Town lose to injury time goal.
Football can be such a cruel game. Denbigh Town lost to an injury time goal from Gresford’s sub Rhys Lloyd after a game in which they battled well with another good performance and had good chances to win it themselves, including a missed penalty.
DENBIGH TOWN 0-1 GRESFORD
After an impressive away win at Mold last week manager Eddie Maurice-Jones kept to the same team as he aimed to beat the club he had managed until November last year. Several ex DenbIgh players appeared in Gresford’s ranks with Dave McIntyre, Max Peate and Joe Newton playing key roles for a strong Gresford team which stood 4th in the league against Denbigh’s 10th position.
It was an even first half with both teams coming close to breaking the deadlock. Denbigh’s midfield of Cook, Partridge & Pritchard were making inroads and laying balls through to the Denbigh attack but were being thwarted by Gresford’s central defenders of Peate and Jones.
Strong challenges were coming in from both sides and referee Gray had to produce the first yellow card of the day to Gresford’s Josh Griffiths for a late tackle on Matthew Cook
Jake Eyre and Craig Pritchard combined well and Pritchard’s shot forced a corner. From the corner Gresford broke and Aaron Hassall was booked for obstructing the Gresford attack.
On 35 minutes Gareth Partridge found himself in space and fired from 25 yards to bring a good save from Platt in the Gresford goal. Minutes later it was Partridge again who was causing the Gresford defence problems as he got into the Gresford six yard box and laid a ball back only for the defence to clear it for a corner. From his well struck corner Liam Smith rose well and only just missed making contact for a close chance.
The second half continued with both sides going close. Town’s Matthew Cook forced Platt into a good save early on and then Gresford’s Tom Freeman shot brought a fine finger-tip save from Hill-Dunt in the Denbigh goal.
On 54 minutes a decisive moment came as Town’s Jake Eyre was put through by a ball from midfield and was in a one on one with keeper Platt in the penalty area. As he passed Platt he was crudely brought down for referee Gray to point to the penalty spot. As the crowd waited for the keeper’s red card referee Gray stunned the ground by only producing a yellow card for Platt.
To make matters worse for Denbigh, Alan Bull’s penalty shot to Platt’s right hand side was well saved by the keeper.
This spurred Gresford on and Dave Macintyre went close with a long range effort which beat Hill-Dunt only for it to hit the keeper’s right hand post. Then Joe Newton saw a shot just go outside the post
Both managers looked to change tactics as they made substitutions with Andrew Swarbrick replacing Alan Bull for Denbigh and Gresford bringing Don Doherty and Rhys Lloyd on for Tom Freeman and Owen Roberts.
It was Lloyd who in injury time managed to split through the Denbigh defence and beat the offside trap and round Hill-Dunt to grasp the last minute winner for Gresford. The damage was done and it was too late for Town to respond as Mr Gray blew his final whistle seconds later.
Disappointment for Denbigh, but they must take heart from another good performance against a side that are riding high in the league and are on a good run of form. They were unlucky to lose and must take the positives from the game forward to the next game away against league leaders Prestatyn on Tuesday 28th February kick off 7.45pm
Denbigh Town – Jon Hill-Dunt, Jack Riley, Nathan Williams, Ben Nash, Liam Smith, Craig Pritchard, Gareth Partridge, Mathew Cook, Alan Bull, Aaron Hassall, Jake Eyre. Subs; Kieran Gaul, Andrew Swarbrick, Andy Thomas, Tony Davies, David Lawson-Cooke
Gresford – Mike Platt, Liam Walsh, Dean Bryan, Max Peate, Jack Jones, Josh Griffiths, Joe Newton, Dave McIntyre, Owen Roberts, Jack Chaloner, Tom Freeman. Subs – James Sanford, Cavan Daley, Don Doherty, Sam Richardson, Rhys Lloyd
Referee – Liam Gray
Assistant – A Howe
Assistant – S McCormack
Attendance – 150