Bull hat-trick seals win for Town
Denbigh Town’s excellent run of form continued with a comprehensive win over fourth placed Flint Town Utd.
An early pitch inspection had deemed the game to be playable and it was Denbigh who started the brighter with Andrew Swarbrick breaking down the right wing only for his cross to be collected by the Flint keeper. Flint responded with their centre forward Andy Brown brushing off a Ben Nash challenge but his shot was wide of the target.
Denbigh’s Alan Bull then found himself in space and fired a left foot shot from just outside the penalty box which missed the far top corner of the goal by inches
On 7 minutes, some intricate play between Matt Cook and Craig Pritchard on the right wing enabled Pritchard to send a low cross for Andrew Swarbrick to meet it and finish it in style for Town to go one up.
Flint came back almost immediately as Brown was unlucky to miss as his shot hit Hill-Dunt’s crossbar from what was a great opportunity to equalise
The game was developing into an end to end game with chances for both sides. Aaron Hassall broke down the left wing, cut inside and turned onto his right foot to shoot just over the bar. Bull had another chance which was well saved by Jones in the Flint goal.
Andy Brown for Flint then had two great chances to bring the sides level only for Hill-Dunt in Denbigh’s goal to make two great saves to keep Denbigh in the lead.
Flints’ Jon Hill made a rash challenge on Town’s full back Jack Riley just inside the Flint half and was yellow carded. From the free kick Riley then floated the ball into the penalty area only for the Flint defence to clear as far as Town’s Liam Smith, who beat two men and crossed only for Jones to punch clear and relieve the pressure on the Flint defence.
Another neat move by Smith saw him beat a Flint midfielder to put Gareth Partridge in space to score only for the assistant to rule him offside.
Hill-Dunt was forced into another fine save diving to his right of a fierce drive from Flint’s Kyle Smith.
On 32 minutes the hard working creative Matt Cook spread a ball over to Town’s young full back Nathan Williams who had overlapped well on his wing. He laid the ball back for Aaron Hassall to send in a wicked cross which was met by Alan Bull on the far post who volleyed home to send Town 2-0 up.
The third goal came minutes later as a square ball from Pritchard to Bull found the striker able to jink his way passed a defender and blast home to the far post.
3-0 at half time put Denbigh in a commanding position and this was developing into another fine performance following the impressive 3-1 victory earlier in the week at the until then undefeated league leaders Prestatyn.
Flint needed to change their tactics and made a half time substitution with Steve Cunningham replacing Mark Cadwallader. Shortly after this on 53 minutes it looked to have paid off as Flint piled the pressure on the Denbigh goal and a cross was met by Andy Brown to tap home from close range.
This Denbigh team was not for dropping their guard again and they moved forward with Cook firing a long shot over Jones’ bar. Minutes later Bull played Hassall a ball which he took inside his man and shot only for Jones to make a fine save.
In the 63rd the rejuvenated Alan Bull capped off a fine performance with his hat-trick, as he rounded a Flint defender to connect well with the ball and send his shot into the top right hand corner of the Flint goal and put Denbigh into a 4-1 lead.
Flint made further substitutions as did Denbigh who introduced local youngster Andy Thomas for Andrew Swarbrick. Thomas was immediately into the action as he linked well with Pritchard and Cook, and was through on goal only for Flint defender Holt to tackle him forcing a corner.
Another local youngster David Lawson-Cooke replaced the hard working effective Craig Pritchard on 80 minutes
Just after, from a Gareth Partridge corner the ball fell to Bull who shot only for the keeper to make a comfortable save. That was Bull’s last piece of action as he made way for Kieran Gaul. He’d inflicted enough damage on the Flint defence
Flint were still looking to get back into the game at this late stage and Brown was put through to round keeper Hill-Dunt and shoot only for the excellent Liam Smith to head clear off his goal line. Hill- Dunt was then forced to make two top class saves from Flint’s attack in quick succession both by diving to his left hand side and palming the ball wide
Town’s subs then all combined well with Gaul finding Lawson-Cooke who dummied the ball to put Thomas through on goal but his shot was straight at keeper Jones
It was another top class performance from the Town with all players excelling and manager Eddie Maurice Jones must be so pleased with the effort put in by his players. The young back four of Riley, Williams, Nash and Smith are playing well as a unit and gaining in confidence every week, helped by the experienced keeper Hill Dunt who was outstanding again following on his exploits at Prestatyn. In midfield Partridge, Pritchard and Cook provide the engine room of the team and are linking well with the forwards Bull, Hassall and Swarbrick who posed a threat on the Flint goal at each attack.
Next up is a trip to Anglesey for an away game against Holyhead Hotspur on Saturday 11th March – kick off 2.30pm
Denbigh Town – Jon Hill-Dunt, Jack Riley, Nathan Williams, Ben Nash, Liam Smith, Craig Pritchard, Gareth Partridge, Mathew Cook, Alan Bull, Aaron Hassall, Andrew Swarbrick. Subs; Kieran Gaul, Andy Thomas, David Lawson-Cooke
Flint Town Utd – Ben Jones, Jon Hill, Joe Culshaw, Levi Mackin, Jon Davies, Matty Holt, Stuart Carroll, Mark Cadwallader, Andy Brown, Sean Beck, Kyle Smith Subs: James Hooper, Luke Tyson, Steve Cunningham, Adam Eden, Adam Edgar
Referee – Dan Fogerty
Attendance – 140