Denbigh lose to Port
By Iwan Jones
Denbigh Town 0-3 Porthmadog
Denbigh remain in a relegation battle after this home defeat to a Porthmadog team which started the day in fourth position in the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance League. Once again Town finished the game with ten men after Mark Roberts was red carded with just six minutes left meaning he will miss the next three games.
Denbigh changed their defensive line up for the game with Miles Todd partnering Curtis Langton in the central defence and up front Jake Walker replaced the suspended Kristian Pierce.
It was Town who had the better chances in the opening minutes with Pat Hinchcliffe’s shot just going over the bar and Dan Lloyd having a long shot from 35 yards which Pritchard in the Port goal saved comfortably. However Port were having much more of the possession and putting pressure on Denbigh’s defence but in the early stages they did not threaten Craig Vernon’s goal.
Denbigh had a great chance to open the scoring on 22 minutes when some strong play by Scott McHarrie saw him make inroads down the right wing. His deep cross to the back post was met by Mark Roberts who headed across goal for Jake Walker to make a flying header which Pritchard did well to keep out.
Two minutes later and Port were ahead courtesy of a free kick just inside Denbigh’s half. The high ball eluded all Denbigh’s defenders and Julian Williams was on hand to head in unopposed and into the net.
It was almost 2-0 a few minutes later when Denbigh’s ex centre half Mike Sharples jumped higher than anyone else off a Sion Edwards corner only to see his effort go just over Craig Vernon’s goal.
Denbigh responded when Jake Walker was fouled just outside the Port penalty area. A clever free kick ploy saw Pat Hinchcliffe’s shot go just wide of Pritchard’s goal. Lewis Sirrell then had a chance after Walker and Roberts had linked well but his well struck shot was deflected into Pritchard’s arms off a defender.
At half time Denbigh went in knowing they were still in the game but just after the restart they went 2-0 down from another Julian Williams header, this time from a Gruff John cross.
Both teams made changes with Denbigh’s Bailey Jackson coming on Dan Lloyd and Port’s Iddon Price coming on for Ceri James.
With the game delicately poised Denbigh’s best chance of the game fell to Mark Roberts. Lewis Sirrell made a long clearance out to Jake Walker in Port’s half. He played a great ball into the run of Pat Hinchcliffe who squared the ball for Roberts in space but his shot from 10 yards went well over the bar.
Minutes later a disputed throw in decision went against Denbigh, and Port capitalised by taking the throw quickly and playing the ball into Denbigh’s area. The ball found Iwan Lewis who shot low and hard from 12 yards and the strike gave Vernon no chance in Denbigh’s goal and the visitors were three up with 67 minutes gone.
Allieu Sheriff came on for his home debut in place of Jake Walker and he was involved when Mark Roberts shot was blocked by a defender and Sheriff’s was unlucky to hit another defender and be cleared to safety.
Town’s final substitution saw Joel Hewitt replace Stuart Vernon at right back. Hewitt suffered a broken ankle back in pre season and this was his first return since the injury. During his spell on the pitch he sent in three good crosses but no Denbigh striker was able to get on the end of his deliveries.
As time for Denbigh to get a consolation goal was running out, tempers flared in the 84th minute and the result was that referee Mike Gray saw Mark Roberts’ reaction to a challenge from Tomos Emlyn warranting a straight red card for Roberts.
The ten men held out without conceding any further goals but the result leaves Denbigh perilously close to the bottom three of the table with seven games remaining.
Next weekend they travel to Guilsfield looking to get back to winning ways
Denbigh Town FC
Craig Vernon, Stuart Vernon, Miles Todd, Dan Lloyd, Curtis Langton, Pat Hinchcliffe, Sam Downey , Scott McHarrie, Lewis Sirrell, Mark Roberts, Jake Walker Pierce: Subs – Bailey Jackson, Sion Jones, Tony Davies, Allieu Sheriff, Joel Hewitt
Paul Pritchard, Gruff John Williams, Mike Sharples, Ceri James, Tomos Emlyn, Ifan Emlyn, Iwan Lewis, Sion Edwards, Shaun Cavanagh, Julian Williams, Rob Evans Subs: Iddon Price, Sion Parry, Ilan ap Gareth, Aled Williams, Kieran Hilditch
Referee – Mike Gray
Attendance – 115