Rhyl take the derby honours
Denbigh Town 0-2 Rhyl
On a bitterly cold evening Rhyl come out winners of this local derby courtesy of two second half goals from ex-Denbigh players Ben Nash and Kristian Pierce. Denbigh battled well throughout in this keenly awaited fixture which also saw the opening of the new Denbigh Town Club House.
Denbigh had beaten Rhyl in the League Cup earlier in the season and welcomed Tony Davies and Sam Downey back into the starting eleven whilst Miles Todd was suspended. With Rhyl manager Eddie Maurice-Jones being in charge at Denbigh last season the game had an added interest with four of last season’s Denbigh team in their starting eleven with another two on the bench. Matty Jones, Denbigh’s joint manager had been in charge at Rhyl last season and he fielded two ex-Rhyl players in his starting line up.
Rhyl were looking to extend their winning run to nine consecutive wins but it was Denbigh who had the better start with Bailey Jackson sending a great cross which fell to Pat Hinchcliffe whose shot was saved by John Hill-Dunt in the Rhyl goal. Rhyl responded with a neat ball from Ben Nash which James Murphy picked up and fired wide.
Denbigh had a strong claim for a penalty in the 16th minute when Mark Roberts was brought down in the penalty area but referee Cheryl Foster waived play on to the dismay of the Denbigh fans. Still Denbigh pressed and from a Lewis Sirrell corner the ball fell to Tony Davies who could’nt get much power onto this shot and Hill-Dunt gathered comfortably. Sam Downey made a great interception and fed Jordan Barrow but his shot went just wide of the post as Denbigh enjoyed their best spell of the game
Rhyl had their moments with Town keeper Craig Vernon being forced to make a save from James Murphy’s free kick which was straight at him. Denbigh’s central defenders Curtis Strong and Tony Davies were limiting Rhyl’s chances to a minimum although Vernon was also called upon to make a save form Joe Sullivan’s shot from within the penalty area.
Rhyl wing back Aaron Hassall was receiving plenty of ball on the left wing but he was well marshalled by Town full back Stuart Vernon , who has made a welcome return back to first team action.
With the teams going in at half time 0-0, Denbigh looked to build on their first half performance and Scott McHarrie was unlucky to see his well drilled shot just missing the target. Mark Roberts then broke into the penalty area and shot low which Hill-Dunt dived to make a great save. Rhyl responded and Tony Davies made an excellent challenge on Barry Torrence as the striker was through on goal to clear for a corner
It was from a corner that Rhyl’s first goal came on 64 minutes when Denbigh failed to clear their ranks and Ben Nash was able to prod home from close range.
Jordan Barrow picked up a knock and Jake Walker replaced him as Denbigh continued to look for an equaliser. However Rhyl were able to extend their lead when a controversial penalty was awarded to them on 75 minutes for a challenge by Tony Davies. Rhyl sub, Kristian Pierce stepped up to fire past Vernon to give Rhyl the cushion of a two goal lead.
Denbigh never gave up and from Pat Hinchcliffe’s free kick just outside the penalty box Jake Walker saw his diving header saved by Hill-Dunt. Mark Roberts then saw his shot go just wide of the post and shortly after the final whistle blew for Rhyl to take the three points.
Denbigh now move onto another eagerly anticipated game – another local derby at Central Park on Boxing Day - Wednesday 26th December against Ruthin which kicks off at 1.00pm
Denbigh Town FC
Craig Vernon, Stuart Vernon, Bailey Jackson, Curtis Langton, Tony Davies (Capt) Scott McHarrie, Pat Hinchcliffe, Sam Downey, Lewis Sirrell, Mark Roberts (Capt), Jordan Barrow,: Subs – Sam Jones, Tom Jones, Dan Lloyd, Sion Jones, Jake Walker
John Hill-Dunt, Aaron Hassall, Cai Owen, Max Peate (Capt), Reece Fairhurst, Ben Nash, Joe Sullivan, Matt Cook, Gareth Partridge, Barry Torrence, James Murphy : Subs – Kristian Pierce, Rory Crowther, Joe Culshaw, Liam Chambers
Referee – Cheryl Foster
Assistant – Graham Hannah
Assistant – Martin Trigg
Attendance - 265