By Matthew Burgess
Colwyn Bay’s defeat to Gresford in the Nathaniel MG Cup yesterday marked an unwanted start to life back in the Welsh system.
After a late second-half goal secured a win for hosts Gresford, the Seasiders could now face a three-week wait before their next competitive game.
Jordan MacCarter’s header 12-minutes from time sent Gresford into next week’s second round tie with Bala Town, leaving Colwyn Bay with a two-week pause before their next competitive match, their league opener with Bangor City.
However, it remains unclear as to whether that fixture will even go ahead due to the ongoing arbitration hearing between Bangor City and the Football Association of Wales.
It’s quite possible that Colwyn Bay will not have another competitive game until they host Flint Town United on August 24, creating an unhelpful scenario for the club, who would have been plotting a smooth transition back into the Welsh system.
It will also do little to challenge the mind-set of Colwyn Bay supporters, who remain sceptical of the club’s decision to withdraw from the English system.
“We hope that game goes ahead, otherwise it is potentially three weeks without a competitive fixture, which is a worry at a crucial time as we will struggle to arrange friendlies with everyone now in season,” rued Bay manager Craig Hogg to the club’s official site.
“I’m disappointed with the result, but not so much the performance and it is a game I take a lot from to reflect on,” he added.
“I admit we didn’t get on the ball and play anywhere like we have shown during the past six weeks of pre-season, and we still look a team who has only been together for a short period of time – which is understandable.
— Gresford Athletic FC (@GresfordFC) August 4, 2019
“We stood up to pretty much everything that was thrown at us away from home in what was a tight, scrappy cup tie, and that was good to see.
“The first goal was always going to be important and unfortunately we did not score when we were on top.
“To concede late on was a little tough to take, but credit to Gresford for taking their chance when we didn’t.”
The summer-long debacle involving Bangor City could take on another twist should they face another significant points deduction in the re-hearing and face relegation.
The club’s Nathaniel MG Cup first round tie is also in disarray having been postponed at the weekend and it would appear there may not be time to reschedule the tie before the second round commences next weekend, with the possibility of Conwy Borough being awarded a bye to face The New Saints.
Gresford: Ben Jones, Joe Culshaw, Joe Davies, Joshua Griffiths, Jack Chaloner, Ashton Williams, Paul Williams, Alex Buxton (75′ Jake Elly), Matthew Worrall (65′ Jordan MacCarter), Jake Eyre (87′ Owen Roberts), Kieran Evans.
Colwyn Bay: Paddy Rutter, Alex Downes (71′ Jordan Carrington), Kian Owen (46′ Mike Williams), Darren Thornton, Will Bell, Matthew Russell, Mitchell Bryant (63′ Joe Chaplin), Tom McCready, Julian Williams, Toby Jones, Sion Edwards. Subs: Andy Coughlin, Morgan Owen, Jordan Carrington, Mike Williams, Joe Chaplin.
ROUND 1 – NORTH
Buckley Town 0-2 Rhyl, Ruthin Town 3-0 Guilsfield, Prestatyn Town 4-2 Llanrhaeadr, Gresford Athletic 1-0 Colwyn Bay (Sunday), Conwy Borough P-P Bangor City, Llanfair United 3-1 Llangefni Town, Berriew 0-2 Corwen.
ROUND 1 – SOUTH
Afan Lido 0-1 Cwmbran Celtic, Pontypridd Town 2-3 STM Sports, Undy Athletic 2-2 Cwmamman United (Cwmamman won 5-4 on pens), Swansea University 0-1 Llantwit Major, Goytre United 3-0 Caerau (Ely), Ammanford 2-1 Penrhyncoch, Briton Ferry Llansawel 3-1 Taffs Well
ROUND 2 – NORTH
Corwen v Caernarfon Town, Bala Town v Gresford Athletic, Rhyl v Connah’s Quay Nomads, Airbus UK Broughton v Llanfair United, Cefn Druids v Prestatyn Town, Conwy Borough/Bangor City v The New Saints, Flint Town United v Porthmadog, Ruthin Town v Llandudno.
ROUND 2 – SOUTH
Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC v Aberystwyth Town, Haverfordwest County v Barry Town United, Newtown v Ammanford, Carmarthen Town v Cwmamman United, Llantwit Major v Cardiff Metropolitan University
Penybont v Goytre United, Briton Ferry Llansawel v Llanelli Town, STM Sports v Cwmbran Celtic.
All Round 2 ties to be played over the weekend of 9/10/11 August 2019