LATE PARTRIDGE GOAL SECURES DRAW FOR TOWN
Denbigh travelled to the Hollingsworth Group Stadium on a bitterly cold afternoon for this top of the table clash. Airbus stood in second place prior to the start, seven points ahead of sixth place Denbigh, but Denbigh had five games in hand.
Manager Eddie Maurice-Jones gave new signing Matthew Worrell his first start up front for Town having come on as sub a week earlier and scored two goals. Rakim Newton had also earned himself a recall to the starting line up as he made a difference to the team when he came on as a sub against Holyhead and was instrumental in helping to create three second half goals.
It was Airbus who started the stronger on their 4G pitch and Town keeper Keighan Jones was forced to run out of his area in the early stages to thwart an Airbus break on the attack.
It took Denbigh a good 10 minutes to get their first attack on the Airbus goal when Worrall and Craig Pritchard linked well for Worrall’s shot to go over the bar. Minutes later Pritchard was fouled on the edge of the Airbus area. He took the free kick and his shot forced a fine save from Andy Coughlin in the Airbus goal as he palmed the ball to his right hand side for a Denbigh corner.
The game was now developing into a more even contest with both sides having chances. The Wingmaker’s Leo Riley had a great chance to give them the lead when he rounded Jones in Denbigh’s goal only for his chip to go just wide of the post.
Kristian Pierce was involved in two Town moves as he first of all laid a superb ball for Pritchard to lay onto Worrall only for Coughlin to again foil the Denbigh attack. Pierce then had a fierce drive just go wide of the keeper’s post.
Airbus’ Ryan Edwards had a great chance for them to take the lead when his shot from18 yards was well saved by Jones who is settling well into the side and proving to be a sound replacement for the injured Jon Hill-Dunt.
However on 44 minutes he could do nothing as an Airbus corner saw the ball land in the six yard box and appear to bounce of the legs off one of Denbigh’s defenders and end in the back of the net with Airbus’ Kristian Platt claiming the goal.
The second half saw Town start well and Worrall played Pritchard in only for the midfielder’s shot to go straight into Coughlin’s arms.
Airbus had a great chance to double their lead on 50 minutes when Lewis Buckley fired a shot which brought out another excellent save from Jones. This led to a spell when Airbus had a great deal of possession and were in control of the game with Denbigh’s attacks being limited to long crosses which were either too close to Coughlin or were easily dealt with by their strong central defenders Tomasson and Quirk.
Kristian Pierce was becoming a playmaker in Denbigh’s forays into the Airbus half and he once again linked well with Pritchard and Worrall, but they could not breakdown the defence.
At the other end Lewis Buckley should have put the game out of Denbigh’s reach when following a slip in the Town defence he was through on goal only for Denbigh’s Liam Smith and Dan Sullivan to get back and help Keighan Jones to smother the ball.
Pierce picked up a knock and was replaced by Warren Duckett who moved upfront to play alongside Worrall.
Still Airbus continued to make headway on Jones’ goal and the youngster made two first class saves within seconds of each other to thwart the Airbus attackers.
On 84 minutes Eddie Maurice-Jones made a double substitution with a view of trying to get something out of the game. On came Joel Hewitt and Corey Smart for Rakim Newton and Matty Cook and Hewitt was involved in a break down the right wing and squared a ball for Dan Sullivan to fire just wide.
Town upped their game as the match reached its final few minutes and in the ninetieth minute some great play by Duckett saw him fire a ball across the Airbus area which was met by Gareth Partridge who blasted the ball home from 10 yards to give Town a last ditch equaliser.
With only a short period of injury time to play it was too late for either team to force a winner and a draw was the outcome – a fair result in the end
Denbigh’s next game is Saturday 23rd March away in Mid Wales when the team travel to Caersws, kick off 2.30pm.
Airbus UK Broughton
Andy Coughlin, Danny Taylor, Curtis Strong, Steve Tomasson (Capt), Nathan Quirk, Kristian Platt, Ryan Edwards, Ashley Williams, Sanogo Aboubacar, Leo Riley, Lewis Buckley. Subs: Tom Cain, Majid Osman, Alfons Fosu Mensa, Cain Blackburn
Keighan Jones, Liam Smith, Joe Culshaw, Dan Sullivan, Ben Nash (Capt), Matt Cook, Kristian Pierce, Gareth Partridge, Matt Worrall, Craig Pritchard, Rakim Newton. Subs: Joel Hewitt, Warren Duckett, Corey Smart
Referee – Tom Owen
Assistant – Michael Williams
Assistant – Ned Hughes
Attendance - 148