Town's season ends in defeat.
Denbigh’s last game of the season ended in disappointment as they were beaten by a well organised Llanfair team who are in a relegation battle.
The Mid Wales team had more to gain from the game as Denbigh have achieved a mid-table position after a poor start to the season.
The home team started the brighter and had more possession of the ball in the early stages and yet could not make inroads against the Llanfair defence and were not able to trouble Chris Brown in the Llanfair goal.
On the break Llanfair looked dangerous and Town were fortunate to escape going one down as Craig Pritchard lost the ball to United’s Andrew Hughes and only last ditch defending from Ben Nash aided by keeper Hill-Dunt saved a certain goal.
This spurred Denbigh and Aaron Hassall was involved in a move as he sped through from midfield to shoot, only for his shot to be deflected to Jake Eyre on the wing who tried to cross only for keeper Brown to intercept the ball.
Eyre then moved at speed down the right wing to the by line and crossed with pace for Alan Bull whose shot was cleared by the United defence.
Hassall and Eyre’s pace was causing the Llanfair defence problems and then Nathan Williams joined in the attack with a through ball to Craig Pritchard who turned his man sharply and fired only for his shot to be deflected safely into Brown’s arms.
At the other end Llanfair broke and Andrew Hughes’ cross was met by James Davies whose header brought a fine save from Hill-Dunt as he palmed the ball away for a corner.
Denbigh continued to press and Eyre’s shot went just wide of the Llanfair post followed shortly by Hassall and Pritchard linking well with Pritchard back heeling the ball for Hassall to shoot from outside the penalty box which Brown made a fingertip save to force the ball over the bar.
Just on half time Town’s Liam Smith broke from defence and laid a fine ball through to Bull but his shot was easily saved by Brown and the teams went into the break with no score.
The second half was only 10 minutes old when Denbigh’s manager was forced to make an early substitution with full back Gareth Partridge having an injury. His replacement was 16 year old local talent Iwan Murray making his Denbigh debut having recently signed from Rhyl where he has been since the age of 10 and developed through their youth system. Murray, a striker is a current squad player with Wales Colleges and has just returned from competing for his country in Italy.
Murray was soon in the action as he found Eyre who crossed only for the ball to just elude Kieran Gaul on the far right had post.
Denbigh’s pressure and ball possession saw Llanfair playing deeper and deeper into their own half which meant Town were being forced to take long shots after patient play as they could not break through the resilient back four. Matty Cook, Hassall and Eyre were all forced to take long range shots which all came to nothing
On 68 minutes some sloppy play by Town saw them lose the ball in midfield. The Llanfair partnership of Hughes and Davies took full advantage of this lapse as Hughes went through and laid a ball on for James Davies to fire past the helpless Hill-Dunt to give Llanfair a one goal lead.
Denbigh’s response was to go into attack and Hassall fed Pritchard who found Eyre who fired wide of the goal.
Eyre then ran through the Llanfair defence and his cross found young Murray whose shot went just wide of the target from 10 yards.
Llanfair could now sense they had a strong chance of gaining three valuable points and tensions grew both on and off the field. On 75 minutes strong words at referee Hughes from Llanfair manager Rhys Stephens saw him been sent from the dugout.
Denbigh continued to pressure the Llanfair defence who soaked everything and left Denbigh resorting to half chances which they could not take. Town pressed forward in the later stages of the game, but by doing so left themselves open at the back and that Llanfair man James Davies broke free at speed from the half way line to beat Hill- Dunt on 87 minutes to give the visitors a two goal lead.
With little injury time to play there was no chance of Denbigh getting back into the game and the game played its time out with Llanfair winning 2-0 and moving from 15th to 13th position to give themselves an excellent chance of avoiding the drop.
Denbigh meanwhile will look at this game as a missed opportunity to finish the season in style following the excellent run of form in March when they went undefeated. A poor start to the season has meant that a mid-table 10th position is a creditable end of season result. Manager Eddie Maurice- Jones has learnt a lot of his players in the last few months and he will now use the close season to look to strengthen the squad for next season’s push for success for the Club.
Denbigh Town – Jon Hill-Dunt, Gareth Partridge, Nathan Williams, Ben Nash, Liam Smith, Craig Pritchard, Mathew Cook, Kieran Gaul, Alan Bull, Aaron Hassall, Jake Eyre. Subs; Andy Thomas, Iwan Murray, Andrew Swarbrick.
Llanfair Utd ; Chris Brown, Alun Hughes, Marc Jones, Toby Evans, Daniel Jones, Ryan Davies, Joe Vaughan, Ben Jones, Josh Astley, James Davies, Andrew Hughes Subs: Callum Foulkes, Jamie Waldron, Aled Haynes, Michael Brown
Referee – Elis Hughes (Wrexham)
Assistant – Martin Trigg (Dyserth)
Assistant – Ned Hughes (Holywell)
Attendance – 130