FLINT TOWN UNITED’S return to top flight Welsh football could not have gone any better as they opened up with a 1-0 home win over Newtown.

Back in the Cymru Premier for the first time in 22 years, Flint kicked off their season with a victory with boss Niall McGuiness declaring: “It’s a great start for everyone at this club.”

“It’s a great start,” continued McGuiness. “We should have been out of sight at half time but weren’t ruthless enough. Then we’ve had to cope with the sending off - and we did that so well.

“We got our shape right and limited them to very few chances.”

The Silkmen dominated possession early on, with ex-Lilywhite Mark Cadwallader flashing a header against the post on 11 minutes.

They did not have to wait much longer to break the deadlock, with high-profile summer signing Nathan Craig marking his full debut with a trademark free-kick that flew into the bottom corner on 33 minutes.

Flint were dealt a blow after the break when combative midfielder Rob Hughes, who played a leading role for Prestatyn during the first half of the title-winning campaign last time out, was sent off on 50 minutes.

“I can’t praise the players highly enough,” added McGuiness, who described it as a ‘massive shame’ that tomorrow night’s game at Cefn Druids looks likely to be called off after the Wrexham-based side didn’t meet Football Association of Wales COVID guidelines.

“We want to keep the momentum going from Saturday but it looks as if the game is off and that’s a massive shame, so we will prepare for Aber instead.”

McGuinness praised what he called ‘the togetherness’ in his squad in what has been a testing time in the build-up to their first top flight campaign of the 21st Century.

“They have been so focused and were in the zone from the off,” added McGuinness, who admitted that not playing with a crowd didn’t really affect his team.

“Once they get on the pitch, they know what they have to do. You could sense the real togetherness and camaraderie building in a team that had six new signings in from the start.

“Obviously things have to be done differently because of the circumstances we find ourselves in. The players arrive with their kit on under their tracksuits. We gave Newtown our dressing room and we set up a gazebo and chairs in an area for me to give the team-talks.”