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Mullen sets target as Seagulls grind out valuable point; UNIBOND LEAGUE Colwyn Bay 0 Matlock Town 0.

Byline: TIM CHANNON

COLWYN Bay manager Jimmy Mullen has set his team a challenging target of four wins in their last six games to guarantee promotion to next season's new look Premier Division.

A hard- earned point against championship chasing Matlock Town edged the Seagulls back into the top 13,but with some 13 teams still chasing the six possible promotion places still up for grabs, their manager believes his team may need another 12 points to make it.

But he is optimistic that can be achieved after the commitment shown by his players against a Matlock side sitting second in the table.

``Matlock are a strong team and I was pleased with our performance. It was everything I had asked for after the 5-0 defeat at North Ferriby the previous week,'' saidMullen.

``Now we have to show the same commitment and desire over the last six games because I reckon we may need to win four of them to guarantee a top-13 finish.

``Matlock gave us a bit of a `tonking' in the first 10 minutes, but we competed well after that and might have won it.

``I was pleased with our new signing,Martyn Davies,and it was only a great tackle by their full-back which prevented him scoring.''

The Seagulls showed great resilience at the back in the first half when Matlock had most of the play,but the hosts were repeatedly denied as Colwyn Bay defenders got legs and bodies in the way of shots.

Keeper Matt Parry made a superb flying save to touch a shot from Steve Taylor around the post for a corner, whileKris Bowler broke clear inside the area only to fire high over.

Colwyn Bay came more into the game in the second half and James McIlvogue and Duncan Horler missed out on good chances when clear on goal -Horler shooting badly wide and McIlvogue slipping as he shot, directing a mis-hit shot straight at the advancing keeper.

Davies also had a chance to score as the ball broke for him 10 yards out,but full-back Steve Charles got in a last-ditch blocking tackle to deflect his shot for a corner.

Colwyn Bay enjoyed some good fortune at the other end, however, withMatlock's Danny Holland side-footing wide from close range with a goal at his mercy.

Matlock were also furious afterwards that they had not been awarded a penalty when Bowler's cross from the left clearly struck Bay skipper Carl Dwyer `s up stretched arm in the area.

The referee ruled it was ball to hand,but Matlock officials and supporters believed the decision robbed them of two valuable points in their bid to catch Hyde United at the top of the table.

COLWYN BAY: Parry,Dews,Wilson,Coverley,Heathcote,Horler (PJohnson 75),M Johnson,Dwyer,McIlvogue,Davies, Roberts. Subs: McGuire,Mackey.

MATLOCK TOWN: M Taylor,Bostock,Charles,Clarke,Davies,Lukic,Hopkins (Barraclough89),Warne,S Taylor,Holland, Bowler.Subs: R Taylor,Handbury.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 29, 2004
Words:491
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