Denbigh move up to second place
Denbigh 3 - 0 Gresford
Match report by Iwan Jones
Sample photos attached see full album in due course by Roy Gunther and Steve Whitfield
Denbigh’s last home game of the season saw them comfortably beat mid-table Gresford and move up to second spot in the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance. With one game left to play which is away next week at Holywell, they know a win will give them the runners up place in the league. Holywell have four games remaining and could catch Denbigh, but a win for the Town would definitely secure them second spot.
Prior to the game a minutes silence was held in memory of the two young Denbigh men, Paul Corness and John Roberts Jones who both tragically lost their lives in a road accident over the previous weekend.
The game itself brought together sides which had so much in common. Denbigh’s manager Eddie Maurice-Jones was previously Gresford’s manager and when he moved to Denbigh he brought along with him Craig Pritchard and Gareth Partridge. Meanwhile Gresford had four ex Denbigh players in their line up – Max Peate, Simon Smith, Jake Eyre and Nathan Williams.
Denbigh had the majority of the play in the opening stages with Corey Smart having a long shot easily saved by Mike Platt in the Gresford goal. Shortly afterwards Smart was fouled just on the outside of the Gresford penalty box. Joe Culshaw’s free kick bounced against the Gresford wall and away to safety.
Kristian Pierce was on fire, running at the Gresford defence at every opportunity. However he found himself with a yellow card after 11 minutes as he over ran the ball and clattered into a Gresford midfielder.
Gresford came into the game for a while and ex Denbigh players Eyre and Williams linked well with William’s shot just going wide of Keighan Jones’ left hand post. This lead to a spell when Gresford came more into the game.
However on 25 minutes Denbigh scored their first. Rakim Newton did some excellent work down the right wing, laid the ball back to Joel Hewitt who floated a ball into the Gresford box which their defenders missed and the ball fell to Matt Worrall who controlled well and fired home from close range.
The game started to take an edge and both Newton and Gresford’s Mike Latham received yellow cards from referee Ashley Jones as the tackles started to fly in.
Denbigh where now dominating the game and on 38 minutes they were two up. Gresford’s keeper Platt made a sliced clearance which was picked up by Pierce who unselfishly squared the ball for Andrew Swarbrick to shoot in from 6 yards.
Further chances came before half time with Smart having another long shot deflected for a corner and from the resulting corner Joe Culhaws laid a pin point ball to Pierce whose shot was blocked and cleared.
The second half saw Gresford come more into the game and young Keighan Jones was forced into making an excellent save as Jack Chaloner got his head on the end of a great Gresford free kick and headed downwards only for Jones to respond with a first class save.
Town reacted well to this period by defending competently led by the solid Dan Sullivan along with Joel Hewitt who has settled well into the team over the last few weeks since he has had regular starts.
On 60 minutes it was Pierce again linking this time with Craig Pritchard and Pritchard moved into the penalty area and his well struck shot was deflected away for a corner. Minutes later the pair combined well again and laid a ball on for Swarbrick on the edge of the six yard box but he could not get a shot on goal before he was well tackled by Peate.
Denbigh’s third came on 70 minutes and was the culmination of some great play again from Matt Worrall who collected the ball on his right wing close to Gresford’s corner flag. He found Pritchard who laid a square ball to the hard working Gareth Partridge who sent a fierce low drive from 18 yards past the outstretched arms of Gresford’s keeper Platt.
More chances came Denbigh’s way with the best being Dan Sullivan having a free kick from 25 yards just going wide of the Gresford right post. Gresford did have their moments with Jake Eyre hitting one from 25 yards which Jones dealt with comfortably and Jones was on hand again shortly after to thwart Chaloner.
Denbigh’s manager Eddie Maurice-Jones now took the opportunity to bring on young Gruff Jones for Kristian Pierce after Jones had done well at Guilsfield the previous weekend. Miles Todd replaced Dan Sullivan in defence as Maurice-Jones looked to protect his players in readiness for next week’s game at Holywell.
Both Jones and Todd were involved in the action straight away – Jones showing some deft footwork to win a corner and shortly after Todd making a goal saving tackle to make sure Jones kept a clean sheet.
Maurice-Jones can take great encouragement from the performance with all his players taking great credit for a game well won. They now move on to the big game next week against Holywell in great form and looking to claim second position in the league.
Kick off is at 7.30pm on Wednesday 2nd May at Holywell
Keighan Jones, Rakim Newton, Joe Culshaw, Dan Sullivan, Joel Hewitt, Kristian Pierce, Corey Smart, Gareth Partridge, Andrew Swarbrick, Matthew Worrall, Craig Pritchard. Subs; Miles Todd, Gruff Jones, Eddie Maurice-Jones, Jon Hill- Dunt, Liam Smith
Mike Platt, Matthew Cole, Nathan Williams, Max Peate, Jack Jones, Josh Griffiths, Simon Smith, Jack Chaloner, Jake Eyre, Mike Latham, Dominic Docherty: Subs Adam Davies, Luke Medinger, Owen Roberts
Referee – Ashley Jones – Pen y Cae
Assistant – Glenn Gray
Assistant – Richard Dolphin
Attendance - 110