Town's unbeaten run continues after tough encounter
By Iwan Jones
Denbigh Town FC 3 - 2 Llanrug Utd
Denbigh’s unbeaten start to the season continued with a tough win against a well organised Llanrug team. After taking an early lead through Jake Walker, Denbigh found themselves 2-1 down early into the second half before a Mark Roberts equaliser and a late Jake Walker penalty gave them the three points and sees Denbigh equal top of the Lock Stock Welsh Alliance League 1.
Manager Dewi Llion brought in Miles Todd to make his first start of the season after serving his two match suspension and Mark Roberts returned from injury.
On a dry afternoon a strong gusty wind had its influence on the game and Denbigh played against this in the first half as they attacked the Myddleton School end. Billy Holmes was a constant threat in Denbigh’s attack and after nine minutes he threaded his way from the right wing across midfield and laid a great ball to Dan Clarke. Clarke laid a low ball to Jake Walker in the six yard box, whose first attempt on goal was blocked but on the second attempt he beat Llanrug’s keeper Dylan Roberts to give Denbigh the lead.
The visitors responded and broke at pace with Alan Owen making headway down the left wing to cross dangerously into the box only for Miles Todd to make a timely interception and concede a corner. From the corner Town keeper Antoni Jan Sarnowski rose well to command his area and take a clean catch and relieved the danger.
Llanrug continued to pressure the Denbigh goal and just on the stroke of half time they equalised with a great header from Alan Owen which gave Sarnowski no chance.
Half time came with Denbigh having to replace winger Dan Clarke who had taken a knock with Will Ashley who moved into midfield
After the break it was Llanrug who started the brighter of the teams and after 50 minutes they thought they had taken the lead when Owen’s chip over Sarnoswski looked to be going in only for Miles Todd to race back and clear acrobatically off the goal line.
A few minutes later the visitors were awarded a penalty when a challenge from Dan Lloyd on Iwan Edwards was deemed illegal much to the dismay of the Denbigh team. Up stepped Llanrug’s captain Dylan Owen to send Sarnowski the wrong way from the spot. 2-1 to the visitors.
Going behind seemed to be a kick start for Denbigh as they immediately went on the attack and in the 57th minute they had equalised after a scramble in the penalty box saw Denbigh have several shots blocked before Mark Roberts struck well to hit the net.
The game was now flowing end to end and Denbigh’s defence was stretched when Llanrug’s Gavin Lloyd-Jones used his strength to beat two challenges and headed for goal only for Antoni Jan Sarnowski to make a great low shot stopping shot from the striker
Denbigh responded and Mark Roberts had a header well saved by Dylan Roberts and Miles Todd had an overhead kick attempt just go over the bar. Jonathan Terry had a couple of long range shots but these were blocked. Denbigh started to use their full backs as outlets as Sion Jones and Dan Lloyd played some telling balls down their lines to Sam Tate and Billy Holmes but the decisive goal was not coming.
Billy Holmes had another mazy run after he sprinted away from the Llanrug defenders and headed goalwards. As he made his way into the area keeper Roberts narrowed Holmes options and when Holmes shot the keeper was able to parry the ball away for a corner.
However with just five minutes left Holmes was hacked to the ground in the penalty area and it was an easy decision for referee Mr Moore to point to the penalty spot. Jake Walker fired in well to claim his second of the game and Denbigh’s winner.
It was a fraught few minutes then as Llanrug continued to press for the equaliser when Denbigh’s defenders Les Brophy, Stuart Vernon, Will Ashley, Connor Jones and Miles Todd put their bodies on the line to protect their goal. It was with some relief for Denbigh’s team and supporters that the final whistle went after some four minutes of injury time.
Manager Dewi Llion said after the game “This was a scrappy performance against a good Llanrug team who have some strong attackers and they made things difficult for us. It was not the best of performances and the lads know they can do better. Nevertheless we showed character to come from behind again as we did against St Asaph and claim the three points. We now move on to our next game on Tuesday evening at Llanrwst – another tough test.”
Denbigh Town FC
Antoni Jan Sarnowski, Sion Jones, Dan Lloyd, Les Brophy, Miles Todd, Jonathan Terry, Billy Holmes, Sam Tate, Jake Walker, Mark Roberts, Dan Clarke. Subs : Owen Heath, Stuart Vernon, Owain Roberts, Connor Jones, Owen Heath
Dylan Roberts, James Philliops, Dion Owen, Dion Roberts, Eifion Williams, Dylan Owen, Terry Jones, Iwan Edwards, Alan Owen, Gavin Lloyd-Jones, Carl Griffiths. Subs – Jonathan Sadler, Jake Calley-Thomas, Morgan Williams, Sion Evans, Robin Thomas
Referee – Tony Moore
Assistant – Nathan Wheatley
Assistant – Andrew Dogan
Attendance - 100