First rate performance as new squad draw at Bala
Bala Town 0 - 0 Denbigh Town
Report by Iwan Jones
Denbigh’s best pre-season performance saw them share the honours with Welsh Premier League side Bala Town in an end to end game played in wet conditions at Maes Tegid. The Lakesiders were fresh from their exploits in the Europa League and only a few days earlier had beaten Sky Bet League Two side Crewe Alexandra. With Denbigh’s management duo of Matty Jones & Dewi Llion putting together a brand new squad this has to be seen as a highly creditable result and shows how the new players are gelling together.
Both teams came out at the start in an attacking mode and it was Denbigh with the first chance when Tom Jones’ well struck shot was saved by Bala keeper Charles. Shortly after Sam Tate did some excellent work on the right wing and his dangerous low cross was blocked and cleared by the Bala defence. Bala had their chances as the half progressed but the towering central defensive partnership of Tony Davies and Curtis Langton were proving to be a thorn in Bala’s attack as the pair won header after header to thwart any forays on Denbigh’s goal.
Right back Miles Todd was in the thick of the action showing great defensive skills aswell as setting up a great attack for Denbigh as he fed Sam Tate whose pass to Tom Jones saw Jones able to shoot but again Charles was able to save the shot. Just after Sam Jones and Bailey Jackson were involved in some great play with Jackson’s cross just missing the head of Jake Walker.
Throughout the game a lot of Denbigh’s attacks were being started by the midfield duo of Sam Downey and Ross Weaver who were also exhibiting their defensive abilities with some well timed tackles. They look to be forming a good understanding of each other’s play
On 28 minutes Bala were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Denbigh area for a foul and from the kick Denbigh’s new keeper Craig Vernon dived to his left to save well. Both Vernon and Tony Davies are ex Bala Town players and both seemed to be revelling playing against their old team.
As the first half progressed it was end to end attacks as the game developed into an entertaining affair. Denbigh’s striker Jake Walker was working hard and managed to lay off a ball for Sam Tate to run and shoot but Charles was able to save comfortably.
On 41 minutes came Denbigh’s best chance when Sam Jones weaved his way at speed to the by line and hit a low ball across to the six yard box which Jackson got his foot to but agonisingly went just wide of the goal. Young Jones was involved again minutes later as he played a ball to Walker whose hard strike was met by an outstretched Charles making a superb save.
Just on the end of the half Denbigh’s Vernon made a first class save from Burke as he palmed the ball over for a corner. From the corner Steve Tames’ header hit the crossbar and the teams went in level at half time
The second half saw Denbigh introduce their three substitutes with Sam Cartwright and Lewis Sirrell going up front and Scott McHarrie moving into midfield. Cartwright was involved straight away laying a ball onto Jackson whose fierce drive from 20 yards was tipped away for a corner by Charles.
Bala Introduced young Josh Jones who hails from Llandyrnog for the second half and he was unlucky not to score when his low shot hit the side netting
Debut boy Sirrell created a chance for himself when he chased down Bala’s defender on the touchline, pinched the ball off him and moved into the penalty area and shot only for Bala defenders to block his attempt.
Sirrell was involved on 60 minutes when he won a free kick on the edge of the Bala box. Tom Jones floated in a ball to the head of Tony Davies at the back post. He steered the ball across goal but Denbigh’s forwards were beaten to the ball by the Lakesiders defence.
McQuarrie was proving to be influential in midfield and up front Cartwright was using his strength and speed down the left wing and was involved in a lot of Denbigh’s attacks during the half.
On 69 minutes Bala had a strong penalty appeal turned down by the referee as Tony Davies challenged their forward. The linesman waved for a penalty but the referee overruled him and granted Denbigh a goal kick instead.
As the game moved into its final stages Denbigh continued to press Sirrell, Cartwright , Tate and Sam Jones all having efforts saved. At the other end ex-Wrexham star Andy Mangan made a great chance for Bala to win the game with a ball that neither Jones nor Tames could convert.
This was a really top class performance from the new Denbigh team and they can take great heart from the performance. Each player made strong contributions to earn a well deserved draw which could quite easily have been a win.
Joint manager Matty Jones said after the game “Very pleased. New system which we have not tried before and lads took, to it really, really well. To come and perform so well against a team that was recently playing in the Europa League was very pleasing. Some good individual performances out there today and more importantly a good team performances. You can see that the players are getting to know each other and gelling nicely. We want to keep on improving now and are looking forward to the next pre season game against Llanrwst, "
Their next friendly is home at Central Park against Llanwrst on Saturday 28th July – kick off 2.30pm
Craig Vernon, Miles Todd, Curtis Langton, Tony Davies, Bailey Jackson, Ross Weaver, Sam Downey, Tom Jones, Sam Tate, Sam Jones, Jake Walker Subs – Sam Cartwright, Scott McHarrie, Lewis Sirrell