Buckley Town were at it from the start of this game, much in the same way as they took the game to Gresford Athletic from the start, and they looked all the better for it. They stamped their dominance on the game from the first minute and it was always Buckley Town that looked the more likely to score right up till the ninetieth.
The first real opportunity to score came from the penalty spot and with it came the first controversial decision in the game. Shaun Tinsley burst through the Prestatyn defence only to be hauled down in the box. Penalty most certainly but then the referee brandished his red card, not yellow. Now most spectators around the ground, as well as the Prestatyn players and staff were somewhat bemused by this, because the laws of the game have changed this season. Prior to this year it would have been today’s outcome, given the circumstances. Last man, penalty, off. This year the rule reads, “A foul on a running striker committed by the last man of the defence will no longer result in a direct red card and suspension, unless the foul is violent or consists in a hand-ball in the box. As long as the foul is judged to be an honest attempt at taking the ball, the defender will only be shown a yellow card.” The foul was not violent, he did not handball and it was an honest attempt at a tackle. The decision should have been a yellow card and penalty.
As usual Aled Bellis strode up to take the penalty. Unusually he missed as the keeper managed to save and Prestatyn cleared the ball away.
What followed was the second controversial decision of the game. Josh Jones went up for a ball in midfield with a Prestatyn player. They came down together, got up, dusted themselves down and got on with the game. The assistant referees’ flag then went up and the game was brought to a stop. The officials conferred and then the red card was out again, brandished this time to Josh Jones of Buckley. Again, there was bemusement from all around both pitch and the side-lines as no one but the assistant referee knew why such a decision was made. Allegedly, Josh Jones had kicked out at his opponent whilst on the floor. Neither player saw it that way, so why did the assistant referee?
The game carried on with both sides down to ten men and Buckley continued to dominate. Their high press kept them in the ascendancy but we had to wait till near half time for Adam Eden to break the deadlock. Put in down the left flank he went on one of his powerful runs. To shouts of “he’s all right foot” he fainted left and then cut in on his right and drilled a shot into the top corner with, you guessed it, that right foot.
It was not long after the break that Shaun Tinsley kept up his fine scoring run with another to make it 2-0 and at last Buckley could relax somewhat but continued with their passing game and looked to penetrate a tiring Prestatyn at every opportunity.
Prestatyn’s only real chance of the game came from the penalty spot when keeper Joe Makaruk got caught with the ball at his feet in the box and whilst he desperately tried to recover brought the Prestatyn player down. He made amends in the best possible way by saving the penalty and it remained 2-0.
The ever-impressive pace of Aron Williams got Buckley behind Prestatyn’s defence again. He crossed into the box and onto the head of Adam Eden who powered the ball home for 3-0.
Buckley made their changes in quick succession with Chris Roberts on in the centre of the park for new Dad Phill Molyneux, Jake Roberts on for Adam Eden and Ryan Jones for Shaun Tinsley.
The chances kept coming as Aron Williams down the right and Dylan and Jake Roberts down the left continued to raid the flanks. With some better-timed runs and better finishing the score could have been much higher. In the end we had to wait till the ninetieth minute for Ryan Jones to get his first league goal of the season, with a fine right footed strike from outside the box, that was simply too powerful for the keeper to keep out.
Four goals, a clean sheet, three points, up to tenth in the league and much to be happy about. The key will now be consistency and we will look for that starting next week when we entertain Porthmadog at the Globe next Saturday.