Denbigh’s new first team squad travelled to Latham Park, Newtown to face Welsh Premier League opposition in what was always seen as a challenging friendly. Newtown finished eighth in the Welsh Premier League last season and have managed to retain the majority of that squad whereas Denbigh’s new management team of Matty Jones and Dewi Llion are having to rebuild Town’s team with a totally new group of players.
So despite the scoreline, it was an encouraging display from the young Denbigh side as they battled well in all areas of the pitch and had good spells when they controlled the game with some excellent possession of the ball.
Denbigh had made two new signings this week and they both started with Craig Vernon in goal and Joel Hewitt at right back. Hewitt was part of last season’s Town squad and the management duo were keen to get him back on board due to his versatility to play anywhere in defence . Vernon is a highly regarded keeper who has joined from Bala Town and is a welcome addition to the squad
Town started brightly and left back Bailey Jackson’s long ball found Jake Walker in space and his shot just flew over the bar. Newtown then settled and they were two up within 14 minutes with Ethan Jones getting both, one from inside the six yard box and the other when he nipped in to intercept a Denbigh pass.
Town fought back and Jackson had a shot from outside the box which Newtown’s keeper comfortably saved. Shortly after Jackson then floated a free kick into the box which just evaded the head of Tony Davies
On 27 minutes a superb ball from the impressive Ross Weaver split the Newtown defence. Sam Jones had started his run in anticipation of the ball and carried it into the penalty area and coolly chipped the keeper from 10 yards to make it 2-1.
Town could have equalised a few minutes later when great work by centre forward Jake Walker saw him lay on a ball for Trialist A whose shot just went over the bar.
As the game moved towards half time Newtown put more pressure on Town’s goal and they were three up on 38 minutes when Boundford fired in from close range and then just on half time Ethan Jones got his hat trick again from close range.
The second half started with Town looking to pull back the deficit and Jackson’s great cross was just a little too far for the outstretching Jake Walker to get on the end of it.
At the other end Vernon showed why he is such a renowned keeper when he made a brilliant save from Boundford’s header from six yards
Town continued with their original game plan and had a good move when Tony Davies fed Joel Hewitt and his quick pass to the hard working, efficient Scott McHarrie saw him play a ball onto Walker which was just intercepted by the Newtown defence to thwart an opportunity.
However on 57 minutes Newtown got their fifth, once again from inside the six yard box.
Still Denbigh persevered and great credit has to be given for their effort on a very warm still afternoon. They continued to create chances with Jackson feeding Triallist B whose shot went over, Curtis Langton playing a delicate ball over Newtown’s defence for Sam Jones to run onto but his shot was blocked for a corner and Tom Jones just shooting over after a pass from Trialist B.
The hard working Sam Tate was involved in lots of Town’s creative play throughout the game and just before the final whistle he played in Scott McHarrie whose shot went over Newtown’s bar.
Matty Jones commented after the game “It was another very good game for us. Newtown are a very good side and obviously in and around the penalty area box they proved to be clinical. We feel we played some very good stuff at times and the lads worked extremely hard out of possession. In possession we played some good football and the goal we scored was brilliant. It was another game for us to build on the work we have been doing, and another game for the players to get to know each other and understand how each other play. Overall Dewi and I are really pleased with how the players applied themselves today and the character and determination they showed will no doubt hold us in good stead come the start of the season”.
Their next friendly is away at Brickfield Rangers on Tuesday 17th July – kick off 7.00pm