It’s been a long time coming but Glantraeth finally got their first win of the season at Guilsfield and how they deserved it.
With ten minutes remaining it looked like being the same old story, Glan a goal down despite another good performance, but this time the story was to have a different ending. Manager Gareth Roberts decided there was nothing to lose and threw central defender Emyr Rowlands forward to join the attack and three minutes later the visitors pulled level as Chris Saxon found space just inside the area and blasted the ball home past a helpless Guils’ keeper.
Glan sensed victory and continued to pile forward and with four minutes remaining Corey Sinnott was buried under a pile of celebrating team-mates after rounding the keeper and finding the net despite the best efforts of two defenders to get back and clear.
From somewhere the referee found almost five minutes of added time to prolong the tension before the final whistle sounded and a season of mounting frustration finally gave promise of better times ahead.
With the squad stretched to the limit 17 year old Bryn Jones made his first team debut after graduating from last season’s youth team and he was soon in the action, defending well against the dangerous Jamie Evans. Glan were looking fired up from the start and the tackles were really flying in from both sides.
Corey Sinnott came close to giving the Bodorgan side the lead on 10 minutes as he fastened on to a great through ball from Chris Saxon but with home keeper Dave Littleford racing out his options were limited and the ball passed a foot wide. Chris Evans was next to set up a chance for the visitors with a fine cross swung in from the left that was inches away from David Alan Jones making contact then Sinnott threatened as he cut in from the right but his shot lacked enough power to really trouble Littleford.
Guilsfield were themselves dangerous going forward in a game where there looked like being plenty of goalmouth action, Tom Reynolds heading narrowly wide from a Sam Thomas free kick.
David Alan Jones was again close to making contact with an inviting ball in from Sinnott on 24 minutes but Glan had skipper Gareth Owen to thank four minutes later as he cleared a threatening situation after Dan Graham had been allowed to run clear with Glan appealing for offside.
More of the chances were falling to Glantraeth and another effort from Sinnott was blocked then keeper Marc Newbould pulled off a fine save from Graham as the Guils’ striker closed in on goal.
Glan began the second period positively with Kevin Roberts meeting a Chris Evans free kick only to get too much under the ball and his shot flew well over and it was again Roberts who threatened with a free kick that Littleford saved without too much trouble.
There was a feeling of déjà vu as after all this effort as Glan fell behind on 51 minutes as Jamie Evans controlled a right wing cross before firing in a left foot shot that was just out of reach of Newbould’s despairing dive.
Instead of feeling sorry for themselves the goal proved the signal for the Anglesey side to step up their game with Chris Saxon having a shot blocked a minute later then Corey Sinnott had a volley saved. A good ball in from Bryn Jones was almost converted by Saxon and Chris Evans had a shot blocked in a crowded penalty area. It was a good response by Glan and a great effort from Gareth Owen deserved a goal on 57 minutes as with the keeper well off his line he tried to lob him from fully 35 yards, the ball passing little more than a foot over. On 65 minutes Glan again had the chance to pull level as a perfectly delivered cross from Kevin Roberts was met by David Alan Jones but his header was off target and it was another let off for the Welshpool side.
Guilsfield continued to pose danger going forward and it took a smart save from Newbould on 66 minutes as he went down quickly at the feet of Tom Reynolds to snuff out the threat of a second killer goal.
With Glan now throwing everything into finding an equaliser the game had really opened up and it took a full length save from Littleford to stop Sinnott after the Glantraeth forward had made space in the area then Emyr Rowlands was next to try his luck only to see his shot blocked.
Both keepers were distinguishing themselves in a game that was certainly not short on thrills and Newbould kept Glantraeth in the game on 72 minutes as he went full length to save from Sam Thomas but could only watch as Graham followed up to clip the loose ball against the outside of the upright.
With the game now swinging from end to end Paul Rowland’s beat two defenders before firing over with the action quickly switching to the other end as inspirational skipper Gareth Owen headed off the line as an effort from Dan Graham was heading for goal.
The last ten minutes of normal time saw Glan really go for broke. Manager Gareth Roberts decided there was nothing now to lose, calling for defender Emyr Rowlands to join the attack.
The Guils’ defence was now hanging on desperately and luck was on their side as Sinnott blasted over from a great position on 81 minutes but a brilliant effort from the same player a minute later saw him flick the ball over a defender before blasting the ball goalwards only for Littleford to pull off another stunning save.
It looked like it would never come but the bench and the travelling support erupted on 83 minutes as Saxon blasted home to get the goal Glantraeth so richly deserved although the celebrations were almost soured two minutes later as Newbould again came to the rescue with a fine save as Jamie Evans cut in from the left.
Not since the 2006 double winning year have there been scenes of celebration quite like those that followed Corey Sinnott’s winning goal with four minutes remaining and the relief at the final whistle and finally three points in the bag was almost audible.
Glantraeth: Marc Newbould, Bryn Jones, Darren Jones, Emyr Rowlands, Gareth Owen, Chris Saxon, Corey Sinnott, Paul Rowlands, David Alan Jones, Kevin Roberts, Chris Evans.