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Football: Derby is key as Flint and Buckley set targets for Huws Gray Alliance

FLINT Town United boss Paul Davies said it was vital for his side to rearrange Saturday’s postponed Huws Gray Alliance derby at Buckley Town for tomorrow night (7.30pm).

Flint have not played for three weeks and Davies feared another delay could jeopardise their hopes of a top-three place and progress in the Welsh Cup.

“If we had not agreed to play so soon we would have gone four weeks without a game,” he said.

“We play Rhyl at home a week Saturday and have a Welsh Cup tie after that and although the lads have tried to keep themselves in shape, with no games they are not where we would like them.”

The wet weather has not just affected games. The Silkmen have also struggled to train over Christmas.

“The all-weather pitches have been shut and the regular pitches have been waterlogged,” said Davies. “We have played against our reserves on a pitch ankle-deep in mud but it is not the same.”

But he admitted it was the same for his counterpart at Buckley, Gareth Thomas.

For Thomas a place in the top four is up for grabs if the Bucks can win tomorrow’s derby.

“We have improved a lot and I felt we were unlucky not to take more from our match against Rhyl on Boxing Day,” he said.

“If we beat Flint we could get a top four place but if not we are looking at the top six as the best we can do.”

Both managers have fully fit squads to choose from.

Rhydymwyn came from behind to beat 10-man Penycae 2-1 on Saturday and lift themselves away from the danger zone.

With other games called off at the weekend due to waterlogging, Rhyd put vital points on the board despite falling a goal down.

Lee Reynolds was brought down inside the box allowing Dan Drazdauskas to slot home an equalising penalty on 35 minutes.

In the second half, Lee Reynolds stooped for a far post header to snatch the points for Rhyd.

Only one game was played in the Alliance on Boxing Day as Buckley Town slipped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Huws Gray Alliance leaders Rhyl.

Earlier this season Buckley became one of only three sides to take points off the Belle Vue side when they held them to a 2-2 draw at Globe Way, but on their own turf Rhyl ensured there was no repeat with two first-half strikes.

Belle Vue was boggy and sodden but the game went ahead and Matty Hughes and Ryan Astles went close for Gareth Thomas’ team as they took the game to their hosts.

On 22 minutes Rhyl broke the deadlock, however. A throw in found its way to Danny Hughes who lashed home an 18-yard volley.

Greg Strong’s table-toppers struck again on the stroke of half time when Marc Evans finished at the back post following a free kick.

Buckley were still looking for a way back after the break and Adam Eden rattled the crossbar as they came close.

Thomas was magnanimous in defeat.

“I’ve got no complaints about the scoreline – in fact I thought Rhyl could have picked us off more comfortably in the end,” he said. “If you’re going to get anything at Rhyl you need everything to go your way and that didn’t happen.

“Rhyl are a quality side and I’m sure they’ll go on to win the league at the third attempt.”