Town fall to Flint second half revival
Denbigh Town 1 - 2 Flint Town Utd
Report by Iwan Jones
Photos by Steve Whitfield
A poor second half performance saw high flying Denbigh give up a one goal lead to mid table Flint Town United who deservedly came out 2-1 winners.
This was the first fixture at Central Park since January 6th and Denbigh’s supporters were looking for three points as the Town looked to catch up on league leaders Caernarfon.
Keighan Jones a recent signing form Llandudno Junction was making his home debut in place of the injured Jon Hill-Dunt and Dan Sullivan replaced the unavailable Corey Smart in midfield. Joel Hewitt, another signing from Junction was on the bench. Flint started with an old Denbigh favourite in their ranks – Alan Bull who had scored many important goals for Denbigh in recent seasons, whereas Denbigh’s Joe Culshaw was on Flint’s books last season.
Denbigh applied plenty of early pressure and had more possession in the opening ten minutes. Dan Sullivan playing a central midfield role saw an early shot easily saved by Flint’s keeper Nicky Bulmer. Gareth Partridge received a flick on from Josh Davies but saw his shot go wide of the target. Craig Pritchard fired a low shot which hit the post and rebounded into the arms of Bulmer.
Flint came more into the game and their striker Andy Brown broke through the Denbigh defence and shot just wide from long range.
Denbigh were playing some intricate patient football and it paid off on 21 minutes when Partridge, Pritchard and Rakim Newton all linked well and the ball was laid onto striker Josh Davies to fire in from twelve yards to give Denbigh a 1-0 lead.
Flint bounced back and forced two corners in quick succession as they looked to pull back the lead. Their centre back Steffan Halewood was unlucky to see his header loop just over the bar from a Levi Mackin free kick.
As the game headed towards half time both team had chances. Dan Sullivan had another shot blocked and Josh Davies was unlucky to see his header go just over the bar. Gareth Partridge could have given Town a two goal lead but his header went straight into the arms of Bulmer. At the other end Denbigh’s new keeper Keighan Jones was adapting well to playing into a strong sun and did well on catching several high balls that Flint pumped into the area.
A decent first half performance should have seen Denbigh more goals to the good than the one they had scored. Denbigh’s defence had kept the Flint forwards at bay and the game was in a comfortable position for them to go on and win.
However the second half was a different story. Flint came out and had more impetus as they attacked Jones’ goal. He saved well from point blank but was winded for a period.
On 63 minutes it was a Denbigh defensive slip which gave them the chance. Ben Nash fluffed a clearance from just outside his penalty area. The ball was played through to Richie Foulkes who blasted the ball past the despairing Jones’ arms to make it 1-1.
Flint were now on top and were winning vital balls and having the majority of the play. Denbigh appeared a little leggy and lethargic. Midfileder Warren Duckett replaced Ben Nash and Sullivan went into the Town’s back four as manager Eddie Maurice-Jones looked for Denbigh to step up the pace.
Duckett had an immediate shot at Bulmer which gave a bad bounce in front of the keeper and he was glad to palm the ball away for a corner.
However these second half chances were a rarity compared to the chances Town had had in the first 45 minutes. It was Flint who were making the chances and Denbigh’s defence was being stretched.
Denbigh suffered a blow when Craig Pritchard hobbled off after being on the receiving end of several hard challenges from Flint players which went unheeded by referee Aaron Jones.
Still Flint piled on the pressure and their winner came on 81 minutes when a cross down their right wing was fed through to substitute Sean Beck who fired home from 10 yards.
Joel Hewitt replaced Rakim Newton and he was in the action playing some great crosses which Denbigh forwards could not get on the end of. As Flint looked to play the game out a cross from Hewitt saw Duckett launch himself with a diving header which just flew over the bar. It would have been a great equaliser but was not to be and Flint ran out worthy winners based on their second half performance.
This was definitely a missed opportunity for Denbigh to keep up with the league leaders. They still have games in hand and must win these if they are going to achieve their goal of a higher league position.
Manager Eddie Maurice-Jones was disappointed with his team’s attitude in the second half and he will no doubt look to a much improved performance next week away against 4th placed Guilsfield.
Keighan Jones, Rakim Newton, Joe Culshaw, Liam Smith, Ben Nash, Matt Cook, Kristian Pierce, Gareth Partridge, Dan Sullivan, Josh Davies, Craig Pritchard. Subs: Warren Duckett, Andrew Swarbrick, Joel Hewitt
Flint Town Utd
Nicky Bulmer, Ieuan Hewitt, Jack Lewis, Levi Mackin, Steffan Halewood, Carl Rodgers, Alieu Sherrif, Rchie Foulkes,Alan Bull, Andy Brown, Kyle Smyth. Subs; Chris Bydrys, Rob Jons, Sean Beck, Mark Cadwallader.
Referee – Aaron Jones
Assistant – Sion Roberts
Assistant – Connor Fowler
Attendance - 106