Wingmakers stay top after Lido away win
AIRBUS came back from Afan Lido with three points having stretched their winning start to the season to three games.
With the likes of TNS and Bangor City having already dropped points, the win saw the Wingmakers continue to set the pace at the top of the table.
Ryan Wade struck the first shot on target after a minute but his near-post effort was held by Lido goalkeeper Rory McCreesh. Seconds later the home side’s captain Mark Crutch went into the book for a strong challenge on Steve Jones as the game didn’t take long to get going. On four minutes the hosts went close with a speculative effort by Luke Borelli from range.
The Wingmakers went in front on 10 minutes when a low corner played inside the area was smashed into the top far corner by Glenn Rule. It was another impressive strike for the midfielder’s collection, and it gave Airbus a 1-0 lead. A minute later Chris Simm nearly added to it when he had a shot inside the area blocked by a Lido defender.
A knock-down from Simm created an opportunity for Mike Pearson on the edge of the area after 20 minutes, but his half-volley went wide. Minutes later Pearson was involved in a controversial incident at the other end. After being tripped off-the-ball by Chris Hartland he retaliated with a shove in the penalty area, the officials awarding a penalty despite Pearson initially being the victim.
Hartland stepped up to take the spot-kick, sending James Coates the wrong way with a low shot to make it 1-1 on 25 minutes. The Wingmakers Chris Budrys was then booked for a foul as the game became more physical.
On 37 minutes the Wingmakers deservedly regained their lead when Chris Simm opened his Airbus account. It was a strike from the edge of the area which evaded McCreesh at his near post, putting Airbus 2-1 up. Lido nearly responded immediately as Hartland struck the bar from long-range, with the game developing into a very open one.
The Wingmakers held the advantage at the interval and the game continued its even pattern after the break – with both teams looking lively going forward with an hour gone. On 63 minutes Lido made the first change of the game with Kristian James on in place of Ryan Batley.
With 25 minutes to go a costly slip from a Lido corner saw the Wingmakers break downfield at speed through Ryan Wade and Lee Owens. They combined to outnumber Lido at the back, and put Chris Simm in on goal. He made no mistake in slotting home a low shot to make it 3-1, grabbing his second of the game.
Airbus then introduced Sam Hart and Nicky Ward in place of Steve Jones and Mike Roddy respectively. Lido replaced Gareth Phillips with Garyn Preen before Chris Simm picked up a yellow card for dissent.
Lido’s final change was Scott McCoubrey coming on in place of Luke Borelli with 13 minutes to go, and a couple of minutes later Wingmakers captain Ian Kearney was replaced with Phil Bolland. With the Wingmakers comfortable with a two-goal cushion the game petered out a bit in the latter stages, although Lewis Short went close with a shot dragged wide with a minute to go. At the other end Alex Evans headed narrowly over in the area from a Lido free-kick.
Ultimately the Wingmakers had done more than enough to maintain their 100% start to the season – and make a real statement of intent for the rest of the season ahead.
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