Fantastic win for Denbigh
Denbigh Town FC 3-2 Bangor City FC
What a way for Denbigh to pick up their first three points of the season – by beating a Bangor City team who only three months ago finished second in the Welsh Premier League. However due to FAW requirements which they have been unable to fulfil, they were relegated to the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance and it was the first time the two teams have ever met in a league fixture.
Denbigh welcomed a late loan signing Alfons Fosu-Mensah to their ranks from Llandudno FC, and what an inspirational addition to the squad he proved to be. Last season Fosu-Mensah was with Airbus UK FC scoring 20 goals in 31 outings, and his late arrival at Central Park seemed to give the team a new found belief as they started the game in confident style.
Bangor stood on top of the league at start of play with Denbigh languishing at the bottom having failed so far to register any points. Nevertheless it was Denbigh who started the brighter and within five minutes Fosu-Mensah had an early chance by using his strength to bustle off a defender and shoot into the arms of the City keeper Mullock. Other chances came for Town as they seemed to catch a nervous looking City team in the opening minutes and after ten minutes came Denbigh’s first of the night.
With the ball played into the City penalty area it found its way to young Sam Jones. He picked his spot from 10 yards and under pressure from defenders he slotted home a well struck shot ( see photo above). This sent the Denbigh crowd into raptures and a minute later it could have been two when some great play between Mark Roberts and Fosu-Mensah saw the big man’s well struck shot well saved by Mullock diving to his left hand side.
Two minutes later Fosu-Mensah was the creator as his cross down the right hand side found Sam Downey whose shot hit the post and bounced out with Mullock well beaten. The Bangor team were finding Town’s new signing a handful and he was proving to be a threat every time he had the ball.
Gradually City came more into the game and started to enjoy more possession but Curtis Langton, Miles Todd and Tony Davies were proving to be a solid back three and City’s actual attempts at keepers Craig Vernon’s goal were limited during this spell of the game.
Denbigh’s management of Dewi Llion and Matty Jones had done their homework on Bangor’s threat from set pieces and had organised the defence to combat any aerial battles and the defence played such a vital role in this opening half of the game.
On 25 minutes Denbigh were two up. This time it was a Sam Jones corner which found its way to Mark Roberts and with a great glancing header he found the back of the net. This was a great reward for Roberts who covered so much ground during the game.
Bangor came back strongly as Denbigh knew they would and during some frantic play in the Denbigh penalty area the ball hit a blue arm just before a Denbigh player also appeared to handle the ball. Referee Livesey had not seen the first hand ball by the Bangor player and despite vigorous protests from the Denbigh team and supporters, he awarded Bangor a penalty. He did not feel the need to consult with his assistants and the penalty was converted by Tom Fields. The protests saw Town captain Tony Davies receive a yellow card meaning he had to watch his step for the rest of the game.
As the half reached its end it was Bangor who was on top enjoying plenty of the ball, and Denbigh were entrenched in their own half for long spells. Well organised defensive work from the whole team was proving to be resilient and Bangor’s best chance fell to the experienced Les Davies who leapt well only to see his header just go over Denbigh’s goal from eight yards.
A stern talking to by the Bangor manager Craig Harrison saw City come out for the second half in determined fashion and after 50 minutes they equalised from a great shot from Jacob Farleigh which gave Craig Vernon no chance. Minutes later Vernon made an excellent save from Phil Baker’s shot as he finger tipped the ball over for a corner.
The pressure was building on Denbigh’s goal but the defence held strong. Town were still having their moments up front with Fosu-Mensah proving to be an asset in holding the ball up until his midfielders Lewis Sirrell, Scott McHarrie and Sam Downey joined up with play. It was as a result of this type of play that Denbigh got their third goal after 58 minutes and this time it was Rhys Llwyd who got it with a well struck shot giving Mullock no chance.
With half an hour still to play it was a time now to batten down the hatches as Bangor started to pile on the pressure anxious not to lose two games on the trot following their defeat to Portmadog earlier in the week.
All of Denbigh’s players now put in a shift as they saw the prize of three points on hand and at times their doggedness in defence was simply outstanding. Their tackling and marshaling of attackers was well disciplined and at times proving to be frustrating for Bangor’s forwards as the wanted equaliser would not come.
Sam Tate replaced Mark Roberts and shortly after Sam Cartwright came on for Rhys Llwyd. Cartwright was unlucky not to get Denbigh’s fourth as he sprinted onto a great ball from Alfons Fosu-Mensah only for keeper Mullock diving at his feet to thwart him
With the clock ticking away Denbigh managed to hang on to their slender lead and played the game out professionally. After four minutes of injury time the referee blew his final whistle to great cheers from the Denbigh supporters.
A team huddle from the winning team showed how much the win meant for a Denbigh squad that have worked so hard for the three points to get their season really under way.
Both Dewi Llion and Matty Jones were ecstatic after the game having claimed such a big scalp and Dewi Llion said “This is just reward for all the hard work the lads have put in over the last few weeks. We were all down after the Ruthin result, but tonight’s performance and attitude was just brilliant. We can’t wait for the next game”.
Denbigh’s next game is in a few days time at Central Park when they take on Prestatyn Town FC in the MG Nathaniel Cup on Tuesday 28th August 2018. Kick off is 7.45pm.
Craig Vernon, Miles Todd, Lewis Sirrell, Curtis Langton, Tony Davies (Capt), Scott McHarrie, Sam Jones, Sam Downey, Alfons Fosu-Mensah, Rhys Llwyd, Mark Roberts Subs –, Sam Cartwright, Sam Tate, Tom Jones, Jake Walker, Pete Lloyd
Chris Mullock, Lee Owens, Phillip Baker, Steve Hewitt, Cian Owen, Tom Fields, Jake Phillips, Sam Dool, Les Davies, Robbie Parry, Jacob Farleigh. Subs - Andy Coughlin, Sam Ashworth, Alex Darlington, Alex Boss, Samuel Jones
Referee – Alex Livesey
Assistant Referees – Sian Williams, Nathan Wheatley
Attendance - 310