TOWN LOSE OUT IN TOP OF TABLE CLASH
Denbigh Town 1 - 3 Guilsfield
Report by Iwan Jones. Photos by Steve Whitfield
Denbigh were looking to get back to winning ways following a disappointing 4-0 loss in the League Cup at Llandudno Junction and faced a well fancied Guilsfield team at Central Park on a warm autumn afternoon. Guilsfield were a place below Denbigh at 5TH in the League and it was sure to be an even encounter.
Last season’s game was notable for Denbigh going into a 4-0 lead after only 14 minutes and coming out 5-3 winners in the end and so Guilsfield were looking for a reverse of this scoreline.
During the week Denbigh’s manager Eddie Maurice-Jones had signed Joe Culshaw from Welsh Premier League team Aberystwyth and he started at left back due to unavailability of Nathan Williams. Denbigh were without other key players Steve Cunningham (dislocated knee) and Kristian Pierce (suspension).
Before the start Denbigh’s Manager Eddie Maurice-Jones’ was presented with his award for being made the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance Manager of the Month for September by club secretary, Steve Whitfield.
The game started with Guilsfield having the better of the early stages. On 5 minutes they took the lead when Adam Jenkins’ wicked cross from the left wing was missed by Denbigh’s defenders and fell to striker Asa Hamilton who blasted it past Hill-Dunt in the Denbigh goal.
Guilsfield could have doubled their score two minutes later when Jake Cook crossed an excellent low ball across Denbigh’s goal only for no Guilsfield forward to get on the end of it.
On 10 minutes Denbigh looked to have equalised when Jake Eyre floated in a cross which Josh Davies met with a looping header which was goal bound only for a Guilsfield defender to clear off the goal line. Denbigh’s players and supporters all claimed the ball was well over the line only for referee Rhys Ryder to wave play on after briefly glancing at his assistant for his decision.
This seemed to galvanise the Denbigh team and they had good periods of play with Gareth Partridge being instrumental with some telling dead ball kicks. Town’s Craig Pritchard was in the thick of things and he was on the receiving end of several mis-timed tackles from the Guilsfield defence.
Guilsfield meanwhile had chances themselves and Hill-Dunt was forced into an excellent save off Hamilton who was proving to be a handful for Denbigh’s defence.
On 32 minutes Guilsfield’s Jake Cook made a telling run down the right wing and Denbigh failed to tackle him and allowed him into the penalty area to shoot low past a despairing outstretched Hill- Dunt to make it 2-0 to the mid- Wales team
This took the sting out of Denbigh’s game as they tried to get back into the game before half time but were thwarted by a strong, well organised Guilsfield team.
Denbigh manager Eddie Maurice -Jones had some stern words to say to his players at half time and this had a desired effect as on 48 minutes Josh Davies broke through on the right hand side of the Guilsfield goal and was able to fire past keeper Wycherley to bring Denbigh back into the game.
However the raised spirits did not last for long as on 59 minutes, Denbigh failed to contest a long ball from Guilsfield’s defence and this put Asa Hamilton through on goal in a one on one with Hill-Dunt. He unselfishly squared the ball for an incoming Chris Catherall to fire into an empty net and give Guilsfield a 3-1 lead.
Denbigh looked to bounce back but despite their endeavour they could not get through a disciplined Guilsfield defence. Pritchard laid off a ball for Jake Eyre to fire at Wycherly only for the keeper to save well and push the ball out for a corner. Partridge shot well sending Wycherly scrambling to make a diving save on his right hand side. Josh Davies had a golden opportunity only for Wycherly to once again manage to make another excellent save.
Denbigh introduced changes with Andrew Swarbrick replacing Warren Duckett up front and Liam Smith coming on for Dan Sullivan who had a back injury.
The last 10 minutes of the game saw Denbigh put more and more pressure on the Guilsfield goal. On 85 minutes Gareth Partridge laid a great ball for substitute Swarbrick to fire into the net but he was adjudged to have been offside by the assistant linesman, much to the dismay of the Denbigh supporters.
More continued pressure on the Guilsfield goal came to nothing and the game ended with Guilsfield deservedly coming out on top 3-1 winners
Denbigh look to get back to winning ways next week when they make a return journey to Llandudno Junction, this time in the second round of the Welsh Cup – kick off at the earlier time of 2.00pm
Jon Hill-Dunt, Rakim Newton, Joe Culshaw, Dan Sullivan, Ben Nash, Matt Cook, Jake Eyre, Gareth Partridge, Warren Duckett, Josh Davies, Craig Pritchard Subs: Andrew Swarbrick, Liam Smith
Andrew Wycherley, Callum Bromley, Jack Richard, Stuart Rogers, Sam Litchfield, Robbie James (Capt), Jake Cook, Andrew Ford, Asa Hamilton, Chris Cathtrell, Adam Jenkins Subs : Curtis Weetman, Louie Irvine, Nathan Leonard, Gareth Jones
Referee – Rhys Ryder - Wrexham
Assistant – Graeme Bell
Assistant – Kane Peters
Attendance - 80