Town work hard to earn all three away points
Penrhyncoch 0 - 1 Denbigh Town
Match report by Steve Whitfield
Sample Photos by Roy Gunther and Steve Whitfield
Denbigh Town made the long journey to Penrhyncoch eager to get going after weeks without a competitive game due to recent waterlogged pitches.
The team coach had two new players on board, both recently transferred from Llandudno Junction, namely right back Joel Hewitt and keeper Keighan Jones who was given a starting place due to regular keeper Jon Hill-Dunt suffering from a nasty knee injury.
The two Red Kites swooping down to the pitch had to make way for the players and referee Rhys Ryder started the match on a bright sunny Winter afternoon.
Both sides seemed eager to get going and on two minutes Denbigh's Gareth Partridge made a decent cross to Corey Smart who just could not quite make the contact he wanted to make it count. Moments later Penrhyncoch looked as if they were through on goal until Ben Nash intervened but was penalised and cautioned as Ryder felt he had deliberately impeded centre forward Steffan Davies near the edge of the box. Roosters defender Cledan Davies hit the free kick cleanly and powerfully but fortunately for the visitors it was too high and shot over the cross bar. As Denbigh tried to steady themselves Penrhyncoch's right back Matt Mosely put over a cross and Steffan Davies came close with a header. The visitors were most certainly not going to have things their own way and on ten minutes the Reds' other centre back Liam Smith was also cautioned for a foul.
As the game progressed it was Denbigh who began to look the better side though. They were certainly playing the better football as the half hour approached with Matt Cooke spreading the ball to both wings and Craig Pritchard, seemingly having a free roaming role, prodding and probing the defence. Penrhyncoch still looked dangerous but were more inclined to play the long ball down the sloping pitch. This tactic caused debutante keeper Jones to sprint out more than once to make a clearance. He dealt with any long range shots comfortably enough too which helped him settle in.
Right back Rakim Newton worked very hard on the right and was getting more than his fair share of the ball putting over cross after cross. The home defence coped well, it has to be said, with the centre backs Shon Davies and Jonathon Folignio looking very strong indeed. Folignio in particular refused to be bullied by Denbigh's Josh Davies and gave him no space at all. Nil nil at the half time whistle.
After the break Denbigh came out looking the more likely side and within minutes Kristian Pierce had hit the side netting after jinking in from the left wing and Corey Smart saw a well hit effort go just wide of the post. As Denbigh slowed down Penrhyncoch were back in the game with Steffan Davies being the main forward looking to score. He came close with a header and 25 minutes in this second period keeper Keighan Jones did well to block during a one on one situation. It has to be said that Denbigh were the stronger footballing team but despite the better possession they simply could not create the clear cut chances and the game looked to be going to a goalless draw. During the last fifteen minutes all three substitutes were used with Danny Sullivan replacing Matt Cooke, Joel Hewitt replacing Rakim Newton and Warren Duckett replacing Corey Smart. Duckett's inclusion into the foray in particular had an immediate impact. He was able to hold the ball high up front whilst cleverly shielding it before laying the ball off or slipping past his defender and was soon causing problems. The winner came with eight minutes left on the clock. Hewitt put a cross over from the right and whilst Duckett controlled the ball in the box the two home centre backs seemed to get into each others' way before the ball was laid back to Gareth Partridge hovering near the penalty spot. He hit the ball first time into the bottom corner out of reach of the diving keeper. His relieved team mates were delighted as were the travelling support.
Town safely saw the game out chalking up the result - Penrhyncoch 0 Denbigh 1
Full album of photos to be published later