Great team effort from Town
By Iwan Jones
Flint Town Utd 1-1 Denbigh Town
Denbigh will consider themselves unlucky to come home from Flint with only a point after a great team performance to build on their Boxing Day success against Ruthin. Flint started the game in fourth position and were favourites to win at Cae y Castell where they have been undefeated all season in the League. After taking an early second half lead Town were reduced to 10 men when Scott McHarrie was straight red carded. Flint equalised shortly after and yet Town put in a first class effort and had several chances to get the winner.
The game had a goalless first half which saw both teams trying to outwit themselves in the early stages. Neither team were able to dominate the game although Denbigh had the more clear cut opportunities as they stamped their authority on the game. Mark Roberts had the first chance of the game as he was played through on goal from a Pat Hinchcliffe ball but his shot went just wide of the target as Denbigh applied the early pressure and limited Flint to long range efforts on keeper Craig Vernon’s goal
On 18 minutes Denbigh had strong clams for a penalty when Mark Roberts was brought to the ground by Flint’s Sam Hart, but referee Mike Gray waved play on to the dismay of the Denbigh supporters.
Shortly after Roberts linked well with Pat Hinchcliffe with Hinchcliffe sending a long ball over the box to Roberts, who collected the ball and fired a low cross back across the box which Hinchcliffe volleyed from the edge of the area just over the bar
Lewis Sirrell had a chance but his shot went just too far of Flint keeper Aaron Jones’ right hand side and out for a goal kick. Then Stuart Vernon ran onto a ball from Mark Roberts and took a 20 yard shot that went well over the bar, but Denbigh’s intent was there to see as the team went in at half time 0-0.
The second half started so well for Denbigh as they took the lead on 50 minutes from the energetic Mark Roberts who was having a great game and ran tirelessly all afternoon. Lewis Sirrell sent a pin point 40 yard ball cross field ball to Stuart Vernon. Vernon was able to send a cross into the area which Roberts got his head to forcing keeper Jones to dive and parry the ball and Roberts followed it up by beating the keeper to the rebound and forcing the ball over the line
Denbigh were on the attack two minutes later in a break from their half when referee Gray stopped play and brandished a straight red card to Town’s Scott McHarrie for an off the ball incident.
Despite this setback and being down to 10 men Denbigh continued to press and Mark Roberts had a shot at Jones which saved comfortably. Dan Lloyd then had a chance from the industrious Pat Hinchcliffe who twisted and turned the Flint defenders to send in a cross which Jones parried to Lloyd whose shot went just over.
However, against the run of play Flint got their equaliser and what a goal it was. Kyle Smith picked the ball up on his right wing on the half way line and carried the ball at speed into the Denbigh area weaving his way past three defenders to fire home from 8 yards.
Flint now had a spell of being of top as the extra man began to tell for a period. Denbigh changed tactics and brought Jordan Barrow on for Dan Lloyd as they looked to defend the draw aswell as search for the winner.
Still they persisted in keeping Flint at bay with captain Tony Davies put in another true leaders performance at the back ably assisted by Bailey Jackson and Miles Todd. Davies was unlucky not to score as he headed just wide from a Lewis Sirrell corner.
Flint should have taken the lead as following a slip in possession by Miles Todd, their forwards broke through in a four on two situation but they were thwarted by keeper Craig Vernon making a great block and Bailey Jackson and Tony Davies were able to clear the danger.
At the other end Sam Downey who ran and ran all afternoon was unlucky not to get on the end of another Mark Roberts cross after Roberts had broken free down the right wing. Then Jordan Barrow sent over a corner which Lewis Sirrell got his head to, but the ball went just over the bar.
Mark Roberts then had a chance in the 84th minute to a give Denbigh the lead as Sirrell sent a superb ball for him to run onto, he beat a defender and shot across the goal from 12 yards only to see his attempt go just wide of the post.
The last of the game was Denbigh’s when after Sam Downey was fouled, Jordan Barrow sent a 25 yard shot straight at goal, over the wall only for the ball to just go over the bar and shortly after the final whistle blew
This really was a tremendous performance by a team that works and works for each other, showing great fitness and team spirit. Despite not claiming the three points the overall effort they put in against a top four team was something joint managers Matty Jones and Dewi Llion Jones can take great heart in as they move into the second half of the season.
Denbigh’s next game is away to Gresford FC Saturday 5th January with a slightly earlier kick off of 2.00pm
Flint Town Utd
Aaron Jones, Tom Kemp, Jake Hampson, Sam Hart (Capt), Damien Ketley, Ieuan Hewitt, Kai Wallis, Jacques Welsh, Alieu Sheriff, Mark Cadwallader, Kyle Smith. Subs; Johnny Hill, Luke Blondel, Josh Gaskin, Socrates Martins, Jack Higgins
Denbigh Town FC
Craig Vernon, Miles Todd, Dan Lloyd, Bailey Jackson, Tony Davies (Capt), Stuart Vernon, Scott McHarrie, Pat Hinchcliffe, Sam Downey, Lewis Sirrell, Mark Roberts: Subs – Sam Jones, Tom Jones, Jordan Barrow, Sion Jones, Chandon Gioacchini
Referee – Mike Gray
Assistant – Graeme Bell
Assistant – C C Fleming
Attendance – 140