Town suffer defeat at Gresford
By Iwan Jones
Gresford 2-0 Denbigh Town
The first game of 2019 saw Denbigh end the game with ten men for the third game in succession as they lost to a composed and well drilled Gresford team. Two goals in either half secured the win for the hosts in a game in which Denbigh had chances but never really got going, and when captain, Tony Davies was sent off for two yellow cards the task got harder.
Denbigh had the first chance on 5 minutes with Mark Roberts getting on the end of a long Tony Davies ball and as he brought the ball under control he lined up his shot from 20 yards which bent just wide of Gresford keeper, Ben Jones’ left hand post.
However Gresford took the lead after 8 minutes when from a Kieran Evans corner the ball floated into the six yard box and with Denbigh’s defenders stationary Jack Jones was able to head home unopposed.
Denbigh responded and some passing between Dan Lloyd and Sam Jones saw Jones win the corner but this was safely gathered by Ben Jones. Lewis Sirrell shot just wide of the target after some great work from Pat Hinchcliffe. Gresford reacted and when ex Denbigh forward Jake Eyre broke free Tony Davies’ rash challenge saw him receive a yellow card. Eyre then picked up a yellow card himself for a dangerous tackle on Lewis Sirrell as the game went into a scrappy stage.
Tom Freeman on Gresford’s right wing was seeing plenty of the ball, and when he picked the ball up in the centre circle he made his way towards the right wing before unleashing a fine shot which sped just outside Town keeper, Craig Vernon’s right hand post. Vernon was then called upon to make a great save from another ex-Denbigh player Simon Smith whose shot from 18 yards was deflected off Tony Davies with Vernon palming the ball away for a corner.
Denbigh did have their moments and when Pat Hinchcliffe fed Mark Roberts, his shot was handled just on the edge of the Gresford penalty area. Stuart Vernon stepped up to take the free kick which was safely gathered by Ben Jones in Gresford’s goal.
The second half saw Denbigh get the ball in the net with Pat Hinchcliffe doing well again down the left wing and firing past Jones only for the assistant referee to have judged him to be offside and the goal was disallowed.
Then 56 minutes came Tony Davies’ second yellow card for a tackle on Jack Chaloner just on the edge of penalty area after Denbigh had lost possession of the ball in their own half. The referee saw the challenge as dangerous and Davies left the field and Denbigh had to reshape. Sam Jones came off for Chandon Gioacchini to make his debut for Denbigh
However six minutes later the extra man told for Gresford as they doubled their lead when Jack Jones got his second with a shot from 18 yards which gave Vernon no chance.
Despite Gresford being 2-0 up Denbigh came more into the game for a period with the energetic Sam Downey seeing his shot deflected into Ben Jones’ arms. Downey then made a great run down the left wing to cross low into the box but no attacker was on hand to finish his good work.
However Denbigh’s opportunities got less and less as the game moved into its final quarter. Stuart Vernon and Dan Lloyd were replaced by Sion Jones and Jacob Parry. Parry has impressed in the Reserves this season and warranted a call up to the first team and in the short time he was on the pitch he showed he was not out of his depth with some deft touches and a header on goal.
Gresford had two more chances at the other end to add to their lead but Craig Vernon and his central defenders Miles Todd and Bailey Jackson held firm to limit the final score to 2-0.
This was not the start to 2019 that Denbigh had wanted but they were playing an in form team which is on an unbeaten run of five games. Denbigh’s net game isaway to Bangor City on Friday 11th January with a kick off time of 7.30pm
Ben Jones, Kieran Evans, Ben Burrows, Jack Jones, Joe Newton, Joshua Griffiths, Jack Chaloner, Simon Smith, Sam Molyneux, Jake Eyre, Tom Freeman. Subs: Nathan Williams, Joe Davies, Owen Roberts, Jordan MacCarter, Reece Airey
Denbigh Town FC
Craig Vernon, Miles Todd, Dan Lloyd, Bailey Jackson, Tony Davies (Capt), Stuart Vernon, Pat Hinchcliffe, Sam Downey, Lewis Sirrell, Mark Roberts, Sam Jones: Subs – Sion Jones, Chandon Gioacchini, Jacob Parry, Stuart Griffiths
Attendance – 85