Fosu-Mensah penalty seals well deserved point
Denbigh Town FC 1-1 Penrhyncoch FC
This was a game where Denbigh felt they should have taken all three points after having the bulk of the game and creating several chances to have won the game. In the end it was a 78th minute penalty from loan signing Alfons Fosu-Mensah that secured the point against the well organised mid-Wales team
Denbigh welcomed Ross Weaver back to the team after an injury layoff and he replaced the unavailable Miles Todd. Young Scott McHarrie moved into defence and had a great game adapting well to his new role. Bailey Jackson also returned to the starting eleven with Jake Walker dropping to the bench.
After a wet morning the game started in dry warm conditions. Denbigh were immediately on the front foot with Lewis Sirrell shooting from just outside the penalty area causing Oliver Fairbrother in the Penrhyncoch goal to palm the ball out for a corner. From the Denbigh corner the Roosters of Penrhyncoch broke and a cross into the Denbigh penalty area found their centre forward Liam Lewis in space and he should have put them one up but his header went wide of the goal.
Denbigh responded and from a great free kick from Bailey Jackson, Fairbrother misjudged the cross and missed the ball completely. The ball fell to a surprised Tony Davies who could not capitalise on the opportunity and the ball went out for a goal kick.
Denbigh were in control of the game in the first quarter of the game but it was Penrhyncoch who took the lead on the 9th minute. Once again it was from a break which saw them beat the offside trap with Liam Lewis running through with the ball from the half way line and with a composed finish he slotted the ball past Craig Vernon in Denbigh’s goal.
The influential Ross Weaver was finding his feet after his spell out of the team and he sent a great ball for Alfons Fosu-Mensah to run onto. His strength saw him shrug off a challenge from Sion James and unleash a shot which was well saved by Fairbrother.
As the half progressed Denbigh continued to have more of the possession and their crisp ball playing saw the Roosters defence having to drop deeper and deeper. Rhys Llwyd had three opportunities in close succession, one being a great volley after Bailey Jackson and Alfons Fosu-Mensah linked well to provide a cross which Llwyd volleyed and brought out a fine save from Fairbrother.
The Roosters were still looking dangerous on the break and on occasions the Town defence looked stretched. Following a Town attack when Bailey Jackson and Sam Jones linked well, Jones put a superb cross into the box which no Denbigh forward could make contact. Penrhyncoch broke straight away and Denbigh conceded a free kick just inside their own half. From the kick the high ball eluded everyone and fell to the feet of Liam Lewis whose shot just curled over the bar from 16 yards.
Half time came with Denbigh down 1-0 and the second half saw them coming out with more purpose. However it was Liam Lewis of the Roosters who had the first opportunity when his shot was well saved by Craig Vernon. Seconds later the visitors should definitely have been two up when Liam Doherty broke through. Vernon pulled off a brilliant stop to thwart the forward and this seemed to spur the home team as from then on they had their best spell of the game.
Sam Jones won a free kick when he was crudely fouled by Liam Jones who received a yellow card. From Bailey Jackson’s free kick, Town captain Tony Jones rose higher than anyone else only for his header to hit the side netting. A minute later Jackson sent in another cross and this time it was Curtis Langton who just failed to get his head to the ball.
The Roosters responded with Liam Lewis having an opportunistic shot which beat Vernon but hit the cross bar and bounced away to safety.
Tom Jones came on for the hard working Rhys Llwyd for Town and it was not long before Jones had a great chance when he collected the ball just on the edge of the area but his shot went over the bar.
On 74 minutes Alfons Fosu-Mensah chased down a defender on the left wing, bustled him fairly off the ball and headed goal ward with defenders in pursuit. He dribbled into the area and his shot just curled over the bar.
Denbigh made two further substitutions as time appeared to be running out. Sam Tate replaced the impressive Ross Weaver and Jake Walker came on for Scott McHarrie. With Walker’s first piece of action he won a penalty as he was fouled in a mix up between Fairbrother, a defender and Walker. Up stepped a confident looking Alfons Fosu-Mensah who blasted the ball into the back of the net on 78 minutes.
Both teams now pressed for the winner. Fosu-Mensah knocked down a ball for Lewis Sirrell but his shot went well over. Just after Fosu-Mensah was put through and once again his strength showed as he bundled off defenders only for his goal bound shot to be blocked.
A foul on Roosters winger Tomos Evans deep into injury time saw them float a well delivered free kick into the Town box but thankfully Craig Vernon came and gathered safely, which was the last action of a thoroughly entertaining game.
Speaking after the game joint manager Dewi Llion said “This was a much better performance than our Conwy display which just was’nt good enough. Today we fought more, wanted it more and played much better football. Whilst we wanted the win, a draw against a Penrhyncoch team who are always tough opponents is a welcome point on which we can build going forward”.
Denbigh’s next game is a tasty away encounter against local rivals Rhyl in the The Huws Gray Cymru Alliance League Cup on Friday 14th September 2018. Kick off is 7.30pm.
Craig Vernon, Scott McHarrie, Bailey Jackson, Curtis Langton, Tony Davies (Capt), Ross Weaver, Sam Jones, Sam Downey, Alfons Fosu-Mensah, Rhys Llwyd, Lewis Sirrell. Subs – Sion Jones, Jake Walker, Tom Jones, Sam Tate, Pete Lloyd
Oliver Fairbrother, Liam James, Elian Evans, Sion James (capt), Jon Folineo, Carwyn Jones, Tomos Evans, Antonio Curbisiero, Liam Doherty, Liam Lewis, Craig Williams. Subs – Owain James, Matthew Moseley, Jonathan Evans, Gari Lewis
Referee – Arron Jones
Assistant referee – Glen Gray
Assistant referee – Ryan Hughes