headed an equaliser four minutes into added time to rescue a point for Colwyn Bay in a 2-2 draw at Brackley Town.
Yet the Seagulls will feel it was a game they could have won after being the better side for most of the 90 minutes.
They led at half-time with a cracking volley by Jamie Crowther from Rob Hopley's cross on 22 minutes and had the better of the first half.
Brackley did not manage a single shot on target in that opening 45 minutes, while Gaz Evans had a shot on the turn saved by the keeper at the near post and both Marc Williams and Cameron Darkwah were narrowly off target.
In the second half Evans had a close range shot deflected wide off a defender after great play by Hopley and Marc Williams had opened up the home defence and then Cameron Darkwah and substitute Jamie Tolley, who was set up perfectly by Rob Hopley's downward header, fluffed golden chances to score.
The Bay looked like paying for those misses as Brackley equalised on 77 minutes through substitute Ryan Rowe's stooping header from a right wing cross and then Steve Diggin added a second at the far post from a low left wing cross with just two minutes of normal time remaining.
Heads could have gone down, but Colwyn Bay showed their character and deep into added time Ellison headed them level from a long diagonal free kick into the area.
That takes the 22-year-old's league goals tally this season into double figures and with skipper Rob Hopley leading the way with 16, it is the first time since winning promotion to the Conference North that the Seagulls have had two players in double figures.
The point equals the club's previous highest points total in the Conference North (53), but manager Frank Sinclair admitted he was very disappointed that his side had not won the game.
"I'm as sick as a parrot really because we've outplayed them for much of the game and deserved to win," he said.
"They (Brackley) played quite a direct game which we expected them to, but we dealt with that well for the most part. We played some good football and if we'd taken our chances they would never have been in the game.
"Unfortunately we keep getting done at the back stick from crosses. It is something we have talked about a lot, but it has happened again which is disappointing.
"But these group of lads never give in and we've shown great character to come back from going behind so late in the game to get another good point away from home.
"Jay Ellison was disappointed to be on the bench, but he has come on and got the equaliser so I am delighted for him.
"But all the lads deserve a lot of credit and particularly rookie Denislav Pilliner who got thrown in at the last minute (when Jonathan Royle had to pull out with a sickness bug) and did very well at the back."
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Taylor, Stephens, Pilliner, Smyth, Crowther, Evans (Ellison 67mins), S Williams, Hopley, M Williams (Tolley 79mins), Darkwah (Bailey-Jones 86mins). Subs not used: Clark, J Taylor.
COLWYN BAY manager Frank Sinclair says he has a selection dilemma for Saturday's trip to play-off contenders Brackley Town - and is delighted.
He used Tuesday's win over Workington to rest regulars James Ellison and Gaz Evans, but Cameron Darkwah came in for his first league start since November and did well.
Sinclair agreed: "Cameron was terrific. He won us the penalty for our second goal and was a threat all game. He has given me something to think about, but I am very happy about that - competition for places is what I want."
"I've challenged the players to try and win our last six games like we did last season, and even if we don't make the play-offs ourselves we can certainly have a big say in who does."
Four of Colwyn Bay's last six games are against teams in the top seven starting with Saturday's game.
But Sinclair added: "There is no pressure on the players. They've done all the hard work earlier in the season and I'm trying to get them to enjoy themselves now to the end of the season and look to finish as high as possible."
Seventh-placed Brackley, eight points ahead of Colwyn Bay having played a game more, are two points off the play-off places and very much in contention, although they have been struggling at home recently and are without a win in their last five games at St James Park (four defeats and a draw).
But Sinclair warned: "They have fallen away a bit at home, but they will be keen to put that right as they are very much in the mix for the play-offs. They have a real threat up front in Stefan Moore (the league's joint top scorer with 22 goals this season) who is a very experienced player and a handful."
Steve Diggin is also in double figures with 14 goals.
Colwyn Bay (from): Sanna, Taylor, Stephens, Royle, Smyth, Crowther, Evans, S Williams, Hopley, M Williams, Darkwah, Ellison, Bailey-Jones, Tolley, Pilliner, Clark.