Goals from debutants Lewis McMahon and Callum Howe helped Gainsborough Trinity to a 2-0 win over Colwyn Bay in Skrill North.
The Blues staved off what manager Steve Housham described as a ‘hefty storm’ from the Seagulls in the early stages, but were spurred on by a red card for Colwyn’s Cameron Darkwah for violent conduct, and in the end looked comfortable.
The home side started with a bang, forcing Josh Wilde to clear off the line from a Charlie Joyce header as early as the third minute and generally pressuring in the Blues’ territory, bringing out the best in keeper Phil Barnes.
For the three changes to the Trinity line-up, Dan Clayton once again provided the most potent attacking threat, hassling his marker Gareth Evans and drawing an athletic stop from Seagulls’ keeper Chris Sanna.
The best chance of the half though fell to Marc Williams, who seemed to have Barnes beaten after the Trinity custodian pulled off another top save to deny Evans.
Just a yard from goal, the striker first got the ball caught in his feet and then scuffed wide, much to the chagrin of the home support.
After passing a late fitness test, Darryn Stamp rattled the crossbar with just under half an hour on the clock, and the Blues settled into the game as the half progressed.
Although they couldn’t grab a goal before the break, Trinity ended the first 45 minutes with a man advantage after Darkwah saw red both literally and metaphorically, stamping on Dominic Roma after a fair tackle and giving Mr Johnson no option but to dismiss him.
Buoyed by their man advantage, Trinity started the second half with verve, and soon took the lead.
After Stamp won a corner from Evans, the ball was only cleared as far as Wilde, who lashed a 25 yard shot against the bar with Chris Sanna at full stretch, leaving the debutant Howe with an empty net to volley into and give the Blues the lead.
Despite their man disadvantage, Colywn Bay maintained a threat going forward in Williams and Rob Hopley, both of who called Barnes into action at various junctures as the second half progressed.
The game always looked like it had another goal in it, and it was to be Trinity that grabbed the initiative on 75 minutes.
After Jamie Wootton broke the Colywn offside trap and drew a full length save from Sanna, Lewis McMahon threw himself at the ball in the follow up and headed into the bottom corner to seal the result for the visitors.
Greg Young had a goal disallowed for a push with ten minutes left, but it was the day of the debutant as Trinity secured all three points with a hard-fought win.
Trinity: Barnes, Roma, Wilde, McMahon, Howe, Young, Russell, Toner, Wootton (Grimes, 76), Stamp (Barraclough, 61), Clayton
Subs not used: Davis, Willams, Lacey.
Colwyn: Sanna, Evans, Lea, Stevens, Sinclair, Crowther (L.Moss, 70), Joyce (Ellison, 80), Williams, Hopley, Williams, Darkwah
Subs not used: Pearson, E.Moss, Matthews.
Yellow: Lea (31), Sinclair (66)
Red: Darkwah (43)
Goals: Howe (49), McMahon (75)
Referee: Mr J Johnson