A Walker brace helps Denbigh off to a winning start
By Iwan Jones
Denbigh Town 4-1 Mynydd Llandegai
Denbigh’s first game of the season in the Lock Stock Welsh Alliance League One saw them come out comfortable winners in a game played in conditions that were more associated to mid winter rather than mid August. Torrential rain and high winds were the order of the day and both teams accomplished themselves well in such adverse conditions.
This was manager Dewi Llion Jones’ first game as sole manager of Town and over the close season he has built together a squad with a distinctive local flavour with some strong additions from further afield. With his appointment of ex Bala Town and Denbigh Town player Owain Roberts as his assistant the duo are looking for the Club to bounce back after relegation to the Welsh Alliance on the last day of last season.
New signing Jonathan Terry took the captains’ armband after Mark Roberts failed a late fitness test and Roberts was put on the sub’s bench. Kristian Pierce had to pull out through injury and will be missing for a couple of weeks. Miles Todd was suspended for the game.
With Denbigh playing into the strong wind in the first half both Jake Walker and Billy Holmes had chances to put Town ahead within the first five minutes but both chances went astray.
The villagers of Mynydd Llandegai had their first chance after 15 minutes when from a 30 yard free kick from Ben Parker, new keeper Antoni Jan Sarnowski was forced into action to pull off a great save diving to his left.
With the rain lashing down Denbigh attacked in numbers on the 37th minute. The ball fell to Jake Walker some 12 yards from goal. He was able to turn sharply and fire in in low shot which flew past Nicholas Bould in Llandegai’s goal. 1-0 to Denbigh and that’s how it remained up until half time.
With the wind behind them Denbigh started the second half brightly and the impressive young Dan Clarke sent in a dangerous free kick which was met by Les Brophy’s head but the header was straight at Bould to give the keeper a comfortable save. Clarke was making his debut for his home town club having been on Chester City’s books until last season and showed some great promise with some excellent touches throughout the game.
Denbigh’s second came on 53 minutes courtesy of some great work by full back Dan Lloyd who whipped in a vicious left hand cross which Jake Walker met with a perfect volley to fire high into the roof of the visitor’s net.
Town now appeared in control of the game, but the visitors struck with an outstanding goal on 69 minutes from Osian Jones. Jones collected the ball up on the inside left wing and made headway for goal before unleashing a brilliant strike from 25 yards which flew over Sarnowski’s stretched arms and then dipped into the back of the net. This brought about a scrappy period of play from Denbigh as the visitors searched for the equaliser.
However, on 78 minutes, with Billy Holmes making one of his infamous runs he was crudely fouled by Llandegai defender Iwan Morris and referee Pete Kewley immediately brandished a yellow card to Morris. As it was his second card of the game Morris had to leave the field and Llandegai were down to 10 men.
Now in an effort to contain the game Denbigh changed formation slightly and Mark Roberts came on for the hard working Sam Tate on 80 minutes. Five minutes later Roberts was on the score sheet as Denbigh made the extra man play the difference and Roberts turned in a cross to make it 3-1.
Just before the final whistle Denbigh got their fourth when from a Sion Jones corner the ball went into the back of the visitor’s net courtesy of an own goal after some pressure from Les Brophy on the defender.
Manager Dewi Llion Jones was pleased with his team’s performance. He said after the game “This was a good overall performance from the whole team. I was particularly pleased with us defensively as we restricted their chances to long range attempts. The midfield of Will Ashley and Sion Jones did well and going forward we looked lively and should have scored more as we had an abundance of chances. However, we scored four goals and I’m more than happy to start the season with three points”.
Next up for Denbigh is an eagerly awaited local derby at St Asaph on Tuesday night with a 6.30pm kick off
Denbigh Town FC
Antoni Jan Sarnowski, Stuart Vernon, Dan Lloyd, Les Brophy, Jonathan Terry, Sion Jones, Billy Holmes, Will Ashley, Jake Walker, Sam Tate, Dan Clarke. Subs : Mark Roberts, Owen Heath, Owain Roberts, Connor Jones, Lewis Jenner
Nicholas Bould, David Hayes, Dylan Jones, Ben Parker, Iwan Morris, Wyn Morris, Damien Smith, Ben Owen, Thomas Barker, Osian Jones, Gavin Owen Subs: Kieran Freeman-Jones, Tomos Griffiths, Matthew Edwards, Iwan Bohana, Tomos Williams
Referee – Pete Kewley
Assistant – Glenn Gray
Assistant – John Palmer