Ten men Town lose to last minute goal
By Iwan Jones
Prestatyn Town 2-1 Denbigh Town
Just when ten men Denbigh thought they had done enough to secure a point, a last minute header from Dave Hayes saw Prestatyn claim all three points deep into injury time.
Denbigh went in at half time 1-0 down and midway through the second half were down to ten men when Kristian Pierce was sent off after he received a second yellow card. Nevertheless the ten Denbigh men put in such an effort and got their reward with an 84th minute equaliser from Pat Hinchcliffe’s free kick. However the heartbreak of conceding a last minute goal means they remain in the bottom four of the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance with eight games of the season remaining.
Denbigh’s joint managers Dewi Llion and Matty Jones brought Dan Lloyd and Miles Todd into the team’s defence with Bailey Jackson and Stuart Vernon starting on the bench.
Denbigh started the brighter on a warm February evening at the Motion Finance Stadium. Lewis Sirrell and Pat Hinchcliffe both had early shots on goal which were comfortably saved by Prestatyn’s keeper Ryan Roberts. Prestatyn responded and had two early corners which Denbigh’s defence were able to clear.
Lewis Sirrell was fouled just on the half way line which earned Prestatyn’s Oli Buckley a yellow card. From the free kick captain Tony Davies launched a strong kick which caught the wind and Roberts was happy to tip the ball over for a Denbigh corner.
Davies was then on the end of a great Lewis Sirrell cross, but his header just went over the crossbar. Just after Sirrell was played in by Mark Roberts but his shot had no strength and Roberts gathered safely.
Despite this Prestatyn were having plenty of possession and making inroads into Denbigh’s half for good spells. On 26 minutes they took the lead when a Dave Hayes run from defence saw him feed Ian Griffiths. Craig Vernon pulled off a great stop from Griffiths but the ball fell to Jack Higgins who was able to slot the ball home from ten yards.
Denbigh reacted with Sam Downey doing well to get to the by line and crossing only for Roberts to catch the cross. Tony Davies then sent a long ball down the right wing for Kristian Piece to send a low hard ball across the box but Mark Roberts was just unable to get on the end of it and the ball was cleared for a corner.
Pierce picked up his first yellow card on 38 minutes for a late challenge. The half finished with a Denbigh attack started by Pat Hinchcliffe who put a great ball through to Mark Roberts but the keeper covered the danger by smothering the ball and the teams went in at half time with the hosts 1-0 up.
The second half started with a brilliant ball from Pierce to Mark Roberts on the edge of Prestatyn’s area. He rounded the keeper and was then challenged in the penalty area and brought down in what was a strong penalty claim. The referee waved play on to the dismay of the Denbigh fans and players.
Minutes later, on 52 minutes Kristian Pierce and Aaron White challenged each other in the air, but which the referee adjudged Pierce’s challenge to be violent and despite Pierce having a head injury he received a second yellow card and had to leave the field.
Prestatyn expectedly took advantage of the extra man by putting more pressure on the Denbigh goal. However the ten men stood firm and every man played their part in a sterling 35 minutes when they rallied around each other and put in a tremendous amount of endeavour. The four man defence remained strong and well organised and kept the Prestatyn attempts on goal to a minimum. In midfield the hard working duo of Scott McHarrie and Sam Downey worked tirelessly to make sure Prestatyn’s extra man had a limited effect.
Fresh legs were introduced Bailey Jackson and Stuart Vernon replacing Dan Lloyd and Miles Todd and shortly after Jake Walker replaced Lewis Sirrell. Walker had an immediate effect when his half volley from twenty yards brought out a finger tip save from Roberts.
On 84 minutes Walker then had another shot from just outside the area which was blocked by the hand of a Prestatyn defender. Up stepped Pat Hinchcliffe to fire a cracker past the wall to give Denbigh a deserved equaliser.
Now it was time for Prestatyn to put on the pressure and they forced a corner in the 91st minute when the wind caught a long ball and Craig Vernon tipped the ball over the crossbar. From the inswinging corner the wind caught the ball again and the ball fell into the path of Dave Hayes who was able to head in from close range and give Prestatyn a 2-1 lead much to the despair of Denbigh’s players and supporters.
It was too late for Denbigh to do anything about it at that late stage as the referee blew for full time a minute later and Denbigh fell to another close defeat.
After three away fixtures they return to Central Park on Saturday 23rd February with a home game against Porthamdog- kick off is 2.30pm
Ryan Roberts, Warren Adam, Aaron White, Dave Hayes, Dan Roberts, James Hay, Ben Maher, Alex Jones (Capt) Ian Griffiths, Jack Higgins, Oli Buckley Subs: Macauley Taylor, Chris Bennett, Nathaniel Hulme, Sam Duffy, Ryan Woods
Denbigh Town FC
Craig Vernon, Miles Todd, Dan Lloyd, Tony Davies (Capt), Curtis Langton, Pat Hinchcliffe, Sam Downey , Scott McHarrie, Lewis Sirrell, Mark Roberts, Kristian Pierce: Subs – Bailey Jackson, Sion Jones, Jake Walker, Stuart Vernon
Attendance – 264