Town knocked out of League Cup
Denbigh Town FC 0 – 2 Airbus Broughton FC
Denbigh welcomed Huws Gray Cymru Alliance league leaders to Central Park for this quarter final of the League Cup. With Airbus being unbeaten in the league this season holding a 100% win record and early favourites to become league champions, Denbigh went into the game as underdogs and were on the back of a 6-0 defeat to Porthmadog seven days ago. Yet for much of the game Denbigh were much the better team playing good one touch football which had the league leaders on the back foot for a large part of the game.
With central defender Curtis Langton having picked up a leg injury last week, Miles Todd moved into central defence and had an outstanding game putting in some great challenges and forming a strong partnership with captain, Tony Davies. Lewis Sirrell returned to the team at left back with Bailey Jackson still suffering a hamstring injury. Mark Roberts also returned to the team and midfielder Pat Hinchcliffe made his first start for the Club. Andy Thomas merited a call up as a substitute from the Reserves team as he had excelled the night before scoring seven goals in their 8-0 win over Penmaenmawr Phoenix Reserves.
Denbigh started the game playing into the sun and Miles Todd and Tony Davies were both called upon to clear their lines as Airbus applied early pressure on the Denbigh goal.
With 11 minutes gone Airbus were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position some 25 yards out. Both Leo Riley and Matty McGinn shaped up to take the kick with three men in the Denbigh wall. Riley’s run was a decoy as it was McGinn who shot around the wall to beat an outstretched Craig Vernon in the Denbigh goal to give Airbus an early lead
Denbigh had a chance to respond quickly when McGinn made a poor pass just inside his own half which Sam Downey capitalised on but his through pass to Jake Walker was a touch too hard and Roberts in the Airbus goal was able to collect safely. Young Scott McHarrie who has settled in well in midfield broke down the right and won a corner but this came to nothing. Denbigh were now enjoying a good spell in the game with plenty of possession, but were unable to put in that final decisive ball in order to bring the equaliser. Mark Roberts and Jake Walker linked well and Roberts was able to put in a cross which keeper Roberts just managed to gather from the advancing Walker.
Airbus were continuing to make forays into Denbigh half especially down their left wing. Their left back Curtis Strong was the instigator of most of Airbus’ attacks and he made several dangerous runs which resulted in excellent crosses which Denbigh were thankful to clear. Strong, on this performance stood out as a player who would be more than comfortable playing at a higher level.
As the half moved on, Mark Roberts had a chance from the edge of the box which went just wide of the post. Airbus should have had a second when on 30 minutes a Strong cross found Lewis Buckley in the six yard box only for the striker’s shot to somehow go over the crossbar. Strong was also the provider for James Hooper just before half time but he also could not finish from close range.
Denbigh’s half time team talk revolved around curtailing the effect Strong was having on the game. The second half saw his influence subside as Harri Lovett was and Tom Jones gave him more attention and this helped Denbigh’s play as the Town had lot’s more of the play during the half. A change of tactic saw Sam Jones replace Jake Walker on 55 minutes and shortly after Jones played a cross in for Mark Roberts to just volley over the bar.
Rhys Llwyd was introduced for a hard working Tom Jones on 66 minutes and a few minutes later Andy Thomas came on for Pat Hinchcliffe who had put in some strong challenges and played some deft balls during his Central Park debut.
Lewis Sirrell was having success down the left flank as Town looked for the equaliser and he linked well with Sam Jones to put in an excellent cross which just evaded the Denbigh attackers.
On 75 minutes Airbus should have put the game to bed but for a fantastic instinctive save from Craig Vernon, when James Hooper shot at pace from 8 yards only for Vernon to palm the ball away to safety
Chances were coming at both goals. Sam Jones volleyed wide from 12 yards for Denbigh before Airbus hit the crossbar at the other end. Andy Thomas was fouled just outside the penalty area. Lewis Sirrell stepped up to fire a shot over the Airbus wall which keeper Roberts scrambled to palm the ball way to his left hand side and then retrieve safely
As the game went into injury time, Denbigh conceded a free kick on the edge of their area. That man McGinn stepped up again and hit a low shot which was deflected off a Denbigh defender to wrong foot Vernon and the ball went past him into the net to give Airbus their second goal with virtually the last kick of the game.
Joint manager Dewi Llion said after the game “Despite the defeat this was a very encouraging performance following on from the Porthmadog result. We played some great football at times against a very strong Airbus team and were in the game right up until the last minute of the game when they got their second goal. The lads played well as a unit and we move on to the league game at home against Guilsfield in a week’s time”
Denbigh Town FC
Craig Vernon, Harri Lovett, Lewis Sirrell, Miles Todd, Tony Davies (Capt), Scott McHarrie, Pat Hinchcliffe, Sam Downey, Jake Walker, Tom Jones, Mark Roberts. Subs – Rhys Llwyd, Sam Jones, Andy Thomas, Sion Jones, Pete Lloyd
Airbus Broughton FC
Dave Roberts, Brady McGilloway, Phil Clark, Steve Tomasson, Joe Palmer, Matty McGinn, Ryan Edwards, Curtis Strong, Lewis Buckley, Leo Riley, James Hooper. Subs- Asa Hamilton, Oliver Lancley, Harvey Ellis, Nathan Quirk, Iwan Jones
Referee – James Walker
Assistant – John Spender
Assistant – Ryan Hughes