League leaders beat Town
Airbus Broughton FC 2-0 Denbigh Town FC
Denbigh faced the unbeaten league leaders Airbus at the Hollingsworth Stadium. Airbus had won all of their previous eleven games and stood fourteen points ahead of the second placed team before the start of the game. Yet despite this Denbigh put up a spirited performance and were always in the game. Two goals from renowned striker Asa Hamilton was the difference between the sides in a game that was played at pace on Airbus’ 4G pitch.
Craig Vernon returned in goal for Denbigh after an injury and with Scott McHarrie being suspended. Sion Jones started in a central midfield position. Up front Lewis Sirrell took the role of striker with Mark Roberts moving to the bench as he was not 100% fit. Miles Todd returned at right back with Pat Hinchcliffe on the right side of midfield.
Airbus started the stronger and had several chances in the early stages but Denbigh’s defence stayed strong with both Tony Davies and Curtis Langton putting in telling interceptions to keep the Airbus strikers at bay. Denbigh had their chances with Lewis Sirrell doing well to find Sam Jones whose shot was comfortably saved by Dave Roberts in the Airbus goal. Jordan Barrow played a ball into the line of Bailey Jackson whose powerful shot from 25 yards was just too straight and Roberts was able to gather safely.
Airbus’ striker Joe Chaplin had two chances to open the scoring, firstly when he broke Denbigh’s offside line and headed for goal. A crunching challenge from Tony Davies stopped him and then minutes later he had another chance but this time keeper Craig Vernon brought out a great save to keep the sides level.
It was a fast and furious pace to the game. Some good play between Bailey Jackson, Lewis Sirrell and Jordan Barrow saw the ball crossed to Sam Downey whose header from 12 yards landed on top of the net rather than in it. Sion Jones did well under pressure in the middle of the pitch to find Lewis Sirrell who then had an audacious attempt from 30 yards at lobbing keeper Roberts but he was just wide of the goal.
The Wingmen took the lead on 19 minutes when their left back Curtis Strong cut inside to send a perfect cross into Asa Hamilton who had space in the penalty area to head past the outstretched arms of Craig Vernon.
Denbigh continued to battle at a relentless pace throughout the half with neither team able to get any real clear cut chance on goal. Both defences were holding strong and the teams went in at half time with Airbus 1-0 up.
The second half started and Denbigh had the first opportunity which fell to Sam Jones whose shot went wide. Just after Airbus broke but the attacking flow was stopped by a late Sion Jones challenge for which he received a yellow card. Curtis Strong was proving a threat with his crosses and he sent one in which caught Chaplin’s head and Craig Vernon made another great save diving to his right hand side.
Joint managers Dewi Llion Jones and Matty Jones felt it was time for a change with 50 minutes gone as they looked to get something out of the game. A double substitution was made with Tom Jones and Mark Roberts replacing Sam Jones and Sion Jones
Airbus then caught Denbigh napping and it was that man Hamilton playing a one two and then able to slot the ball past a diving Vernon to make it 2-0.
Town now had to push forward to get back into the game. The hard working Sam Downey found Mark Roberts whose cross just evaded Lewis Sirrell to run out for a goal kick. Jordan Barrow then for Sirrel only for the Airbus defence to clear and the ball came into the path of Pat Hinchcliffe. His well struck shot just sailed over the bar. Barrow himself then had a long shot on goal which went just wide. Lewis Sirrell found Mark Roberts’ head with a cross but Roberts header across goal could not find a Denbigh man.
The effort the Denbigh team were putting in was first class but they could not get the elusive goal against a well organised, effective Airbus team who are favourites to take the league title.
On 73 minutes Pat Hinchcliffe made way for 22 year old Marios Avraam who was making his debut for the Town. Avraam joined the club from AFC Liverpool and has been waiting just over a month for International Clearance before he could start for Town.
Town continued to attack and won a free kick just outside the Airbus penalty area for a foul on Mark Roberts. Sirrell fired into the wall and the rebound came to Jordan Barrow whose shot flew just over the bar.
Their last attack came from a long throw from Barrow which found the head of Tony Davies but his attempt was gathered by Roberts and minutes later the referee blew for full time
Both joint managers were upbeat after the game. Dewi Llion Jones said “Despite the loss the lads put in a great shift today. We worked so hard in all areas and played some good football at times. We were always in the game and we knew Airbus were always going to be difficult to beat. We can take a lot out of the game.”
Airbus Broughton FC
Dave Roberts, Brady McGilloway, Curtis Strong, Steve Tomasson, Joe Palmer, Kristian Platt, Ryan Edwards, Matty McGinn, Asa Hamilton, Leo Riley, Joe Chaplin. Subs- Lewis Buckley, Phil Clarke, James Hooper, Nathan Quirk, Seb Pawlak
Denbigh Town FC
Craig Vernon, Miles Todd, Bailey Jackson, Curtis Langton, Tony Davies (Capt), Sion Jones, Sam Jones, Sam Downey, Lewis Sirrell, Jordan Barrow, Pat Hinchcliffe. Subs – Jake Walker, Mark Roberts, Tom Jones, Marios Avraam
Referee – Mike Gray
Assistant – Conor Charlton Fleming
Assistant – Luke Allsop
Attendance - 175