COLWYN BAY’S early season promotion hopes were given a huge boost by beating title hopefuls Buxton 2-1 at the weekend.
John Newby was again the deciding factor, slotting home an 80th minute penalty to take all three points.
The win puts the Bay fourth in the table, having claimed 30 points from their opening 17 games, and are now just six points off top team Halifax Town.
Seagulls manager Dave Challinor was delighted with the vital victory, which kicks off a tough run of matches which look likely to shape this season’s fortunes.
"It was a massive win for us and I was delighted with the performance and particularly our work rate,” he said.
“It was the start of three huge games which we feel will go a long way to deciding whether or not we are going be up there or there about at Christmas."
Player-manager Challinor also hopes he has cracked the conundrum of his side’s patchy home form, with a 5-3-2 formation forcing opponents to play to the Bay’s strength, allowing a back three of Danny Grannon, Joe McMahon and himself to repel visiting attacks.
“Obviously our home form has not been as good as when we are away, but that has something to do with the way teams are line up against us at home, so we believed If we can put pressure on teams and force them to play long then myself, Danny and Joe can clean things up at the back all day.
Challinor’s new-look line-up again paid off, with his charges putting in an up-tempo display to enjoy the best of the play, creating a number of chances and restricting their second placed opponents for most of the game.
After a goaless first half, the Seagulls took the lead on 57 minutes when Danny Grannon capitalised on Buxton’s inability to clear from a corner, heading home Karl Noon’s cross.
But the lead lasted just four minutes, with Mark Read finding space to head home.
The introduction of Gareth Evans for Mick McGraa gave some impetus to the Bay attack, and the sub was brought down by Buxton captain Gregg Anderson ten minutes from time to give Newby his match winning chance from the spot.
Last night (Tuesday), the Bay welcomed FC United of Manchester to Llanelian Road, while on Saturday, they travel to Matlock Town (KO 3pm).