A valiant performance from Airbus'
second string against a virtually full-strength Rhyl, sent out again
after Friday's draw and yet again struggling to cope with the home
side's 100% effort. To be fair, the Lilywhites were always on top but
didn't get their three points without having to work for it and received a
late shock before the job was done.
It was also a fond farewell to amiable
stalwart Chris Doran, playing his last game between the sticks before returning to Ulster and hoping
to get involved with Ballymena Utd.
Chris showed his mettle to stand his ground when faced by Shaun Dowling,
played in by Lee Hunt, doing well to save the day after a long period of Rhyl
pressure on 25'.
Airbus' first chance came just after, Paul
McManus stepping inside to shoot a rising swinger just wide of the far
post. Rhyl had two goals chalked off for offside within a couple of minutes
before half time but did go ahead in front at the break, Lee Hunt heading
in a free kick needlessly given away by Gary Lovell.
With Airbus playing like terriers there was great hope of snatching a goal
themselves and on 62 minutes with the game still in Rhyl's control came some
magic. From 20- 25 yards out the lively McManus took the ball on a couple of
yards, side-stepped and arrowed a fantastic left-footed shot into the bottom
corner for 1-1!
The smug feeling of having stitched up Rhyl
again lasted less than ten minutes, however, a John Leah shot bringing a
good save out of Chris Doran but he only pushed the ball in front of
ex-Wingmaker Gareth Owen, who promptly fired assuredly into the side of the net for
what was to be the winner. It could have been more emphatic with less than ten
minutes to go, Chris saving from Matty Williams off a through ball and Mark
Allen clearing the follow-up off the line & over but that would
have been unfair on the spirited Airmen and the departing Chrissie - we wish
Airbus line up:
Chris Doran, Tom Povey,
Gary Lovell (Andy Stockton 55'), Jack Rowlands, Mark Allen, Matty Cook (Jack
Challinor 55'), Andy
Mitchell, Jack Abrahams, Niall Challinor, Paul McManus (Ashley Williams
77'), George Cowell.
not used: Matty Woodward.
Report by Dave Sargent