Vintage Ows' powerful header wins the derby
By Iwan Jones
St Asaph City 1 -2 Denbigh Town
Denbigh’s Assistant Manager Owain Roberts rolled back the years in this tight derby game when he headed home an 82nd minute winner to give Denbigh the three points at the Roe Plas, St Asaph. It was a goal to remember coming from a great corner from Dan Clarke which Roberts met with such force from 10 yards that it gave City keeper Danny Jones simply no chance as it flew into the net.
Now in the twilight of his illustrious North Wales footballing career Roberts' header was a crucial goal in a game which looked to be heading for a draw. With his head heavily bandaged following an earlier challenge in the game he rose unopposed to head home the winner.
The game was a typical derby game with some feisty challenges and was the first time the two teams had played each other competitively for some years. A decent crowd was on hand on a fine summers evening with Denbigh looking to build on their 4-1 win against Mynydd Llandegai a few days ago.
With both Stuart Vernon and Will Ashley unavailable after the weekend win, manager Dewi Llion Jones brought in young Connor Jones in central defence for his first start of the season. Captain Jonathan Terry moved into midfield alongside Roberts and they both built up a good understanding as the game developed.
Denbigh started brightly and Jake Walker was unlucky to see his header go the wrong side of the post after some great work down the wing by Billy Holmes after only 3 minutes. Dan Clarke was proving a threat down the left wing and was subject to some late challenges. Denbigh were seeing a lot more of the ball but just were unable to get the finishing touch.
After 35 minutes it was St Asaph who took the lead when an attack down the right wing saw the ball crossed low to the far post and then slotted back across the goal for Josh Brown to slot in from 6 yards. A sloppy goal to concede from Denbigh’s point whose defence up until then had looked very comfortable.
The second half saw Denbigh come out more forceful and they had the impetus from the start of the half. The team were playing well as a unit and everyone was playing their part. Sion Jones and Dan Lloyd as full backs were having more influence on the game with their forays forward and were putting the City defence under pressure. Up front Sam Tate’s intricate control was helping create chances for Jake Walker as Town had the better part of the early second half.
After 52 minutes the pressure paid off when Billy Holmes started a run down the right wing, jinxing past City defenders and finding his way into the penalty area to lay off a pin point ball to Dan Clarke who blasted home from 10 yards for the equaliser.
Whilst Denbigh continued to apply pressure on the City goal the second would not come and as the half progressed, so City came more into the game and had a good spell for some ten minutes. However Les Brophy and Connor Jones were standing firm protecting Antoni Jan Sarnowski’s goal and kept the City opportunities to a minimum.
Denbigh responded to City’s pressure and Sion Jones made tracks down the right wing from his own half skipping passed three defenders to play a ball on for Dan Clarke to shoot but this time Clarke’s shot was blocked.
As the half moved on the game went through a scrappy spell with neither side really composing themselves. That was until Denbigh forced the corner in the 82nd minute which saw Dan Clarke send in the corner for Owain Roberts to head home the winner.
Manager Dewi Llion Jones said after the game “Our first half was not up to the standard we have set ourselves and to go in 1-0 down reflected this. The second half we were at our best for large periods of the game and for us to come from one down to win 2-1 in a local derby is a great result. The whole team gelled well. Everyone in the team played their part and it was just a first class moment when Ows headed in that winner”.
Danny Jones, Dan Williams, James Witherspoon, Alistair Parsonage, Jamie Brewerton, Liam Grayson, Mikey Hargrave, Mathew Morris, Josh Brown, Paul Fleming, Stewart White: Subs – Jonathan Taylor, Jason Foulkes, Lee Jones, Corey Brewerton, Josh Wedge
Denbigh Town FC
Antoni Jan Sarnowski, Sion Jones, Dan Lloyd, Connor Jones, Les Brophy, Jonathan Terry, Billy Holmes, Owain Roberts, Jake Walker, Sam Tate, Dan Clarke. Subs : Owen Heath, Gruff Jones, Lewis Jenner
Referee – Matt Bridges
Assistant – Cameron McAlister
Assistant – John Carter
Attendance - 150