League leaders beat Town in atrocious weather conditions
By Iwan Jones
Denbigh Town FC 2-3 Airbus Broughton FC
Players and supporters will not forget this game in a long time as the match was played in torrential lashing rain and extremely strong gusty swirling winds. These have to have been the worst weather conditions a game has been played in many a season by either club as Storm Hannah descended on Bala Town’s Maes Tegid ground with a vengeance. With Central Park at Denbigh totally waterlogged and having had two home games cancelled in the week before, Denbigh switched the game to Bala’s 3G pitch.
Denbigh felt confident of putting on a good display against the league leaders to follow up on their last outing a 1-0 win away at Guilsfield and were keen to hold the fixture. League leaders Airbus stood nine points clear at the top of the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance and are odds on favourites to win the league.
Denbigh welcomed local lad Billy Holmes into the starting line up after some impressive performances for the Reserves. Lewis Sirrell arrived late for the game so he started on the bench. Mark Roberts and Sam Downey were both suspended for the game and Stuart Vernon was injured.
With only a minute gone Kristian Pierce was put through on goal following a long ball and he was brought down in the area. A penalty was awarded with the defender receiving a yellow card and Pierce stepped up to fire home the penalty to give Town the perfect start.
It was Denbigh who adapted to the conditions the better in the opening stages and Pierce was unlucky not to make it two a few minutes later but his shot from 18 yards was saved by Roberts in the Airbus goal.
However with 12 minutes gone, Airbus were level when a cross from the right hand side from the impressive Brady McGilloway was parried away be keeper Craig Vernon to Wingman Asa Hamilton who was able to head in from close range
Denbigh responded and Jake Walker was able to latch onto a through ball just inside the Airbus half and he controlled the ball down to fire from 40 yards which just went wide of Airbus’ goal with Roberts well beaten. Bailey Jackson was enjoying his new role in central midfield and he was spreading the ball wide to wide men Pat Hinchcliffe and Billy Holmes. Holmes was on the end of a high ball on the Airbus penalty spot which confused the Airbus defenders with the wind having an effect, but his goalward header lacked the power and the defence was able to clear.
Airbus were playing the ball on the deck in an effort to have more control on the game and it worked to their favour after some good play on 35 minutes. After some good ball play Ryan Edwards was able to shoot which keeper Vernon could only parry out and this time Nathan Woolfe was on hand to tap in to give the Wingmen a 2-1 lads the teams went in at half time
Lewis Sirrell came on at half time for Billy Holmes in a straight swop and Denbigh once again started the second half the brighter of the two teams.
On 54 minutes Pat Hinchcliffe and Kristian Pierce were involved in some good promising play down the right wing but the final ball was intercepted and a long ball up field found Asa Hamilton in space and with Craig Vernon advancing he coolly lobbed the keeper to make it 3-1.
Denbigh still battled on as the conditions deteriorated even further and the game went through a spell with neither team managing to create anything. Denbigh’s persistence and effort could not be faulted but they could not make headway against a well organised Airbus defensive line. In midfield Scott McHarrie impressed as he showed strength and tenacity and he was linking well with Lewis Sirrell but both were unable to put pressure on Roberts’ goal.
Denbigh’s fortunes changed on 78 minutes when the hard working Kristian Pierce picked up the ball on the right side of Airbus’ half, jinxed and dribbled past a defender and unleashed a wonderful shot which left Roberts standing and flew into the back of the net to bring the score to 3-2.
The last twelve minutes saw more and more Denbigh pressure in the Airbus half but the equaliser would not come despite some frantic defending in the Airbus box following a Lewis Sirrell corner when the ball caught the wind and Town had two chances of a stab at goal. The ball just would not fall to a Town player to capitalise on the opportunity and Airbus were able to clear and minutes later the game was all over.
Despite the 3-2 defeat joint manager Matty Jones was full of praise for this team saying “The lads were superb with their effort and commitment especially in the second half. We’re disappointed to finish without any points and so our focus must now turn to a crucial game against Holyhead on Friday evening. Credit must also be given to the officials today who had a difficult job in very testing conditions”
The result leaves Denbigh fourth from bottom of the league seven points ahead of both Holywell who have two games in hand on Denbigh and Penrhyncoch who have one game in hand. The game on Friday evening against bottom club Holyhead is one where they look to return to winning ways and climb further away from relegation.
The Club would like to extend their thanks to Bala Town FC for agreeing to the game being hosted at Maes Tegid today
Denbigh Town FC
Craig Vernon, Miles Todd, Dan Lloyd, Tony Davies (Capt), Curtis Langton, Pat Hinchcliffe, Scott McHarrie, Bailey Jackson, Billy Holmes, Kristian Pierce, Jake Walker : Subs – Sion Jones, Lewis Sirrell, Stuart Griffiths
Airbus Broughton FC
Dave Roberts, Brady McGilloway, Steve Tomasson, Joe Palmer, Kristian Platt, Ryan Edwards, Asa Hamilton, Nathan Woolfe, Sam Hart, Lewis Buckley, Matty McGinn. Subs : Phil Clarke, Danny Taylor, Leo Riley, Nathan Quirk, James Hooper
Referee : Aaron Wyn Jones
Assistants – Alex Wharton & Graham Hannah
Attendance – 45