Town back to winning ways in style
Denbigh Town 5 - 1 Holyhead Hotspur
Match Report by Iwan Jones
Photos by Roy Gunther and Steve Whitfield [ see separate album for full selection of pics ]
On a wet Friday night Denbigh got back to winning ways with a comprehensive win over a spirited Holyhead Hotspur team.
With leading goalscorer Josh Davies having left for a spell to play for Melville Town in New Zealand, manager Eddie Maurice-Jones had to make changes to his usual formation. With striker Andrew Swarbrick ill, Warren Duckett was tasked with stepping into Davies’ shoes. New signing 23 year old Matthew Worrall had signed from Llay Welfare in the week to give more options up front and he started on the bench.
Mid table Holyhead had been forced into fielding several reserve players because of suspensions and injuries and had a somewhat youthful line up.
Denbigh had much of the early play and looked to take control of the game with their midfield having more possession. Joe Culshaw and Craig Pritchard linked well for Pritchard’s shot to be well saved by his namesake Pritchard in the Hotspur goal. Shortly after Gareth Partridge fed Pritchard again and once again the keeper saved well. Pritchard was involved in another attack when a great through ball from Kristian Pierce found him unmarked and with just Holyhead's Pritchard to beat, he squared the ball for Duckett but with too much pace and the ball ran out for a goal kick.
Town’s pressure soon paid off though when on 21 minutes a superb ball from Corey Smart found Pierce in the box. He controlled the ball well and turned the defender before firing the ball into the net to give Denbigh a deserved lead.
Denbigh’s dominance continued throughout the rest of the first half but they could not find that second goal. Duckett came close but his shot was blocked for a corner. Pritchard jinxed past two defenders only for his shot to also be blocked.
Holyhead had their moments and did make forays into the Denbigh penalty area but new keeper Keighan Jones dealt confidently with everything he was called upon along with his defenders keeping the Holyhead attack at bay.
Town had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down just before half time as Pierce put Duckett through only for Corey Jones to slide in with a tackle which brought the forward down. In the muddy conditions referee John Jones adjudged the tackle to be fair and turned away the Denbigh claims.
With Denbigh leading 1-0 at half time the home supporters were hoping they kept up with their momentum, unlike the previous Flint home game when they had dominated the first half, gone in 1-0 up and then had a poor second half which saw Flint claim a 2-1 win.
Holyhead came out for the second half spurred up and put immediate pressure on Jones’ goal. With 51 minutes gone they drew level when some intricate play by Dewi Thomas saw him feed Jamie McDaid who fired into the net.
Unlike the Flint game, Denbigh responded well and on 54 minutes Craig Pritchard’s shot ricocheted off a defender into the net to give the lead back to the Town.
Manager Eddie Maurice Jones wishing to maintain the lead on a heavy pitch made a double substitution by introducing Rakim Newton for Liam Smith and Joel Hewitt for Corey Smart. Shortly after Duckett made way for debutant Matthew Worrall.
The new legs gave new impetus to Town’s attack with Newton providing some excellent runs down the right wing. He was instrumental in the third goal as his meandering run got him into the penalty area and he unselfishly laid a quality ball onto Worrall who showed coolness to slot the ball home after 66 minutes, only three minutes after coming on.
Newton was involved in the fourth goal as this time he linked well with Hewitt and then passed onto Pritchard to score his second of the night after 73 minutes.
Denbigh were now completely in control and the fifth came after 84 minutes when Worrall was able to slot home after Pierce and Newton had worked well together to set him up for his second strike.
Both Worrall and Pritchard then had chances towards the end to score their hat tricks but even so Denbigh were good money for their 5-1 win. This was a much improved performance on a difficult playing surface
Next game is Saturday 17th March away at second placed Airbus Broughton FC.
Keighan Jones, Liam Smith, Joe Culshaw, Dan Sullivan, Ben Nash, Matt Cook, Kristian Pierce, Gareth Partridge, Warren Duckett, Corey Smart, Craig Pritchard. Subs: Joel Hewitt, Rakim Newton, Matthew Worrall
Paul Pritchard, Harry Lewis, Rees Brown, Corey Jones, Alex Jones (Capt), Dewi Thomas, Mike Kelly, Alex Boss, John Littlemore, Jamie McDaid, Kenleigh Owen. Subs; Kyle Murphy, Chris Dunn, Simon Davies, Mervyn Williams.
Referee – John Jones - Mold
Assistant – Glenn Gray - Rhyl
Assistant – Martin Trigg – Dyserth
Attendance - 115