TOWN UP TO SECOND AFTER FIVE GOAL THRILLER
Denbigh Town 3 - 2 Caersws
Match Report by Iwan Jones.
Photos by Stephen Whitfield with full album including excellent photos from Roy Gunther to follow.
Eddie Maurice-Jones’ Denbigh team moved into second place in the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance after a hard fought win over a tough Caersws team at Central Park. A brace from Warren Duckett and a Kristian Pierce penalty gave Denbigh the points despite a spirited performance from the mid Wales team.
With heavy wintry showers throughout the morning, a late pitch inspection deemed the game playable. The Denbigh faithful supporters were treated to an enthralling game played in difficult conditions as the heavy showers continued throughout the game
Denbigh brought in Nathan Williams at centre back alongside Dan Sullivan, as captain Ben Nash was suspended. Matt Cook returned to the starting eleven after impressing in the previous Airbus game where he had started as a substitute. Town also welcomed new signing Corey Smart from Queens Park to the squad and he started on the bench.
It was Caersws who started the better and their centre forward Steve Blenkinson was unlucky to see his header just go over the bar from close range. Town responded by playing some intricate one touch football on the heavy pitch. Craig Pritchard linked well with Rakim Newton to play a great ball to Josh Davies but his cross was intercepted for a corner.
Minutes later the busy Pritchard played himself into the penalty area and crossed the ball only for the Caersws defence to clear scrappily. The ball came back to Pritchard who was fouled and referee Tom Owen pointed to the penalty spot. Up stepped Kristian Pierce to coolly slot the ball past Caersws keeper David Jones after 15 minutes.
A few minutes later Denbigh doubled their lead with some great play from Matt Cook linking well with Pritchard to lay a ball to Warren Duckett to fire in from 10 yards.
Caersws responded well and on 27 minutes broke well down their right hand side Denbigh with a low cross being met in the area by Luke Sherborn whose shot was blocked at point blank range by Nathan Williams hand. A penalty was awarded and Elliott Jones shot to Hill-Dunt’s right hand side. The keeper guessed correctly and dived to his right to make a brilliant save for Denbigh to keep their two goal advantage.
However two minutes later Caersws got the goal they deserved when Steve Blenkinson was on the end of a cross to fire in from close range.
The game moved into the latter stages of the first half with both teams having chances as the game ebbed to and fro.
It was a moment of magic from Warren Duckett on 41 minutes that saw Denbigh extend their lead. He picked the ball up in the middle of the Caersws right hand side, shrugged off a couple of tackles and ignored his left back Joe Culshaw’s calling for the ball. He edged closer to the edge of the Caersws box and let fly a curling shot that flew into the top left corner of the Caersws goal giving keeper Jones no chance.
Denbigh went in at half time 3-1 up, but knew they were in a game against a Caersws team who were still well in the game. Despite their being in the bottom three of the league they were playing well as a unit and their league position was giving a false picture.
The game continued with both teams having chances. Denbigh had a great chance for a fourth when following a free kick for a foul on Pierce, Joe Culshaw floated a ball into the Caersws box which fell to Pritchard whose shot was saved well by Jones.
On 62 minutes another break from Caersws saw a ball in from their right wing being glanced past Hill-Dunt by the head of Luke Sherborn to make it 3-2.
Chances were now coming at both ends and Denbigh’s manager introduced Corey Smart for his debut replacing Rakim Newton. The versatile Gareth Partridge dropped to right back as Smart took up a central midfield role. Duckett’s quest for a hat trick was denied when he was replaced by Andrew Swarbrick.
Smart was involved in move when Pritchard and Partridge played a ball onto him to fire from 20 yards but his fierce shot was blocked. Pritchard was involved in more and more of Denbigh’s chances and he himself made a jinking run into the Caersws box only for his shot to be easily saved by Jones.
Caersws’s Craig Harris then shot from outside the box which whistled past Hill-Dunt’s far post.
With the game moving to its final stages Denbigh managed to gain more possession and Josh Davies was holding the ball up well and winning his aerial battles with the Caersws central defenders. Swarbrick had a shot blocked by Jones and the rebound went to Pierce whose shot was also blocked and cleared.
Caersws were not finished and Harris sent in a high cross at pace which Hill-Dunt punched clear under his crossbar for a corner. The corner came to nothing and referee Owen blew for full time to the relief of the Denbigh team and supporters.
A hard working performance gave the Town three points in difficult conditions as they continue their great league form. With no game next weekend their next fixture is a local derby at Rhyl on Saturday 9th December kick off 2.30pm.
Jon Hill-Dunt, Rakim Newton, Joe Culshaw, Dan Sullivan, Nathan Williams, Matt Cook, Kristian Pierce, Gareth Partridge, Warren Duckett, Josh Davies, Craig Pritchard. Subs: Andrew Swarbrick, Liam Smith, Corey Smart
David Jones, Jack Parr, Phil Jones, Elliott Jones, Ryan Davies, Graham Jones, Rhydian Davies, Lance Jones, Steve Blenkinson, Luke Sherborn, Craig Harris. Subs : Aron Hughes-Jones, Gavin Samuel, Nevin Savage, Luke Roughley, Dylan McPhee.
Referee – Tom Owen - Wrexham
Assistant – Ben Miatti - Chester
Assistant – Tomos Barker - Prestatyn
Attendance - 90