Town claim win in captivating encounter
Denbigh Town 3 – 1 Holyhead Hotspur
An incident packed game saw Denbigh grind out three points in game that was full of incident which saw Town’s left wing back Lewis Sirrell stepping in goal for over half the game following an injury to keeper Craig Vernon. In a feisty second half tempers flared and Holyhead finished the game having had two of their players sent off.
With both teams in the bottom three of the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance this was a massive game for both teams with both look for the three points to climb up the table. Denbigh’s recent signing Dan Lloyd from Llandyrnog Utd started at left back following Bailey Jackson’s suspension and Sion Jones stepped in at right back for the unavailable Miles Todd.
In a promising start for Denbigh, Lloyd was immediately in the action linking well with Mark Roberts to force an early corner. Lewis Sirrell was seeing plenty of the ball and sent a deft ball over the Hotspur defence only for Mark Roberts’ shot to be comfortably saved by keeper Carl Jones. Denbigh were having more possession in these stages and Curtis Langton had an opportunity on the edge of the box but his strong shot was straight at Jones. Sirrell then had a great run from left midfield and his cross just eluded the stretching Jordan Barrow.
Holyhead gradually came more into the game and forced a free kick on the edge of Denbigh’s box following a foul on Mel McGuiness. The cross from the kick caused mayhem in the Denbigh box and Hotspur were unlucky to see the ball go just wide of Vernon’s goal.
With the game now flowing from end to end Jordan Barrow fed Mark Roberts down the right wing and his low cross to Pat Hinchcliffe was blocked by a defender and cleared to safety. At the other end Dean Garney’s strike from the edge of the box caused Craig Vernon to scramble across the goal and parry the ball away for a corner.
On 30 minutes Holyhead’s attacking saw a high ball towards the Denbigh goal which Curtis Langton headed back towards Craig Vernon with an attacker breathing down his neck. The header meant a 50/50 challenge for Vernon and the attacker which saw Vernon bring down the attacker in the penalty area and referee Mark James pointed to the spot. Vernon had been injured in the challenge and groggily stood to face the kick which Mark Evans took for Hotspur and fired home to give them a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later and the game was held up as Vernon received treatment for his knock and the outcome was he could’nt continue. Sam Jones came on to replace him with Lewis Sirrell volunteering to take the gloves in Denbigh’s goal.
With his second touch of the game Sam Jones had levelled the score. A superb ball towards the back post saw Pat Hinchcliffe’s looping header bringing out an excellent save form Carl Jones but the ball fell to the feet of Sam Jones who coolly slotted the ball home.
Half time came with the game level and Joint Managers Dewi Llion and Matty Jones had a chance to regroup their men and formulate a strategy for the second half. Protection of stand in keeper Lewis Sirrell was their priority, and so the second half started with Hotspur putting pressure on the Denbigh goal. The outstanding Tony Davies played his captain’s part but putting in some great challenges none more so than in the 52nd minute when he flew in to intercept a Holyhead attack and concede a corner. Davies was unlucky not to score at the other end when his bullet header went just wide of the target.
Holyhead’s attacks on Sirrell’s goal were putting the Denbigh defence under the expected pressure they felt was coming. Sirrell however was proving a sound replacement with excellent positioning senses and a safe pair of hands. He showed no fear when being challenged for high balls and his teammates rallied round him to protect his goal.
On 65 minutes Denbigh took the lead from a brilliant volley from Pat Hinchcliffe. It followed a Barrow corner which had the ball bouncing everywhere. The ball fell to Hinchcliffe at waist height some 10 yards out and he responded with a fierce volley which gave Jones no chance.
Tackles now started to fly in as Denbigh looked to retain their lead and Holyhead anxious to draw level. Several heated moments occurred with referee Mark James having to produce his yellow card to players of both sides as he looked to maintain control of the game.
Denbigh brought on subs Tom Jones and Jake Walker for Sion Jones and Pat Hinchcliffe as they looked to consolidate their lead, but Holyhead continued to pressurise their goal. They won a free kick just outside Denbigh’s box but Kenny Owen’s shot went straight in to the Denbigh wall. Sirrell was then forced to dive to his right to bring out a fine stop and he parried the ball out for young Scott McHarrie to clear.
Holyhead sub John Littlemore had a great chance to level the scores as he found space in the six yard box as the ball floated over only for him to be unable to put any power on his header and Sirrell was able to gather comfortably
As the game moved into injury time Mark Roberts chased a ball down the right side of his pitch and put pressure on a defender and fouled him. With the ball being dead Roberts picked himself up only for Holyhead’s keeper Carl Jones to barge into him and push him over and after referee Mark James consulted his linesman Jones was red carded and left the field. Holyhead, like Denbigh earlier were now forced to replace their keeper.
A high ball over the Holyhead defence saw Jake Walker latch onto it and as he moved goalwards he was brought down in the box and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Tony Davies to take the kick which the keeper got his hands to and pushed against the post only for the ball to creep over the line and a goal was awarded, much to Holyhead’s protests as they felt the ball had not crossed the line. As a result of the protests Hotspur defender Dan McGuiness was given a second yellow card and he departed meaning Holyhead saw out the game with nine men.
An eventful game to say the least with plenty of incidents, this was a real battling performance from Denbigh and gave them a well earned three points. Joint Manager Matty Jones said after the match “A performance defined by character and spirit with Lewis Sirrell stepping up to the plate in goal. It’s such a pleasure to be involved with this group of players – they gave everything tonight and got their rewards with a welcome three points”.
Denbigh Town FC
Craig Vernon, Sion Jones, Dan Lloyd, Curtis Langton, Tony Davies (Capt), Scott McHarrie, Pat Hinchcliffe, Sam Downey, Mark Roberts, Jordan Barrow, Lewis Sirrell: Subs – Jake Walker, Sam Jones, Tom Jones, Marios Avraam, Rhys Llwyd
Carl Jones, Dan McGuiness, Kenny Owen, Caio Hywel, Tom Clarke (Capt), Rees Brown, Dean Garney, Corey Jones, Mark Evans, Mel McGuiness, Aron Jones-Hughes: Subs – John Littlemore, Harry Galleotti, Alex Jones, Jamie McDaid, Dan Williams
Referee – Mark James
Assistant – Connor Fowler
Assistant – Martin Trigg
Attendance - 80